The Fixer: Saving on supermarket shop
Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?
It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.
I am a mother of four, which means that my food shopping bills are always high. Lately, however, the cost of shopping at the supermarket just seems to keep going up and up.
I am struggling to keep up with rising prices, not to mention higher gas and electricity bills and the ever-increasing cost of filling up the car.
Have you got any bright ideas about how to keep my food shopping costs down?
I have several friends in the same position and I know they would also be grateful for your advice. Thanks in advance.
N Gatfield, Liverpool
Dear Ms Gatfield,
You are right about costs going up. Shoppers are facing a 2.7% increase in overall living costs, according to the latest official figures, and groceries are eating up more and more of our cash every week.
There are lots of easy ways to minimise your supermarket bills down, though. First of all, I would recommend taking advantage of discount vouchers.
You will often be handed these when you come to pay for your shopping, while they can also be found in magazines, newspapers and online.
But I would urge caution when it comes to Buy one get one free (BOGOF) offers that encourage you to buy more than you need.
It is also worth noting that "bigger pack, better value" products are sometimes more expensive than smaller versions of the same, so check the price by weight before putting these "saver packs" in your trolley.
Other great ways to keep your costs down include doing your weekly shop online to save on transport costs as well as all those extra items you - or your kids - might be tempted to pick up on your way round a store, and planning your meals beforehand to avoid waste or having to "top up shop" at local stores.
Finally, why not use a cashback or reward card to reduce your bill? The Barclaycard Cashback Card, the Tesco Clubcard Credit card and the Sainsbury's Cashback Credit Card all offer big savings, depending where and how you shop.
You just have to ensure you pay them off in full at the end of the month to avoid incurring sky-high interest charges. Hope that helps.
Whatever your financial problem, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.