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When you go to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping, do you go in with a list and only buy the things you’ve got written down, or do you find yourself being tempted by the endless list of special offers and deals?

If you’re in the second group, you’re not alone. New research from the Money Advice Service found that Brits spend an average of £1,000 a year more than they planned to due to enticing deals in supermarkets. In a survey of more than 2,000 respondents, just 2% were able to correctly pick the cheapest offer out of a selection of deals, showing it really isn’t always easy to get the most for your money.

Can you spot the deal?

You might think of yourself as a relatively savvy shopper – living on a tight budget, only buying certain things in the sale and always taking your own bags with you to avoid those 5p charges. But do you always know what the cheapest offer is and when you’re being encouraged to spend more? With the Money Advice Service’s research as our inspiration, let’s take a look at how you fare with our supermarket offers quiz.

1) Which is the best deal on minced beef?

a) 500g at £2

b) 1kg at £3.50

c) Two 750g packs for £5

d) Two 500g packs for £4.50

2) Which is the best deal on orange juice?

a) 1l at 70p

b) 1.5l at £1

c) Buy-one-get-one-free on 500ml bottle at 85p

d) A pack of five 200ml bottles for £1.25

3) Which is the best deal on long-grain rice?

a) 1kg at 40p

b) 500g at 30p

c) 3-for-2 on 500g packs at 45p each

d) Two 1.5kg packs for £1.50

Answers: 1=C (£3.33 per kg); 2=B (67p per l); 3=A (40p per kg)

Don’t worry if you needed a calculator to work some of those out, it just goes to show how confusing some supermarket deals can be!

‘Misleading customers’

In July, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) criticised some supermarkets for misleading deals that could make it harder for customers to know when they’re truly getting a bargain. The CMA advised that offers should be made clearer so that customers can compare like-for-like and easily see which the cheapest option is.

Tips for saving money

You can save on your grocery shopping at the supermarket – our tips could help:

• Downshift to own brand goods – they’re generally the cheapest option and quite often you won’t be able to taste any difference.

• Take a list with you when you go shopping and resolve to stick to it – you’re less likely to come out with bags full of things you didn’t need to buy.

• When you’re looking at deals, check the shelves to see how much each one is by weight or by volume – it will make it easier to compare and work out the cheapest option.

• Make the most of any price-match vouchers that come with your receipt. It’s all too easy to just fold them up with your receipt and forget about them but if you keep them in your purse or wallet, you’ll be able to remember to use them next time you shop.

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