Shop at the UK’s Cheapest Supermarket

Save a pretty penny on your branded groceries by shopping at ASDA, the UK’s cheapest major supermarket of 2016…

ASDA say they’re ‘Saving You Money Every Day,’ and so they are, on 80 of the most popular branded items – from Dolmio sauce and Nescafe Gold coffee to Warburton’s bread. For a whopping 11 months last year, they offered you the best value for money compared to the other major UK supermarkets – with February the only exception, when Morrisons bumped them into second place.

That’s according to Which?, who monitored the prices each month so you don’t have to, using MySupermarket to figure out where you could get the most for your hard-earned cash.

On average, their generic ASDA shop cost a bargain £154.14 – meanwhile, the exact same goods were £6.05 more at Morrisons, £7.97 extra at Sainsbury’s, an additional £10.23 at Tesco, £16.21 more from Ocado and a mighty £18.13 extra at Waitrose.

Wondering how Lidl and Aldi fared? Well, actually, they didn’t sell the same branded goods, so were excluded from the survey. But with prices tipped to rise in 2017, how can you bag yourself bargains without shopping around or getting better acquainted with your local ASDA?

Just follow the golden rules…

1. List what you need and stick to it

Impulse buys are expensive, so when you next walk into the supermarket, go with a battle plan and only get what you need.

2. Swap big brands for own-brands

Sometimes, you’ll be hard pushed to taste the difference.

3. Look high, look low

Now, the most expensive goods are normally at eye level on the supermarket shelves, so scan the top or the bottom for cheaper alternatives.

4. Buy seasonal fruit and veggies

Plus, time your shop right – it’s no secret that fresh food can be up to 75% cheaper in the late afternoon or evening when it’s reduced.

5. Pay with cash and use loyalty cards

To keep better tabs on your spending, leave your cards at home – especially on payday, when you’re feeling particularly flush. Only shop when you need to – buy little, buy often.

6. Read the labels

On the shelves, you’ll see how much a product costs per item or gram, giving you the chance to make direct comparisons without any of the maths.

7. Beware the multi-buy deals

Yes, some deals are too good to be true – some reductions might not actually offer you a real saving and others could be based on really old prices. So check. Ultimately, the Money Advice Service said that the average shopper spends £11.14 a week more than they planned, on tempting deals.

8. Use price comparison websites like MySupermarket

With these tools at your fingertips, you can compare prices in real time without stepping foot outside.

Cover image copyright Secret Pilgrim  licensed for use under Creative Commons.

Price Wars: Win them with kindness

For many, slashed prices and tempting yellow bargain signs are a wonderful sight. Wherever you food shop, it’s hard to ignore them as you push your trolley full of bargains around. That’s the Price War for you. Supermarkets battle hard to be the best value for money.

It’s what we customers want and expect, right? As it turns out, maybe not. In fact, the Institute of Customer Service is now warning retailers to stop focussing on beating each other in the race to the bottom. Deliver top notch customer service instead.

Customer satisfaction has dropped faster in this market than any other UK sector. Maybe Morrison’s should think again about slashing over 1,000 prices by 19% this February? Everyone from Asda to Tesco and Sainsbury’s would benefit from recommitting to excellent customer service.

Hire friendly, helpful people and treat them well

Great customer service has personality. That comes from your staff, not a faceless corporation and definitely not from the self-checkout robot. These people welcome money-spenders into your store with a smile, help them when they need it and build friendships with regulars.

Some people are born friendly – try to get them on-board, then point them in the right direction. Ask them to say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, ‘can I help you pack your bags?’ Basic manners make customers more inclined to part with their hard-earned cash. Offering them profit shares, which tie bonuses the overall success of the business, are another great way of fostering pride and great customer service.

Treating your staff right, making them feel valued and happy, will make them more inclined to deliver excellent customer service. Of course, a morale-boosting refresher session wouldn’t hurt from time to time, to praise your staff and give them tips on getting even better.

customer-service

Encourage customers to give feedback, then take action

Don’t panic. Mistakes happen. If you acknowledge them, apologise and accept responsibility, you’re already delivering great customer service. Most of the time there’s no harm done if the situation is resolved quickly and painlessly. And if you can’t fix it? At least your customer saw that you cared enough to try.

If you’re really serious about improving your customer service to drive brand loyalty go straight to the horse’s mouth. The best people to point out your flaws are the very people you’re trying to help. Most of the time, they’re only too happy to call you out for your mistakes. It’s character and profit building.

Go the extra mile

Of course, supermarkets should treat everyone the same, no matter how much they spend. But it really is the personal gestures which exceed expectation and show your caring side. They don’t have to be big!

From rewarding loyal customers with discount vouchers to carrying their bags to the car, apologising for queues, and taking them straight to the product they can’t find – thanking them for their loyalty will pay off long term.

All in all, food prices will, of course, always impact where we shop. The Price War will rumble on. But people want more bang for their buck. Brilliant customer service is another way to attract and retain customers, who have a habit of shopping around, and convincing them to stay loyal to your brand.