The governor of the Bank of England has described the possibility of food prices rising even further as a “major worry”. Andrew Bailey, who apologised for sounding “apocalyptic” with his comments, cited the war in Ukraine and food supply issues as some of the reasons for surging prices.
The development signals another blow for millions of UK households, who find their finances stretched due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.
With food prices going up, it’s vital to slash costs and save wherever you possibly can, especially with your weekly supermarket shop.
James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at money.co.uk, said: “Food prices are rising, with everything from global supply chain issues, European war and soaring energy costs making goods more expensive.
“While none of those are things you can control, if your normal weekly shop is starting to look unaffordable there are ways you can make significant savings at the supermarket – as long as you plan ahead and shop smart.
- Use loyalty schemes to get ahead. Sainsbury’s Nectar and Tesco Clubcards let you collect points as you spend, which can be redeemed for discounts. Tesco has also introduced ‘Clubcard Prices’, with members paying less for some products on the shelves. As both are free to sign up to, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the savings on offer.
- Vouchers and discount codes can also be used to shave valuable pounds and pennies off your bill. They’re often made available to parents and caregivers to help with food costs at major stores. Check with your local authority or your child’s school to see if you’re eligible.
- Discount codes and introductory offers can also cut your bill. Look for them on supermarket websites or in the store magazines at the shop’s entrance and exit. Grab a copy while you’re there and scour for any deals.
- If you shop online, you can compare prices more easily. By putting together a basket on the main sites, you can compare the total bills (before paying) to see which is cheapest. Just make sure you include any delivery costs.
- If you can vary the time of day you shop at, ask in your local store when they generally start putting out discount stickers. By heading to the store then you could end up getting big reductions on what you need.
- Before going to the shop, do a full inventory of your fridge and store cupboards to check what you already have and what’s close to expiry. Use these items as the basis of a meal plan for the week and get the rest of the ingredients at the supermarket to cut down on waste.
- Our final tip sounds obvious but it’s too important to overlook – make a budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend before arriving at the shop and plan your meals with a list, then tot your items up as you go along. If not, it’s easy to end up spending an additional £20 or £30.
“While these methods can help you save, it’s important to remember that no amount of savvy shopping or clever cooking can feed a family for £0.
“If your finances are stretched to the point that you’re struggling to afford food, you need to find your local foodbank. The largest foodbank organisation in the UK is the Trussell Trust, with over 1,200 centres across the country. Use their website to find your local foodbank.
“For more tips and tricks on chopping the price of your weekly shop, use money.co.uk’s handy guide: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/10-ways-to-cut-the-cost-of-your-weekly-shop.htm.”