Supermarket hacks: 10 money-saving tips and tricks for the weekly shop
For most of us, the weekly shop is a chore, but an unavoidable one - and if you've got a family to feed or a special occasion to cater for, the total price can mount up.
However, there are certain 'hacks' and various money-saving tips which can make it easier on the purse strings, making the slog of the weekly shop a little more bearable.
1. Write a list of what you need (not what you want)
Although this is a time-honoured tip for supermarket shopping, writing a list can help you to stick to buying only what you need - and avoid being tempted to pick unnecessary items up along the way.
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2. Check your products for damaged items
If you're buying something pre-packaged, carefully inspect the products to avoid taking home rotten food which will only get thrown out.
3. Use a calculator
Sometimes buying in bulk can be beneficial, but on some occasions it may actually be cheaper to buy items individually rather than in multiple packs.
Using the calculator on your phone whilst shopping can save both time and money.
4. Look up and down the shelves
Products that supermarkets want to sell the most are usually placed at eye-level, but there are a lot of different options on the shelves.
To make sure you get the right product for you with the right price tag, look all the way up and down the shelves.
Reduced food items in supermarkets usually have small, yellow stickers on them and can be a great way of buying produce at a much cheaper price (Shutterstock)
5. Opt for a basket or a smaller trolley
Although this may prove impossible when doing a large weekly shop, the bigger the cart is the more comfortable people feel filling it up, which is how the cost adds up.
6. Find out what fruit and veg is in season
If certain fruit and vegetables aren't in season they can cost a lot more due to being shipped from overseas, and if they're not in season they may go ripe or need throwing out quite soon after purchase.
7. Avoid pre-chopped food
Although pre-chopping fruit, veg and other produce is easier than doing it yourself, this luxury means it's overpriced.
If you cut back on pre-chopped produce and opt to do it yourself, it'll save you a few pennies.
8. Look out for the yellow stickers
Reduced food items in supermarkets usually have small, yellow stickers on them and can be a great way of buying produce at a much cheaper price.
Although these stickers usually mean the food item is due to go out of date in the immediate future, some produce can be frozen or used immediately in meals that you were planning on making anyway.
Some supermarkets also have dedicated aisles or areas for reduced items, full of well-priced goodies.
9. Try own-brand products
Own-brand products can be just as good or at least very similar to the branded products, and often cost only half the price.
10. And finally... don't shop when you're hungry
As a rule of thumb, it's probably best to avoid shopping when hungry as this can tempt you to buy snacks and unnecessary foods out of hunger, rather than necessity.