From BOGOFs to multi-buys, special offers in supermarkets tempt the majority of shoppers to spend 21% more than they intended to. A new study from the Money Advice Service has revealed these ‘special offers’ are costing us a whopping £1,300 a year! So how can we avoid these misleading offers and in fact save £200 a year?…
According to research from the Money Advice Service, more than three quarters of shoppers (76%) regularly spend more than they mean to on a food shop because they are enticed by special offers and deals – parting with an extra £11.14 on average per shop. With the average person now going to the supermarket more than twice a week, they could be forking out an additional £1,274 over the course of a year.
I constantly get asked by not only followers but the media, ‘Do you end up with things you don’t need?’ It is very easy to sit back and imagine us money-savers to be ‘hoarders’ or that our stockpiles hold 200 toothpaste’s only. I have always tried to prove the point the money-saving is intelligent and thrifty not an un-healthy obsession. I agree that supermarkets are incredibly misleading with offers, I was once told by a cashback app owner that supermarkets will purposefully put the price up of a product to let it go BOGOF and cover the costs. What you need to remember here is that the supermarket are covering their losses, they are not offering you a discounted product they are manipulating your thriftiness by presenting you these ‘bargains’. Shoppers in the UK can be susceptible to influence when walking through the supermarket, with only half (51%) of those who do the weekly shop managing to stick to a budget. Mental state also has a notable effect. Shopping when tired and bored will also result in the average shopper buying three additional items – spending up to £14.53 extra each time.
Now for example with coupons, if I had a coupon to get a free bottle of coke and it was BOGOF in Tesco. This is money-saving because I’m getting 2 bottles with one coupon and I haven’t parted with any psychical cash. What the Money Advice Service are trying to show consumers is that going ‘off list’ and giving into these ‘special offers’ is in fact costing you more rather than helping your bank balance. Preparation is the best way to guard against overspending, I myself will only ever shop online (If I’m not using coupons). This stops me from getting tempted and means I stick to my strict budget and never overspend. Those who always make a shopping list are three times less likely to overspend than those who don’t, spending close to £200 less on groceries over the year. Of those who make a shopping list or work out the meals they’re going to make before they go to the supermarket, most (61%) say it makes them feel more in control of their money.
Seeing a deal at the tills or shopping with children also results in the average shopper spending more. Around a quarter (23%) of shoppers say they will pick something up at the till display – spending an additional £16.28 in the process on average. ‘Pester power’ also adds-up with a similar number of shoppers (26%) giving into their children and buying £15.50 worth of items each time they hit the shops to keep the children happy. Again shopping online defeats these nightmare temptations and let’s face it there are so many online codes now your bound to save on top!
The Money Advice Service asked more than 2,000 consumers to select the best value options when presented with four sets of offers commonly found in the supermarket. Just 2% correctly identified the best deals in all four cases! This is a crazy percentage and proves just how easy it is to fall into the supermarkets lure of offers. So what is the solution? Well I think we all need to take a look at our weekly shopping habits and evaluate what we’re ‘saving’ and what traps we’re falling into. I myself certainly need to, it’s so easy to get excited at these ‘special offers’ but really we’re setting ourselves up for less money at the end of the day. I don’t believe coupons fall into this special offer debate, but I do always remind people only print what you will use, and buy what you know and love otherwise your not saving any money.
For more money saving tips to help you shop smarter visit the Money Advice Service website. This post has been kindly sponsored by the Money Advice Service.