Are supermarket vouchers a good deal?

I have a keen interest in shopping. Food shopping mind, I don’t have a huge patience for much else. I thoroughly enjoy seeking out bargains, getting the best quality for my money and finding unusual things to try. I’m pretty dedicated to Sainsbury’s but that’s mainly because of its proximity to where I live and the other places I’ve also lived. There always was a Sainsbury’s within walking distance. I don’t know how other supermarkets work, but I think I’ve got Sainsbury’s pretty sussed when it comes to coupons and vouchers. Some are better than others, and some are not worth it at all.

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Rule number one of coupons is don’t spend over your budget. I have a post all about calculating your budget. If you get a coupon through for £10 off £50, but you only normally spend £30 a week, then actually, you’re just overspending by £10. But say it’s a £10 off £40 shop, then you’re getting extra produce by spending the same amount, which is ideal. I tend to use my bonus money on store cupboard staples, as that will save money in the long run as I won’t forever be buying more ingredients.

Those little paper Nectar vouchers can be tricky. On one hand, you get to collect extra points that will add up to savings in the future. However, if the vouchers are for items you don’t eat, don’t like or won’t use, then it’s a false economy. Even if you get a handful of points for purchasing a certain packet of ham, if it ends up in the bin because no one eats it, then it’s a waste of money. I tend to only use Nectar bonus vouchers if they are for items I buy every week, without fail. Then it’s a nice perk.

I keep my coupons in the same purse as my food shop money, so I’ve always got them to hand. I use Bonus Points vouchers whenever available, like the ones that say “100 points on your next shop”. They don’t seem like much at the time, but they do add up if you’re loyal to the same supermarket week in, week out. I don’t pay actual money for laundry detergent or toilet roll or other toiletries because I pay for them out of Nectar points.

When I was on a stricter budget than I am (fortunately) now, I used to save up my points for the month, then spend them during the last week before pay day, which was always a bit tight. That way, I could normally get a standard shop for whatever coins I had left rattling around! It’s amazing what you can get for an extra £2.50, certainly the ingredients for a simple meal to last a couple of dinners.

I love an organic food store as much as the next person, but I don’t think the supermarkets should be seen as a terrible alternative. It’s amazing that we can have access to a vast array of food for a reasonable price, as there are so many places in the world that don’t have this advantage. I think Sainsbury’s is great for organic too, as they can afford to supply at a good price as they are such large stockists.

Do you like shopping at supermarkets? What’s your favourite one to shop at? Tell me all about ones outside the UK, I’d love to read all about them. Post a comment below or feel free to say hi on Instagram or Twitter.

 

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