Written by: Lucy Raymond
Your big weekly supermarket bill can be hard to stomach at times, but there are many ways to lessen the load:
For starters, ditch the idea of shopping at high-end supermarkets:
Whilst the produce is noticeably better, it won’t generally taste twice as good, despite being twice the price. There are a number of big supermarket chains that started out life in the UK with reputations as a Chav-only shopping venues (you know the ones we’re talking about…). Yet since the recession started to bite, a number of people have poked their heads round the doors of these establishments only to find that they’re actually quite good – and ridiculously cheap. Often the only reason they’re selling food at such low cost isn’t because the stock is low-quality –it’s because they have extremely low overheads and employ a handful of Eastern European staff on minimal wages. It really is very common to find that the person who helped direct you to the frozen desserts is the same person who operates the till, and sweeps the floor – so you may have to exercise some patience but it’s generally well worth it even if the customer service is pretty shocking.
If these shops don’t do it for you, there are still some larger supermarket chains that have immense buying power and can offer you mountains of produce for far less than you’d ever imagine if only you’d get over your snobbery and start shopping somewhere that’s right for you.
Whilst on the subject of snobbery, don’t respond to peer pressure and shop somewhere expensive to impress your friends:
Be proud of your ability to serve up great food using budget suppliers. It shows how capable you are, not how tight your wallet is.
Deals and vouchers are in their element in the supermarket; arm yourself with a huge pile of these and hand them over at the till. Often it’s not worth the checkout operator’s time to check every single one and they’ll often just add up the total and knock off the lot whether you’ve actually bought the relevant item or not. It really makes you feel like you’ve got something for nothing and got one over on the store, which is always a good thing.
Finally, if you want some great deals, head straight for the bargain bin:
This area will have all sort of items marked down usually because their approaching their sell by date – but if you’re going to eat them quickly enough who cares? A similar principle applies to broken biscuits, chocolate and other consumables: It’s all going to end up in someone’s stomach, so who cares what it looks like?
Finally, get strategic:
You’re almost certainly going to end up using the same store brand again and again, so get fully acquainted with their reward card scheme: The days when you could write these off as an irritating carrot-and-stick incentive with no real benefits are long gone, so get with the programme, stay loyal and build up those points…