With the cost of living getting ever steeper, many families are feeling the pinch and it can seem hard to get a good deal even when shopping around.
With three growing sons, our food bill can be quite high as they’re always hungry! Which is why I was keen to take part recently in E.ON‘s Savvy Shopper Blogger Challenge to see if we could make some savings on our weekly shop. For the past couple of weeks we’ve looked closely at our shopping habits and tried to make changes, with practical advice from financial expert, Jasmine Birtles.
So how did we get on? In the first week we shopped normally, which meant my husband getting on with it as usual as he is generally better at it than me (I seem to spend more and come home with less!). He made a few small and speedy supermarket visits through the week as and when we ran out of supplies. I think doing it that way definitely costs us extra in the long run. There may be less wastage in the fridge, but we use more petrol than we would with one big shopping trip.
So the following week we changed tack. We headed to Asda for a big shop to see if we could save some ££. We usually go to Sainsburys and Aldi purely because they’re the most the conveniently located for us, so I was interested to see if we’d get more bang for our buck – and actually saved about £30 on the previous week’s spend.
Our top tips for being a savvy shopper
1. Think about where you will get the best value. As well as a supermarket shop, we grabbed some of our fresh fruit and veg at the local greengrocers which saved extra pounds (and also supports local business!)
2. We wrote a shopping list to keep us on track and prevent rogue impulse buys – and we bulk bought store cupboard essentials like pasta and chose some of the supermarket’s own brands which are cheaper – compare these rich tea biscuits for example, 10p per 100g vs 33.3p per 100g.
3. We looked for the half price or less offers and buy one get one (or even two) free. If you’ve got coupons for money off too, even better – don’t forget to take them with you!
4. We didn’t shop on an empty stomach, which is usually fatal for me as I end up buying more chocolate and snacks than I would normally.
Financial expert, Jasmine Birtles also suggests these strategies:
Switch and save
By switching energy suppliers you can save £100s over the year. According to E.ON’s research, almost two thirds of people (65%) have switched energy supplier to get a better deal. E.ON’s Cap and Track, a new tariff which monitors the market for you, using an independently verified source might be something to consider. It’s reviewed every three months to make sure it stays competitive so it does the work for you. See here for more information.
Shop out of season
In the summer, take advantage of special boiler deals to get yours fxed or your pipes checked. Buy your garden furniture in the end of summer clearances and stock up on Christmas cards, gifts and decorations in the January sales.
Haggle online and offline
When shopping online, log off before processing your basket. Sometimes e-retailers will send a discount code to entice you to continue your shop, or if you’re asked why you didn’t make your purchase it’s a chance to try and negotiate a better deal with customer services.
I hope this has given you some ideas to become a more savvy shopper! I’d love to hear your money saving tips, too, so feel free to leave a comment.