Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Are you a convenience shopper, impulse buyer or bargain hunter at the supermarket?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 20 March 2017

Which supermarkets are going to be open over the Easter weekend, and when? (stock image)

Which supermarkets are going to be open over the Easter weekend, and when? (stock image)

Archant

According to a What-type-of-shopper-are-you quiz I’ve just taken on the BBC’s Eat Well for Less website, I’m a bargain hunter, writes Sheena Grant,

This is something of a relief. After several months, if not years, of trying to live more thriftily I would have been disappointed if I’d fallen into any other category, especially as the possibilities on offer were ‘throw away’, ‘convenience shopper’, ‘impulse buyer’ and ‘stuck in a rut’.

The website, which accompanies a TV programme of the same name where presenters Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin endeavour to help families save money, sort food facts from food fiction and, well, eat well for less, shows there’s a big appetite (pun intended) out there for cutting food bills.

With good reason too. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average household spends more than £83 on food and (non-alcoholic) drink a week. And with food prices predicted to rise this year because of the post-Brexit referendum weaker pound, things are only likely to get worse.

The reason I decided to take the Eat Well for Less quiz was because I’ve worked hard to save money on food shopping and still it’s one of my biggest expenditures.

I plan meals, make a list, use up or freeze leftovers, don’t buy big-name brands and don’t fall for supermarket promotions masquerading as ‘bargains’. Yet still my weekly spend is around the ONS average, which, in my book, is too high for a thrifty shopper.

Eat Well for Less didn’t really give me any more idea of where I’m going wrong. It suggested working out the best value products by comparing prices per 100g; being selective when buying promotions and cooking and freezing bargain fresh ingredients - all of which I already do.

So this week, I have come up with my own plan to eat well for less.

It’s been a two-pronged attack that began with my main weekly shop. Instead of going to my local supermarket I headed to one of the bargain retailers. My shop came to £50.56, around £15 less than I usually spend. And I was pleased with the quality of produce on offer, especially the fruit and veg, the bakery and deli goods.

Some things cost roughly the same, others were a few pence cheaper but some involved big savings - fish was roughly half the price I usually pay.

The second strand of my saving plan involves the number of ‘top-up’ supermarket trips I make. So far this week, instead of making two or three of those trips I’ve made just one - and, crucially, stuck to buying the basics I went in for without adding any tempting ‘extras’.

As a comparison, I plan to do cost up the same shop at my usual supermarket this week and see how the total compares. I’ll let you know how it goes.

• Thanks to readers who responded to last week’s column about my call from ‘Mr Microsoft’. Richard Tingey says he too had a recent call from ‘Mr Microsoft’. “Unfortunately I was in too much of a hurry to listen to his dribble about all the terrible malware he’d found on my computer,” says Richard.

Roger Fleming says he has not been bothered by such calls recently as BT filters incoming calls.

Peter Byrne, meanwhile, usually tells ‘Mr Microsoft’ he doesn’t have a computer, before putting the phone down. On one occasion, however, the caller turned nasty and made threats. “These people play on the vulnerable,” says Peter. “I would urge everyone to ignore calls from unavailable or international callers.”

Share your tips via email or tweet using #ThriftyLiving

Drivers are advised that it is “highly likely” the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will shut tomorrow morning amid forecasts of 65mph gusts.

A man who was ordered to do unpaid work as part of a suspended prison sentence order for selling cannabis at Latitude music festival was back in court today after breaching the order.

A mental health charity is to take on a historic church in Colchester and the community hub that runs there.

The mother of missing airman Corrie McKeague has said she has not given up the hope of finding her son and her determination in locating him is “as strong as ever.”

Members of a drugs gang which dealt more than £250,000 worth of crack and heroin in Ipswich by exploiting vulnerable addicts have been jailed for a total of 25 years.

Christmas came a litte late for one Bury St Edmunds woman ... in fact two years and a month to be precise.

Ipswich Building Society opened the doors to its new flagship branch in Ipswich town centre today.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24