Whether you slavishly follow your shopping list, or just sling in whatever takes your fancy, use these top tips to navigate the myriad of deals on offer in supermarkets with ease.
1. Products that shrink, but prices that don’t
Through various investigations, Which? has uncovered instances of products getting smaller while their prices remain the same, or even increase. Keep an eye on whether your favourite products are smaller than when you previously bought them.
Just because a pack is bigger doesn't mean it's better value
2. Swapping offer on similar items
Supermarkets alternate offers on two or three similar items that you might buy interchangeably. It might well be worth seeing if there is a similar product on offer if your preferred brand isn't.
3. Different weights for the same price
It's not just manufacturers with shrinking products, supermarkets sometimes change the size of products but not the price, which could result in you paying the same but getting less. Take a look at the weight and unit price as well as the overall price.
4. £1 sticker
Just because a product is only a £1 doesn't mean the product has definitely been discounted.
5. Confusing multi-buys
It can be easy to get confused by multi-buy offers, especially when it applies to some of the products in front of you, but not to all. Be sure to check your receipt and make sure the offer has in fact been registered.
6. Refill packs aren't always cheaper
Some products are available as refills, rather than buying yet another jar. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a cheaper option, but that’s not always the case. Always be sure to check the refill price against the cost of the original.
7. Different shops sell different sizes of the same product
Your favourite branded products may look the same in different supermarkets, but they may well be different sizes. This is particularly important for those of you who simply work your way through the shopping list. Be sure to check the pack size against the price, taking note of the differences between your chosen supermarkets.
8. Bigger pack doesn’t mean better value
Just because a pack is bigger doesn't mean it's better value – even if the product claims to be at a special price. Take a look at the unit price to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
9. Seasonal offers where the higher price only applied out of season
Official rules on special offers mean that products should be at a higher price for as long as it’s on offer, so shops often stock a product (at a higher price) weeks before most of us need them. Approach seasonal offers with caution and shop around.
This year's Which? Supermarket of the Year will be revealed on May 25, with high-end Marks & Spencer and Waitrose competing with discounters Aldi and Iceland and online-only Ocado.
You can tell Which (@WhichUK) the supermarket you would like to see win the coveted title, ahead of the #WhichAwards2016.
- There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.