You might have noticed your food shop bill has been steadily increasing in the past few months. If you have, you’re not alone!
Across the UK, thousands of families are feeling the financial strain as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. In recent months, the UK has seen an unprecedented increase in the cost of living, with the Bank of England projecting inflation to peak this year at over 11%.
Times like these can be stressful for many households. We understand that raising a child in the UK isn’t cheap, which is why we pay all our foster carers a generous allowance that exceeds minimum national rates.
But, with the costs of certain foods rising by more than 20% in the last year, it’s natural to want to find ways to reduce your household bills.
How to Save Money on Food Shopping
To help with the cost-of-living crisis, we’ve compiled a list of 5 different tips that will help you save money on food shopping. Whether you’re looking for how to save money on groceries for a large family or a small family, you’ll be pleased to know there are ways to cut costs without sacrificing the foods you love.
Look for the Yellow Stickers
It’s common for supermarkets to reduce food as it nears its expiration date. Reducing the price of certain items helps supermarkets to shift “old” stock and keep their level of food wastage down. But these yellow stickers are also great news for keen-eyed shoppers looking to save a few pounds.
Reduced food items are marked with yellow stickers and usually found at the end of shopping aisles in a clearance section. The discounts on these food items can range, but you’ll find that most are marked down between 50-75% of their original price.
Yellow sticker food items make a great option for last-minute dinners, especially if you’re wondering how to save money on your food shop. Alternatively, if you don’t think you’ll eat get round to eating the food before it expires, you can freeze it – keeping it fresh to be consumed at a later date! Just make sure the food is suitable for freezing before you purchase.
Shop Supermarket Own-Brand
Food advertising is clever in many ways, using a range of psychological techniques to earn consumer trust and loyalty.
As consumers, we grow to know, love and trust certain food brands, such as Kellogg’s, Heinz, or Walkers. However, these brands also come with a higher price tag making them less affordable, particularly if you’re family food shopping during a cost-of-living crisis.
Supermarkets offer a range of own-brand alternatives to name-brand products. Often, these products are similar – if not identical – to the products sold by big name brands and are sold at a fraction of the price.
Explore The World Foods Aisle
Many overlook this part of the supermarket, and some aren’t even aware of its existence. However, for those who want to know how to save money on your food shopping, the World Foods aisle has plenty of hidden bargains.
This article from Money Saving Supermarket perfectly illustrates the stark differences in cost between products found in the World Foods aisle and other supermarket brands. Money Saving Supermarket found that a Sainsbury’s can of chopped tomatoes costs 45p for 400g, while in the World Foods aisle, a 400g can of chopped tomatoes goes for 35p.
Similarly, 300ml of coconut oil tends to be priced at £3.30 for 300ml, while, in the World Foods aisle, you can get 500ml for £2.45.
The products available in the World Foods aisle will vary depending on your supermarket and location, but the findings remain the same: most items available in World Foods are cheaper than items available in other aisles.
Make The Most of Supermarket Loyalty Cards
You’ve likely heard of some of the main supermarket loyalty cards, such as Tesco’s Clubcard, or Sainsbury’s Nectar card. Although signing up for these cards and remembering to use them may seem like a hassle, these cards could help you fight back against the rise in food prices.
Not only do supermarket loyalty cards earn you points that can later be redeemed against purchases, but they also enable cardholders to make the most of exclusive vouchers and membership prices. For example, most supermarkets will offer discounted prices on specific food items that are exclusive for loyalty card holders, helping to reduce your family food shop.
Check out this guide from GoodtoKnow on the best-performing supermarket loyalty cards to find out how you can make your money work harder.
Research Which Supermarkets Are Cheapest Overall
If you’re looking to cut down on your food bills, it pays to look at which of the supermarkets in your area is considered cheapest overall.
Certain supermarkets, like Lidl, Aldi, and Asda have been proven to be cheaper overall when it comes to your weekly shop. In an analysis of the leading UK supermarkets in April 2022, Which? found that of all the supermarkets, Lidl was considerably cheaper than other competitors.
Which? tested the prices for 18 popular groceries, and found that, where at Waitrose the same products cost £35.06 in total, at Lidl, they were nearly £10 cheaper – at £25.92 in total. If you’re doing a big food shop, changing supermarkets could save you up to £17!
For families looking to save money, it’s worth keeping this in mind. You can read the full report from Which? here.
Times are undeniably tough right now for many households throughout the UK.
At Compass, we want to make sure all our foster carers feel supported throughout their fostering journey with us. We hope that these straightforward food-shopping tips will contribute to lessening the financial strain placed on our community, helping you become a money saving family.
If you’re interested in saving money on other bills, why not check out our guide on reducing your household bills. We also have a list of discounts and benefits available to foster carers, which you can find here.