How to save money on your food shopping – Lunchtime Money Makeover #6

6 min Read Published: 26 Jul 2011

empty shopping trolley It’s been a while but I thought I’d resurrect the Lunchtime Money Makeover with this, the latest instalment. Food price rises seem relentless so this Makeover aim to help you slash your food shopping bill. As ever the premise of a Lunchtime Money Makeover is that you can complete it in a lunch hour while eating your sandwich. Hopefully at the end of it you should either already have saved money (especially if you were about to order your food shopping online) or be primed to do so! So enjoy:

Change the way you shop

  • First up we need to change the way you shop. Supermarkets use clever ploys and tactics to make you spend money. So read this article from MSN Money on ways to cut your shopping bill. If you take the advice on board and change the way you shop you should slash your food bill immediately.

Shop online

  • While doing your food shopping online won’t itself reduce your shopping bill as most of the large supermarkets offer the same deals both online and in their stores. But by shopping online you can shop smarter.

The one-stop shop that could cut 35% off your food shopping bill

  • mysupermarket.co.uk allows you to compare supermarket prices as you shop and get the best possible deal for your groceries. It checks the price of your shopping basket at the likes of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Ocado and tells which is the cheapest. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that one supermarket will cheapest for everything on your shopping list. So there is a trade off between driving around and wasting petrol and the amount you actually save. However, if you have an online account with each supermarket chain then mysupermarket allows you split your shopping list between the cheapest supermarkets for home delivery. Again the catch is that you will likely have to pay delivery charges for each supermarket so your savings need to at least offset this. As stated above, mysupermarket claim to be able to cut your food bill by 35% and while I can’t vouch for that there are clearly savings to be had.

Two alternative ways to save money

  • www.approvedfood.co.uk - allows you to buy food that is out of date but not yet gone off. According to the Food Standard Agency (FSA) food with a 'best before' date can be consumed after this date but it will not be at its best. Certain foods such  as fish and milk have a 'use by' date as they go off quickly. Obviously it would be dangerous to consume these types of produce when they are passed their best and accordingly approvedfood.co.uk avoid these lines. But by buying their short dated lines you could save a packet.
  • www.eattheseasons.co.uk - the wonder of globalisation means that the days of only seeing fruit and vegetables on the shelf when they are in season are long gone. But while the produce may be available all year round the price does vary in accordance to when it is in season. So if you stick to buying fruit and vegetables when they were are in season  (and avoid the expensive off-season items) you can cut your food bill. But other than price watching how else can you find out when certain produce is in season? Luckily websites such as eattheseasons.co.uk tell you and even give you recipe ideas.

Voucher codes & BOGOFs

Register for loyalty cards

  • All the major supermarkets run loyalty schemes, such as Tesco's Clubcard. While loyalty cards aren't a reason to shop at a particular supermarket chain, you'd be stupid to not collect the points when you do shop with them. Also, loyalty points are not just earned on groceries. Points can be earned on just about anything the supermarkets provide, such as petrol, but also on some things they don't, such as energy bills (in the case of EON and Tesco)

Discover Raincheck vouchers

  • Read the following article – Raincheck vouchers – the supermarkets' best kept secret. If you’ve gone to the hassle of locating the best deals there is nothing worse than making the trip to the store and finding that they are sold out. Raincheck vouchers usually allow you to secure the same deal but at a future date. Clever.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking for a financial adviser near you?

Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
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Alternatively, Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s largest firms providing restricted financial advice, is offering a £200 John Lewis voucher* to new clients.

  1. One of the best ways to save money is to use one of those sites that sell food approaching or past its best before date. I always use bestbuy-foods.com. Food is really good and always less than half price

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