Supermarkets are designed and laid-out in in such a way to try to get us to buy more than we need to. Being aware of this and making small changes to your shopping habits, can help you resist the urge to impulse buy luxuries, and ultimately save you a lot of money on your grocery bill.
The most obvious thing to do is to plan your week's meals in advance, then get all of your shopping in one; visit which will help you to minimise wastage and expenditure. This obviously takes time and discipline to be able to keep such a routine, but you'll also be able to save yourself several hours worth of shopping time each week by reducing the amount of visits you make.
Go the wrong way round!
A standard supermarket layout has the fresh fruit and veg nearest the entrance. This is simply because it's the most attractive for them to display, and conveys the idea of supermarkets being 'wholesome'. It's also worth noting that the fruit and veg is one of the most expensive sections. The cheapest and least attractive food is always kept further away in the corners of the shop; for example the frozen section. Next time you go shopping, try starting in the furthest corners of the shop and work your way round 'backwards'. A great way to save money is to substitute some of your fresh produce for their frozen or tinned counterpart. This is particularly true for fruit and vegetables where your savings can be considerable.
Late night shopping
Supermarkets constantly have to reduce stock on a daily basis as it reaches the end of it's sell-by date. What's more, the discounts become steeper as the day goes on, so if you can time your shop right you can get a number of items greatly reduced in price. This obviously works best for fresh produce which has a short sell-by date, such as fresh/cooked meat, fruit & veg, and bakery products. In some instances you can even freeze the food to increase the use-by date, saving it for a meal later in the week.
More and more people are now shopping around several 'budget' supermarkets in order to cut their bill by buying cheaper imported brands. This takes a bit more time and effort and may not appeal to you, but you can do a similar thing by trying other brands at your regular supermarket. Aside from the supermarket's own brands, you can often also find great deals on products which are new to the market, or have been reduced to increase their profile. If you're not too attached to certain branded goods, you can save a considerable amount each week by simply selecting the products which are on offer.
Two-for-one and other similar offers are a great way to reduce the cost of future shopping bills, by stocking up on products which you use on a regular basis. It may increase your bill for that particular week by buying the 'extra', but you can offset this cost against future shopping costs, and save in the process, thus freeing up more finds further down the line
VAT Free snacking
Certain products are VAT free. It's widely known that men pay no VAT on razors, but a lesser known fact is that the baking aisle is also VAT free. Obviously this is great is you're a baker, but it also provides an opportunity for VAT free healthy snacking with nuts and dried fruits also being found on this aisle.