Make the Most of Supermarket Vouchers

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I find that the supermarkets are desperate to compete for my business. I have been deluged in vouchers and coupons by email, post and in-store all trying to get me to do my Christmas shopping with a particular retailer. I will use these coupons to my advantage and here’s how you can too.

  • Make sure you take a calculator to the shop with you, so that you just meet the threshold spend. This means you get the full value of the coupon.
  • Look on MySupermarket before you go and compare prices on the items on your shopping list. Make sure you’re buying them at the shop with the best offer.
  • Combine this with money-saving shopping apps, like Shopitize, Clicksnap, Shopinium and CheckoutSmart. This way you can either get an item for free with the app, or at a further discount PLUS you are getting the shop’s discount on top! Even better if it’s a store that gives loyalty points too. You could even spend some of your points and possibly get your shopping for free, or even by getting them to pay you to take goods away. (Yes, it does happen – I’ve done it myself on occasion). Stacking offers like this is the way to go!
  • Take the opportunity to stock up on essentials, if they are on offer. The shops want you to buy over-priced Christmas goodies, but hopefully being a minimalist, zero waste, money-saving type you are going to make these from scratch yourself and save a small fortune! So, take this opportunity to stock up on loo roll, mouthwash or whatever else you can get a good deal on and stash in the cupboard for next year.

For example, the last time I bought 4 pints of milk at Waitrose – they gave me a £6 off a £30 spend voucher printed from the till. Alongside some everyday items that we needed, I picked up 36 loo rolls. I basically got 16 of these for free and they were on a 2 for £7 offer which is the best price I know they are ever on sale for anyway. So I got a sweet deal here. At the till, they printed £8 off a £40 spend. Yes, they’ve upped the threshold but it’s still a pretty decent discount. If you’re shopping at Waitrose – tweak your ‘pick your own offers‘ and on top of the voucher, you can save 20% on those items. Check the internet for manufacturer coupons too, so you can save on certain products. Again, make sure you check MySupermarket and use them wisely, in the right store. If a product is already discounted, you can often take it away for FREE!

I absolutely hate going round the shops the nearer it gets to Christmas, so I am using this part of the month to stock on essentials like shampoo, tea bags, coffee, loo roll and so on. This way, I needn’t go near the shops for a couple of months at least! Fill your freezer, if you have space but make sure you leave room for any Christmas bits.

Look out for on-line only shopping vouchers too – I’ve been emailed a stack of these too. However they have MUCH higher threshold spends which are probably going to be too much for me (like £10 off £100 and that isn’t such a good deal, but better than none). They would be great for families though, or if you have a lot of visitors over the festive period.

Lastly, don’t over-stretch yourself! Make sure you have enough cash left to pay for Christmas. Maybe use your credit card to your advantage, but ONLY if you can afford to pay it off IN FULL when it becomes due.

Eating the contents of the freezer and cupboards

I’m applying minimalism to every area of my life, step-by-step. I’m currently eating the contents of my freezer and cupboards. My primary motivation is because we are moving house in about a month and we have to empty the fridge and freezer or throw/ give this food away. The budget conscious person in me means that we are trying to eat most of it ourselves. We’ve gone for almost the entire month of June and spent about £80 on food. Our usual budget is £160! Wow- what a  lot of food we have squirreled away! I think we can keep going for at least another fortnight. I am obviously still buying fresh items like fruit and vegetables or milk as needed.

I was brought up with the belief that you should always have one more of something in the cupboard, in-case you run out. Whilst this is good if you suddenly get sick or the weather turns bad and you can’t make it to the shops. It makes for an awful lot of clutter in the cupboards. It also means there is the potential to waste more food because you can’t eat it all before it expires.

Once we have moved, I really want to be more intentional about what goes into my food cupboards. I like the idea of applying minimalism to this area of life. Although, I could not go as far as some people and eat the same food repetitively until it is finished. My husband could! I get bored of food after a couple of days.

For economy’s sake, I also tend to make batches of food and freeze it. This saves on fuel bills, time and makes for some quick and easy meals if we are working late. Whilst I don’t intend to stop doing this- once we move we will live within walking distance of a supermarket, something I’ve never had before! So potentially, I will be able to do smaller shops more often and only buy what we need.  I will also aim to try and buy seasonal and local produce more often, so that I am paying less and not contributing to food miles etc. It’s all about balance.