Image courtesy of Andre Faria Gomes

There is a lot of competition between supermarkets and now you can also buy groceries at other places such as online, corner shops, discount shops and markets. If you are looking to get good value for money, it can be difficult to know where to shop.

It is important to establish what is meant by value for money to start with. You need to make sure that you understand that it does not mean the cheapest. If you want the cheapest then you can just compare prices and this is usually fairly straight forward. Good value for money means that it provides the quality that you would expect for the price. So if you pay more you would expect better quality and if you pay less you may not mind if the quality is lower. Some people cannot afford to pay more, so just look at the price and some people are not prepared to pay more to have better quality, even if they can afford to. However, if you can afford to pay more, you may wonder whether the best place is to shop.

The difficult thing is that shops that sell groceries are not consistent in their quality or in their appeal to people. So you may really enjoy certain products from a supermarket, but not like others and so some are more likely to be offering you value for money than others and this can make it difficult. If you like all branded products, then it is easy as you can just find the place which sells a majority of those for the lowest price or you can go to several different supermarkets to buy them form the cheapest. However, most people find that their grocery shopping is a mixture or branded and supermarket own brand products and the own brand products can be trickier. You can usually compare like for like products between shops but as you can only buy a shops own brand form a specific shop, you may have to compromise or shop in lots of places.

It can be a wise idea to do a blind taste test between some more expensive and some cheaper brands to see which you like the best. You may find that you are quite happy with the cheaper items, but without the taste test though that they would not be that nice. With some items though it is not so much about taste, but how long they last or how good they look. It all depends on the specific item and what you use it for.

It is easy to compare prices online, but you will need to use the items to find out whether you think they are good. It works in two directions, you have to decide whether cheaper items are high enough quality as whether high quality items are worth paying much more for. A lot of it will be down to personal taste and what you are used to. You will also have to find things which all the family like, so it could just be a matter of all trying a lot of new things and judging them.