As you may already know, Vicky has set us a new shopping challenge which we are using #mummychallenge to promote. You can read about it here. While she has been chilling in sunny Cornwall for the last week, I have been doing the challenge on my own (she will start hers next week), and I have a had a great response on Twitter and Instagram about my top money saving tips. I am the ultimate bargain hunter. I hardly ever pay full price, I’m very fond of a sale rail and I love a good cash back offer, but, I am also shopaholic. Vicky however, is a little more laid back when it comes to shopping, hence the challenge.Between us we want to budget what we are spending each week on groceries, stop ourselves buying unnecessary items from ASOS (thiswill kill us), and not throw any unused food away.
Well, here is what I have learned from my first week of the #mummychallenge.
- Start with the offers. This week I shopped with Tesco. They emailed me a voucher code (yipeee) for £15 off if I spent £60 or more. On their website you can click on different categories of offers. I always start with half price. Don’t be fooled by buy 1 get 1 free. You are still spending the same amount, so if you are on a budget, a half price offer is much more beneficial. Once you know what is half price, you can plan your meals around these offers, to save the optimum amount of money. For example, frozen chicken breasts were half price, so I planned chicken stir fry, curry, and fajitas into my weekly meal plan.
- Plan, plan, plan. This may be time consuming, and well, a little boring. But without planning your meals for the day, there’s really no point taking part in our #mummychallenge. The limit is set to £50 per week on groceries (including formula and nappies!) so you need to be strict with what you buy. Make a list of the ingredients you need, so you don’t waste food and don’t go over budget.
- Scour the net for coupons/voucher codes. If you are like me and have every points card going, then you will most likely get coupons sent to you in the post. I always make use of coupons. That 10p is better off in my pocket than someone else’s!
- Use a cash back website. I have been using www.topcashback.co.uk for a couple of years and I have earnedover £150 cash back on my purchases! If you don’t use a site like this, then you are mad. It’s totally free, totally legit, and totally simple. All you have to do is sign in, search the website you want to shop on, and click cash back! They record your visit and process the cash back into your account. It can range from 1% to 10% or more! Or they sometimes offer a set amount, like £5 for first time shoppers. The only catch is it takes a few months to become payable, however you can monitor how much you are earning, and can transfer vis bacs once it is payable.
I don’t normally do my grocery shop online, I’m an Aldi girl, but I found the process fairly straightforward. The Tesco website is really easy to use. The one problem I did come across was the prices being wrong, and having no one to complain to! There were a couple of offers that were not showing in my basket. After speaking with customer services over Facebook, they informed me that as long as the offer was still available when my order was delivered, it would be applied to my final bill. You are not charged anything until you have signed for your delivery. That is because some items may not be available when your order is packed, so you would end up being refunded for small amounts.
As we are stickingto a £50 budget I wanted to make sure I was spending every penny. So when I realised some of the items were not being reduced, I decided to grab a calculator and add up the bill including all of the discounts. As you can see above the bill came to £54.40, but one item was billed at £10, but was on offer for £5, so I knew my total would be less than £50.
One last tip when shopping with Tesco online is look out for their £1 delivery slots. If you are not desperate for your order, then ordering in advance means you can grab a cheaper slot, or if you don’t mind waiting up, book a slot after 8pm and it will also be cheaper. I booked an 8-9pm slot, but luckily the driver was feeling kind and dropped my shopping off early as he was in the area!
Once the delivery arrived I was given a summery of my order and the final total. There were 3 items unavailable, and as I hadn’t asked for a substitute they were taken off my bill.
Here is was my final bill looked like. I am extremely happy with my first week of the #mummychallenge. I came in under budget, found plenty of bargains and offers, earned cash back on my purchase and have loads of food to show for it!!
If you fancy joining us on our weekly shopping challenge, remember to use #mummychallenge on Twitter and Instagram so we can follow your progress!
Good luck and happy shopping!