1. Make a list – and stick to it
It’s always a good habit to think through what you need before going grocery shopping. In addition to saving money, planning your meals ahead also reduces the chances of some of the things ending up in the bin. It also saves you a lot of time, as you don’t have to wander around between the aisles trying to figure out what you’re craving for.
2. Shop the store’s perimeter
It’s a well-known fact that the way the items are placed in the supermarkets makes people shop more. The everyday necessities, such as dairy, bread and veggies are usually placed towards the back of the store, making it harder not to drop some of the more expensive, if not unnecessary items in your cart on the way there. It’s also true that the outermost edge of the supermarket contains the healthier, non-processed foods and the things you need most often, so you can almost always get everything you need by keeping to the perimeter of the store.
3. Avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry
It seems obvious, right? But when do you usually shop for groceries? After work, before dinner and with a rumbling stomach is probably pretty close to the truth. Studies have shown that shopping with an empty stomach makes shoppers buy more, with high-calorie and low nutritional quality foods finding their way into the carts. So make sure you have at least a light snack before you make your shopping, and you will be more in charge of your cravings and your spending.
4. Shop for in-season produce
Having enough fruits and veggies in your daily diet is important, but buying them fresh can also get quite expensive. To keep the costs down, shop for in-season produce, as they tend to be much cheaper. So it’s cabbage and leafy greens at spring time, berries throughout the summer and mushrooms, apples and squash in autumn.
5. Not in season? Buy it frozen.
Frozen? But isn’t frozen supposed to be bad? Not when it comes to veggies. Frozen vegetables are actually packed with vitamins as they’re harvested and frozen at their freshest, locking in all the flavours and goodness. They tend to come at a friendlier price too and even if you don’t use all at once, they’re easier to store than fresh produce.
6. Shop around
If you’re ready to spend some extra time, shopping around in multiple stores will guarantee you’ll get best prices. For instance, you can buy the majority of things from your local Aldi or Lidl and pop to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Morrison’s for goods that you can’t get from your budget supermarket.
A good place to compare supermarket prices: mySupermarket.co.uk.
7. Shop in the evening
Going to the supermarket just before the closing time has two benefits: first, the store is usually not as busy, which means less hassle getting through the checkout; and second, a lot of the fresh goods the supermarket can’t sell the next day get discounted. That means bread, cakes, fish and meat can be picked up at a bargain. Meats and even bread can also be frozen to use later in the week.