Supermarkets seem like a place where we end up spending a lot of our hard earned money. However there are ways you could actually save thousands of Ringgit a year. We’ve compiled a list of 15 supermarket shopping tips to help you make the most of your money when shopping.
- Shop online
Doing your grocery shopping online is actually a good way of cutting back on spending because you avoid paying for petrol or parking. Tesco Online provides free delivery when you purchase above a certain amount. Besides that you are able to see your bill before making the payment which allows you to cut back on unnecessary items from the shopping cart.
- Time your shopping
Did you know that you can get better bargains by shopping at certain hours? For example, certain stores heavily reduce items that will go out of date before closing time. Cold Storage has pretty good racks that sell reduced to clear items.
- Don’t shop when hungry
Shopping when hungry means you’ll end up loading your trolley with lots of food. You’re definitely not going to need most of it and it ends up being a waste of money. So grab something to eat before you start shopping to avoid hunger-fueled overspending.
- Write shopping lists
Writing a shopping list is one way of saving your money because it makes you think about what you really need. It avoids you from wandering aimlessly in the store and buying items you don’t need. Try planning your meals for the week to make your shopping even more cost friendly. This way you know exactly what you need and avoids you from making multiple trips to the store.
- Try own name brands
It is not necessary to stick to famous brands and fancy packaging for everything that you purchase. Many of the supermarkets’ own brands make the same or better quality products with the branded ones at a fraction of the price. So try out these own name brands and you’d be surprised to see how you can’t spot the difference.
- Take your own carrier bags
Why spend more on plastic bags when you can load your groceries on reusable carrier bags? It may seem like a small amount to pay per shopping trip but when accumulated, spending on plastic bags can actually amount to a considerable sum.
- Use loyalty cards
Many supermarkets offer a loyalty scheme such as AEON membership card, whereby they’ll offer you points on your purchases that can then be redeemed when shopping in the future. Just don’t forget to bring along those vouchers or coupons you get from the points you collected during your next shopping.
- Look for online vouchers and deals
Online sites like BigSale gives you information on the latest deals happening in almost all big supermarkets in Malaysia. That way you can do a quick search on which shops are giving the best deals before you head out.
- Buy in bulk
It’s normally cheaper to buy items for your pantry in bulk. Ask family members if they need similar items that you’re buying so that you can split the cost with them and that can save you even more.
- Don’t be loyal
Being loyal is a mistake that most people make when food shopping and location can be a large part of that. If you only choose a single supermarket to do your shopping, you may not realise that you could be saving up at least RM 10 per week for the same items elsewhere (which amounts to RM 480 per year)
- Get in and out quickly
It’s a well known fact that supermarkets are trying to get more of your money and the longer you stay in the store the better for them. Ignore the fact they’re offering taste tests or whatever else because these are all tricks to get you to stay inside longer.
- Know the items you have at home
Getting to know what’s actually in your cupboards is important because no one wants to be buying the same thing twice. You’ll save money if you know exactly what you’re short on.
- Send it back
Many products in supermarkets now have the option where if you’re unhappy with the product, you can send it back for a refund. Use this service when you are not satisfied with a product because why waste your money on something you wouldn’t want to use.
- Don’t waste
There’s a difference between a ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ date. Not knowing the difference means you are likely to throw away perfectly fine food unnecessarily.’Use-by’ dates mean do not use after this date and best before’ dates mean food is usually still OK to eat after this date so just check the food first.
- Be careful with special offers
We all love the feeling when we’re able to bag a good sale. However ask yourself if you truly need the items bought. A good buy is only worth it if you will be using it. The same goes for offers like 3 for 1 because they tend to be more expensive and will you be using all three?