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Most of us are looking for ways to save money each month. When it comes to grocery shopping, it’s very easy to overspend and blow your entire budget in the process. In fact, did you realise that supermarkets have ways to make you spend more? And to buy things you don’t even need?

On the other hand, there are some methods you can use to save literally thousands of pounds a year on groceries. You can save up enough money for a holiday and other things!

We’ve put together a list of ways to help you avoid overspending at the supermarket. These are easy and will help to keep you on budget without too much work.

1). Cut Down on Waste

Every month, the average household discards about £60 of food. Can you believe that? It’s true. However, if cut down on waste, you can save this same amount easily each month.  For instance, be sure to use up all leftovers. If you bought takeout last night, use it for lunch today. You can also freeze leftovers and use ingredients, such as pasta, in other dishes. Get creative and cut down on throwing out good food.

2). Avoid Shopping When You’re Hungry

This may seem obvious, but many people tend to shop when they’re hungry. Shopping when you’re hungry actually causes you to spend more, too. There’s more of a tendency to buy unhealthy food such as chips. They sound so good, so why not toss them in the cart? It’s just a little something extra, right? Sure, those chips sound good. We understand; however, those chips are not a healthy choice. And if they’re not on your list, you’ll be overspending. Even just a few pence here and there add up over time. So, avoid shopping when you’re hungry to stay healthy and keep your wallet fatter.

3). Create a Grocery List

One day each week, it could be on the weekend or whenever you have time, sit down and create a plan for the meals you’ll cook during the week. When this list is finished, check your pantry to see what ingredients you already have and which ones you’ll need. Put the items you need on the grocery list. While this can seem like a tiring job, the payoffs will be huge when you don’t buy things that aren’t necessary. You’ll also prevent waste by using this method.

4). Cook from Scratch

Some people believe cooking from scratch takes talent and too much time. They also believe, mistakenly, that cooking from scratch is more expensive than buying boxed and pre-packaged foods. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Cooking from scratch saves you money because you won’t be ordering takeaway, for one thing.

For another, cooking this way is better for your health and you’ll be able to enjoy a wider variety of great tasting foods! And you don’t need any special talents. If you can cut veggies and cook ground meat, you can cook from scratch. Just start off with easy recipes, and then work your way up to those that are more involved. You’ll soon not want takeaway anymore!

5). Get Discounts

When you have some spare time, before you create your weekly grocery list, check to see if you can find some great discounts on items you need. In addition, you may find some great online deals for items you normally buy at the supermarket.

Use a comparison site such as Mysupermarket.com. Here you can choose a basket of products and then find the cheapest prices available on those items.

Another great reason to shop online is saving time and money. As you shop, watch how much you’ve spent by checking your shopping basket. You can see the total and then look to see if you’ve overspent. With this method, you’ll find it easier to stay on budget because you can easily remove items that have put you over. And it’s a great way to find coupons for items you buy online or at the brick and mortar supermarket.

6). Buy in Bulk

After you’ve created your grocery list, look to see if there are any deals to buy some of those items in bulk. Now, keep in mind that you’ll only save money when purchasing items that you and your family will actually use. Avoid buying items in bulk that you don’t use or like. Doing so will only waste money. Instead, focus on those items and products you’ll use. Make sure to only buy what you’ll use before the items expire, otherwise you’ll be throwing money into the garbage.

7). Try Cheaper Brands

At the supermarket, you’ll often see cheaper brand products next to the same name brand items. If you check the prices, you’ll find that the name brand items are quite a bit more expensive. For instance, try the cheaper tinned baked beans, rather than choosing your favourite name brand version. 

Keep in mind that many store brands are made by the name brand companies. You may find that the store brand tastes as good as the name brand, but you’ll save a lot of money buying the cheaper version.

8). Shop in Lower Priced Supermarkets

Big supermarket chains often are charge more for the privilege of shopping there. Instead, turn to lower priced supermarkets. In these stores, you’ll be able to find the same brands you already enjoy, just at lower prices. Check out stores such as Aldi and Lidl, where you can often find some great discounts.

The more you shop at lower priced supermarkets, the more money you’ll save.

9). Try Local Markets

Local markets sometimes offer fruits and veggies at cheaper prices that the supermarket. You’ll also often be able to enjoy fresher, tastier foods, too. While the markets may be a little farther from your home, they can still save you money. And remember the quality of the fruits and veg available in the markets is often better. If you’ve started cooking from scratch, you’ll quickly taste the difference fresher ingredients add to home cooked meals!

10). Check the Date

Do you know the difference between the “best before” or “use-by” dates? It can be confusing! If you know the difference, you can save a little money each month by not throwing away perfection good food.

The “best before” date products show the date when the foods are at optimum quality. You can usually safely eat these if they’re just past this date.

“Use by” date—this one’s a bit easier to figure out. If a product has gone past its use-by date, then into the bin it goes. This is especially true for meat and dairy products.

We hope these methods will help you save enough money for your dream vacation or enable you to start a savings account! Have fun and enjoy the savings!