Are you a savvy supermarket shopper?

Some tips to help you find ways of beating the budget!

The cost-of-living crisis has impacted our spending habits. Many of us have felt the pinch thanks to the fluctuating costs of fuel, energy and food. These price rises have been attributed to Brexit red tape, labour shortages, profiteering fuel companies, the war in Ukraine and now the disruption in the Red Sea impacting shipping costs. We’ve even faced vegetable shortages caused by climate change, while UK farmers are producing less crop due to surging energy costs. 

One thing is certain, we are all in this together. So, we’ve compiled some tips to help you find ways of beating the budget.

What do you think?

Before we reveal the answer, which supermarket do you find offers the best value for money? Have your say in the poll below, and see who else agrees with you!

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Shop at the cheapest supermarket

Which? tracks the prices the main supermarkets – and they’ve reported some leapfrogging in terms of the ‘cheapest supermarket’ accolade. Did you know that up until 2019 Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Asda were regular winners? Since the 2020’s, Aldi and Lidl seem to alternate on the top spot. However, as the cost of living heated up, so too did the competition. In 2023 Tesco hit the ‘cheapest supermarket’ headlines, resulting in Morrisons slashing prices.

Cut to February 2024, Morrisons launched a campaign to tell customers it offers the same or cheaper prices than discounters Aldi and Lidl, echoing similar marketing drives by Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. Could this be an indicator of the future?

So far this year, Aldi is holding onto its number one spot. So, how is this calculated? The Which? team purchase a basket of the same 47 items at each supermarket. Aldi’s basket came in at £75.61, versus Waitrose price of £101.14.

Be loyal to everyone

Years ago, you may consider Tesco or Sainsbury’s as your regular grocery haunt, after all Nectar Points and Clubcard vouchers could add up to free shopping or a day out.

However, as most supermarkets try to understand our new spending habits, more are asking shoppers to sign up to loyalty schemes (even Aldi has one now). They are tracking the most popular purchases and seasonality, but most are offering discounts in return for your data.

  • Lidl Plus App customers get 30% off bakery items from 7pm to close.
  • Alternate your supermarket between Sainsburys and Tesco to make the most of hefty loyalty card discounts on items, from coffee, to wine, and more.
  • Save £4 on a takeaway coffee with a myWaitrose card, which offers a hot drink as a freebie.
  • Tesco Clubcard members save up to 6% on a basket, and you can turn Clubcard vouchers into a free meal at family favourites like Pizza Express.
  • If you’re on the hunt for Easter eggs, you’ll find that Tesco are selling them cheaper if you have a Clubcard, so start your chocolate shopping now.

You can also pick up supermarket items for a fraction of their price via the Too Good To Go app.

Inflation-bust your cooking

In the year to January 2024, food prices rose by 7%. While news channels report a dip in food inflation, that ‘dip’ is generally based on hugely inflated figures over the past two years. These figures don’t always paint a clear picture: food prices are still rising, just not at the same rate seen previously. Indeed, there predictions that prices of food will actually continue to rise throughout 2024.

Whether you’re cooking using ingredients or prefer a ready meal, it can be sensible to consider how inflation-heavy your shopping basket is. This table shows the highest price rises (for 12 months to January 2024) of items you could try to avoid, and perhaps try some interesting, cheaper alternatives:

Savvy spenders are opting for more frozen food instead of fresh, with frozen chicken, pizza, chips and ready meals some of the most popular items in our baskets. It‘s worth considering switching, as frozen fruit and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and frozen food can be cheaper and last longer, while seeing you through any shortages.

Who is Howden?

Howden is a British insurance broker that takes great pride in delighting and caring for our clients. Howden was founded by David Howden and two of his friends in London in 1994. Since then, it has grown to be one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers, with a branch network that serves local people, locally.

We’re not only on a mission to help you save money on your insurance, but we’re always thinking of ways we can help our clients beat the cost-of-living crisis. We have published a free money savings e-book full of handy hints and tips covering vehicle costs, direct debits, scams, household budgets and more. Download your copy and start saving.

Find out more about Howden at, or find your local branch. Pop in, or just pick up the phone to speak to your local friendly team.