With the festive season over, and January blues kicking in, many Brits are now facing an expected rise in living costs, driven by rising prices of goods and services.

Recent data from the Bank of England has revealed that UK inflation is expected to hit 6 percent by spring 2022₁ which will impact both our wallets and the amount we spend on our weekly food shop.

Retail analysts, Assosia, unveiled in a recent survey that consumers should expect to pay more for the basics, such as butter, milk, cereal and biscuits in local supermarkets. This increase means that a family spending the UK monthly average of £430 on groceries, will end up paying at least £25 a month more in 2022₂.

Typically, the costs of everyday items increase in January, but the survey found 4,400 price hikes in supermarkets this year, compared to the 2,700 that would normally be expected.

Online surplus food retailer, Approved Food*, is advising Brits to review and switch up their shopping habits to find ways to save money on their shopping bill. The retailer has shared a number of tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of buying foods close to their ‘best before’ date. These dates are different from ‘use by’ dates. The misconception is that you can’t eat food after the best before date, but that’s just a recommendation – a level of quality is guaranteed until that date, but the food is still perfectly good and safe to eat afterwards. Many discount retailers sell food close to their best before dates at reduced prices, so shop savvy and bag a bargain.
  • Choose products with a longer shelf life. Everyday items, such as beans, crisps, tinned vegetables, and breakfast cereals don’t need refrigerating. Conveniently such items have natural longevity, so if the prices do shoot up, you’ve already got your cupboard essentials at a lower price.
  • Shop around. It’s usually a bad idea to buy an item at the first shop you visit, as it is very likely to be cheaper somewhere else. By comparing prices and shopping around, the savings you’ll achieve are certainly worth the extra time and effort.
  • Find a substitute. If the item you want to buy doesn’t quite fit your weekly budget, think about alternatives. For example, if you’re used to purchasing premium brands, try an own-branded product. You’ll be surprised at how much can be saved by making small changes.

On the subject of saving money on your food shop, Andy Needham, MD at Approved Food, said: “Shortages and bottlenecks in goods have contributed to the highest food prices we have seen in decades. We urge consumers to look at their shopping habits and consider making some changes to help save them money. The impact of inflation is going to be felt by everyone as consumers battle a cost-of-living crisis, and by shopping smart some of these costs could be relieved in the short term.

“It’s not just the soaring food prices. We need to better understand our confusing labelling system as well as using our common sense. Use by dates are one thing but otherwise we should be able to rely on our senses to tell us whether food is okay to eat.” For more information on the food items available at Approved Food, visit: www.approvedfood.co.uk