8 Easy Ways to Save Money on your Supermarket Shop
Prices in UK supermarkets have shot up recently, and with over a hundred current purchase-necessary competitions featured on my popular Compers Shopping List, reducing the cost of the weekly shop is a priority for a lot of compers! It’s easy to get carried away buying products you don’t need, just to enter a prize draw or instant win – so make sure you think twice when you’re tempted to pop that expensive qualifier into your trolley, and only spend what you can afford. I also recommend you read ‘Purchase-necessary promotions: just one receipt, or one receipt per entry?’ about whether to buy just one product, and enter multiple times – in a lot of cases, this is perfectly acceptable and will save you money!
In this post I’ve shared my favourite ways to save money on your supermarket shop. Some methods will give you discounts at the till, but for other methods you will need to spend first, in order to receive the money back (cashback).
Please be aware that I have used referral links and codes in this post, which earn me extra credit or cashback with the apps – thank you for using these links (marked with a *), I do appreciate it!
Current best deals for supermarket gift cards (14 August 2023)
Here I’ve listed the best deals on buying supermarket gift cards via mobile apps – read on to find out more about the cashback apps listed below. Purchase of a gift card using Quidco & TopCashback requires credit in your accounts, so isn’t appropriate for everyone!
- ALDI – save 2% with JamDoughnut
- ASDA – save 4% with AirtimeRewards
- Co-op – save 1% with Cheddar
- Iceland – save 3% with JamDoughnut
- Morrisons – save 4% with AirtimeRewards
- Sainsbury’s – save 4% with AirtimeRewards (save 5% with Quidco Payments)
- Tesco – save 1.5% with JamDoughnut (save 4% with Quidco Payments, save 5% with TopCashback Reward Wallet)
- Waitrose – save 4% with AirtimeRewards
- John Lewis & Partners (redeemable at Waitrose) – save 4% with AirtimeRewards (save 6% with Quidco Payments)
Bank accounts and credit cards occasionally give cashback on supermarket purchases too, so make sure you check current offers in your banking app.
Blue Light Card holders can get discounts at some supermarkets – it’s £4.99 for 2 years membership for emergency services, NHS staff, care workers and other qualifying workers. Find out more at www.bluelightcard.co.uk. Some other companies have schemes that let employees buy gift cards for supermarkets so check with yours!
And of course do check for reduced price and yellow sticker items in supermarkets. Unless a specific purchase price is stated in the T&Cs, reduced price receipts are acceptable as competition qualifiers.
1. Coupons and vouchers
We’re currently in a bit of a limbo with coupons – brands want to switch from paper coupons to digital coupons, but unfortunately the majority of supermarket staff aren’t on board with this! Lots of compers have told me of their embarrassment at the checkout when the Manager refuses to accept a barcoded coupon on their phone. However, brands are keen to persevere with digital coupons so hopefully we’ll soon see supermarkets improving their customer service in this area.
How to get coupons
- Printed coupons are published in supermarket magazines (eg. Tesco & Sainsbury’s) and newspapers
- Win coupons in competitions – brands like Spar Mars, Robinson’s & Cadbury give away free product vouchers. The current SupportHer promotion is awarding digital prize vouchers for £1.50 off Mars confectionery until 13 September and the daily entry Spar Spinner Winner ends on 30 August with thousands of coupon prizes
- Contact a supermarket or brand – if you’re not happy with something you’ve bought, let the brand know. I recently complained about a £5.50 M&S vegetable curry and they sent me a £7 voucher, and I’ve had vouchers from Walkers and Cadbury in the past. Look for the contact option on a brand website to submit a complaint – you can also try praising the brand, as sometimes they send coupons to fans!
- Join email newsletters for your favourite brands – you may be sent surveys and offers where you can claim coupons
2. Buy gift cards with Airtime Rewards
The free Airtime Rewards app is an easy way to earn discounts on your mobile phone bill – but did you know you can also buy gift cards using it, and earn cashback? It’s a great way to save money on your supermarket shop – for example if you buy a £100 Asda gift card, you’ll get £4 back to use towards your mobile bill.
To buy your gift cards, tap More on the Home Screen, then Want to earn more rewards? and select Gift Cards. Supermarkets featured include Sainsbury’s, ASDA, B&M, Waitrose and Morrisons, all currently at a 4% cashback rate.
If you’re new to Airtime Rewards, you’ll need to register your debit and credit cards on the app and then will automatically earn cashback when you spend at their partners or buy gift cards in the app.
Find out more in my blog post at superlucky.me/airtime-rewards
3. Buy gift cards with JamDoughnut
The JamDoughnut app lets you buy gift card codes, and then rewards you with a % of the cost as points, which can then be transferred as cash directly to your bank account. Their cashback rates change regularly, with boosted rates on selected brands, so I recommend you sign up to their newsletter for updates. When the supermarket rates are boosted, stock up with gift cards! To use them, scan the JamDoughnut app at the checkout then update the gift card balance on the app – you can use them multiple times until they run out of credit.
