As the cost of living falls, here are some tips on how to save money on a weekly shop at the UK’s most popular budget retailers
The pandemic has changed the dynamics of supermarkets with the growth of click-and-collect, staff shortages and low stock levels.
Both Brexit and the war in Ukraine have also had an impact on our retailers and pushed up prices.
Will Broome, Founder and CEO of Ubamarket, a new shopping app, has shared some essential tips and tricks to help you save money on your weekly grocery shopping at the biggest supermarkets.
What are some general tips for saving money while shopping?
Mr Broome advises customers to find out what automated membership and loyalty programs your supermarket is offering or starting to roll out to save money.
Supermarkets are starting to launch apps that take all discount prices into account at the end of the shopping cart.
Online supermarkets also often offer introductory discount coupons to “win” new customers.
He said it’s a “good thing to look out for” and a “key way” to save money.
Mr Broome also said to look out for the yellow ‘Reduced To’ sale stickers as it is the same product but is just passing its sell by date.
“If you go late in the day there will be a lot of them, but if you go late they will be gone,” he said.
Shoppers told MoneySavingExpert, Martin Lewis, that reductions at Morrisons typically started late in the morning or around lunchtime, but the retailer said that was up to individual store managers.
The site says a customer tweeted to say she’s going to Lidl as soon as it opens to pick up ready meals for just 20p.
For Aldi, the half-price stickers will appear from 8 p.m., according to a MoneySaver letter to the website.
How to save money when shopping at Aldi
Mr Broome said Aldi was a “budget, budget retailer” but had “some very high quality products and beautifully laid out stores”.
According to YouGov, Aldi is currently the most popular supermarket chain in the UK, with 79% of respondents saying they like them.
Mr Broome said: “Meat and fish at Aldi have the best prices but slightly shorter best before dates.
“You’ll get really good prices on the fish, but you may need to shop a little closer to the time you’re going to be consuming it.”
He also advised center aisle shopping, as you can get household items like candles and kettles at great prices.
The center aisle is great instead of “going to a more expensive tech or hardware store – really useful stuff”.
The discounted section of the retailer’s website has household items for under £10 to £40.
How to save money when shopping at Lidl
Consumer Group Which? Lidl voted the cheapest supermarket in March. It was also crowned the winner in January and February.
It is calculated using the basket price, which compares the price of 21 items from the major brands, including fresh produce and household items.
Lidl was 31p cheaper than second-place rival Aldi.
Mr Broome said Lidl in particular had a “very strong range of fruit and vegetables” and “meat and fish are very well priced”.
The retailer also has an inexpensive ‘Too Good To Waste’ box for fruit and veg.
For just £1.50, the boxes contain around 5kg of on-shelf fruit and vegetables that are slightly damaged, discolored or decayed, but still perfectly edible.
They are put together daily and are available to customers from opening until 12 noon.
How to save money on a Morrisons deal
Mr Broome explained that Morrisons has many of its own suppliers and farms, which is not well known.
“They are very strong on products. It’s of very high quality but at a competitive price – not always the cheapest,” he said.
Mr Broome said eggs in particular are very reasonably priced.
However, Morrisons’ loyalty program helps with prices.
The My Morrisons loyalty app offers bespoke digital coupons with discounts on your next purchase.
You can also scan your in-app digital card at checkout for automatic savings.
If you have a physical card, you can get discount coupons at checkout to enjoy your rewards.
The which? A consumer test of 21 wicker products found Morrisons not doing very well, having placed the retailer second to bottom in March.
However, the same test was carried out for a larger store, and Morrisons moved up the ranks.
The test compared a shopping trolley to 65 grocery items and Morrisons placed third behind Asda in first place and Sainsbury’s in second place.