Ten tips of a savvy supermarket shopper

Hello Dear Reader,

You sent me a lovely message asking how I keep my supermarket bill low so I’d thought I’d try to sum it up. This is not a to do list, it’s just a what we do list. 

In no particular order.

1. We’re not fussy. We shop anywhere, we eat almost anything and we’re not brand loyal. Hint – shop with your budget in mind and where you can afford……not because it has a coffee shop, they have juice bar but where you can afford.

2. We eat simple food. We are not foodies by any description and we’ll often eat food that some people might turn their noses up. We both love offal, cheap nutritious green veggies and think a baked potato is at the heart of a perfect meal. Hint – shop for nutrition not food fashion.

3. We hate shopping. I want to go to the supermarket as seldom as possible so I never just pop in when I’m passing. Hint – get organised never shop without a list.

4. A good deal, buy one get one free, price reduction, social offer isn’t always what it seems. We compare the unit price, usually by per kilo. We’ve all got a mobile phone in our pockets and I’ll get mine out, do the arithmetic and check what I’m paying. I make my purpose to pay as little as I can. Hint – know your prices and compare the unit price.

5. We check prices online. We visit supermarket websites to make sure we’re not paying more than we need to. We use websites such as mysupermarket and the supermarket websites themselves. Hint – shop around from the comfort of your own home. 

6. We buy own brands and value brands even though the latter are becoming rare. We used to stick to branded tea and coffee but have adapted to own brands. In particular, we like Lidl and Aldi own brands for just about everything and find them so much cheaper. Hint – try the value brands, you could make a start with the cleaning products.

7. We plan our shopping trips to coincide with our work commute and we have a meal ready to reheat when we get home . This way, we’ll be quick because we want to get home and we won’t buy anything on the spur of the moment because we have a meal waiting. Hint- time your shopping trip to suit your pocket and make sure you have supper/lunch ready so you don’t spontaneously buy.

8. We buy frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables as well as frozen meat and fish. We do this to make sure we don’t have any waste. I buy tinned green beans, chickpeas, haricot beans, tuna, mackerel, sardines and pilchards. I use tinned fish in fish cakes, in salads and sandwiches. We eat tinned fruit with yogurt for breakfast. Of course, we eat fresh fruit and veg too but having the addition of tinned and frozen really saves us money. Hint – if tinned vegetables are good enough for the French, they’re good enough.

9. We eat seasonally. I think British winter vegetables are heavenly. This time of year we eat dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, swede, parsnips, turnips, kale, broccoli, cabbage. I love winter salad of shredded white and red cabbage with grated onion and carrot. These vegetable are cheap and plentiful. In the summer, when we’re in France we eat huge fluffy lettuce and skinny haricot beans that are cheap as they’re in season. Hint – eat what’s seasonal, local and cheap.

10. We look out for ‘loss leaders’. Everynow and then, supermarkets like our local Co op sell meal deals. Above, post Christmas was he turkey joint and trimmings for five pounds. Effectively, I paid for the trimmings and got the turkey for free. We fund these offers online and stock up the freezer though never for the sake of it. It’s not a bargain if it’s not on the shopping list. Hint – stock up on bargains when they’re giving them away.

Well, that’s what I do, no yellow stickers, no mark downs, no coupons, no buy one get one free. We take a list, stick to it and stick to our budget. I’m sure you though have lots of different ways of saving money on your supermarket shop and feel free to share them.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx