/ Food & Drink, Shopping

Are you loyal to your supermarket?

Snake with apple illustration

Many supermarkets engage in fierce battles to win customers over with the best deals. Are you loyal to your supermarket, or would you switch at the prospect of a truly tempting offer?

I understand the lure of the big, brightly coloured special offer signs. When I’m doing my weekly shop, it’s very difficult not to be drawn towards ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions and ‘3 for 2’ deals. I used to do a lot of my shopping based on what was on offer that week, but I soon found that I was still spending too much money and ending up with products I didn’t really need.

Buy one get one free supermarket deals

So I’ve tried to be more disciplined recently, writing a list, actually bringing it with me and then doing my best to stick to it. It’s not always easy, but I find that I’m now wasting less food and the cost of my weekly shop is fairly predictable. I shop at the same supermarket each week, so I know what’s available and roughly how much I will need to spend.

I’ve become pretty hardy to promotions, but there’s one special offer that I can never resist. Those extravagant ‘Dine in for £x’ deals. Oh, how they tempt me. When I hear that a local supermarket has a dinner for two deal, I forget all my good intentions and my loyalty. It’s as if the box of chocolates (or more often, the bottle of wine, as there are hardly ever any chocolates left) is luring me with its siren call.

It would appear that I’m not alone in my weakness for a good deal. A recent report has found that 94% of UK consumers would ditch their regular supermarket if better deals were available elsewhere.

Worrying about the cost of food

So many of us are looking to save money, and food shopping can make up a significant dent in the household budget. Our latest research has found that more than four in 10 people are cutting back their spending on food this month, and with food prices in the nation’s top three worries, it’s no surprise we’re taking this action.

There is plenty of competition between the supermarkets as it is, with a seemingly never-ending battle to prove who is the best at saving you money. But could there be room for one more?

Stelious plans no-frills EasyFood

Sir Stelious Haji-Ioannou, the founder of EasyJet, has announced his plans to create a low-cost supermarket called EasyFoodstore. Pitched in the price niche below Aldi and Lidl, a truly no-frills supermarket could really shake up the market.

I’m intrigued to see what the EasyFoodstores will be like, so I’ll probably check out the first branch when it opens in South London. If the prices are really low, I might even throw caution to the wind and not bring a shopping list!

Do you consider yourself loyal to your regular supermarket? If you heard about a better deal elsewhere, would you swap supermarkets or is quality more important to you than price?


We rate food quality important in our choice of supermarket, and we stick with the same one, taking advantage of offers that are useful to us – including £10 meal deals which are genuinely good value if you like wine! So for food, we would not switch for cheapness. However, in doing a weekly shop, we do sometimes buy more than is necessary, generally if catering for a party or expected family visits.
Our daughters are better in this respect – they shop online and tell us that by watching their basket total as they shop, and editing it to remove unecessary items, they are much better able to keep within their budget and only buy what they need. The downside with one supermarket is short sell-buy dates, whereas another delivers the dates you would select yourself.


Before I moved to London I did my supermarket shopping online, as I lived quite far from the local supermarkets and I don’t have a car.

I have to agree with your daughters’ experiences – having that awareness of the total cost of your shop is very helpful. Plus being able to quickly re-order your usual items is a big time saver. I did have trouble with use by dates, and I actually stopped buying meat online because I was tired of it being at the end of its shelf life when it reached me.

Another advantage to shopping online is that the special offers are easier to avoid/ignore, so I wasn’t tempted to buy more than I needed to.


I’m only loyal to Tesco as its 0.77 miles away, I’ll sometimes use Sainsbury (2.4) but the nearest lidl is 7 + , ASDA 8 and Aldi 11+ miles away, so they’re not really viable. Although I do sometimes buy online from ASDA (when they have the right offers)

But before I go shopping I usually try to check out what I’m hoping to buy from mysupermarket dot com just to make sure I go to the cheapest, or wait until its back on offer at Tesco/Sainsbury.

But when checking prices online, just remember that not all online offers are available in store (as confirmed by ASDA, Tesco and Sainsburys) and price changes typically occur the day before online to correspond with the next possible delivery date.

richard says:
8 August 2013

I shop on line – fast – convenient and cheap – But prefer Sainsburys food – So I shop Sainsburys on-line reliable delivery service – but I would like the stock to be more automatically up dated.- it is annoying to order something which is in stock when I order and yet find it out of stock when they deliver next day.


When you have dietary needs, you don’t have loyalty to any one supermarket.
Take milk for example, 1 litre of milk alternative is around 3 times the price of normal milk and when 2 people in the household drink the alternative it gets expensive, so I usually shop where it is on offer and stock up.


If Tesco read this, why do I not get any benefit from your loyalty card? Why do the vouchers have an expiry date?
I have to go out of my way to go to a Tesco store so don’t go that often so any vouchers that I have are usually useless. I have earned them haven’t I?

Doreen says:
9 August 2013

We have to go 25 miles to a reasonable supermarket, and naturally we’re outside their delivery area for on-line shopping. In any case we shop in the reduced for quick sale section, which isn’t available on-line. By combining trips with our daughter, and other things that need to be done in town, and only going every couple of weeks, it’s worth while. And we trade our Tesco vouchers in for deals such as hotel vouchers or restaurant vouchers, which is a lot more worthwhile. All in all we manage to squeeze our money out a long way, just as well as we are retired.


I don’t know if ‘loyal’ is the word I’d use about my supermarket. I won’t hesitate to pop in to the nearest one if I need some bits and bobs, but I definitely have my favourites. The supermarket I’ve settled on has been chosen based on:

Price: On the mid-to-cheaper range of the spectrum.
Proximity: Within a ten minute drive – reasonable enough.
Size: It’s enormous. This makes it easy enough to navigate without constantly bumping into people.
Range: Being so large, it has lots of different ranges. I can get almost everything I ever need here.
Food quality: The food here definitely isn’t the best, but it’s still a lot better than the worst. For meat and everyday essentials, it’s absolutely fine.

We’ll often go to a different supermarket if we know they have a particularly good offer on bigger-ticket items we buy a lot of (like cat food, for example), but I will go out of my way to travel to my preferred supermarket where possible.

On the dine for £10 offers – they don’t do it for me at all! I don’t drink wine, and I can knock up a tasty, hearty meal for a fiver with no problems.