Like lots of people, I’d love to be able to shop in the local independent shops but I honestly just don’t have the time to shop anywhere other than our local supermarket which is open longer hours than the local shops.
More often than not, I do my shopping later on an evening when the kids have taken themselves off to their bedrooms to relax and chat with their friends on Facetime or on the Xbox. This means that I’m lucky enough to pick up some great bargains when I shop but I still have to keep a careful eye on what I buy as I’m one of those people who’s easily seduced by a bargain – or what looks like a bargain.
Here’s how I make sure I don’t fall for the supermarket’s cheeky little ways of trying to make me spend more money….
Take a shopping list
I *try* to always take a carefully planned shopping list with me when I do my weekly shop and when I’m there, I try very hard to stick to my list so I don’t buy anything that’s not written on my list. Easier said than done though, especially if I take the kids with me!
Learn where things are in your favourite shop
It’s not a coincidence that the ‘basics’ like bread and milk are usually right inside the shop meaning that you have to walk past the magazines, flowers and usually the sweet stuff. The people who plan the store layouts know that lots of us have zero willpower when it comes to celeb gossip, pretty flowers and chocolate so they make us walk past them all to get to the sensible grown up stuff.
Look up and down
The more expensive products are generally at eye level but if you look up and down then you’ll find the cheaper own brand versions so do look around before popping the first thing you see in your trolley.
Is it really a bargain?
The products on the end of the aisles are usually set up to display products on offer but they’re not always – sometimes they’re just full priced stock that the supermarket want us to think are on offer. Even when the products are on offer, have a look and see if they really are reduced by as much as you think. Sometimes the RRP is a price much higher than the store would usually charge so it’s not as big a saving as you might think.
Bulk buying only saves money if you need what you’re buying.
Beware of deals that make you spend more money – 3 for 2 is a great deal but not if you only need 1 of whatever you’re buying! If you really only want one then don’t let the supermarket tempt you into doubling how much you spend just because it’s a great deal!
Always check the unit price
Most shelf edge labels in the supermarket have a unit price (price per 100ml / price per kilo) so you can use them to check what really is a good deal and what isn’t. It’s interesting to check the price per kilo of pre-packed veg to the loose ones you can choose yourself.
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