If you are reading this article then there is a good chance that you are trying hard to save yourself some money.
Since our weekly food shop is one of our biggest regular outgoings, it makes sense to try and save as much money as possible in this area. When you go to the supermarket then, you may feel that the best thing you can do is to head straight for the discounts and bargains, as you think that these will obviously save you money.
If you feel this way then you may be shocked to learn that new research recently conducted by the Money Advice Service suggests that, actually, the opposite may be true and that these kinds of special offers might be costing the average consumer money rather than saving it. So, what did the research reveal?
Special Offers Encourage You to Spend
Image Source: Martin Deutsch
One of the reasons why special offers may cost you money rather than saving it is because they encourage you to spend your hard-earned cash on items that you might not ordinarily spend money on.
You may spot a packet of chocolate bars on a buy-one-get-one-free offer for example, but do you really need them? Or, are you just wasting money on an unnecessary luxury?
The research would suggest that this example of a supposed ‘money saving deal’ and many others like it are actually causing people to waste their cash on items that they might not ordinarily buy, causing many shoppers to spend around 21% more on average than they might otherwise do.
Knowing a Good Deal When You See One
Image Source: Dominic Alves
Another problem highlighted by the research is the fact that many people find it extremely difficult to work out whether a discounted deal or special offer item is providing them with good value or not.
This point was proven when the Money Advice Service asked over 2,000 consumers to identify the best value deals when they were presented with four types of offers which are commonly found on supermarket shelves.
When consumers took the test, only 2% of them managed to correctly identify the best deals in all four cases. This really shows just how easy it can be for shoppers to waste money instead of saving it, even though it may seem like they are getting a good deal on the surface of things.
Take a Shopping List
Image Source: Bruce Turner
The above research highlights that the best way to ‘really’ save money when you head to the supermarket is to take a little time beforehand to create a proper shopping list. This way you will only buy the items that you ‘really’ need. Doing this will also help you to plan out your meals so that you won’t waste as much food either.
You can still search for the best deals available on the items you have on your list, but if you know exactly what you need to buy – and more importantly what you don’t – before you head to the supermarket, then the chances of you being lured into an impulse buy will be reduced substantially.
Main Image Source: Jeff Nelson