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You may be surprised to learn that major supermarkets employ psychologists to entice you to spend, such as clever layouts and even introducing smells to get hungry people to buy more food. Here are our tips to help your ensure you don’t pay more than you need to:

  • Make a shopping list. It’s a great way of ensuring that you buy what you need and don’t get swayed by impulse buys
  • Never shop when you're hungry or thirsty. You’ll end up buying more than you need
  • Try out supermarket own brands – they tend to be substantially cheaper. Try buying only own brands for one shop. If you can’t tell the difference, stick with them
  • Change the time you do your shopping. If you shop just before the store closes you can often pick up discount bargains on fresh food
  • Don’t be distracted with special offer signs. They can often be more expensive than other brands. Use the cost per 100g/per item marker to effectively compare the price
  • Avoid the impulse buys. The ends of aisles and the checkouts are often packed with impulse buys. Make sure you stop and think before adding to your trolley. Is the item on your shopping list? Would you have bought it anyway?
  • Learn where to look for bargains. Supermarkets have realised that because people read left to right (and scan shelves in the same way), more people are likely to choose items on the right hand side of the shelf. To take advantage of this they often arrange products so the more expensive items are on the right hand side of the shelf. They also tend to put cheaper items on lower shelves (below eye level). Learn these tricks to know where to look for the real bargains.

With big one-off purchases you’re spending more money, therefore you have bigger potential savings.

  • Work out what you really want. It can easy to be swayed by sales people into shelling out more money than you need to for features you’re unlikely to use. Take time to think about what is important to you, you might find that a second hand item or lower spec model might actually be right for you. Alternatively, if it is something you’ll only use occasionally then maybe renting the item or borrowing it from a friend might be a better option.
  • Be wary of false economies. Often the cheapest is not the best value. Learning when paying for quality (rather than brand) can be tricky. Consider checking out independent reviews from trusted sources when making your decision.
  • Do your research online. There are so many comparison websites that can help you compare prices and features.
  • If buying instore, learn the art of negotiation. Many companies will match or beat a competitor’s price. Don’t be afraid to ask, the worst they can say is no and you could save yourself a significant amount.
  • Look for discount codes if buying online. Try searching for discount codes for the store buying from – they are often readily available on the internet.

Tips to help you save when shopping

Things you should know

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.


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