Supermarket bills rise £837 as shoppers face record high food inflation – how to save now | The Sun
SHOPPERS have seen the cost of their food shop hit another record high.
Supermarket inflation hit 17.5% in the month to March 19 – which works out at an annual increase of £837 for the average household.
It means families are forking out an additional £16 every week to buy the same products as last year, according to research firm Kantar.
The sale of own-label value products increased by 15.8% as shoppers look to make savings.
It comes as the UK's inflation rate rose unexpectedly in February to 10.4%, sending the costs of essentials soaring.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Unfortunately, it’s more bad news for the British public, who are experiencing the ninth month of double-digit grocery price inflation.
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“However, shoppers are taking action and clearly hunting around for the best value."
Shoppers are now turning to multiple supermarkets to find the best bargains and using loyalty card schemes in a bid to save cash.
But customers are keen not to let the high prices get in the way of Easter celebrations, with sales of Easter eggs up 6% on last year.
Sales of hot cross buns are also up 5%.
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A shortage of vegetables on supermarket shelves last month also appeared to have had little effect on shoppers.
Some big chains like Asda and Aldi bought in limits on how many items shoppers could buy.
But the number of baskets containing tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers across the ten major supermarkets remained at 17% – the same as in February.
Meanwhile, Which? revealed that the cost of some everyday groceries has more than doubled over the last year.
It found that prices increased most at Lidl, followed by Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and then Ocado.
Everyday items – including milk, meat and fruit – were hit the hardest by inflation.
How can I find the best deals in the supermarket?
Get a loyalty card
Signing up for a supermarket loyalty card can often help you to get cheaper prices on essentials.
If you have a loyalty card, you may find you can get extra points or discounts, particularly if you buy petrol from the same supermarket.
The Sun compared the best supermarket loyalty cards in this handy guide.
Asda is the latest supermarket to promise shoppers extra perks, bringing it in line with Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
But it's worth comparing loyalty schemes – and remember you don't have to stay loyal, despite the name.
Know when to shop
Heading to the shops when products are marked down and bright yellow discount stickers are applied can save you serious dough.
If you shop in the evening, you are more likely to find goods that have been marked down.
But each branch of a supermarket will have its biggest discounts at slightly different times of the day.
We put together a handy guide to what time supermarkets including Aldi, Asda, Tesco and Lidl reduce their prices.
Take note of unit prices
Unit prices are meant to make it easier for shoppers to compare similar items of different sizes.
You should be able to see the unit price of the product where its price tag is shown – it may be in the small print.
Compare this with the unit price of a similar item – for example, the cost per 100ml or two different types of cola – and chose the item with the lowest unit cost.
Stores are obligated to show unit pricing, under legislation known as the Price Marking Order 2004.
With this in mind, paying close attention to the unit prices of the staples in your shopping trolley could save you a fortune in the long term.
Make a list and take stock
One of the most common mistakes shoppers make is going out underprepared.
Always do a stock take before going shopping.
It will stop you from buying what you already have and it's amazing how many great recipes can be made from a few store cupboard items already sitting there.
Making a list will help to stay focused on getting the items that you really need, rather than being drawn into impulse purchases.
Another tip is to choose a smaller trolley – or a basket, if possible – to shop with.
A bigger trolley will look emptier even after you've finished trawling the aisles, and can encourage you to pick up more items.
Check out the world food aisle
Most supermarkets have a world food aisle stacked up with cupboard staples that are usually cheaper than elsewhere in the shop.
World food aisles typically have great value options on herbs and spices, as well as essentials like tinned tomatoes and chickpeas at lower costs.
The items found in the aisle are essentially the same, they are just labelled a little differently and with brands we are less familiar with.
Most of us are guilty of missing out on this "hidden" aisle when we do the weekly shop, so it's definitely worth checking it out.
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Strange-shaped fruit and vegetables taste the same but cost less.
For example, Morrisons sells wonky veg products from 39p, while Lidl’s £1.50 Too Good To Waste boxes contain a whopping 5kg of fruit and vegetables that may be slightly damaged or discoloured but is still perfectly good to eat.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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