The seven supermarket mistakes we all make – but these simple tips could save you £100s a year
YOU might have done a double take at your supermarket receipt lately as prices rise – but these mistakes could also be adding more onto your bill.
The cost of fridge staples like apples, sausages and margarine have gone up by as much as 20% in some cases as inflation rises and drives up bills.
Prices could jump by as much as £180 a week next year as inflation is forecast to spike above 4% – and it's this rate that is used to see how much the prices of goods are rising by.
With the cost of living at new highs, you'll want to know how to drive down your weekly shop.
But these common mistakes could in fact be adding even more cash onto your bill.
We asked savvy supermarket shoppers how to avoid falling into the trap of paying more for your groceries.
These tips could help you save at least £110 per week – which over the course of a year works out at a whopping £5,720 a week
Buying big brands – £26 a week
Reaching for the big brands over supermarkets' own ranges could be adding up to 40% onto your weekly food shop, shopping guru Joseph Seager said.
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With the average grocery bill racking up to just under £64 according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, that could mean a saving of nearly £26.
Joseph, who runs the financial blog Money Saving Bible, said: "Why would you buy a bag of pasta for £1 when you could get a practically identical bag for 60p
"Supermarket own brand nappies are super cheap compared to brands like Pampers, you often get more in a pack too."
He said that own brand products are often placed at eye level on shelves, so look down – or up – to find cheaper alternatives.
Shopping at pricier stores – £19 a week
It can be tempting to pop to your nearest supermarket instead of choosing the cheapest one that will take you longer to get to.
But going to pricier stores adds up – thrifty shopper Katy Stevens, who runs finance blog Katy Kicker, said swapping to discount stores like Aldi and Lidl has shaved 30% off her weekly bill.
If the average shop costs just under £64, that means you could be saving £19 a week on groceries.
"Shopping monthly in a discounter store, and buying in bulk, can help you save money, and cut food waste too," Katy said.
She said Iceland Warehouse and Farmfoods were good options for stocking up on cheap frozen bits for your fridge.
Farmfoods often have vouchers for people signed up to their mailing list, Katy said, which can help you make further savings.
You can sign up on its website and get money saving vouchers sent to your email address.
Forgetting loyalty schemes – up to £32 a week
Supermarkets often have loyalty schemes offering discounts, freebies and money saving vouchers to tempt customers to stay loyal and keep shopping with them.
It's good business for supermarkets as it means shoppers will more likely come back to visit their stores.
It also means that customers not signed up to these loyalty schemes could be forking out more on their shopping.
A Sun investigation earlier this year for example found that shoppers who didn't have a Tesco Clubcard were paying up to 50% more for their goods.
Keeping in mind the cost of an average weekly shop is around £64, that means you could be spending up to £32 more a week just because you're not signed up to the scheme.
Not spending loyalty points online – up to triple value
If you are signed up to a loyalty scheme, you could be missing out on the best deals if you spend them instore and not online.
For example, Tesco Clubcard points can be up to three times their face value if you don't shop in stores.
For example, you can triple the value of your points by spending them on travel, online learning courses and railcards.
Not checking price per kg – £10 a week
Lots of families will want to do their weekly shop as quickly as possible – especially if they have the kids in tow while wheeling their trolley down the aisles.
But it's worth taking time to check out the price of your items per kg to save some cash.
Finance expert Charlotte Jessop, who runs the Looking After Your Pennies blog, said she "easily" saves £10 per week doing this.
"It is easy to get drawn into the deals and offers, but this isn't always the cheapest way to buy," she said.
"I always recommend that people look at the price per kg or litre to make sure they are getting the best deals."
Going shopping when hungry – £11 a week
Tummy rumbling? Make sure to avoid going for a food shop then.
Shopping on an empty stomach is more likely to tempt customers to overspend on food.
This could be costing you just over £11 per shopping trip, according to recent research.
Plus, you could be adding more onto your waistline too – the research showed you're more likely to buy junk food and eat it straight away if you're hungry.
Forgetting about food apps – £12 a week
Downloading food waste apps can be a great way of saving cash on your groceries.
For example, food waste app Kitche keeps track of the food you purchase and warns you when items are getting close to their sell by date, promising to save you £630 a year – which comes out as £12 a week.
While Too Good To Go means you can pick up a bag of food from big brands like Costa and Greggs at rock bottom prices.
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