You see, we have no butcher; no baker; no greengrocer, so apart from a very small mini-mart, Tesco is our only choice if you don't want to drive or shop online.
This is why I was particularly pleased to hear that they have introduced the Tesco Price Promise. Providing you purchase a minimum of 10 different items (at least one of which is a comparable branded or own label item), the prices will be checked against Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrison and you will get a voucher after checkout for the difference back if it would have been cheaper at another supermarket.
The same offer applies if you shop online too, so you can be sure of getting the best value for your groceries.
Tesco challenged me to try out the scheme, by doing a weekly family shop for £50. I have to say, I found that quite a challenge, and it really made me realise how fortunate we are as a family. My main extravagance is food, and I certainly usually spend a lot more than this on the weekly shop. But equally, we usually waste a lot of food, so I was keen to see if more careful shopping would result in less food waste, and less lazy trips to the take-aways.
With some careful meal planning (the first time ever for list-phobic me); inventive use of things I already had in my larder and freezer; a shopping list; vouchers and good use of BOGOFs and special offers, I did manage it.
I got bits for Ruby's packed lunches in that budget too, and instead of buying bars, cakes and individual portion packs for her lunch box, I baked a batch of sultana buns, some flapjacks and packed dried fruit from my baking stash.
Using the handheld self scanners was really helpful in sticking to the budget too - much as I hate checking out with those things. I'm always the one who has to call the assistant a million times, but it was useful to see the running total as we went round with the trolley.
So, here's what my £50 got - well, £49.81 to be precise.
With Ruby's dairy intolerance, we have to buy special items, which are not cheap, so it's good to know that the Price Check is ensuring we are paying the best price for it.
After all that...would it have been cheaper to shop around at the other main supermarkets...
Well yes, it would have been 28p cheaper to be precise, so that's exactly what Tesco gave me back in the form of a money-off voucher. Much better than the time and petrol it would have cost me to shop around myself.
The really great feature is that you can go online and enter your receipt details, and it will show you exactly how your item costs stack up against the competitors.
So, remember, to make the most of the Tesco Price Promise:
You must purchase a minimum of 10 different items
At least one must be a comparable item
If your shop would have been cheaper at Sainsbury's/Morrison/Asda, you will receive a voucher for the difference up to £10 maximum
Remember to use up your voucher before it expires - typically in around 28 days
Have you benefited from the Price Promise yet? Do you have any more frugal grocery shopping tips for me to cut my food bill further?
Disclosure: This is a featured post for Tesco. I received the cost of my grocery shop up to the value of £50 in exchange for writing this feature.