In an ideal world, we would all love to avoid the hustle and bustle of the supermarket. Too often we have to experience the chaotic and noisy aisles as we frantically search from pillar to post for the food that whets our appetite whilst we earn a living at work. There are ways to beat the traps that take away our time and burn holes in our pockets whilst we shop. Here are seven ways to make your money go that little bit further.
1. Do Your Shopping Online
Ignore the hype. Doing your grocery shopping online is not lazy. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. My favourite store is on the other side of town so having it delivered is cheaper than me motoring through the city centre and leaking petrol like no tomorrow. Supermarkets often reward customers with promotional codes and vouchers to enable free delivery and money off your online shop. All of this is from the comfort of your own home and what can be a complicated process can soon be completed with a few clicks of the mouse.
2. Be Prepared
How many of us have gone into a supermarket and come out with a significantly larger amount of shopping than we had initially intended? I know I am guilty of this. Make sure you prepare a shopping list beforehand and most important of all – stick to it! Plan your meals for the week and get only those ingredients along with any other essentials you may need. If you don’t, then a £50 shopping budget can soon be doubled. After all, failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
3. Special Offers
Every store will tease and entice customers with special offers at the start of each aisle, with many individuals giving into the temptation that is being draped in front of their starry eyes. Clever advertising and colourful print get our hearts racing when it comes to a special offer. Customers often fall victim to the strategic positioning of these deals and therefore they perceive them to be bargains that they cannot miss out on. Keep on walking and you will often find a better deal just around the corner.
The appearance of a product is the first attribute of an item that we pass judgement on. Surely if it looks good on the outside, it is going to taste delicious and, therefore, be much healthier than the basic range? In many instances, this is not the case. Many established brands such as Heinz have loyal followers who will never deviate from their baked beans. However, the basic and mid-range brands that have found homes on the shelves often provide better value for money and more than hold their own in the taste department as well. Remember, there’s no harm in trying.
5. Avoid Bringing Your Children
Many parents allow their children to get their own way. A demand for a product is often met to eradicate any fears that their son or daughter may throw in a tantrum in the public eye. At times, there are circumstances which mean that you have no other option than to bring your child to the supermarket with you. Make sure you buy what you need and not what they want. There is no problem with a treat every now and then, but the key is to ensure that they do not become expectant whilst you push your trolley up and down the aisles.
6. Look for the Reduced Stock
Shopping late at night can often reap rewards when it comes to picking up a genuine bargain. When a product is nearing its expiry date, supermarkets will do everything in their power to get rid of stock. Most of this produce can easily be frozen so you do not even have to consume it straight away. In recent weeks, I went into my local store just before closing time and managed to buy a loaf of bread for 11p! Keep your eyes peeled.
7. Sweet Temptation
I swear I have more than one sweet tooth. I can’t remember drinking a cup of coffee without a biscuit or slice of cake in my other hand. Supermarkets will target tired and short-tempered shoppers who are fed up of trudging their way around the store and will be craving food as they come to the end of their shop. Sweets and chocolate bars will be staring you in the face as you start to load up your shopping at the checkout. Make sure you have eaten before you have gone shopping and you will avoid fulfilling this unhealthy and expensive desire.
Supermarkets will do all they can to get every last penny from you. Clever marketing ploys throughout the supermarket maze can trick the minds of even the most stubborn of individuals. Promise me you won’t get fooled again.