How do I save money at the supermarket?

The way that we are spending has vastly changed since the cost-of-living crisis began, and with no sign of costs decreasing anytime soon, we are needing to be super savvy when it comes to doing our weekly shop.

With that in mind, here at Mad About Money, we have put together some of our top tips to help you save on your shopping.

  1.  Make a list before shop. – Know exactly what you need to get and stick to your list -don’t be tempted by the fresh bakery section or make any impulse purchases.
  2.  Meal plan – Have a look at what is in your fridge, freezer and cupboards, and plan your meals based around what you already have. Then, only shop for the extras you need and remember, those tins in the cupboard are going to need eating at some point.
  3.  Meal prep –This may sound time consuming but think of this scenario: It’s a Thursday night, you get home from work late and cooking is the last thing you want to do so you order a takeaway, wasting another £20-£40. Prepping your meals on a Sunday for the week for instance, then popping them in the fridge or freezer, means that you always have something nutritious and ready to eat when you walk through the door. Make sure that you freeze your meals if you’re not going to need them all, and then if last minute plans pop up, you won’t waste the food and you’ll have it for a another day.
  4.  Look at the clearance section – Often, the food is SO much cheaper just because the packaging is slightly damaged, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the food inside and you can save £££’s stocking up on essentials.
  5.  Never shop while hungry – Eat before you head to the shops to stop you from buying things in the moment. We are all guilty of shopping while hungry, but it makes us over-spend.
  6. Don’t get a trolley or basket – If you are only needing a couple of things, avoid using a trolley or basket, that means you will only buy what you can feasible carry.
  7. Pay with cash– Having what you can afford to spend in your purse or wallet, means that you won’t be able to spend more. So keep the cards locked away at home, avoid downloading apps kike Apple Pay or Google Pay and withdraw the amount only of what you will need
  8. Sign up for the store loyalty card –Free loyalty cards can help you save on each shop by offering you discounts on certain items. Remember though, it’s only saving you money if it is something that you are needing 
  9. Check price per kg not total price – The price per Kg means that you can see the price per chocolate bar, or tea bag, for example. Sainsbury’s Red Label Tea for instance is 37p per kg, whereas most other tea bags are 70-80p per kg
  10. Buy supermarket own brands where you can – Supermarkets have a vast range of their own branded goods at a fraction of the price compared to the big brands. There is rarely any difference in taste or quality, just cost.
  11. Pad out meals with lower cost ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, rice or pasta – You will end up with more portions and your meal will be more filling so you won’t go through food as quickly. Cost per kg is cheaper on these items, so always buy bigger packs and because their shelf life is long, bulk buy them when they are on offer,
  12. Don’t throw out food on its “best by” date – Now this is a big one as we see some food producers taking away their “best by” date. Go by smell and what the food looks like to decide o=if it should stay or go. No mould? No smell? Right colour? Then it is most likely to still be okay to eat.
  13. Mix up your supermarket shop – Shop around, don’t just stick to the supermarket you always go to. Try different ones because you may do the same shop in a different supermarket, but find it comes out cheaper.
  14. Shop for snacks in places you wouldn’t think of shopping for snacks – Believe it or not, stores like Poundland and T.K.Maxx  do snacks and they’re often cheaper than the supermarkets.
  15. Buy bigger packs of meat – A good example of buying in bulk. You can either freeze the extra or use it for your meal prep, but you will save £££’s.
  16. Look at the expiry date on veg. – Usually, stores put the veg that is going off first at the top, so if you need veg to last the week, have a rummage at the bottom of the veg boxes to find some with a longer shelf life.
  17.  Grow your own herbs. – You can cheaply buy herb plants while doing your shop, sometimes discounted. Take them home, re-pot them and you will have herbs all year round.
  18. Make food you’ll be excited to eat – If it excites you, then you are more likely to eat it. If you don’t like certain foods, don’t cook with them as then you won’t waste them.
  19. Think about doing food delivery services – Get your food delivered and that way you won’t be walking down the isles getting tempted by the foods. You will also be more likely to only buy what you need, and you will be able to easily view the foods on sale or offer. But, do bear in mind that you won’t get the best pick when it comes to expiry dates.
