Have ever walked out of a supermarket with some GREAT DEALS but by the time you got home you’ve realised that you’ve spent way more than you had intended? You thought you were saving money but instead your budget is completely blown?
A new study has confirmed what many of us, already know: Supermarkets are the experts at getting us to spend more money than we intend to!
In the study, it was found that special offers make us spend £1300 more per year. That’s 21% more than we intend to!
The research comes from the Money Advice Service, which found more than three quarters of shoppers (76%) regularly spend more on food than they planned because of all the special offers presented to them in-store, leaving the supermarket having spent an extra £11.14 on average.
Even those who try to work out if something really is a good deal often find it hard to calculate, with the value of a single item versus an item in a multipack causing them to fall into a maths trap.
The study asked more than 2,000 consumers to select the best value options when presented with four sets of offers commonly found in the supermarket. Only 2% correctly identified the best deals in all four cases.
The results also showed differences between the genders. Women tend to go for snacks such as chocolate or sweets (60% vs 51% of men) and baked goods (43% vs 35%) — whereas men are more likely to buy meat (26% vs 21% of women), alcohol (27% vs 17%) and ready meals (24% vs 19%).
How To Keep Your Food Budget Under Control
Don’t shop when tired
Shopping when tired and bored will also result in the average shopper buying three additional items – spending up to £14.53 extra each time.
Make a shopping list
Preparation is the best way to guard against overspending. Those who always make a shopping list are three times less likely to overspend than those who don’t, spending close to £200 less on groceries over the year. Of those who make a shopping list or work out the meals they’re going to make before they go to the supermarket, most (61%) say it makes them feel more in control of their money.
Check Like With Like
When it comes to checking prices, look at the price per unit or compare the prices of similar weight products to make sure you are getting value for money.
Don’t shop with your kids if possible
‘Pester power’ can add to your bill. 26% admitted to giving into their children and buying £15.50 worth of items each time they hit the shops to keep the children happy.
Don’t shop with an empty stomach
After special offers, close to six in 10 (59%) shoppers say shopping on an empty stomach makes them spend more.
John Penberthy-Smith, Customer Director for the Money Advice Service comments:
“The problem is that quite often we see a special offer at the supermarket and we don’t want to miss out – so we throw it into our trolley without really thinking about whether it is a good deal or whether we actually need it. “Often deals can be difficult to understand and compare with other prices. Then there’s waste – even if the offers are cheaper, bigger packets or 50% extra are not always good value for money if we end up chucking most of it away. The best thing to do if you want to save cash is to write a shopping list and try to stick to it. You can also try shopping when you’ve just eaten and you’re not tired. Just remember, buying own brands and being savvy when it comes to tempting ‘offers’ will save you money in the long run.”
For more money saving tips to help you shop smarter visit the Money Advice Service website.