TESCO is one of the most popular supermarkets but there are some tricks it uses to get you to spend more than planned.
Most retailers have subtle tactics to get you to part with your cash – and many shoppers don't even notice.
Grocery prices are very much at the forefront of people's mind, with fresh figures revealing that food and drink inflation is still soaring at 19.1%.
But Tesco shoppers can keep their food costs down if they know the tricks of the trade and how to avoid them.
We spoke to Jordon Cox, who dubs himself Britain's "coupon kid" because of his money saving know-how.
The 26-year-old has spent more than 10 years spotting the biggest bargains and is an expert when it comes to savvy shopping.
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He told The Sun: "The phrase 'the pennies look after the pounds, and the pounds look after themselves' is very true.
"It may not seem like you’re saving much money, getting 20p off here and £1 off there, but all of this will add up in the long run.
"If you’re saving even £5 on your weekly shopping trip that’s over £250 a year. And that’s in your pocket, rather than the supermarket’s."
We've spoken to Jordan in the past about the different ways discounters Aldi and Lidl encourage their shoppers to splash more cash, but how does Tesco compare?
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Here he explains five tricks every Tesco shopper should know…
1. Clubcard Prices
One of the main ways you end up spending more at Tesco is if you DON'T have one of its handy little cards.
Jordon said that since the introduction of the special ‘Clubcard Prices’ in 2019 for card holders, it means those without have to pay more.
He said: "If you’re going in store hoping to get £1 off your multipack of crisps and half price frozen pizzas… you’re going to need a Clubcard for that.
"If you don’t have one, or you leave it at home, then you’re out of luck and could be paying £10s or £100s more.
"There are now very few, if any, in-store deals that don’t require a Clubcard, so you’ll be paying full price for everything, unless you scan it at the till."
The good news is that you can sign up to get a Clubcard for free, though you do have to share some details like your full name and address.
You're sharing this information and how you shop with Tesco by signing up.
And Tesco isn't the only supermarket offering cheaper prices to be able to track your shopping habits.
Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Co-op have all launched similar loyalty scheme prices this year.
But just because the prices are better with a Clubcard than without, they may not be the cheapest overall.
Jordan said: "Tesco has one of the most popular and most profitable loyalty cards – the Clubcard.
"The perks you get for using it, along with the rewards you can claim entice many to head there for their weekly shop.
"It’s not the cheapest supermarket however, with discount chains such as Aldi or Lidl undercutting on price for a standard shop."
Which? placed Aldi first for the cheapest supermarket in April, followed by Lidl – while Tesco trailed behind in fifth place.
2. Hidden cheaper aisle
Large Tesco stores tend to have a "world food" aisle stacked full of goodies imported from around the world.
Jordon says these aisles are where some of the best bargains are hidden away from the eyes of savvy shoppers.
He said: "You may think that because it’s been shipped overseas, that it would be more expensive, but in fact you can find some bargains squirrelled away here.
"This mostly works on things like sauces, spices, rice and other staple food items."
One example he found is a 283g jar of Nashaan garlic paste for £1.20 in the world foods aisle
"The standard Tesco own brand sold a 90g jar for £1.50, that means you’re paying 30p more, for a jar less than three times the size," he said.
Because items in their usual spots, like down the sauces aisle, are more readily available shoppers will likely pick these up instead – despite being able to make a saving a few aisles over.
Tesco tends to have the widest selection of World Foods items, but you may find Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons all use the bargain hiding trick too.
3. Tempting Clubcard offers
Shoppers with a Clubcard regularly get specific offers to their inbox.
These include things like money off or extra points incentives for buying particular products.
While it may seem like a good deal, it’s probably best avoided, Jordon warned.
He said: "Unless it’s an offer on something that you know you’re going to buy, it could just be a way of enticing you into spending more than you were going to – or a way of luring you into the store to do your weekly shop – even if you weren’t planning on it."
Make sure not to get sucked in, and definitely don't change your shopping plans just because of a good offer – especially if you can make bigger savings elsewhere.
It's always important to compare prices and keep an eye on other supermarket's offers too.
You can do this using websites like trolley.co.uk which compares the costs of different items across a whole range of shops.
Of course if you think you'll be tempted by the email offers you don't really need, you can unsubscribe from the alerts or turn off notifications.
The same can be done for other supermarkets' online offers too.
4. Hidden coupons
On the flipside, some offers could be worth taking advantage of to make savings – but only if you were planning to buy it anyway.
According to Jordon, you could be spending more than you need to because you haven't spotted some of the discounts hidden in the in-store Tesco magazine.
He said: "It’s a little-known fact that not many people know about – and it isn’t widely advertised.
"If you head into a superstore and pick up one of the free in-store magazines, you’ll find coupons in there every month."
These vouchers rotate with each issue, and you can usually find between six to 10 different coupons for items in store.
It could be £2 off when you spend £10 or more on cleaning products, or a simple 50p off yoghurt.
Jordon said: "If you see something in there that you’re going to buy, simply rip it out of the magazine, and hand it to a cashier to save money instantly.
"And because the magazines are free, you can pick up as many as you want – perfect for if you buy something every week that there’s a coupon for."
Jordan's advice is to check all the coupons available so you're not missing out – but only use the ones you actually need, rather than being tempted to buy more than you need to.
Jordon said: "All supermarkets will try and tempt you in with exclusive coupons and bonus point offers, but Tesco seem to be the biggest culprit of this.
"Only Tesco has an in store supermarket magazine that offers coupons, but they’re also not very vocal about the fact."
5. Higher prices at some stores
Tesco Express stores are incredibly convenient, but it may not be the most convenient for your wallet.
Jordon said: "It's a well-known fact that it’s more expensive to shop in any supermarkets' smaller shops than going to a superstore, but did you know by how much?"
The bargain expert provided the following examples of higher prices in Tesco Express shops compared to larger Extra stores:
- Semi Skimmed milk (2L) – 10p more
- PG Tips Tea Bags (240) – 75p more
- Large Free Range Eggs (6 pack) – 10p more
- Warburton’s Toastie White Bread (800g) – 15p more
These may sound like small amounts, but just with these items alone, you’re paying an extra £1.10.
Jordon said: "It’s said that shopping at local convenience stores adds around 10% to your bill, so if you do this multiple times, or do bigger shops there – it can add up to £100s a year more expensive.
"There are some Clubcard price offers that are only valid in superstores too – so it could be costing you even more."
He also pointed out that local stores, no matter what the supermarket, will usually charge more, not just Tesco..
And you could also end up paying more at local stores because they are less likely to stock budget ranges, according to Which? research.
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Meanwhile for more tricks that Aldi and Lidl in particular use, see our story.
Plus, shoppers could be making a simple mistake at the supermarket that's pushing up grocery bills by hundreds of pounds a year.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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