How do I shop savvy?
One of the best ways you can shop savvy and cut down on your food shop is to look more carefully at the price per unit.
Supermarkets often bamboozle us with special offers and multi-packs. As you walk around you are enticed by one offer after another, yet, quite often the one who feels the benefit of the offer is the supermarket and not the shopper. In other words, they are happy for you to shop blind and bot shop savvy.
If you are serious about cutting down your outgoings and getting the best possible deal for yourself start paying a lot more attention to price per unit.
This month so far I have done all my shopping in Aldi. Due to the limited storage space in my kitchen I have been doing my shop weekly.
Going forward I intend to do most of it online. I will still get my fresh fruit and veg from Aldi as it is generally cheaper, but everything else will be done online, especially now I have come across the little gem that is mysupermarket.co.uk.
Seriously, if you haven’t had a gander at this yet, go and check it out! It has the price per 100g already worked out for you so there is no need to walk around the supermarket with a calculator in hand.
How to work out price per unit
Now believe me when I say I am no maths whizz by any stretch, but, by following this simple method over the course of the year you will be quids in.
I’m not going to kid you and say that working out price per unit on the spot is easy, especially if you’re shopping with children, but with a calculator it isn’t so difficult.
Start by working out the price for a 100 units in all measurements, grams, litres etc.
Total price / divided by total weight / multiplied by 100
For e.g. £2.50 divided by 750g multiplied by 100 = 33.3p per 100g
Own brands are always cheaper
Not necessarily! Keep your eye out for special offers, but sometimes brands don’t have to be on offer to be cheaper.
ASDA Honey Nut Cornflakes 500g £1.48 (29.6p / 100g)
ASDA Honey Nut Cornflakes 750g £1.76 (23.5p / 100g)
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes 1kg £2.00 (20p / 100g)
In this instance you get better value for money from the recognised (and in my opinion better,) brand so don’t be fooled into thinking that because you have a trolley full of own brand items that it has cost you less.
Bigger is always cheaper
Another common misconception. Take this for example, still staying with ASDA;
Kellogg’s Cornflakes 500g £1.75 (35p / 100g)
Kellogg’s Cornflakes 750g £2.00 (26.7p / 100g)
Kellogg’s Cornflakes1kg £3.38 (33.8p / 100g)
In this instance although the 1kg pack is better value for money in comparison to the 500g pack, it is still the middle pack weighing 750g that represents the best value for money by quite some margin.
Multipacks are cheaper
Again it is not a certainty. Take today for instance, and staying with ASDA, a 4 pack of tomato soup will cost you £3.40 (21.3p / 100g). On closer inspection it is on offer at 50p each (12.5p / 100g). You would have unnecessarily overspent by £1.40 by being drawn to the multi pack!
Other useful tips
- Check cupboards before you even consider starting. This way you won’t buy stuff you already have.
- Make a meal plan before making a list. It cuts down on wastage.
- Make a list and stick to it. It will stop you from being swayed into buying things you never planned for.
- Shop online where possible. Yes there will be a delivery charge but if you book it for a less popular time. It can be for as little as £1, less than petrol, a bus or a taxi!
Do you shop savvy using price per unit?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.