  20. Bring reusable bags – Do your bit for the environment and save money. Some shops have even put the cost of their bags up to 50p, so if you need multiple bags, that’s adding even more money to the final bill. Leave your bags in the boot of your car, or by the front door if needs be so that you don’t forget them.
  21.  Look in your fridge and freezer before you go shopping. How many times have you gone to do the food shop and thought you didn’t have something and ended up coming home and finding that you did? This means you can end up with too much of something or you will end up throwing food away, so have a look before you shop and let that influence your list.
  22. See what’s on sale – You’d be surprised how many people don’t think to look but be wary of stuff at the end of the isles, it’s there for a reason – to make you buy it, and it may not always be cheaper. Again, check the price per kg and work out if that BOGOF is worth the money by splitting the cost in half- could you have got it cheaper just buying it separately, or as a bigger pack?
  23. Batch cook – Cook a large spag bol or stew and put some in the fridge/freezer in portions so you’ve got meals for a later date.
  24. Stop wasting leftovers – Label and date your leftovers and be creative if you don’t want the same meal again. Or pop the leftovers in the freezer – just remember to date it!
  25. Get food storage containers that don’t give your food freezer burn -If your finding your food gets freezer burn, it might be time to upgrade your storage containers – something you can find in most supermarkets.
  26. Read the small print on the sales – Just because something sounds great, it doesn’t mean it is, so make sure it really is as great as it sounds before getting to the checkout and having to pay full price.
  27. Go for chicken thighs over breast – They’re cheap, flavourful, and don’t go as dry when cooking. Or even better, do a large roast chicken for Sunday lunch, then use the leftover to make stir fry soup or wraps.
  28. Swap meat for an alternative – Mushrooms, Quorn and pulses are often cheaper than meat, so plan in some meat free days for your weekly meals.
  29. Don’t buy ingredients you will only use once –If it’s just a little bit of something that’s in the recipe, ask yourself if it is really needed. If not, consider a different recipe.
  30. Prepared foods cost more – Precooked chicken may smell good and may sound like a good idea, particularly if you struggle for time,  but it will cost you more, so consider roasting up your own.
  31. Don’t buy bagged salad – You can get an iceberg lettuce for around 40p, bagged salad is at least £1 and it won’t last as long.
  32. Skip going down the aisles in the supermarket that you don’t need to go down – The more aisles you walk down, the more food  you will be tempted to buy, so put those blinkers on and stick to the aisles you need.
  33. Go Yellow sticker hunting – You can make huge savings with reduced to clear items which are often ‘best before’ rather than ‘use by’. Just make sure you don’t buy them and forget about them!
  34. Shop local –  By shopping local, e.g. butchers or fruit and veg shop or the market, you’re not only going to save money but also support a small local business at the same time. Win, win!
  35. Do your food shop as late as possible – A lot of foods go into clearance later on in the day, so you may find some real bargains.
  36. Do your own baking -Baked goods have the highest markup price. Yes, they smell and look amazing but so does making your own. Also, this way you can get the kids involved in some fun baking activities.
  37. Buy from the freezer section – Frozen fruit, veg and meat cost 20- 30% less than fresh, so see if you can buy what you need out the of the freezer.
  38. Buy cans –  Canned veg may not sound appealing but they are nutritious and will save you £££’s.
  39. Leave the kids at home when you do the shop – They won’t ask for stuff or cry when you say no to things. It will make it quicker, easier and cheaper.
  40. Buy cheese from the deli counter – It’s cheaper and you can buy what you need, meaning no waste.
  41. Organize your cupboards and fridge depending on expiration date – Put the older foods at the front so you know they need to be eaten first.  
  42.  Start in the middle of the store – Supermarkets are clever. They put the most colourful things in the first aisles, so you are put in a good mood which leads to customers buying more food. Buy starting in the middle, where the canned goods are, you will more than likely spend less money as you’re surrounding yourself by bland food first. And supermarkets put the most expensive food at eyeline, so start doing those squats and check down low for bargains.
  43. Listen to your own music while you shop – A great way to stay focussed and avoid those supermarket announcements.
  44. Be sure to read your receipt after you shop – Have a quick check that nothings been added on twice for example – mistakes do happen, so it is worth checking.
  45. Buy discounted gift vouchers -Mad About Discounts you access to over 130 discounted gift cards including supermarkets, saving you and average of £15 a month on your supermarket spend.

For more money saving tips, sign up to our newsletter at madaboutmoneyoffical

Or follow us on



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *