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Gone are the days of sticking to one supermarket. Today there are new types of stores, and a range of apps and technologies that can help you find the best deals and save you those precious pounds.
Got a regular shopping list, and can't be bothered to trawl around supermarkets to find which one will save you the most money? Just plug in your list to Mysupermarket.com. The independent site allows users to shop across 9 stores to optimise their grocery shop. It does a lot of number crunching and analysis of information that it gathers, and that raw data is turned into digestible information that customers can use each time they shop.
Extra points are sometimes worth more than any monetary discount. So take that into consideration when shopping. I have about 15 loyalty cards in my bag. I just like plastic, but frankly you'd be better off using an app like LoyaLive. It helps you to put your points in one place and ensure that you don't miss a point again, as long as you have your phone on you. If you have compared your shop and it's a little bit cheaper (up to £5) but there are no loyalty points, consider whether it would be worth going for the more expensive supermarket if they have a good loyalty point scheme. Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons have loyalty cards. We transfer our Tesco points to Avios, get cash on our Sainsbury’s and Morrisons cards. While I do collect points, I don’t religiously check my balance, so I had no idea I had been building up so many points over the last few years – £35 on Nectar points which I promptly spent! Sometimes I feel that companies often rely on shoppers forgetting about these potential goodies, so it’s important to take advantage of what’s on offer. When I downloaded the app I also found out about a Boots pot of cash, and LoyaLive let me know all of the items I could get in return, such as Champney’s Spa bubble bath – a nice little treat to myself!
Forget the big four supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, head down to Aldi and Lidl. Gone are the days of keeping your head down when going to these stores, all my friends go. I can never believe how many products I get for less than £50. I can fill a trolley and that's with their fancy food range included. I’d be looking at over £100 for an equivalent shop in one of the big four. They also have bi-weekly Specialbuys, which frankly offer phenomenal value on items that stay around until they sell out. I have bought all sorts from Aldi while doing a grocery shop, including a gazebo, wooden radiator covers, ski gear and gear for my husband’s workshop. Even Stelios of EasyJet fame is now on the bandwagon with his new Easyfoodstore in London, which sells items for 29 p each.
Have you eaten a product that has passed its Best before Date? I have and I am still here. Online grocery store Approved Food sells surplus stock and some goods nearing or past their best-before-date. They have over a quarter of a million registered customers, and handle around 2,500 orders in the UK, Ireland and Europe. They sell non-perishable food and drink and pet food. Examples of deals include Coca Cola Zero glass bottles six for £1, cans of Heinz Green Peas (400g) four for £1 and Alpro Soya Original (1 litre) two for £1. They’ve also got “healthier” options including WeightWatchers items, gluten free and healthy lifestyle food to ensure your cupboards are balanced.
Can't get to Costco? Well what about trying an online bulk buying club? BuyMucho.com is a bulk buy club, offering over 1,300 branded grocery items, ordered online and delivered to your door. Sort of like Costco on speed, so it’s open to everyone, no restrictions as to member’s background and home delivery. All you have to do is go to the website and register. Users will then be chosen from the pool of people registered and then have access to all their favourite brands. As the service has just launched the registered users will be limited to a geographic location to begin with (the South – East first). Eventually, all users will be able to purchase, as locations will go live in batches. The more people that sign up in a certain area the quicker they will go live with the service. BuyMucho.com is aiming to save its members up to 20% on their favourite brands compared to their usual supermarket. Its built-in comparison facility, allows shoppers to shop intelligently, comparing individual products and their total basket to that of their nominated supermarket.
For more tips on saving money, head over to www.mrsbargainhunter.co.uk.