The increasing cost of food and other necessities has put a real strain on some people’s budgets, especially retired people with a limited income. However, there are still some ways to save on your shopping bill, especially if you’ve got the time to search out the bargains or look for coupons. It also pays to understand how the supermarkets operate, so you know how to look for the bargains. If you are aware some of the techniques they use, you can beat them at their own game. Here’s a few things to think about, hopefully saving you money in these difficult times…
1 Coupons are key
The days of cutting coupons out of magazines or newspapers have now largely gone, with a lot of ‘couponing’ now having gone online. Rather than reducing the power of coupons, this has actually resulted in a boom of couponing, with some people even setting up online coupon clubs to offer advice to each other. Some also use commercial sites like www.groupon.co.uk to get some good deals.
Increasingly, you don’t have to print off the coupons but can save the codes to your mobile phone, to either show this in the supermarket or use it for discounts when shopping online.
If you’ve got the time to put in some real research you can make some huge savings and it also helps if you are flexible, being able to swich brands if one has a good offer in place. A good place to start your couponing is on website www.moneysavingexpert.com, which has a guide to couponing plus it lists some of the best of the current coupon offers.
2 Shelve that idea
Being tall, I am often asked to reach down items from the top shelves for other customers, when walking round a supermarket, and supermarkets spend a lot of time deciding which items go on which shelf. The most profitable items for a supermarket are normally placed at eye level so, to find the bargains it’s worth taking the time to look down to shelves nearer the floor, or even up to the higher shelves. By just doing this alone you could save pounds on your weekly shop. Also, watch the aisle-end displays, where discounted goods are usually placed to catch the eye.
3 Be flexible
The rise of discount supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi has changed the shopping habits of many of us, persuading us to buy unknown brands to make huge savings. You can apply this idea in other supermarkets, of course, choosing to buy own-label products. It’s also worth picking up what’s on special offer instead of buying your usual brand. However, be sure to check that the new brand really is cheaper and it’s not just a case of clever packaging hiding a lower quantity of the product. Bear in mind that supermarket own-brand products are sometimes made in the same factories as well-known brands and, even if they are not, the factory will probably be making even more effort to match or surpass the quality of the famous brand.
Read the full story in the June 2022 issue of Park Home & Holiday Living