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5 steps to save money on your food shopping

Published 4 February 2015 by

Savvy shoppers across the UK are tailoring their food shopping habits to make sure they get the best deals. Research* carried out for us has uncovered the five main steps people take to save money on their food shopping: they could help you cut your spending too.

Step 1 – Stick to a list

Our research shows that three quarters of people find sticking to a shopping list when in store or shopping online saves them money. Having a list can help you budget better as you can plan the weekly meals ahead and buy exactly what you need. This reduces the the risk of being tempted into buying something that might just end up in the bin or that will push you over budget!

Step 2 – Collect vouchers and coupons

Two thirds of people use vouchers and coupons to get discounts at the tills. Don’t buy for the sake of it though; if you are using coupons to get money off, make sure the food you buy is something you need and won’t go off before you get chance to eat it, or you could actually be wasting money. To find the latest supermarket vouchers click here >

Step 3 - Shop around

In the past, the majority of us would shop in one supermarket week in, week out, but times have changed. According to the research, half of us now shop in several supermarkets each week to make sure they are getting the best prices. For example, if you use a budget supermarket like Aldi or Lidl for the majority of your shopping, you can then just pop to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Morrison’s for the items left on your list that your budget supermarket doesn’t stock. It’s more time-consuming, but your wallet will thank you in the long run.

Top tip:

To help you compare prices between the different supermarkets why not visit

Step 4 – Make the most of special offers

One in five people say that they only buy items that are on special offer to help them save money. For example, buying items when they are on a ‘buy one get one free’ offer is great if the food has a long expiration date on it, and a lot of supermarkets offer ‘3 for £10’ deals on meat and fish, which is another great way of saving money if you’ve a family to feed.

Make sure that you are getting a good deal though as sometimes supermarkets will inflate prices before dropping them, so the actual deal might not be as good as you think. You can check out prices before you buy by looking on different supermarkets’ websites. Also, if you buy something on a special deal you may wish to remove another item from your trolley to make sure you aren’t overspending. For instance, if you were planning on making ham sandwiches for the week but decide to have cheese sandwiches instead because that’s on special offer, you might want to put the ham back.

Step 5 – Shop in the evening

Another canny trick is to shop in the evening to get special offers on fresh food – one in five of the people who responded to the research already do this. Supermarkets often heavily discount items like bread, cakes, fish and meat when it is close to closing time, so it can be a great time to pick up a bargain. You can often pick up things like a loaf of bread for just a few pence, which you can then freeze for use later in the week.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 19th December and 30th December 2014, of whom 635 were in Scotland.