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How to Cut the Cost of Grocery Shopping

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Grocery shopping is a big expense for most people and an area where it is all too easy to overspend. If you want to reduce your outgoings, then grocery shopping is an area where costs can almost always be cut, often by a considerable amount.
1: 
Whether you shop online, go to the supermarket, or buy some of your groceries from local traders, such as butchers, you should aim to do no more than one grocery shop per week and completely cut out having to shop in-between weekly shops. Using up what you have and leaving as long as possible between grocery shops will save a great deal of money in the long run.
2: 
Always use a list, which should be compiled throughout the week as you run out of items so that nothing is forgotten. Stick to your list and don’t buy anything that isn’t on it.
3: 
Taking the time to make a weekly meal plan and adding the items needed to your shopping list will not only save you money, but also save you time on shopping and cooking. Think about where you can carry one evening’s meal into two, either using leftovers in the following evening’s meal or freezing for a later date.
4: 
Swapping expensive brand items for the supermarket's own label products can shed pounds of your weekly spend. Try some cheaper alternatives. Compare taste and value for money, and decide which items you are willing to swap.
5: 
Don’t shop in a hurry and don’t always assume that the branded product advertising the biggest saving is the best value for money (example ‘50% free’ or ‘2 for the price of 1’). Always look up and down the shelves to compare alternatives before you buy. Many supermarkets are known for strategically placing the products they want you to buy at eye level.
6: 
Don’t go grocery shopping hungry. A hungry shopper is much more likely to be tempted by the enticing sights and smells of the store. Taking your kids grocery shopping can also have an impact on the products you buy and how much you spend. Many children have a tendency to distract their parent’s attention and make all manner of demands for junk food, ultimately increasing how much is spent.
7: 
Compare supermarkets to see which is the best value for money for your individual needs. At mysupermarket.co.uk, you can compare the price of your trolley at four of the UK’s major supermarkets. Fill your virtual trolley with a typical weekly grocery shop and see how much it would cost at Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Ocado. This can be time consuming, especially if you have never used an online supermarket before, though you can choose to save your virtual trolley for future reference. Even if you don’t shop online, this is a handy tool to keep check on the cost of your typical weekly shop across four major supermarkets. Also, consider using supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, known for their low prices and no frills approach. Using one of the lower end supermarkets for just one out of every four grocery shops could make a noticeable difference to your overall grocery spending.
8: 
Grow your own fruit and vegetables. To get an idea of how much you could save by growing your own food, make a list of all the fruit and vegetables you usually buy over a month and the cost. Compare this to the cost of buying seeds and plants, taking in to consideration the quantity and quality that can be achieved from home grown. Turning an unused bit of garden space in to a vegetable patch doesn’t cost the earth. Start small, with a few packs of seeds or plants and a small gardening set.
Conclusion: 
Take control of your grocery shopping and save money. Evaluate how you spend on groceries and take steps to change the way you shop and cook. Plan, compare, cut unnecessary spending and you may see your grocery bill reduce by a surprising amount.

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