A few months back I was invited onto my local radio station Bob FM to discuss the perils of supermarket special offers and how they make you spend lots more money. It was very exciting to get onto local radio and hear my voice every hour on the news with my ‘expert views’. Now I know quite a bit about those super market offers..I used to work for Tesco’s so I am very aware of the sneaky things supermarkets do to make you buy more stuff and spend more money.
The Money Advice Service has asked me to share my top tips on things to watch out for when shopping and how to save yourself some cash.
- Write a list. Now I have to confess I am not that great at this. I do have a list, that is in my head and ultimately this means I spend a bit more money than I should. So go with a list and only buy what is on that that list. Even better write a meal plan and get the ingredients for those meals. One thing I will do at the end of my shop and is have a quick rummage through my trolley and ‘rethink’ about items I have put in there. Do I really need 2 bottles of wine? (normally yes;-))..do I really need the giant bag of popcorn? I will often put back a few impulse items I have picked up.
- Avoid the ends of the aisles where you will get impulse buy special offers. Its normally snackie convenience food, crisps, chocolate, cakes..have you noticed this? The aisle ends on the power aisle (the big path that runs down the middle of the store) are where your eyes are drawn to. Do not go there, you don’t need that much snack food!!
- Avoid going shopping when you are hungry. Apparently women are more likely to pick up sweet treats and extra bakery products, check, I would do do that. And men are more likely to pick up extra meat and alcohol!! Also not always doable I know but try to go without the children. They inevitably bug you into buying things that you really didn’t come in to buy.
- Watch out for bulk buy offers, for instance a 1kg box of washing powder might cost £8 on special offer…but you might be better off buying 2 of the 500g boxes for £3.50 each. Every time I go to Tesco’s I always find examples of this, you need to be careful and savvy about the special offers.
- Try something different, I have shopped at Tesco maybe for 25 years ( I am far too loyal a customer!) but have recently swopped over to Aldi. I’ve not looked back, the price difference is incredible. I easily save 30-40% on the cost of my weekly shop. Also try unbranded versions of the branded stuff you normally buy. Supermarket own brand products are often made by the same manufacturer as the branded in the same factory so often there is not much difference. Go on try something different.
- Check out Moneyadviceservice for lots more info and additional tricks to help you save A LOT of money:-)
Money Advice Service also sent me this very cool super market cheat sheet..have a look an see if there is anything else you can do to save you a bit more cash. We can all do with that-)
This post is in collaboration with the Money Advice Service.