Written by MoneySupermarket.com, August 2012
These days, it's all about making savings. With the cost of fuel for our cars, energy for our homes and the products we buy hitting an all-time high, we look at ways to make your money go further
While the majority of the population are familiar with using price comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket.com in order to save on their insurance premiums and credit cards, there isn't always such a straightforward way to save money on the weekly shop. However, with a few key bits of information, you can go to the supermarket well prepared and potentially make significant savings.
The first rule to live by is to go with a list and stick to it. Supermarkets spend a good deal of time and money on marketing techniques to get us to buy products that we never wanted or needed in the first place.
Frequently bought items such as bread and milk will often be placed at opposite ends of the store, forcing customers to walk the whole length of the shop past tempting offers to get their basic essentials. Watch out for the ends of the aisles, as supermarkets often place promotional goods here. But when these products are actually compared with those of the same type, the deals may not seem so good.
Be careful with BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals, as sometimes the price is artificially inflated to cover the cost of the free item. If it is fresh food, such as vegetables or bread, consider whether you will actually be able to use double the quantity before it goes off. After all, a bargain that ends up in the bin is no bargain at all.
The phase 'searching high and low' really does ring true in the supermarket. The most profitable items are usually placed at eye level to encourage a purchase. Look toward the tops and bottoms of the shelves to discover the hidden bargains and cheaper alternatives.
Read the promotional signs properly, as sometimes they are dressed up to make it look as if an item is on sale, whereas actually all the sign says is 'everyday great value' or something similar. Discounts can be as small as a few pennies and there may still be cheaper alternatives hidden somewhere else on the shelf.
If you haven't ever bought the economy version of your favourite products, then try them for a week and see if you can tell the difference. If you normally buy Heinz beans, go for the store's own-brand beans. If you already buy them, then try the value beans. You might not be able to tell the difference on your plate, but you will certainly notice the difference in your wallet.
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