Households can get supermarkets vouchers worth up to £60 this spring in brand new funding – how to claim


STRUGGLING families can get free supermarket vouchers worth up to £60 in a new scheme.

The cash support comes through the Household Support Fund which was set up by the government in 2021.

The help can go towards bills and essential shopping

The HSF was then extended for the second time in the March budget and for a third time in November to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.

Councils up and down the country got a slice of the £500million funding available to dish out to Brits in need.

The help you can get varies depending on who your local council is, as well as your personal situation.

But you may be able to get free cash and vouchers to help pay for things like heating your home or to cover costs of your weekly grocery shop.

You’ll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.

As an example, residents living within the area of Norfolk County Council can claim free vouchers.

They can be used towards supermarket shopping, energy bills and other essential spending.

Families on low incomes can get a £15 voucher per child, each month, plus an additional £30 in the summer and in December.

The funding will be allocated from the beginning of April and will continue until March 2024.

If you think you’re eligible, you can apply online via the Norfolk County Council website.

If you receive a means-tested benefit and are entitled for free school meals, you will automatically receive the vouchers from your child’s school.

Can I get help if I don’t live in Norfolk?

Yes you can. But the help on offer will depend on where you live.

Councils are distributing their share of the HSF differently.

Some are handing out vouchers, while others are making bank transfers to eligible residents.

Households in Somerset had until today to apply for supermarket vouchers.

While families who live in Shropshire can get £180 in vouchers to help with food and essentials.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has revealed that thousands of households can get up to £200 direct into their accounts.

While families could get £300 in vouchers that can be put towards paying off bills if they live in York.

The amount you are entitled to will vary depending on the area you live in too.

And some local authorities have already depleted their funds so won’t be in line for help everywhere.

The best thing to do is find out who your local council is and see what their eligibility criteria is for receiving help through the fund.

You can find out what council area you fall under by searching “find my local council” in Google.

Councils have to allocate the latest tranche of the Household Support Fund by March 31.

However, the fund has been extended by the government which is pumping out a further £842million to councils.

This means your local council is likely to launch new schemes in the coming weeks.

Again, you should check with your local council what help you might be in line for.

What other schemes are closing in March?

It’s worth taking note of the other schemes closing this month.

The winter fuel payment is designed to help households with heating costs through the colder months.

In most cases it’s paid automatically but you may have to apply for the help on the government’s website.

The deadline for claiming the payment this year is March 31, so you’ll have to be quick if you still need to apply.

The last instalment of the £400 energy rebate is being made this month too, worth £67.

The payment was split into six monthly batches which started being made in October last year.

The cold weather payments scheme is closing at the end of March too.

Under the scheme, hard-up households can get a £25 payment for every seven-day period where temperatures are consecutively sub-zero.

The payment is designed to help those on a lower income with the cost of heating, which is needed more in the colder months.

Payments are made automatically to you if you qualify.

How can I save on my supermarket shop?

It’s not just about heading to the cheapest supermarket to save money on your shop.

There’s a number of ways you can cut costs and drive down your grocery bills.

Making a list before you head out to do your food shopping is always a good start as you’ll be less likely to make any rash purchases.

Buying supermarkets’ own-brand goods instead of higher end more notable brands could save you a few pounds too.

Some supermarkets run “wonky” veg schemes, where you pay less for fresh produce that’s misshapen or imperfect.

Lidl, for example, has its Waste Not scheme where you can get a whopping five kilos of fruit and veg for just £1.50.

Checking how much a product costs based on quantity could save you some money.

You might be tempted to opt for a bigger box or packaging because you think you will get more.

But you should always check the price per kg/lb/litre so you’re making a like-for-like decision.

A lot of supermarkets run loyalty schemes, where you can build up points to spend on a later shop.

For example, Sainsbury’s has its Nectar Card and Tesco has its Clubcard.

Plus, look out for yellow or red stickers on food products that show they’ve been reduced.

But watch out for the stickers on fresh goods, as it means they are due to go out of date.

You can always freeze the food to make it last longer though.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]