/ Food & Drink, Money, Shopping

Is supermarket shopping putting a strain on your budget?

A shopping trolley filled with coins

The major supermarkets have announced their quarterly sales results this week. With prices on the rise, are you cutting back on food spending? Do you feel that you’re paying a fair price at the checkout?

Tesco and Sainbury’s have announced increased sales over the Christmas period. As reliance on supermarkets seems to be growing and budgets are stretched, many of us are probably questioning whether we’re paying a fair price for our weekly shop.

I’ve been counting the cost of my Christmas spending and taking a fresh look at my budget. It’s clear to see that food is taking up more and more of my spending each month, but I don’t think I’m buying more than I used to.

Food, glorious food

Our latest research found that four in 10 people are planning to cut back on food and groceries over the next few months. We also discovered that three-quarters are worried about rising food prices.

Surely the supermarkets can help make things better? The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has published saddening figures about food waste, with one likely cause being buy-one-get-one free offers. It seems as though many of us buy food on a multibuy offer, only to find that we can’t eat it all before the expiry date.

Multibuy mayhem

It would be a lot simpler to shop on a budget in supermarkets if it was easy to spot genuine bargains. Faced with multibuy offers, I sometimes struggle to work out if I’m getting value for money because the unit prices are not displayed consistently.

I often forget to bring my own shopping bags, so the chances of me also remembering to bring a calculator are pretty slim.

We need the supermarkets to have clear policies on special offers. They should be easy-to-understand and a genuine bargain.

Are you expecting to cut back on food spending this year? Does your supermarket make it easy for you to spot the best offers and save money?

Are you planning to cut your spending on food and drink this year?

No (45%, 110 Votes)

Yes (40%, 98 Votes)

I'm not sure (16%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 249

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xmasong says:
10 January 2013

There is rarely any mention of the effect of supermarket policies on smal households (pensioners, singletons etc). BOGOFs & family sized packages, especially of perishable foods, mean that they are foced to over-buy. In small flats or bungalows this may well cause storage problems as well as monotonous menus made from stale foods, or they are forced to throw away the food.

I’m sure I remember my mother telling me that, a couple of years ago, her local Tesco would honor their BOGOF offer if you bought the items on separate occasions. So if she wanted some a bag of oranges and they were on offer, she could buy a bag one week and, when she went back the next week, she was able to get the 2nd bag free.
I don’t think they do this any longer but at the time I remember her saying it really cut down on the amount of fresh food she was having to throw away.

Mikko says:
21 January 2013

Why no mention made of the huge profits that supermarkets make?
If they were content to make a small profit after all expenses (and why shouldn’t they be?), I’m sure we’d see a welcome drop in prices.

Has anyone else noticed that the “Bigger pack, better value” (or equiv) packs are being re-branded ? Either different wording ( e.g. Crunchy Nut now has The Big One or The Biggest One – this used to be Best Value). Clover has no such claims on its larger box now. And it’s all I suspect due to the fact that supermarkets can’t be bothered to ensure those claims ( which they are obliged under law) are correct.