Getting the best buys at your local supermarket can be challenging. Shopping around and following these tips will help you feed your family well while still saving money.

Watch for rewards programmes

Some stores have rewards programmes that can add up to big savings, but you have to understand how they work. For example, some major supermarkets offer rewards programmes that allow you to double or even quadruple a voucher if you’re a member. This can help you save many pounds at the checkout.

Other stores offer discounts to members only. These programmes are almost always free to join and you can make significant savings with them.

Know reduced item times

Most stores have reduced items sections. Know what time they are discounted and shop then. Typically, the times are 12 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm and 9pm. Meat, bakery items and other perishables are going to be quite affordable here.

Compare weekly advertisements

You can save big by carrying out a supermarket price comparison, but driving from store to store adds to the travel costs. The solution is to check out advertisements to see what stores have bargains on this week. Then, plan to visit the store with the biggest bargains on the items you use the most.

Do not, however, go to all of the major stores to stock up on their sale items every week. You may be cutting your grocery bills, but the fuel costs will quickly eat up any savings. Instead, buy the best bargains of the week at one store and then the staple items you need at a low price retailer.

Compare prices accurately

Retailers can sometimes trick you into buying something by changing the packaging. They discount the price on a product you regularly buy, but they also lower the quantity the packet contains.

In order to counter this common marketing technique, while still saving money, learn to compare not the price per packet, but rather the price per gram or per 100 grams. This will give you an accurate picture of what one store is really charging compared to the next.

Shop for different brands

You can save up to 30% on the cost of your shopping trolley if you learn to buy a new brand. While you are comparing the price from store to store, be sure to also check the price from brand to brand.

Often, buying one brand level lower than what you are accustomed to enables you to achieve cost savings without a huge lowering of the quality you enjoy. For instance, if you regularly buy the top brand, buy the normal one, but not the store’s own brand.

Remember, you may not like the lower cost brand and that is fine, switch back. However, you may find that you cannot tell the difference and you can switch permanently to continue saving money.

The best way to save money at the supermarket is to shop around. Go to several stores, use an online supermarket price comparison guide and shop different brands to lower your total bill every week. Over time, you will find that you are spending less money on groceries, which you can then put towards fun family days out or other more exciting purchases.

Author Bio: Andrea Vaned writes for MyFamilyClub, the UK’s first website dedicated solely to saving, managing and making money for families. The website brings together all the best ways to save money with weekly supermarket price checks, deals and voucher codes; manage money with tools like budget planners and a pre-paid MasterCard; and make money with useful guides, eBooks and eCourses.

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