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Could giving up supermarket shopping save you money

could giving up supermarket shopping save you money
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I’m all for saving a few quid where I can, but I always thought the supermarkets had the edge on pricing. But perhaps I’ve been deluding myself. All those BOGOFs and discounts seem to offer unbeatable value, but maybe they are simply lulling me into a false sense of frugality and there is another path I’ve been missing all this time.

Bad for your Budget?

Supermarkets are basically giant warehouses filled with food and household supplies. Behind the scenes they have teams of clever psychologists and marketers whose sole purpose in life is to get you, the consumer, to spend money. They have an amazing array of tactics at their disposal to achieve this, including mood modifiers, such as:

  • Lighting
  • Colour
  • Product and deal placements
  • Signage
  • Sensory lures, such as the release of certain aromas into the air, or a choice of jingly or mellifluous music that subtly affects your mood

Scary, huh?! As you manoeuvre your trolley in an apparent random fashion up and down the aisles, you are blissfully unaware that your every move is being subtly choreographed. Did you know some manufacturers pay a premium to the supermarkets to have their products placed at eye-level? Or that complimentary foods are deliberately placed near to each other? And don’t even get me started about those advertising campaigns – they get into your head before you even enter the store, and then, Wow Look!, it’s that yummy dessert we saw during the X-Factor ads last night – let’s give it a try! Before you know it you’ve filled half your metal chariot with products you never knew you needed. And probably don’t.

What’s the Alternative?

Shopping online is one possibility. It’s easier to stick to your shopping list. But the psychos at Supermarket HQ have wielded their magic powers on the website too, so be aware that those helpful pop-up deals may be useful, but are also getting into your head.

Nope, leaving the supermarket behind is the only real way to avoid the overspend distractions. So why not try shopping locally? This not only supports local businesses, but also has the ethical benefits of reducing packaging, waste and the carbon footprint created when products are shipped all over the country. Buying fresh produce locally may appear to be a little more expensive at first, but when you are buying more carefully you tend to be more diligent about using all the food you purchase, instead of throwing things away. The produce may also be of better quality.

could giving up supermarket shopping save you money

Wholesale Benefits

Dry, long life products can be bought in bulk in advance if you have the budget and the storage space to accommodate them. You can save £££ by stockpiling pasta, rice, lentils, tinned products and so on. This tactic can also work in the supermarket if you maintain your focus – I’ve bought a stack of minced beef before now that was on a Buy-Two-Get-One -Free offer, and also reduced because it was close to its sell-by date – the way the supermarket till calculated the deals actually refunded me more than the cost of the product. Once home, I bagged and tagged the beef for freezing. Result!

Bargain Household Stores

Supermarket food deals are often what pull us into the stores, but while we are there we also take the opportunity to replenish stocks of household goods such as toiletries, cling film and washing powder. There are local wholesalers and numerous online bulk-buy stores where you can find these products at a greatly reduced price. It just takes a little more effort.

And I suppose there’s the rub. Effort. When you’re stressed and busy, the supermarket offers the ideal one-stop-shop solution. But that’s what they count on, and boy, do they count – have you seen their profit reports? So if you can find a teensy bit of time and energy in your already tight schedule it may be worth directing them towards your weekly shop. Local stores, wholesale bargains, and bulk buy opportunities can soon become as much of a habit as a trip to the supermarket. It’s a simple question of retraining your brain to dance to your tune, not theirs.

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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