With the cost of living continuing to rise, quite a few savvy shoppers have been sharing their top tips to help keep costs down on their weekly grocery shopping.
Households are currently grappling with soaring inflation that has caused rising costs on many living essentials, such as energy bills and the price of groceries.
Families were also dealt another blow, after it was revealed the cost of petroleum had also soared to its highest rates due to the effect of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While cutting back on your weekly grocery shop may seem small, it is one of the easiest ways to help save a bit of money in the long-run.
Considering shopping for food is an essential, knowing how you can save more pennies and still get in a full shop for the entire family is definitely worth knowing.
Which is exactly why we asked Daily Record readers to share some of their top tips for how they have managed to save money while doing their weekly grocery shop.
Our query attracted quite a few tips from shoppers who were quick to share their own handy and useful tips for keeping the costs low during their supermarket trip.
Make a list and buy what you need
To get started Helen McKinstray advised she buys only what she needs and recommended using your freezer more often, as this can stop any waste.
She commented: “Buy only what you need. Use your freezer, only take out what you need, waste nothing.”
The old-fashion trick of writing up a list to take to the store during your trip was also quite a popular choice among readers, with quite a few recommending it as their top tip.
“Make a list and stick to it. I always find if I go to Asda or Tesco I leave with loads of stuff and not one meal. Shop at Aldi or Lidl!” said Claire Hesketh.
“Always make up a list and keep to it. Less chance of being distracted by stuff you don’t need, and you’re in and out quicker,” agreed Cathy Gilchrist.
Another shopper also said that checking their list when they go shopping helps them to stick to a budget, as they can clearly figure out how much they can actually spend.
“Check what you have and then make a list of what you need. Stick to the list”, Angela Alexander recommended.
Shop at discounted supermarkets
Making the switch to discounted supermarkets has also been a popular choice with shoppers recently, as the rising prices have forced shoppers to flock to the likes of Lidl and Aldi.
Arlene Wyld said: “Go to Aldi..literally half the price!”
Jennifer McFadden agreed: “Eat less or go to a cheaper Supermarket.”
Thomas Darroch also recommended making the switch to help keep the costs low, as he commented: “Shop at Lidl save a fortune.”
Another shopper also said that they manage to get more out of their weekly shop in a discounted supermarket for much lower prices than they would anywhere else.
“Honestly I go there (Aldi) every time spent £27 and got 4 big bags of shopping done for 2 weeks,” commented Jessica Patrick.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
It’s another age-old trick that everyone tells you about and it looks like it works, according to quite a few of our readers who recommended only shopping on a full stomach.
Many shoppers commented this trick would prevent you from popping in any of those ‘impulse buys’ that you don’t really need to be adding to your basket or trolley.
Robert Duffy said: “Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry you buy more.”
Mags Benvie also said: “Eat before you go. You’ll buy less lol. You’ll not be hungry and fancy this, that and the next thing.”
Use cash and not card
One tip that a few of our readers have said helped them stick to a budget more is by taking out some cash before you head to the supermarket.
It was mentioned by one shopper, after they admitted that they would be sticking to it more often after they would usually find themselves spending more with their card.
Lorna Slaven said of the tip: “Take money in cash for only what you need don’t take your card.”
Jillian Dennis also agreed that the tip helps save money and commented: “Only take the cash that you plan on spending that way you will only buy what you need and count it up as you go.”
Doing your weekly shopping online has become more common practice for families these days, especially after the first lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Turns out shopping online has helped a few shoppers cut back on the weekly shopping costs by quite a bit.
Ginny McLucas explained that shopping online helps them to find the cheapest prices on each item they need to buy and it helped significantly reduce spending.
She said: “Online Shopping. Making a list first with what I need. Typed it in the search and always looked for the cheapest. Managed to spent 120 pounds a week for 6 people including nappies and always cooked from scratch.”
Jane Duffy Mulrainey also recommended the savvy tip as it helps them to stop picking up any other enticing, but not necessary, buys that they see in-store.
“I spend less doing it online, if I go I pick up stuff just for the sake of it, but in this day and age unless you shoplift there’s very little savings to be had,” Jane said.
Don’t buy microwavable or ready made meals
We all know there can be times where you really don’t feel like cooking and grabbing quick ready-made meals can be enticing.
However, many shoppers recommended foregoing the easy meals for cooking from scratch, because then you’ll have more food for less money.
“Cook from scratch Instead of buying convenience meals or takeaways”, commented Suzanne Thomson.
The shopper went on to say that “not all recipes have to be complicated or have expensive ingredients”, which would also help cut back on spending.
Cooking your own meals can also lead you to have quite a few leftovers that you can pop in the fridge or freezer for later on in the week, giving you more for the money you spent.
Alan Shaw said: “Only buy what you need, or buy bulk, cook and freeze for meals through the month.”
Colin Kidd also agreed: “Learn to cook, save cash and eat less calories. Less rubbish going in the bin.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.