This combined with rising energy costs, national insurance and petrol means many of us are looking for ways to make savings where we can.
In a recent newsletter, money saving expert Martin Lewis recommended downloading supermarket apps from Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Tesco, some of which offer shoppers discounts of around £200 per year.
Here’s what you need to know about the apps.
Nectar card holders can save big bucks by downloading the Sainsbury’s SmartShop app, because according to Money Saving Expert, you can get up to 30% off items you frequently buy. Using the SmartShop app will automatically trigger deals on selected, regularly-bought branded and own-brand products.
The app is designed to be used while you scan as you shop in store. The app syncs with your Nectar account, so you’ll also get your usual points and coupons. Sainsbury’s estimates shoppers can save up to £200 a year.
If you don’t have a smartphone or are low on battery, some stores have SmartShop scanners available, but these aren’t available in all stores.
If Lidl is your go-to for the big shop, you’re missing a trick by not downloading the Lidl Plus app. It contains coupons for selected products and also gives you cash back as you shop.
At the checkout, you can scan your virtual Lidl Plus card within the app. You’ll receive a £2 coupon if you spend £100 in one calendar month. If you spend an additional £100 (totalling £200 for the month), you’ll receive a £10 coupon, bringing your total monthly savings to £12. This soon adds up to a potential saving of £144 per year.
You’ll also get a free in-store bakery item coupon off your next shop when you spend £50 in a month.
Coupons automatically appear in the app when you reach the amount required and must be spent in a Lidl store within seven days of appearing.
The app is also designed to help you track your food shop spending, with a handy section showing your recent virtual receipts.
(Something to note: Lidl Plus is sadly not available in Northern Ireland, but can be used across the rest of the UK.)
If you shop at Tesco, you’ll probably already know about standard Clubcards (if you don’t, be sure to sign up ASAP, because there are hundreds of discounts – called ‘Cubcard prices’ – to be found on branded and own brand products).
As well as the instant discounts, a Tesco Clubcard collects Clubcard points. For every 150 points, you’ll get £1.50 in vouchers to use on groceries, days out and more.
This is nothing new, but what you might not know is that there’s now a way to make your Clubcard points go further.
Tesco has launched a scheme called Tesco Clubcard Pay+ – it’s a prepaid debit card where you can keep funds to spend on your food shop and replaces the traditional Clubcard. You’ll need to download the Tesco banking app to load it with funds.
According to Money Saving Expert, “it gives the standard 1 Clubcard point per £1 spent at Tesco (including petrol), yet currently points are doubled for the first 100 days for newbies. You also get 1 point per £8 spent elsewhere.”
Be sure to check the T&Cs of any deals and store cards before signing up to make sure they’re right for you.