How to cut costs and save money every week at the supermarket

Tips and strategies that really work to save money each week!:
Despite what they tell us, supermarkets and superstores are not really there to make life cheaper for everyone: like any business, they exist to make money -- moreover they exist to maximize their profits

Understanding how stores work helps in keeping on track
Stores actually employ some neat tricks that mean more ends up in the shopping basket each week than the shopper intended when the shopping trip was embarked upon.

Its in the psychology, but also in the logical placement
Supermarkets do a great deal of research to ensure that as much impulse buying as possible takes place during any visit to the store. Learn how to combat impulse buying by being prepared for the tricks each and every time you go shopping!

Ever wondered why the staples (bread, milk etc) are at the back of the store?
Just a coincidence? Take any major grocery store, and you'll rarely, if ever, find staples like bread and milk near the door. Always at the back of store. As you make your way to the staples, store owners know you can be tempted by special offers, BOGOF (buy one, get one free) and many other 'fantastic' offers that seem too good to miss along the way. To save money, and keep more money in your purse or wallet, be sure to resist. Head down -- and head for the milk! Don't blink or be distracted along the way!
Buy one, get one free (BOGOF).
Seems tempting. Double the quantity for the same price? Indeed, just very occasionally, its a true bargain -- but mostly you really do need to check before being tempted by these offers. If the goods are perishable, and they usually are, is there any possible way you can eat 2 of these things before the expiry date?

BOGOF = 'help me to waste stuff'
A recent study revealed that the UK throws away 60 million pounds worth of food each year. (about 100 million plus US Dollars). How many times did you succumb to the 'buy one, get one free' idea and actually contribute to this wastage last year?

The End Of Aisle Offers
Often the most distracting on the way to the back of the store (remember, that's where all the stuff like bread and milk and the food we really NEED are!) are the brightly coloured, highly displayed end of aisle offers. Once again, designed to trigger an impulse to buy, based on the 'obvious' excellent value of what's being offered.

The offers may surprise you...
The end of aisle and other offers may really surprise you, if you look beyond the store's alleged headine discounts. How much were they last week or month, for example? Is there really any added value to this promotion? Do I really need this extra stuff, which I didn't set out to buy in the first place? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Do you?

Our top tips for spending less at the supermarket

Cut costs each week, and they soon add up for real savings over a year!

> And the best strategy is:

Make a list. Not in a rushed few seconds before you go to the store, but maintain a list throughout the week on a wipeboard in the kitchen --as you go along. It's just as important to note the groceries you've had to throw in the garbage, usually because it went past the 'best-by' date before it had a chance to be eaten. By being careful about what is added to the shopping list, and being equally careful about noting what is wasted, you can, in a week or less, get a pretty good idea of where savings can be made.

> When in the supermarket / store?

NEVER be distracted or tempted by the 'specials' in-store. Just stick to the list. Watch out especially for the store specials that are flagged clearly (in my local store they use yellow price labels to flag the specials). Oftentimes, the special offers are not really special offers at all, carrying only a meagre saving compared to last week or month, yet shoppers are so conditioned into seeing these 'yellow labels' that they just seem to buy this stuff 'coz its on special', no matter if it represents a real saving, or not!
This is clear to see: the shelves that are festooned with the 'yellow labels' are almost always empty, or nearly empty, and yet there was no real saving to be had! Of course, they may not be 'yellow labels' in your local store, but you get the idea!

So, make your list steadily as you go through each week, don't be distracted by the store's offers, and you can be on course, within 7 days to actually cutting the cost of weekly shopping: by minimizing wastage and avoiding the mind-set beloved by all store owners: the shopping special offer frenzy!

Find more ways to cut costs on our main website:

...and even more ways to spend less in 2012: