Saving money on food the Remainer way

OK, let’s do this ! First, grab preferred gadget or pen and paper. Make a list of your regular journeys – if you spend more on fuel or fares to get to a supermarket, then you aren’t saving money !

Could be your journey to work, school run, Saturday morning football, nail salon, mother or mother-in-law, Brownies  – anything you/family do regularly. Even if only once a month.

Note down the supermarkets and chain convenience stores on that route or very close to it. Consult supermarket websites and to get special offer prices and cheaper regular prices on items you buy usually. NO downgrading to value ranges necessary. Consult convenience store websites for their offers, also.

Make a spreadsheet or list showing item, RRP, offer price, date offer finishes and store. Your guests won’t know that you saved £11 on the Taittinger at Morrisons (for example) unless YOU telI them.

In some instances you will be able to find an alternate store in case Offer #1 sold out. The second offer might not save as much, but any saving on RRP is a win, as long as you’re not travelling out of your way to get it. You may find that you can only get to Store A once in a month, but you can get to store B daily.

Online Shopping

If you buy a delivery pass, work out how many shops you need to do in a year to make it cost neutral and break it down to month. If you want heavy/awkward things eg laundry powder or water in bulk  and they are same price or cheaper online, use online delivery rather than hefting around yourself.

If you love cooking, prioritise offers on good quality fresh food . Even on Ocado it’s possible to save £15-£20 on RRP with organic offers.

One way to do it is to use the online app eg Ocado and do an order then hit supermarket. If it’s in front of you for same price or less, pick up instore and delete that item. Particularly relevant to fresh produce.

If you signup to MySupermarket you can import your favourites and as you shop it will do the price comparisons for you and alert you when cheaper options exist. If you set it up, it will even send the online order for you.

Make sure that you aren’t padding out an online order with things you don’t need, to hit the minimum order threshold. If there’s a physical store within range on a regular journey, it’s better to just make a list.

Bulk Buying

Online shopping generally has limits eg 20 of each item (Ocado). But if you’re in a downmarket supermarket saving £11 per bottle on champagne, they’re unlikely to quibble about it, if they know they wouldn’t sell many otherwise. They might quibble if it looks like you are using their store as a cash and carry and it’s depriving other customers of say, butter.

Costco and Bookers aren’t necessarily cheaper than supermarkets. If you’re after an item stocked by them, which you can’t easily find in supermarkets, suggest talkinf to a local shop which uses that wholesaler. You may be able to do a deal for a bulk buy, paying up front, which makes the shop some money and also saves you some.

It isn’t necessary to downgrade to value items to save money on your food and alcohol. Buying your Burgen soya and linseed bread in ASDA or Iceland instead of  Sainsbury’s currently (13.03.17) will save you 50p per loaf and it will freeze. Buying Taittinger in ASDA, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s currently (13.03.17) will save £7.00.

Aldi and Lidl

Although German discount stores, post-referendum, the fresh meat will generally be British, to appeal to Leavers, many of whom shop there. You may also find EU27 citizens shopping in Aldi or Lidl because they know the stores from their home country. Then there are the bewildered Waitrose refugees.

If you are feeling the squeeze, you can find organic vegetables in both. Try the luxury coleslaw and other similar items and treat it as a deli, then start experimenting.

If you take the attitude that you are switching to a discounter for everything, you may find that some products just aren’t the same quality and that your partner/kids just don’t like the cornflakes for example and will militate.

If you are buying food to use in a recipe, it’s doubtful that anyone will notice that the tinned tomatoes or eggs aren’t from Sainsbury’s or Waitrose. Whereas with tomato ketchup, baked beans and cornflakes, they will.


According to one tabloid, the supermarket most-frequented by Leavers, is Iceland. If that makes you feel nervous, then use the online delivery service.

Iceland is great for wild fish and seafood, for example 300g wild North Atlantic frozen prawns 300g 3.99, Argentine wild red frozen shrimp 300g, £5 and small frozen wild whole Canadian lobsters £6 each (27.11.17) Iceland has a reputation for party food (do check for additives and allergens) which you can bung in oven to heat, on same temperature. There’s a Gregg’s range if you want to try it and Iceland is getting quite adventurous on the TV dinner front eg sugo alla vongole 3.50 and retro favourite,own-brand whitebait 2.50 as well as a frozen Class A whole British duck for £7 (27.11.17)

First Store Visit

It will take time, because you need to learn the lay of the land (store) and nose at things you haven’t seen before like carp or Krakowska sausage.

If you go in with a list and aren’t hungry, research shows that you’ll spend less.

Psychologically, it could be a good move to get partner and/or family onside with ” I saw wine gums 2 for 1 in ASDA” or ” I found real Eccles cakes in Morrisons ” – whatever bribery works for them !

Supermarkets put on offers to attract shoppers. They’re often called loss leaders, but it’s generally the producer or manufacturer taking the hit on the promotion, not the supermarket.

What you are doing, is raiding the offers, to save money. Have the idea in your head that it’s not a leisurely browse, more a grab raid, just one that you pay for. It’s possible to hit two or three stores on one retail park in under two hours, with discipline.

If you have kids, suggest explaining that in order to save money but still have nice food, you need to be searching for the offers.

Whether you have helpful kids or truculent teenagers, another bit of handy bribery can be saying that if you save money with their help, a percentage of it can be used to up their pocket money/allowance.

Depending on the age of the kids, you could give them a small list, a basket and a meeting point before checkout and let them do a bit of hunter-gathering.

Saving £20 pcm works out at £240 per year and anyone should be able to save way way more than that.


Lidl fresh-baked croissants. Copyright 2015 Théroigne S B G Russell


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s