Put Some Frugal Finesse in your Grocery Shop

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There are many ways which you can save good money on your household grocery shop, and following some of these basic tips will make it a lot easier!

Before you even draw up a list, ensure you have a budget already in hand for all your household spending (a good link on how to make your first budget can be found at budgetbuddy.co.uk). Many fail to do this most fundamental of financial necessities, and therefore cannot benefit from the information and planning ability a budget can provide.  Once you have a budget in clear black and white, you can then really tell yourself what you can and can’t afford – what is a need and what counts as a ‘want’.

A shopping list must be drawn up before you go for the shop – so you only buy what you really need!  When doing the list, take care to check what you need but also what you may need in the coming week or two too (just so that if it is on offer, you are better off buying it now and saving some money off next week’s shop!).

1Shop where it suits you to shop!  It may be cheaper to shop in that big store but if it costs you £5 in fuel just to drive there and back is it better to walk to the local convenience store if you only need a few things?  You might pay a bit more but you may still save overall, and you would be benefitting local trade which in turn provides local jobs etc!  If you have a discount/loyalty card and it works for you – stick to it and claim the rewards.  There is no such thing as ‘the cheapest place to shop’ – all the big stores are becoming increasingly competitive and all have a host of special offers on at any one time.  Also why stick to one shop – alternate where you go so you get access to different deals/price reductions.  Get your family/friends in on it too – e.g. let your sister know when her brand of shampoo is on offer, or when the nappies are buy one get one half price etc.  We can all help each other!

Then there’s the brands.  Obvious to say, but you can very easily save money by switching from name brand to shop brand. Sure nothing beats the taste of the branded biscuits or even cereal but the taste of the store made one is very similar with a lot of saving to be made. Also it could even be in some cases that the store brand tastes better than the branded one (bourbon biscuits, maybe the cheaper ones have more sugar but they sure taste great!).  I have also found some items like Sainsbury’s own brand toilet paper to be nicer than the branded ones, and I only discovered this when none of the branded ones were on offer and I tried it once. That’s all it takes, try something different, you don’t have to buy it again if no good, but if it is you can save money every time!

The reason brands cost more than store prices is because brands have a seven-year brand copyright.  Once those seven years are up there is no copyright, so similar products can be made and sold at a much cheaper price- the stores own- branded price. In some cases you could save up to 40% of buying the store brand instead of the branded one.

Lastly, buy less junk food! Buying a lot stricter not only does it save you money on your grocery shop but also makes you and your household a lot healthier. For example instead of going to a fast-food place for fish and chips, compare the cost to making your own oven chips and buying frozen cod pieces, a lot healthier and cheaper.  Stir-frys too, again a quick, healthy and cheap option compared to reaching for the phone for an £18 pizza.

These are all really easy ways to save money; I hope even in some small way any of these tips may help you to save good hard cash… and master that frugal finesse!