Prices have been rising at their fastest rate for 30 years, and millions of households are facing the prospect of a cost of living crisis. Controlling how much you are spending is becoming more critical by the day as consumers’ purse strings start to tighten.
Prices are rocketing at their fastest rate in 30 years due to the rise in the cost of living. Visiting the petrol pump is sending shockwaves across the country, energy prices have already hit the roof this April and credit card spending is increasing at an alarming rate. So, what can people do to cut back on their spending and avoid getting into debt?
Data published by analytics firm, Kantar showed that grocery price inflation has hit its highest level since April 2012 and has already increased 5.2% in the latest four weeks.
The figures also showed that discounters Aldi and Lidl are now leading the pack with a boost in their sales over the past 12 weeks. The rise in sales has meant that Aldi has clinched a new record market share of 8.6%, and Lidl confirmed a spot on the supermarket leader board as the UK’s sixth-largest supermarket.
The worrying part of the company’s data analysis predicted that the annual food shopping bill could rise by £180 due to inflation. Another squeeze in consumer pockets.
However, you might not be able to control food inflation, but you could change the way you shop for your food. Please look at our five most popular money-saving tips to help you beat the pinch at the supermarket.
1. Meal plan
It has been revealed that people with a list are less likely to impulse buy and shop less frequently at the supermarket. Writing down a meal plan will help you focus on purchasing the essential items you need at the supermarket.
Also, knowing what you buy will reduce food wastage, as you will have purchased only the items you intend to use or cook within that week.
If you aren’t a ‘pen to paper’ person, many mobile apps are available to help you with your meal plan and create a shopping list.
2. Look out for the yellow sticker items
If you know what you are planning to eat, then head to your supermarket just before closing time to take advantage of discounts or reduced items with the yellow sticker.
Generally, the best frugal time to shop is between 6-7 pm or before the supermarket is due to close. However, make sure you check your local supermarket for more details.
3. Brand snobbery gets you nowhere
There are some brands we can’t live without; however, opting for cheaper supermarket brand options on some of the items on your food shopping bill could help you make a considerable saving.
Trying a cheaper supermarket, offering you the same product at a fraction of the price, could help with spending. A report published by Which showed that 22 of Aldi’s supermarket goods cost £24.03 compared to the similar items from Waitrose costing £33.16.
4. Loyalty Cards
Loyalty cards are free, so why wouldn’t you have one? Whether the card benefits are collecting points or actual money off your next spend, take the supermarkets up on their offers and expect to make those well-needed savings.
My Tesco Clubcard is always handy in my wallet, and the Asda Rewards scheme offers you rewards for spending on certain items, which total up to a nice tidy cash pot that you can use to get money off your next supermarket bill.
Control your credit card bills by finding ways to reduce your credit card debt.
5. Frozen instead of Fresh
If you are making a trip to the supermarket weekly, it makes sense to buy less fresh fruit and veg and more frozen options. This will cost you considerably less; you will have less wastage.
However, here’s the most exciting part. Research has shown that fresh food loses vitamins and minerals over time, and freezing them preserves these nutrients. You could not only be saving money but also eating healthier too.
Need more help with your cost of living?
Working on a budget is sometimes not enough, and no matter how much savings you make, you can’t cover the costs.
If you are finding yourself in a position where you are getting yourself into debt, then head over to our debt help section to get advice on ways in which you can manage your debt situation.