By changing your shopping behaviour and shopping that bit smarter, you can cut your bill in half. Being a savvy food shopper goes beyond couponing.
1. Plan, plan, plan
By keeping an ongoing shopping list in your kitchen and updating it when you run out of certain ingredients, you'll always buy the essentials that you really need.
Before you go on your weekly shop, sit down and look at some recipes online or in your favourite cookbooks. Make a list of what meals you can make with the same ingredients and then plan what you can make for lunch using the leftovers.
Before you set off, give yourself a set budget and stick to it. Make sure you allow yourself some treats on your shopping list and budget for spontaneous purchases.
2. Ditch the trolley and pick up a basket
According to studies, you are 40% more likely to spend more if you shop with a trolley. So if you're doing a quick mid-week shop then stick to a basket - and give your arms a workout, not your wallet!
You'll be more aware of what you're purchasing and as the basket gets heavier, take time to stop and review your shopping - take out non-essentials and impulse buys along the way that you really don't need.
3. Learn to perimeter shop
As you make your way around the supermarket, stick to the outside aisles. It's here you'll find all the staples like meat, vegetables, bread and other's essentials (you'll also find wine and beer on the outside - make of that what you will!) while all the luxuries and expensive treats sit in the middle aisles.
It's also worth doing a straight trip down the central aisles as this is where all the bargains can be found.
4. Downgrade big brands
Unless you particularly love a branded product and can't live without it, it's worth downgrading big-name products to value or supermarket own alternatives.
Value products can be up to three times cheaper and you won't know if it takes any difference without trying it first. Start by switching to an own brand and if you don't notice a difference, switch down the value range. Make a note of what tastes the same and what doesn't.
If you're sceptical, try downgrading these food items first: cleaning products, bathroom essentials, jam, peanut butter, flour, and dairy products.
5. Look...but don't touch!
Experts have found if you touch a product for more than thirty seconds it will increase your feelings of ownership and desire. Unless you really need to touch the item, make the decision on whether you need it by only looking at it. Don't be tempted to pick it up unless you need to read the packaging or you've decided it's definitely going into the basket.
6. Discover the international aisle
You can pick up bags of rice, pulses, spices and beans for half the price if you make an effort to seek out the bargains in the world food aisles. You can pick up chilli and curry powder for a fraction of the cost and it's bound to taste more authentic.
7. Shop for fruit and vegetables at the market
If you have a local market, head down at the end of the day on your way home from work or college. Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper at markets than at the supermarket, and at the end of the day, you have more room to haggle to get a rock-bottom price. The stall holders will want to shift any leftover stock so put your bartering skills to the test.
8. Scan the shelves up and down
Supermarkets place popular items (and the most expensive) in the middle of the shelf close to your eye line.
Don't forget to scan up and down the shelf as it's here you'll find the lesser known brands that may be cheaper or offer more value for money. Don't be afraid to try our a new or foreign brand that you don't recognise - you could find a gem!
9. Re-think your meat
Inevitably, the most popular cuts of meat tend to be the most expensive. Why not experiment with different cuts and save yourself up to £30 a month? Chicken thighs are cheaper than breast, as is pork belly and shin of beef.
Whilst you're re-thinking your meat, try swapping your usual salmon and tuna purchases for cheaper mackerel, kippers, pollock or trout. They're healthy and surprisingly easy to work into a fish dish.
10. Don't be sucked into a BOGOF
Before you get fooled by a 2 for 1 offer, have a look at what alternatives are available. You could still get two of the same product from a different brand for cheaper, or a larger quantity for the same price.
Also, think about whether you'll actually eat or use the item before it goes past best. BOGOFs are fantastic for essentials like refuse sacks, tinned goods and pasta. Don't get perishable items that will only end up in the bin!
Thanks for reading! Do you have any tips on how to keep your shopping bills down?
Please tell us in the comments section below.