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Sunday, 07 May 2017 13:14

Budget supermarkets may be the way to reduce those rising food bills

Very soon, our food consumption habits could be changing. For generations, we have always had what we call ‘the basics’ in our fridge – butter, milk, cheese, bread – they have all been permanent fixtures in our fridges for years – until now.

The cost of these ‘everyday’ foods is on the rise again. They have been under the cosh for many years, but they are, again, continuing to creep up to ridiculous levels to a point that people simply can’t afford to buy them anymore. Dairy produce, in particular, is being hit the most with price increases, and worryingly, this could see people not getting the goodness that they need from these items as they simply refuse to add them to their shopping basket.

Of course, we are a finance site so as well as the worrying facts mentioned above, we are concerned about what this could mean for people’s shopping habits – and more importantly – their finances on a weekly basis.

We noticed for the last couple of years that budget supermarkets were doing really well and this continues to be the theme this year as people try to prepare for rising food costs. It is reported that the cost of everyday essentials has risen 2.5 per cent in the last quarter.

So, what can be done to help us with this rising necessary expense? As already mentioned, you may need to trial budget supermarkets and see what you can save. Budget supermarkets typically don’t stack branded goods en masse so it makes it easier to get cheaper alternatives without being lured into snazzy packaging and buying well known goods that can often be triple the price of an unbranded alternative. It isn’t just the price that should be a big player in a decision not to be ripped off by larger supermarkets and their branded food options, recent taste-tests also highlight that many people prefer the quality and taste of unheard of brands. Wines are also a big hit at supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.

So, we’ve established that you should look at budget supermarkets as opposed to big hitters such as Tesco and Asda, and we have also highlighted that unbranded food options might actually be of better quality than the options that we were previously led to believe were the finest out there.

Is there anything else that people can do in order to prepare for food price rises?

 It’s all about identifying habits and changing those habits to ensure that you are maximising your pennies.

Budget, budget, budget. Never spend more than what you have allocated yourself for the weeks’ groceries. Going to a budget supermarket may also help with this as they don’t have as much choice so you will be unlikely to throw anything in the trolley that you don’t really need.

Many experts also recommend shopping alone. Recent research suggests that when you shop alone, you are more likely to just buy the things that you need. When someone is with you, you may be pushed into buying that multipack bag of crisps, or an extra tub of ice cream. It is particularly difficult if you have a toddler with you as they often ask for things to go in the trolley and you duly oblige so that you can get your shopping done in peace. If you want to minimise spending, go alone with a list of your essentials and your budget and stick rigidly to what you have allocated yourself.

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