Shropshire Star

Money Saving Amy: Keep your grocery budget under control

We all know that the price of groceries is going up and up, so here’s some tips on how you can keep the control of your grocery budget.

Amy Grayland from Wolverhampton gives saving tips on her Instagram _moneysavingamy.

Loyalty apps

For some people, this will seem like an obvious one, but every time I go to the shops I see people paying without loyalty apps. Not only do most of the supermarkets offer “loyalty prices” these days, but loyalty points build up to be free money. It’s safe to say that the “loyalty prices” are a way to make us all have the loyalty cards, as the “original” prices are over inflated, but, if you’re not paying with a loyalty card, you’re paying a really high premium for that.

Many of the supermarkets offer bonus vouchers and rewards on their points too, for example, Tesco club card points can be doubled up to use at places such as Pizza Express or West Midlands Safari Park, and many more place. Asda have also been offering double up offers for your points to use on clothing or home wear, and Asda also have their Christmas cash pots open meaning you can start putting your bonus money away for the big Christmas food shop.

Lidl and Morrisons offer extra discounts and extra rewards when scanning their loyalty apps, and Sainsbury’s also do similar, and usually do a double up event nearer to Christmas too where you can double your nectar points, although this often isn’t well advertised.

Cash back

One of my favourite money saving tips, cash back! Use the Jam Doughnut or Airtime Rewards apps to gain cash back on your every day spending at the supermarkets. It’s very quick and easy to grab a cash back gift card, and you scan it at the till, just like you would use other payment methods. You’ll still gain your loyalty points even when using a cash back gift card.

You can also use Top Cashback to take advantage of “first time shop” offers, such as £7.35 cash back on your first home delivery order of £48 or more. Or £1.05 back if you’re an existing customer having a delivery.

The supermarkets also often offer their own first time delivery discounts too, which tend to be big, so check both options to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Ocado now offer a “price promise” voucher, they compare your shop to Tesco and if your shop with them was more expensive, they’ll send you a voucher with the difference, ready to spend on your next Ocado order.

Getting the most for your money

I have learned two brilliant money saving tips from a fellow money saving Instagram account @thrifty_clair. Firstly, pay attention to the price per kg, rather than the price of the item, this has taught me that buying in bulk is often much cheaper in the long run and I now bulk buy many items such as rice and pasta. The initial outlay is more, but the product lasts much longer. Another thrifty trick is to weigh packaged items, such as chillies, as the packet may state an estimated weight, but the contents inside could actually vary in weight, so make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Stick to a list and learn prices

Sticking to a list really does take some self control but it is the most efficient way to stay in control of your budget, making the list before you leave when you can check your cupboards will stop you ending up with five tubs of gravy, or six bottles of ketchup.

Learning your prices is another handy tip, I try to keep in mind the prices of all of our basics, so I know when they’ve gone up, and I can learn which supermarket offers the best value and stock up at that one.

If you’re finding that you struggle to stick to a list, you could consider online shopping, many of the supermarkets offer low priced delivery slots. And also consider which supermarket you shop in, if for example, you can’t resist the middle aisle in Lidl or Aldi, it may be wiser to stick to the other supermarkets, but equally if you get drawn in by the clothing in Tesco and Sainsbury’s, then you may want to consider choosing the alternative supermarkets to shop in.

Check for delivery app discounts

This is a tip that you do have to really make sure you’re actually getting good value, but sometimes the delivery apps, such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, offer discounts on groceries, and sometimes these can actually save you money. But these apps can charge much more than in store prices, so just ensure you are getting a good deal with the discount, I have managed to save myself around £5/£6 to what I would have spent in store by utilising these deals a few times before.

Olio app

The Olio app is a fantastic app that could supplement your food shops with free food. Kind volunteers collect surplus food from supermarkets and list it on the Olio app for people to collect, plus there’s often people having cupboard clear outs listing their unwanted items, all for free. It’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of the food collected has a use by date of that day so needs collecting and using fairly quickly.

I hope these tips are helpful. Moneysavingamy.