How to Save on Grocery Shopping in London
The London Costly Life
It’s not a secret anymore that live in London is highly costly! However, it doesn’t have to always be costly if you know how to spend correctly on your daily grocery needs. Here are some tips on how to save your grocery spending!
There are some levels of savings that I can generate here, in general, I categorise the savers group into two; the critical savings ones that can be very useful for students and low-income, let’s call it the super savvy grocery spender and the medium savers.
Seriously Big Saver Grocery Shopping
Or, we can call it, “The Super Savvy Grocery Spender”, is for the people who would set their budget not to spend more than £1 for each food. Sounds impossible? Nope!
If you live in London long enough, you will realise that all supermarkets in London, including the ‘fancy’ Waitrose, always have random sale seasons and near to “best before date” discounts. Many of the items that normally costs up to £5 could be discounted to as low as £1 or even sometimes lower than one quid! All you need to do is just to browse their “Reduced Section”. Usually they put all combined reduced priced items in one shelves section. These items usually have best before date on the same day or on the next day. Don’t worry about this if you really want to save much, you can just cook them directly at home in big portion, then you can put the leftovers in the fridge for your next few days lunch box and dinner. Another way if you feel like to buy so much stuff, then you can just stock them in your freezer for later use.
The Medium Savers
This saver category can fit the mid-level London residence, who doesn’t urgently need to save too much for the grocery shopping but happy to save more, hate to spend more for nothing. I am proudly to say that I am in this category of Londoners.
It’s in our community that some people are categorising the supermarkets in the UK into the following list:
- What common people thought: Super posh supermarket with higher price and better quality
- What I think: Just another normal supermarket with better quality in fresh fruit and vegetables compared to the other supermarket chain.
- What common people thought: Normal general supermarket with slightly higher price than Tesco and ASDA, but lower than Waitrose.
- What I think: A normal general supermarket with over-priced items. Somehow sometimes Sainsbury’s has slightly higher price than Waitrose.
- What common people thought: The most common supermarket that can be found almost everywhere with average price.
- What I think: Don’t be innocently fooled by the ‘mid-class look’ of Tesco. Sometimes for some items Tesco has higher price than Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. However, I do like the fresh fruit quality from Tesco than Sainsbury’s, although Waitrose still on my top-list for the fresh fruit and veggies. But in general, Tesco has slightly cheaper price on fresh fruit and veggies compared to Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. Tesco has 3 different types of stores (so far I just noticed 3 types), the biggest store of Tesco is the cheapest. The biggest Tesco store often called as Tesco Superstore. However, Tesco Superstore usually located outside central London. But you still can find Tesco Superstore within Zone 2 London area. It really is worth to visit! The other 2 types of Tesco are Tesco Express and Tesco Metro. These types of stores have different prices to each other even if they’re under the same big chain. The more central the location, the more expensive the price, and the smaller the store, the higher the price. Tesco Metro has slightly lower price than Tesco Express. Since I’m based in the city of London, my best option for Tesco is Tesco Metro near Liverpool Street Station, London. They do have very reasonable prices and often have discounts for some items.
- What common people thought: The cheapest super market ever!!!
- What I think: Errr,, sometimes you do have to pay more for quality. 😀 ASDA does have tempting slightly cheaper price compared to the other supermarkets, but not really true if compared to Tesco Superstores. ASDA is cheap, yes that’s one most people believe, but you do still have to pay attention and compare some specific brands that there are still some little stuffs that ASDA has few pennies higher than the other supermarkets. Generally, I will only buy specific items from ASDA more to home appliances, such as shampoo but not shower gel because I require special brand for shower gel that for now I can’t find it in ASDA, toothbrush, toothpaste, canned and packed food, fizzy drinks, milk alternatives (hazelnut milk), etc. But I don’t really fancy to buy fresh fruit, veggies, and meat from ASDA. It’s my personal opinion. Ohh, and also, I don’t suggest you buy towel from ASDA too! This towel experience is super personal to me! Yup, it really is that bad. And delivery service from ASDA also a NO following my very bad experience using this service! Furthermore, like Tesco Superstore, ASDA also only available within zone 2 and away residential area. The nearest to the central London is the one in Stepney Green.
- What common people thought: Another cheap supermarket near central London!
- What I think: NOPE! Well, it is cheap, yes, but as advertised, they only the best for frozen food. I only buy ice cream and some unhealthy frozen food for my ‘rainy day’ freezer stock from Iceland. 😀
- What common people thought: Is that a supermarket?
- What I think: Sadly, Morrisons is not as famous as the top 5 above. Because they don’t have as many branches as the others. On price wise, Morrisons is my 3rd favourite supermarket after Tesco and Waitrose, because they do have good quality and an okay price range. I don’t have any specific items I buy from them because of their limited store locations make them not as reachable as the others.
- Marks and Spencer (M&S)
- What common people thought: Hmmm, over-priced food?
- What I think: Totally agree in general the food are over-priced, but they do have a really good fresh ready to eat Salmon baguette for £2.99! 😀
- What common people thought: WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!!!
- What I think: WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!!! I do agree Harrods is for the super posh London residence and tourists.
- Fortum and Mason
- What common people thought: What’s that? A tea super store?
- What I think: I see Fortnum and Mason as the direct competitor of Harrods.
Personally, I mostly go to Tesco Metro and Waitrose. I usually buy my daily grocery needs from Tesco Metro. What I like the most is their promotion price on grapes. Sometimes they have promotion on grapes from £2 to £1.50. When they do have this promotion I always buy grapes from them, but when they have normal price, I prefer to buy grapes from Waitrose. 😀 Other than grapes promotion, I also like to buy Starbucks coffee £1 promotion in Tesco as well as Uncle Ben’s rice promotion price, £1 promotions of Walkers crisps and hula hoops, £1.50 promotion pringles, the £1 ready meals (various options), and the £1.79 Willows Farm 1kg Chicken. 😀
To get the best price, it is good for you to browse in store and google some grocery items you need before you do the purchase.
Hope this post helps! 🙂
Disclaimer: Contents within this post is based on personal opinion. The author is not responsible for any social effects that may cause from this post.