Following today’s announcement that supermarket chain Morrisons expects the UK’s lorry driver shortage to push up prices this year, senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk, James Andrews, offers up the following tips for shoppers looking to reduce their shopping costs.
“Considering the estimate from industry bodies that the UK is currently experiencing a lorry driver shortage of approximately 100,000, this news has unfortunately not come as a huge surprise.
“While many shoppers will have seen gaps or even empty shelves in UK supermarkets recently, the potential knock-on effect of increased prices will be incredibly concerning for those already struggling to make ends meet.
“Below are a number of ways shoppers can cut down on the cost of their food shopping now, and in preparation of the looming price increases:
1. Make a plan
The last thing you want to do when trying to cut costs is to buy food that ends up in the bin, by planning your meals in advance you know exactly what you will and won’t need during a supermarket visit. Use online recipes, such as Change 4 life, to help you create an affordable and versatile meal plan, and draw up your shopping list from that.
2. Check your cupboards
Before heading to the shops check what you already have in the kitchen to help you keep costs down. This is also a great way to make sure you don’t let anything go out of date or to waste.
3. Only shop from your list and with a full stomach
Supermarkets are designed to make shoppers spend as much as possible, making it easy to be tempted by the deals and snacks on offer. Stick to your shopping list and shop only from that.
It helps if you’ve eaten fairly recently before going food shopping. Snacks or treats that could catch your eye when hungry are less appealing when your stomach is full.
4. Buy in bulk
Stock up for the items you know you’ll use, especially if you see a good deal on and can save money buying in bulk in the long run. For example, it can work out cheaper to buy a whole chicken and roast it yourself at home using the leftovers in the week than just purchasing breasts for one dish.
5. Shop around
Often the price for one item will vary wildly from store to store, as well as the discounts and offers available on key items. Take some time to work out where you can find the cheapest cost for your shopping items and make a habit of going to different stores depending on the type of groceries you need.
6. Stay flexible
If you’re planning one meat lunch, being flexible about which meat means you get to pick the best deal on the day without impacting your meal plan. The good news is that this works for more than just sandwich fillings – having elements that you know you can swap (bread for wraps, one sort of fruit or veg for another etc…) means you can choose the best offer with confidence and make different meals work with the current lack of availability on certain items.