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How to slash the cost of your supermarket shop as average grocery bill soars by £380 a year

GROCERY bills are expected to jump by £380 this year as food price inflation hits a shocking 13-year high, according to new figures.

So here’s how to pinch back the pennies when you’re down the aisles.

The cost of living crisis means many struggle to pay for essential items

New data from Kantar has revealed that grocery price inflation jumped to 8.3% over the four weeks to June 12 – up from 7% in May.

This puts food inflation at its highest level since April 2009, and means the average annual shopping bill is set to rise by £380 to £4,960 in 2022.

As a result, many people are changing their shopping habits in attempts to cut costs, like switching branded items for non-branded ones.

In fact, Kantar found that sales of branded products fell by 1% in the 12 weeks to June 12, while own-label sales rose by 2.9% and value own-label lines surged by 12%.

And branded items aren’t the only thing customers are ditching, as more people head to discounters like Aldi and Lidl instead of Sainsbury’s and M&S.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said own-label sales have been “boosted by Aldi and Lidl’s strong performances, both of whom have extensive own-label repertoires.

“We can also see consumers turning to value ranges, such as Asda Smart Price, Co-op Honest Value and Sainsbury’s Imperfectly Tasty, to save money.”

And if you’re looking for even more ways to make your money spread further when food shopping, here are our top tips.

Yellow stickers

Most supermarkets will slap a yellow sticker on items nearing their expiry date to shift them quicker and reduce food waste.

Yellow sticker items are often in great condition, and in most cases, you can freeze them when you get home to make them last even longer.

Just make sure to time your visit to the store properly, as many shops put their yellow sticker items out at different times, and they get snapped up quickly.

For example, Morrisons tends to reduce items first thing in the morning, while M&S tends to reduce products at night, according to staff members.

We reveal when to visit the stores to grab yellow sticker bargains.

Loyalty schemes

Wherever you shop, chances are there’s a loyalty scheme to make use of.

You may have to download an app, create an account, or register for a free points card to receive offers, but doing so is worth it.

Most loyalty schemes require you to collect points when you shop in store or online.

You can then use the points you’ve collected to redeem money off of your future shops or sometimes at partner companies.

For example, Tesco Clubcard users can triple their points if they choose to redeem them at one of Tesco’s partners, such as Pizza Express.

Check out our handy breakdown of the different loyalty schemes available at each store and what they offer.

And make sure you check whether you have any vouchers that are due to expire so you can use them up.

Check lower shelf prices

Cheaper items, such as own brand and value ranges, are often stored on the bottom shelf at supermarkets.

So you might be able to nab a bargain simply by squatting low.  

According to research by MoneySavingExpert, at eye level you’d pay roughly £1.80 for two cans (90p a can) of Heinz Baked Beans at Morrisons.

But on the bottom shelf, you can grab four cans for £3 (75p a can) or six for £4 (67p a can).

Bulk buy

If you have a lot of mouths to feed, it can be more cost efficient to buy in bulk.

Look out for the price per unit on each item ticket, and compare supermarket promotions.

It might seem more expensive to buy in larger quantities initially, but often, buying bigger multi-packs means the price per unit is reduced.

Keep to products that won’t spoil, such as dried pasta, rice, toiletries and canned foods to avoid any waste.

But if you find an amazing deal on something that won’t keep for very long, you can always bulk buy and freeze it when you get home.

Compare deals

Knowing which supermarket to head to can pay off, so do a quick comparison online before you head to store.

You can do this manually, by adding items to your basket on each supermarket website and see which one comes out cheapest.

Alternatively, websites like Trolley.co.uk are there to do the comparing for you at no cost.

Simply enter the product you’re looking for and the page will bring up the latest prices and deals for a selection of stores.

Wonky fruit and veg

Some supermarkets offer huge discounts on fruit and veg simply because it’s wonky or soon to expire.

For example, Lidl offers customers a 5kg crate of random vegetables that are past their prime for just £1.50, but availability depends on the store.

Still, it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled or speaking to a staff member to double check if your local store is stocking any deals like this.

Food waste apps

Apps such as Olio and Too Good To Go help customers to buy unused food surplus from selected stores for a fraction of the full price.

More than a thousand brands are in partnership with these apps, meaning users have plenty of choice when shopping.

For example, stores such as Tesco, Nisa, Sainsbury’s and Greggs have all jumped on the food waste app bandwagon.

One shopper managed to nab £11.45 worth of treats from Greggs for just £2.59.

Other help you can get with food

If you need extra help with essentials, there are places you can turn to for help.

You may be able to claim free food vouchers as part of the government’s Household Support Fund (HSF).

The HSF has a pot of £500million to be dished out to cash-strapped residents nationwide by October 2022, but you have to make a claim for a slice of the free cash.

The help you can get depends on your local council, but many are giving out food and fuel vouchers as well as free school meal vouchers.

Find your local council here and visit its website directly to see what help is on offer.

If you aren’t eligible for the HSF, you may be able to get help from your local food bank.

Food banks are set up to help those in need with emergency food packages.

Find your nearest one by typing your postcode into the online search bar on The Trussell Trust’s website.

You can’t make a claim at a food bank yourself though, you’ll need to be referred by one of your local community organisations.

Examples of these are schools, GPs, or advice agencies such as Citizens Advice.

Here’s more information on how to get help from your local food bank.

Plus, some parents or expectant mums on low income or benefits are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers.

These could give you up to £442 a year towards food, but have to go towards items such as milk, infant formula and tinned vegetables.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Healthy Start scheme.

Plus, check out our taste tests, where we compare own brand products to branded so you don’t have to.

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How to slash the cost of your supermarket shop as average grocery bill soars by £380 a year