Best Hacks For Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student

Best Hacks For Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

January 6, 2021

Studying abroad can be expensive if you are not prudent with your money. As a young adult, studying overseas will really test your money management skills. There will be several instances in your study abroad journey where you will have the opportunity to party with your friends. Sure, it sounds fun, but a night out with friends can severely impact your bank account. This is why it is imperative that you find ways to save money on other avenues so that you can blow off some steam whenever you want to. This is where grocery budget hacks can really help you.

After tuition fees and accommodation expenses, grocery shopping forms the next major chunk of your student budget. This article talks about the many ways you can save money by shopping for groceries on a budget. So, let’s dive into some hacks on shopping for groceries on a budget that will help you during your time in the UK. 

Branded Or Unbranded | Grocery Budget Hacks

It can be very tempting to pay the big bucks for branded products but are they really worth it? Most students studying in the UK prefer going for the very best, top of the line, own-label products, with the difference in price between ‘branded’ and ‘unbranded’ being humongous. It’s a common fact that just because a branded item costs more, doesn’t mean it’s a better product. We recommend you start cutting down on the number of branded products you purchase and instead, add unbranded products to your cheap healthy grocery list. This grocery shopping hack can help you save a small fortune.

Beware Of Supermarket Tricks | Grocery Shopping Hacks

Best Hacks For Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student

Supermarkets are notorious for employing tricks that will lead customers to purchase more of their products. We can’t really blame them, because, like any other business, supermarkets will try their best to get the most money from you, even if it means using some sneaky psychological trade secrets. But lucky for you, you’re about to learn some of the most common tricks used by supermarkets to make you splurge your cash. Read on. 

Eye-Level Products – While shopping for groceries on a budget, supermarkets often place their most profitable items in the aisle at eye level. This psychologically makes you think these are the better products in the store, and more often than not, you fall for it. We recommend that you look around, or more specifically up and down, to spot a better deal slightly out of sight.

Ambiguous Signs – One of the main tricks used by supermarkets is placing unclear signs near products in order to trick you into buying products that might not actually be on sale. So, next time you pick up an item, make sure to check the shelf labels for prices to ascertain the food you picked up is actually on sale. Knowing this is one of the best grocery hacks you need!

99p Pricing – Most consumers are psychologically driven to products that cost £0.99. The one penny discount makes us think as though we’ve spotted a bargain. Beware of such sneaky pricing tricks and always check to see what you’re really getting for your money.

Spread Out Essentials – You must have noticed that essentials like milk, cheese, butter, eggs and bread are always located at the back of a grocery store. This does not happen by chance. Supermarkets do this on purpose so that you find plenty of distractions as you go on your way to pick up the more essential groceries. We recommend you adopt a ‘tunnel-vision’ approach while grocery shopping on a budget. 

There’s No Harm In Wonky! 

“Wonky produce”, or simply, imperfect produce, are a great way to save money on grocery trips if you can’t be bothered about how your tomatoes are shaped! As you’ve probably guessed by now, funnily shaped produce often costs less than regular produce. When grocery shopping on a budget, there are many perfectly edible fruit and vegetables that are sold at a lower price than normal ones just because of their shapes. You could get great deals on anything ranging from a strangely shaped carrot or a strangely coloured apple. Though they don’t look as presentable as their normal counterparts, “wonky fruit and veg” are almost 40% cheaper, making them an absolute must-have during your shopping for groceries on a budget.

Big Trolleys = Big Spending | Grocery Shopping Hacks

Best Hacks For Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student

Let’s be honest for a second. Trolleys are super fun. This is exactly what supermarkets want you to think, while you keep piling on stuff in that beautiful big trolley of yours. By increasing the size of trolleys, supermarkets essentially make you wonder if you’ve shopped enough or not. There’s always that nagging thought of “What if I run out of supplies this week. Better get some more, as there’s enough trolley space anyway”. This is why you should carry an essential grocery list on a budget so that you know what to pick up and not be swayed by that huge space in your trolley. Big trolleys also make it difficult to navigate around narrow aisles, which inadvertently, makes you stop and buy unnecessary items! You’ve been warned.

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Opt For Cheaper Protein 

Poultry is often the most expensive item while shopping for groceries on a budget. High priced cuts of meat like beef steak and chicken breast can be swapped with cheaper, tasty alternatives on a student grocery list like ground beef and chicken thighs. This allows you to cut down on the cost of protein without sacrificing quality. This is one of the best ways you can lower the cost of shopping for groceries on a budget. If you really want to save money on your grocery trips, then you should consider cutting down on meat entirely. You can replace meat in your diet with vegetables that work out much cheaper. Another top tip that we can give you on shopping for groceries on a budget, is to follow the #MeatFreeMonday hashtag on Twitter to find some delicious meat-free meals that are cheap and tasty. 

Cook Your Own Food At Home

Wondering how to food shop on a budget? Cook your own food! Over a third of the average food spend for the typical UK household goes towards either eating out or ordering takeaways. A lot of this can be avoided by cooking meals at home. It can be tricky to find the time to cook your own meals while at university, but doing so, will save you a lot of money. There are many awesome money-saving meals that you can replicate at home at a fraction of the cost you pay at fancy restaurants. Additionally, opting for a healthy grocery list on a budget, will also save you money and keep you in good health. 

Plan Your Weekly Shopping Trips

Have a well laid out plan to know exactly what you need from the supermarket before you make the trip. A uni student food shopping list can be endless but it is also advisable to make a budget (and stick to it), prepare an essential grocery list on a budget, and identify the top supermarkets or grocery stores in your area. By planning your weekly shopping trips, you can cut down on food wastage and help spread out your ingredients throughout the week.

Best Hacks For Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student

For help regarding which supermarket offers the best value for your money, take a look at the table below. The cost of 74 own-label and branded items at leading supermarkets in the UK –

Supermarket Cost
Aldi £66.45
Lidl£67.17
Asda£74.12
Tesco£82.11
Morrisons£84.73
Sainsbury’s£87.45
Ocado£100.16
Waitrose£105.25

As a student in the UK, it makes sense to shop for groceries on a budget at discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Asda, on the other hand, is the cheapest supermarket out of the “big 4”. A uni student food shopping list can be extensive but with the above hacks you can have control over your splurge and save quite a lot of money.

If you liked our blog on “Best Hacks On Shopping For Groceries On A Budget As A Student” then check out our student self help hacks below!

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