How to save money on your supermarket shop

How to save money on your supermarket shop
How to save money on your supermarket shop
Unrecognizable supermarket aisle as background

Inflation has been particularly high for food and non-alcoholic drinks and has hit households hard. (Getty Images)

The cost of living crisis has left the poorest households in the UK having to pay an extra £3,000 to £5,600 this year, as they struggle to afford everyday essentials.

Low-income families with more children have been disproportionately affected by spiraling inflation, according to research from Save the Children, with the charity saying the impact is “worse than we had imagined”.

The new analysis shows that, on average, a single parent with one child needs to spend an additional £3,100 in 2023/24 to get the same basket of goods and services as they did in 2019/20.

This rises to almost £ 5,600 – or more than £ 100 per week – for a couple with three children, according to the study carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

In particular, food inflation has shot up dramatically, rising by 18.4% in the year to May, with some meat products and vegetables almost doubling in price.

Read more: It’s Brexit that cranks up inflation. Don’t just blame the Bank

Freezer aisles at Iceland supermarket, UK.  (Photo by: Alex Segre/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Buying frozen instead of fresh food can be a good way to save money. (Getty Images)

On Tuesday, MPs are set to quiz senior executives from four major supermarkets on why the prices of such essential goods have gone up at such an alarming rate.

The business and trade committee will question Morrisons chief executive David Potts and senior figures from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda on profit margins, competition in the supply chain and when shoppers can start to see prices coming down again.

This may make bleach reading, but there are some ways to save on your weekly shop. Yahoo News explains how.

How to save money at the supermarket

Buy frozen food instead of fresh
Buying frozen vegetables is usually a lot cheaper and reduces the likelihood of food waste.

Recent analysis by consumer website Which? found that frozen raspberries were between 42p and £1.07 per 100g, significantly cheaper than fresh raspberries, which ranged from £1.26 to £1.80 per 100g.

Pay attention use-by dates
Shoppers should keep an eye on use-by-dates and only buy products that they know they are going to consume within the given timeframe.

Freezing items is another good way to ensure no food gets wasted. It’s also important not to confuse use-by dates with best before dates, which is to do with the quality of a product rather than whether it is safe to eat.

Check out the reduce aisle
If you like finding yourself a bargain then be sure to stop by the reduced aisle on your weekly shop.

These are items, often adorned with yellow stickers, that have been discounted due to imminent use-by dates or minor damage.

Shop around
Prices can vary a lot depending on which supermarket you shop at, so it’s worth exploring your options.

which? has put together a handy review on the cheapest and most expensive supermarkets in the UK this month.

Go for own-brand products
Supermarket own-brand products are usually a lot cheaper, and often just as good.

Read more: Six ways to reduce food waste and save money

Man shopping in a supermarket while on a budget.  He is looking for low prices due to inflation, standing looking at his phone in front of a row of freezers.  He is living in the North East of England.

Being aware of use-by dates and checking out the reduced aisle can save you money in your weekly shop. (Getty Images)

Avoid smaller convenience stores
Obviously these shops have their place – they are called convenience stores for a reason – but relying on them for your regular food shops could cost you hundreds more per year.

Research by Which? shows shoppers could spend 10% more per year at Tesco Express stores compared to their larger supermarkets or online.

Consider joining a loyalty scheme
Many supermarkets have their own loyalty card schemes, and these days they offer exclusive discounts and rewards, rather than just letting you rack up points.

Read more: Britain’s house price crash ‘will be the worst in the world’

Keep tabs on what you already have at home
Take a look through your fridge and cupboard and check what you already have before heading to the supermarket.

This can prevent you from unnecessarily buying items you’ve already bought. It also helps you figure out what you need to stock up on.

Try writing a list as you do this and sticking to it, avoiding impulse purchases as you pass through the supermarket aisles.

What are supermarkets doing to help?

Many supermarkets are trying to do their bit to help shoppers through the cost of living crisis, including regular rollbacks on prices.

For example, Iceland offers a 10% discount to customers aged 60 and over every Tuesday, with no minimum spend.

Read more: Rishi Sunak branded ‘patronizing and out of touch’ over interest-only mortgage advice

Morrisons offers free children’s meals for any adult who spends over £4.49 in the cafe all day every day. Free jacket potatoes and beans are also available for any shopper who “asks for Henry”.

Here, Yahoo News has put together a list of the supermarkets offering the best deals and discounts for shoppers.

Watch: Keir Starmer says the government must ‘take responsibility’ for high inflation