The price of your favourite supermarket brands is falling by as much as 19%, as global wholesale food prices tumble. This drop in price has seen the supermarket chains locked in a battle to win the hearts of the consumer, with the introduction of a growing number of innovative discount packages, aimed at saving you even more money. In short, it’s a great time to be a supermarket shopper in the UK.
Last week, I wrote an article about the difference between good debt and bad debt, and if you read it you will recall that I said that credit cards could be used to accrue good debt if used appropriately. In that article I covered the use of the British Airways American Express card to reduce airfare costs, and its good to see that the supermarkets are joining the party with their own brand of credit card. Both Sainsburys and Tescos have credit cards that produce cash back if used in their store. I don’t advocate shopping at the same store, but if you do then you should get yourself one of these credit cards and use it purely for shopping. Set yourself a budget for groceries, withdraw the cash from your bank and place it into an envelope. Then when you go shopping make sure you do not exceed your budget, but use your credit card to pay the bill. Then at the end of the month you take the money out of your envelope and pay of your credit card balance. This way you can earn money through the cash back offers that the supermarket will provide you with for using their credit card.
One young man who has this down to a tee is 16-year old Jordan Cox. The youngster decided to try to help his mother save some money, after his parents divorced, and he found his niche in groceries. Cox is what is known as a ‘extreme couponer’ or ‘voucher vulture’ because he spends one hour a day scouring the Internet for special vouchers, and discounts, at his local supermarkets. In a nine month time period Cox worked out that he should have spent £2,000.68 on groceries, but instead spent £654.04 creating a saving of £566.64. His personal record is turning a £105.88 shopping trip into one that cost just £1.62, and at Christmas time Cox managed to buy Christmas dinner for the family for just 10p. Not only does Cox search for vouchers online, and in magazines, but he also calls companies to praise them for their products, or complain, and regularly receives vouchers in the post either for a reward or compensation.
But how many of you are really bothered to spend one hour a day finding the best bargains for your shopping trolley?
Aren’t most of you just creatures of habit? Do you go shopping on the same day every week irrespective of how full your cupboards are? How many of you go to the same supermarket and your decision has nothing to do with cost? How many of you buy the same products and don’t realise you already have them at home? How many of you return from shopping and struggle to find room in your fridge? How many of you have food in your cupboards that you will never eat?
During my Lean Life coaching course I teach people to turn their life into a business and this is a perfect example. Imagine you owned a garage and each week your mechanic went shopping to buy parts that you didn’t need? It wouldn’t take long before you were out of business, and the same thing happens in life; but instead of going out of business you go into debt.
My habitual supermarket chain was always Sainsbury’s. People used to tell me that it was one of the most expensive stores, but I didn’t care. It was the closest to my house, contained all of my brands and more importantly I knew where everything was. I couldn’t even be bothered to use the reward point system that gives you cash back dependant on the number of points you accrue, let alone look at the price of products. I was the role model for how to waste money on groceries.
When I went on my first Liver Cleanse Diet (LCD) and was horrified at the size of my Sainsbury’s bill when I started to buy more specialised foodstuff. The only reason that I even looked at the bill was because I was keeping a diary of my experience of the LCD. For years people told me that eating healthily was far too expensive, and here was the proof right in front of me. But I didn’t want to use money as a way of procrastinating. I didn’t want to use the idea that my expenses were going to increase as an excuse to return to my destructive eating habits. So, I decided to shop around to see if I could lower my bill, batched my food by making soups and stews that would last several days and made a vow to eat everything in the cupboard before actually going shopping. I started to buy most of my food from Lidls. I was saving a fortune and didn’t notice the ‘so called’ difference in quality. I believe my partner and I can survive on about £35 per week and that’s without going through the process that young Mr Cox goes through. At one point I was spending well over £100 pr week.
So what’s the point?
If you are in debt then the chances are that your life is out of balance, and you will be at risk of developing some pretty bad habits in order to compensate for your situation. You may drink, smoke or comfort eat in order to deal with the stress that your debt piles on.
To remove the stress you need to get to root cause, and for many people this will be a need to stop spending more money than you earn. If you can successfully do this, over a sustained period of time, then the money that you save can be used to attack your debt. What young Jordon Cox is doing is creating a blueprint to help you attack your debt by starting with one of the things that you probably spend most of your money on – food.
Stop thinking that everything is too difficult, stop thinking you don’t have enough time and stop thinking that what Jordon Cox is doing is anal. I can hear you from here. What Jordon Cox is doing is extremely savvy, and it’s great to hear that he is even running seminars in his local theatre to spread the gospel
You can learn more about Jordon Cox by visiting his Facebook Page.
Do you have any great tips on cutting down on your grocery bill? If so we would like to hear from you.