The ultimate guide to supermarket shopping
Shopping at the supermarket is pretty unavoidable, and it’s very easy to be tempted into spending a fortune and still come away without the loaf of bread you went in for. Supermarkets are very good at making you buy lots and lots of stuff, it’s how they make their money, after all. But if you’re clever you can play them at their own game and come out with everything you need, and still have a bit of money still in your pocket.
Make a list
This is essential, especially if you like to do your shopping once a week, it’ll make sure you don’t forget anything you really need, and therefore minimise the number of times you have to go to the shops, and reduce the chance of being tempted to buy even more.
In order to work out what you need as accurately as possible you can write out a loose meal plan of what you want to eat before your next shop, and check your cupboards for what you’ve already got.
Another easy tip is to try to avoid going shopping when you’re hungry, it’s been proven that you’ll spend more.
Once you have your list, use a website or app like MySupermarket to work out which supermarket is the best for you to shop at. I like their ‘Quick list’ feature, where you can just copy straight from your normal written list and hit search.
After that just add what is closest to what you’re after to your basket from each category and see which supermarket comes out cheaper. If you have to get a bus to one supermarket while the other is in walking distance, factor that into your basket price.
Although special offers are often very tempting, always try and weigh up how the price compares to own brands. Supermarkets like to put the products with the biggest margins at eye level, so don’t be afraid to look low or high for a better offer.
Read our guide to supermarket reductions, but the key is to pick the time you go to the shops carefully - the day before the supermarket is closing for a bank holiday is definitely the best time to pick up a bargain.
If you shop at ASDA a lot, you’ll want to know about wombling - we’ve got a whole guide to wombling, but the jist of it is that ASDA offers a price guarantee that they’ll be 10% cheaper than the other major supermarkets when you buy eight or more comparable items, and most people don’t claim it.
The “wombling” part of this comes from how most people get their hands on these vouchers, by picking up other people’s old receipts from the carpark or the area surrounding ASDA. To get the difference back as a voucher to spend in store, you need to submit your receipt on the ASDA Price Guarantee site.
This is a no-brainer if you’re a regular at a supermarket - pick up a loyalty card for extra coupons and freebies, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons have them!
If you love getting free food without too much effort, couponing is definitely an option that’s worth exploring. In the past we’ve had unlimited free pizzas, free chocolate, free smoothies and loads more.
For the dedicated supermarket moneysaver, cashback apps can get you lots of freebie items. How they work is that you go in store, and buy the exact item they tell you to and then scan in a picture of your receipt and sometimes the barcode of the item, and they’ll give you a set amount of cashback. Very often they offer you 100% of it back, and you can claim through PayPal or directly through your bank account.
Receipt scanner apps
One of the easiest ways we make money from our supermarket shop is scanning our receipts into apps like Shopprize and Receipt Hog. For Shopprize you need 10,000 points to cash it out as a £5 Amazon voucher, and each receipt is worth 120 points, this can stack up pretty quickly if you always remember to scan. Receipt Hog is a bit more complicated, but you can scan the same receipts with both apps, so it’s no extra effort to use it.
Get extra points on Shopprize by using code 7uohl when you sign up, too.