Supermarkets currently featured include: Aldi, Asda, Farmfoods, Iceland, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco. Cashback rates are lower than the 4% you get with Airtime Rewards, but there are lots more brands to choose from on the app.
Make payments directly from your bank account for higher cashback rates.
JamDoughnut have lots of giveaways for members – check out the ‘Daily Doughnut’ on their app for details. Each day they publish ten referral codes – if yours is there you can claim £10 in cashback points!
Find out more in my blog post at superlucky.me/jamdoughnut
4. Earn cashback with Cheddar
Download the free Cheddar app and connect it to your online banking app, and it tracks your spending and automatically awards you cashback when you shop at their partner retailers. This method of earning cashback is similar to Airtime Rewards, but Cheddar pays the cash directly to your bank account rather than a credit to your phone bill. New partners are regularly added, and current supermarkets include Co-op & Sainsbury’s (as far as I know this is the only way to get Co-op discounts!). There are also regular comps for members to earn bonus cashback.
If the same retailer appears on Cheddar and Airtime Rewards, you will earn cashback on both, and with no gift cards to buy or vouchers to scan, these two methods are the easiest way to save money on your supermarket shop!
5. Spend Quidco or TopCashback credit on supermarket vouchers
Hopefully you’re already registered with Quidco* or TopCashback* (or ideally, both) – these websites help you to get discounts on your online spending, by offering cashback on your purchases. Click through their link, then after you’ve checked out your cashback will be processed and added to your balance. When you want to cash out the money you’ve earnt, you can have it transferred directly to your bank account – or you can increase its value by withdrawing as a voucher worth a few percent more than your credit. If you pay extra to be a Quidco Premium or TopCashback Plus member, you’ll get higher rates.
- To withdraw on Quidco, on the Payments screen, scroll down and you’ll see current rates for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis/Waitrose.
- To withdraw on TopCashback, go to your Payout page and select Reward Wallet to transfer your balance. In the Reward Wallet, select to filter to Groceries
I save up my cashback and redeem as Tesco vouchers every few months – the vouchers arrive by email and can easily be added to my Apple Wallet.
6. Supermarket reward schemes
Join all the supermarket loyalty schemes by downloading and registering on their apps, and always scan your supermarket loyalty app or card when you go shopping. Check the app for current offers before you write your shopping list as for some you will need to load to your card/app before shopping. Add the barcode to your Apple Wallet if it’s an option, then it’s easy for you to scan at the till.
- Tesco Clubcard – look out for ‘Clubcard prices’ on the shelves, and use money off vouchers either received in the post, or in your Clubcard app
- Asda Rewards – scan the barcode on the app to earn cash in your ‘cashpot’ which you can redeem as money off your shopping (unlike Tesco & Nectar you don’t need to scan your card prior to doing a self-scan, so don’t forget to scan it at the checkout!)
- Morrisons More – earn points and redeem for money off vouchers
- Nectar – save the ‘Sainsbury’s offers’ to your card in the app, and play their regular instant win comps to win freebies and points. Use the SmartShop hand-held scanners in store to access cheaper Nectar prices.
- Co-op – for each £1 spent you get 2p back (2% off) – and each week you can select offers to load to your card (these are often on competition qualifiers like Cadbury or Capri-Sun) – but it costs you £1 to join!
- Lidl Plus – find digital coupons on the Lidl app
- My Waitrose – download the Waitrose app and tap Account, then ‘View vouchers’ to see your weekly offers and choose two to add to your card
- Iceland Bonus Card – get special Bonus card prices
If you earn credit on your app, redeem it as money off your shopping – or you may prefer to save Clubcard vouchers or Nectar points for purchases elsewhere!
7. Use coupons on cashback apps
Cashback apps like Shopmium, GreenJinn and CheckoutSmart offer digital coupons, but to use them you will have to buy the product at full price – and then claim the money back. You can get some good discounts, freebies and occasionally enter prize draws with your purchases so check the apps before each supermarket visit, and add any good deals to your shopping list.
- Shopmium – download the Shopmium app and use my referral code KYHMFYMF and you’ll be able to claim a free sharing bag of Cadbury Buttons!
- Checkout Smart – find out more at superlucky.me/checkoutsmart/
- GreenJinn – find out more at superlucky.me/greenjinn-app
8. Use a supermarket comparison website
Use the Trolley website or mobile app to compare supermarket prices before you go shopping – this is particularly helpful if you’re looking to buy multiple competition qualifiers and want to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
I hope you’ve found these money-saving ideas helpful – let me know if you have any more tips in the comments!
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