Shopping in the supermarket today can be a challenge, with so much competition and variation knowing where to start and more importantly finish isn’t as simple as it used to be.
When you look at what you can buy with the big players such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrison’s, it boggles the mind. Gone are the days when all you could buy at a supermarket was groceries. Now you can buy everything from a tin of beans to a new sofa and everything that sits in-between the two. In fact, I even bought my last TV from one of the big supermarkets and I saved a small fortune when I did.
Then we have the new kids on the block who are really shaking things up at the discount end of the line, Aldi and Lidl have really put the cat amongst the pigeons by going back to basics with value grocery shopping at prices the big boys are terrified off, you won’t find the latest games console or even games in these stores, but you can save a bundle meaning that buying the latest gadget elsewhere is less of an issue.
In this blog post I will share some of my tips for aisle survival when you are out and about or shopping from the sofa you bought at Tesco direct. But before I do don’t get me wrong, I love supermarkets, they have buying power which means they have bargain-giving super powers.
1. Never shop on an empty stomach!
I know this from bitter experience. If I am dispatched to the supermarket to bring home fresh milk and bread and the morning newspaper after a hearty full English breakfast, I can complete the task with great success having only bought the items my better half has sent me out to buy. However, if I try and complete the same simple job with a growling belly I often return with two full bags stuffed to the brim with warm pastries a freshly roasted chicken and a whole host of other treats which never get eaten.
2. Don’t just think groceries
As I have already mentioned, gone are the days of just selling food for the fridge and cupboard. For years now we have been able to buy clothes and some basic household items, but now we can get just about anything for the home, food, furniture, phones and even our gas and electricity and insurance too. You can even bank with some of the bigger players. It’s always worth checking out the very latest deals across the whole brand.
3. Your fresh milk and bread are working with the supermarket!
Any supermarket worth its salt will position the bread and milk either in the centre of the store or at the very back. This is to draw you deeper into their lair of bargains and special offers. Ever found yourself popping in for a pint of milk and leaving with two large bags of shopping instead? This is because you have been seduced by the bright lights and buy one get one free offers as you travel along. Even Gandalf and Frodo would find this journey fraught with danger, so be aware and keep your wits about you.
4. Caught in the Buyers Triangle
Like the famous Bermuda Triangle common sense mysteriously goes missing when we are caught in the magic of the display triangle, with the most expensive items in the centre. This is why the most expensive products are at eye level on shelves and the cheaper ones are closer to the floor, its pays to move your eyes, this can make the difference between paying £1.20 for a tin of tomatoes compared to £0.50 for one sitting below.
5. Take a step down
Next time you are wheeling your way around the aisle take my step down challenge. By dropping down one level from your usual branded products you can save a whopping 25% easily, that could save an average family of four over £1000.00 a year! mySupermarket.co.uk has a trade down option, try it today and see what you can save.
Supermarkets use floor surfaces to guide you to more expensive items and make you linger in front of displays. Some supermarkets even vary the size of their floor tiles. Smaller ones will make the trolley wheels click more often so you’re fooled into thinking you’re walking too fast, so you slow down, right in front of the tempting bargains!
7. Timing is everything
Most supermarkets will offer some very heavy discounts on items that are about to reach their expiration date, everything from meat / fish to ready meals, usually at the end of the day and every day. 6pm is usually an ideal time, but ask your local store what time is good to come in and find these little bargains. Just make sure you use the products on the day or at the very least freeze them as soon as you get home.
8. Leave the Buy one Get One Free Goggles at Home
BOGOFs are a great way to save money and bag a bargain at the supermarket, but only if you would buy the product on offer anyway. If it’s not something you would normally buy, it just becomes an extra cost rather than a saving. It’s no good buying two for one shampoo if you are bald! But if you are a fan of cornflakes and eat them every day, stock up and bag the saving.
9. Use the vouchers they give you!
With competition being so fierce at the moment, supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s are giving you discount coupons at the till to be used on your next shop, if it could have been bought cheaper elsewhere. These are the so called price match guarantees, but many people simply do not use them at all. Keep them safe in your wallet or purse and use them the very next time you shop.You will be amazed just how much money you can save.
10. Get Online!
This one may seem obvious,but before you go to the supermarket, go online to research prices. By going online before you go to the store, you can explore multiple supermarkets from your couch and get an idea of who is giving you the best value for money. It will come as no surprise to learn that I am a huge fan of ,ySupermarket for this very reason and not just because they invited me to guest blog.
Today’s post is by guest blogger Richard Fenton, whose own blog Doesn’t Grow on Trees is chock full of money saving advice, including deals to be found online and off. In addition to bringing his blog readers the latest tricks and tips for saving their hard earned money, Richard writes regularly for The Daily Star Sunday and Manchester Evening News, and hosts a regular consumer half hour on regional UK television.