Published: 17/10/2022

Save at the supermarket

Save at the supermarket

Groceries are a big household cost. Food price inflation isn't helping. Here are 1Plus1’s tips to help you save money shopping at the supermarket.

Shop around

It’s obvious, but where you do you’re your grocery shopping can make a big difference.

You see the adverts on TV where supermarkets compare prices for a trolley of groceries. Advertising regulations mean these are accurate.

In August 2022 you’d have paid 34% more at Waitrose, the priciest supermarket, compared with Aldi, the cheapest, closely followed by Lidl.

It usually pays off if you can switch supermarkets,. It's particularly easy if you shop online, providing a range of supermarkets deliver in your area.

Check out  the cheapest supermarket this month

Dodge convenience stores

You could save hundreds of pounds each year avoiding convenience stores.

Comparing the average prices of 48 items at the two largest convenience chains, Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local, when compared with the regular supermarkets, showed they were more expensive by almost 10%. for exactly the same groceries

Big brands versus own label

Taste tests are carried out on everything from hot chocolate to cereals to find out how well-known brands compare with own-label alternatives.

Unsurprisingly, big brands are often beaten by cheaper supermarket versions. Sometimes, tasters can't tell the difference. Maybe because some branded and own-label products are made by the same people in the same factories!

Join a loyalty scheme

No longer simply about collecting points but instead now offering exclusive discounts, rewards, charity donations and competitions to loyal shoppers, these are big business for supermarkets.

It's always worth signing up to schemes offered by stores you already use, but don’t change where you shop just to earn points.

Compare here.

Stick to a list

Ever noticed that the milk is at the very back of the shop, the bread at the other end and the washing-up liquid somewhere in the middle? Supermarkets do this on purpose to make sure you walk past every shelf, even when you're only there for a few basic essentials. 

Head straight for what you need. Don’t be distracted by other products. It's an easy to do in your local supermarket, but more difficult when you're somewhere unfamiliar. 

Remember that in most stores dairy products and bread can be found at the back, fruit and vegetables are at the front and drinks and frozen items are at the far end. Some stores like to move their produce around though, so keep your wits about you, write a list and stick to it as much as you can. 

If you’re a compulsive browser, try shopping online. It’s easier to stick to a list and not get distracted. And, of course, the old advice 'never to shop when you're hungry' is still very true.

Grab an early evening bargain

Many supermarkets heavily discount perishable items in the early evening as the use-by time approaches, so it can pay to shop at this time.

However, you'll have to be flexible about what to buy and of course make sure you use (or freeze) the items before they go off.

And the best and worst supermarkets are (according to Which?) here