Save in the supermarket

Beat the supermarket at their own game

Your food spending can be one of the easiest costs to control by altering your habits and actions. Here are four ways you can play the supermarkets at their own game and save on day-to-day expenses.

1. Check the unit price

This might seem obvious but supermarkets aren’t consistent with their labelling, often using alternative unit measures which can puzzle shoppers into expensive decisions. When you are rushing around a shop, it’s easy to assume that a bigger packet of something will be better value than a smaller amount of the same product – but be sure to double-check. Research shows that you could end up paying up to 346% more by going for different sizes of exactly the same product – so don't just assume that bigger must be better!

2. Stick to a list 

Another trick the supermarkets play on us involves shop layout. From fruit to bread to eggs and milk, you’ll typically have scouted the whole shop before ticking the basics off your list. Making us walk to different areas of the shop means that more items can catch our eye – and turn that shopping basket into a trolley. Be mindful of any ‘offers’ unless the items are already on your shopping list, and don’t be swayed by impulse buying.

3. Is convenience worth the price?

Where are you shopping? We are all guilty of “popping out to the shop”, nipping out for one or two items. What if I told you that you could be paying 9.5% more over the course of a year for exactly the same groceries, if you’re shopping at a smaller, ‘convenience’ branch rather than a larger branch of the very same supermarket chain? If there isn’t a large supermarket in your local area, could you try an online order instead? In fact, if it's your first online order you may be eligible for money off, too!

4. Buy in bulk when an offer is good 

Deals can be your friend, if you are savvy. If you can afford to bulk buy ‘non-perishables’ when a special offer is good value for money, it will save you money in the long run, although you must consider factors like storage and cash flow. Price comparison websites are free and can be really useful, tracking certain items on a historical basis across different stores so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.


The information, money-saving tips, tools and techniques provided are for guidance purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. Where we provide links to third-party websites we are not responsible for their content. It is therefore important you carry out your own independent research.

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