Worried about the cost of your weekly supermarket shop? Eevee’s Hanna Gilbert helps explain how you can make your money go further…
It’s a fact – we’ve all got to eat. But that needn’t mean handing over your life savings at the till. Whether you’re a thrifty student, or just hoping to save a few pennies, following these simple rules will get you safely around the supermarket without destroying your bank balance.
1. Eat before you shop
Make sure you’ve eaten before heading out, and never pop to the shops just before a mealtime. When you’re peckish, that little cake-loving voice inside your head is louder than ever. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving the checkout with a multipack of Mars bars – which is bad for your health as well as your purse! If you visit the supermarket on a well fed tummy, you’ll be able to make far more rational decisions based on your shopping list, rather than your growling stomach.
2. Always make a list
It sounds like an obvious one, but so many people do their food shopping without a list. Picking your meals as you walk round may feel invigoratingly spontaneous, but if you’re trying to keep an eye on the pounds you need to plan in advance.
Go through each meal of the day and each day of the week. How varied you make it is up to you, but make sure you’ve got something planned for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Look at your diary to see what you’ll be up to. Maybe you’re going to be eating out or ordering in one evening? If so, leave that space blank. This will stop you wasting money on food which ends up being thrown away.
A list makes for a quicker journey round the isles too. You can tick off the items as you go and ignore the shelves which aren’t relevant to you. This will also keep you from straying too close to the bakery section, if that little voice pipes up again….
3. Know your budget
It’s up to you how strict you want to be here. If you’re rolling in the big time, you might just have a small notion of how much you want to spend. To be fair – if you’re rolling in that big of a time, you’ve probably got someone to shop for you!
Once you’ve figured out how much you’d like to spend, go through your list and see what it’s likely to cost. If you’re really tightening the purse strings, you could look online at your supermarket’s website. There, you’ll be able to see how much each item costs and add up your list. Think about ways of making your shop go further. Choose food which can be used in more than one meal, like bread for sandwiches or a side salad for each day. You can also look for special offers but be careful – just because donuts are ten for the price of two, does not justify buying ten donuts.
4. Decide whether you’re a ‘loyal shopper’ or a bit of a ‘trolly tart’
If money is tight, you might want to follow the bargains – flitting from shop to shop like some kind of floozy. Taking this approach will ensure you always find the cheapest deals but it won’t get you any loyalty points. Many supermarkets these days have a points system in place, and if you’re willing to take the rough with the smooth price wise, points can quickly add up to free food.
Free food is always a win.