High rates of inflation have taken their toll on household budgets which has seen an increasing number of families turn to the likes of Aldi and Lidl for their weekly shop. There is no doubt that these shops offer a cheaper shopping experience but clearly one which is not so aesthetically pleasing. If you like the sound of the prices but are put off by the experience then there are ways to make savings without deserting your usual store.
Tricks of the Trade
The fact is that most consumers will spend far more than they need to every time they enter a supermarket and that is because the retailers are using every trick in the book to make sure that they do. The easiest way to save money on your shopping is to be aware of the ploys and ensure that you are immune to them.
The first and most visually obvious trick is the use of large wobbly red signage. The red colour attracts us because we associate it with discounts and the movement of the signs draws the eye. When shopping you must adopt a blinkered approach and ignore any of the signs that are there to distract you from your intended targets.
The colour red is also used in labelling to give the impression of a lower price but there isn’t always a preferential price on offer for the goods. The only safe way to ensure that you are getting the best deal is to ignore the labels on the food and divert your eyes to the smaller white labels on the shelves which will tell you what price per litre or per 100g that the final price represents. Checking these labels can be quite a shock as you find that larger packs are not always the best value and neither are special offers.
Far Reaching Gaze
Lowering your gaze or reaching for the stars will also help you overcome another supermarket ploy. Leading brands pay big bucks to have their products displayed at eye level making them the most prominent in the store. The cheapest choices are often lurking somewhere near the floor or almost out of reach so look carefully and compare the prices by weight or volume to uncover the best deal.
Talking of brands don’t be succoured by them either. The big names often come with the biggest price tags and yet the quality of supermarket own brands and cheaper varieties is often as good or better and these products will certainly be cheaper. This is largely how Aldi and Lidl keep their prices low. They don’t mess so much with brands and simply offer their own good versions of the products.
Shoppers should also render themselves immune to the concept of a special offer or multi-buy. Such offers are merely indicative that the usual price for the goods is either inflated or only in situ for a limited period of time. Just consider the adverse publicity regarding wine sales recently. Research revealed that all those discounted bottles and 3 for £10 offers were for the most part available only on wines which had higher prices for a very limited time. In other words the special offer price is the usual price and the wine isn’t as high quality as you think. Supermarkets play so many games with wine that their offering is best avoided in favour of a specialist where you will get a much more balanced view of the true values.
Making big savings is simple. Plan what you need in advance and stick to your list. Avoid the brands and examine the labelling carefully to identify the cheapest option. Find a pair of glasses that prevent you from seeing red!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer who tries to save as much cash aspooible on her weekly shop