SHOPPERS who have noticed their bill at the supermarket checkout has soared in recent months are desperately looking for ways to cut costs.
Families are feeling the pinch as prices continue to climb and there are plenty of money-saving tips out there – the question is, are they any good?
Some social media hacks will help you save at the supermarket
Some savvy savers have taken to TikTok to share their best money saving tips.
But it can be difficult to know if their advice is worth listening to.
Money-saving expert Julian House, managing director of My Favourite Voucher Codes, has told HOAR which tricks are worth trying, and which ones should be avoided.
Look away from pricey items
TikTokker @moneygirlUK said supermarkets often keep their bargain items out of shoppers sight on the bottom shelf.
The theory is that customers tend to focus on the shelves at eye level, so this is where stores put more profitable items.
Julian said this is a tip to pay attention to – and shoppers who look at the lower shelves are often rewarded by finding hidden bargains.
He said: “Simply being aware that this happens is half the battle.
“Browsing the shelves more vigorously, looking high and low, will certainly help you locate more own-brand, lower value items that can certainly aid you in saving your money.”
A senior supermarket insider has previously revealed to HOAR how the layout of shops is designed to trick customers into spending more money.
Shop online to save money
TikTok user @LondonMutualCu recommends shopping online to avoid buying items that you don’t need.
She said buying online will stop you from browsing aisles and picking up items that you don’t actually need.
But Julian believes that shoppers could still be drawn into buying unnecessary things through online deals.
He said the best thing to do is be prepared before you head to the supermarket and go armed with a thorough list.
“Write a list, map out your dinners for the week, plan for a precision strike on your local supermarket or online shop.
“Going in unprepared makes it more likely you’ll give in to impulse purchases.”
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
Tummy rumbling? This is the time to avoid going for a food shop.
TikTokker @YoungScot says shopping on an an empty stomach is when you’re most likely to overspend on food.
Julian said this was another TikTok tip to heed: “Shopping on an empty stomach will cause your eyes to become bigger than your belly, as they say, leading to a greater degree of impulse buying – particularly higher-priced junk food.”
He said the best time to shop is just after having a meal.
This idea is also backed up by a recent poll, which revealed that shopping on an empty stomach could be costing you just over £11 per visit to the supermarket.
Ditch the trolley
Social media user @noahxboa says trolleys are designed to make customers feel like they haven’t picked up enough food because they look empty even after you’ve trawled the aisles.
If you’re doing a weekly shop for your whole family, of course, using a trolley is unavoidable.
But Julian said ditching your trolley or basket when you’re just popping in for a top-up shop is a good tip for cutting down on spending.
He said: “By ditching the basket or trolley you limit the amount you can carry.
“It’s a great way of forcing you to not get drawn into the ‘big sale now’ items because you just can’t carry the.”
You could also try cutting out these smaller visits to the shop altogether by planning your weekly shop more efficiently.
Meal prepping is a good way to make sure you stick to essential items as well as cutting costs.
Shop on Sundays for the best deals
Yellow sticker bargains are the key to a successful shop for many people doing the weekly supermarket sweep.
Many TikTok savers believe the best day to find these heavily discounts goods is on Sundays.
But this is one theory that Julian doesn’t agree with – he said yellow stickers come out at different times depending on the store.
He said: “Instead of focussing in on a specific day, try heading to the specific supermarkets near to closing time.
“This is typically when supermarkets reduce the price of items nearing the end of their best before’ dates.”
HOAR has put together a handy guide of the best times to visit Morrisons, Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s to find yellow sticker deals.
Where can I get help with my food bill?
If you are struggling with your food bill then there are a number of charities and organisations which may be able to help, on top of the providers that offer their own grants.
Hard-up households can grab free cash towards essential living costs, including a £36 voucher for food items.
The extra support comes as part of the government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) initiative.
The current batch of funding will be available until September 30 – but households are being urged to apply for help as soon as possible.
Money is dished out to local councils, which will decide what sort of help to offer in their area and who is eligible.
To find out what support is on offer in your area, speak directly to your local council, or visit its website for more details.
Even if you’re not eligible for help under the Household Support Fund you may be eligible for cash elsewhere to help with the cost of living.
A number of councils have opened up their applications for a discretionary fund to help those on Universal Credit, Council Tax Support and other means-tested benefits. You could get up to £300.
Millions of pensioners are also set to get an extra £300 later on this year.
Those on Universal Credit and benefits will also get a one-off payment of £650 to help with the cost of living.
If you are worried about the cost of living or debt, then a number of charities may also be able to offer free advice or help:
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
- Step Change – 0800 138 1111
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060