5 min Read
01 Nov 2012

Written by Liam

Over 30 years experience in financial services, residential lettings and property sales. Director of a leading national estate agency chain, until leaving in 2008 to pursue other commercial interests. Vast experience in new business development, business change, management development and business strategy.

More about Liam

The browser add-on that will slash your food bill

I'm a fan of internet browser add-ons which save you money, just read my article 'Money Saving internet browser add-ons'. But now there's a new browser add-on that could slash your food bill.

mysupermarket.co.uk is a website that allows you to compare supermarket prices as well as the cost of your shopping basket at the likes of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Ocado and tells which is the cheapest. But previously, you had to shop via the mysupermarket website which wasn't always ideal.

But now their new browser add-on runs in the background, comparing prices, as you shop directly on your chosen supermarket's website. When you click on  an individual product a pop up appears telling which supermarket offers it at the cheapest price.

But the add-on also has the ability to take your shopping basket and tell you whether it can be bought more cheaply elsewhere. And then with a click of a button the contents of your shopping basket can be transferred to the online basket of the cheaper supermarket.

My review

So in principle it sounds great. But rather than believe the PR machine I thought I'd give it a quick test myself.

Downloading the mysupermarket companion is simple enough.

I then started shopping on the Tesco grocery website and lo and behold a pop up appeared in the bottom left hand corner of the browser screen. Clicking on the pop up bubble revealed a message detailing offers available across the supermarkets. This did seem odd as the offers had nothing to do with the products on screen. I was looking at beer and the bubble was telling me about cake offers??

But perhaps more useful, when I clicked on an item, in this case a case of beer, the bubble appeared showing me the best price available for that product  across the supermarket chains. This is interesting but it does require you to open up each item on the Tesco website. In reality when I shop online I scroll down the list of products on screen and simply add to my basket without opening the 'more info' box on each item. The mysupermarket add-on can't compare prices if you do this as in fairness it doesn't know which of the items on screen you are looking at.

Where the add-on is useful is when you've finished shopping. If you open up your shopping basket the add-on will flash up how much your basket of goods would have cost at the other major supermarkets. You can then click on the cheapest one and hey presto the goods will be transferred into a basket at the corresponding cheaper supermarket. Obviously to complete a purchase you would need an online account with the relevant cheaper supermarket.

But a word of warning, the add-on will use substitutions if a supermarket does not offer the exact product you originally wanted to purchase. For example it substituted 6 bottles of Amstel beer at Tesco with 4 cans of ASDA own brand Belgium lager - a saving of £1.95. But is that really fair comparing a branded beer with a supermarket 's own brand? Of course if saving money is your only concern then maybe that isn't a problem.

Summary

I think the concept and execution of the add-on is pretty good and I'd recommend readers try it. I can't say whether it slowed down my internet experience while it worked in the background, not being a regular online supermarket user. It's not perfect, but if your aim is to save money then it's extremely useful. If you do download it then please let me know about your experiences in the comment box below.

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