I've been doing my Tesco shopping all wrong – little-known mistake adding £50 a week to my bill and how you can avoid it | The Sun

I MUST be one of Tesco's most loyal customers with a weekly online spend of between £100 and £150 for a family of four and two hungry cats.  

Its grocery app is so user-friendly I can have my weekly shop nailed in five minutes – by simply repeating the order and then adding or taking away items as needed.

The repeat function has been a godsend to me after long days of working and parenting when I’ve been desperate for a rest.

But not such a godsend to my wallet as I reckon I’ve been overpaying for my laziness – sometimes by as much as £50 a week.

My retail revelation came the other week after a technical glitch on Tesco's app meant I couldn't reorder my usual list, so I started from scratch.

I’d always assumed that my weekly shop was relatively cheap as we mostly buy supermarket own brand stuff and nothing too fancy.

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But starting with an empty basket presented me with an array of discounts, offers and cheaper brands that I would never usually see.

I found that repeating a particularly large order from early January would have cost me £141 for 55 items.

But by manually ordering the same list of items, I could get a similar basket containing everything we needed for just £91.

The savings were made by switching to cheaper brands, buying products on offer and being ruthless about what I was adding to my basket.

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Here’s what I discovered about my shopping list.

Switch and save

The biggest savings I made were from the obvious switches away from major brands, such as swapping Heinz £1 tomato soup tins for Tesco’s 60p version.

I also removed Listerine Total Care mouthwash off the list, costing a massive £5, in favour of a 45p own label one.

I’m not a loyal fan of either of these products but I’ll have added them to my online shop when they were heavily discounted, and then ended up unwittingly buying them at full price when repeating an order.  

Own brand isn't always cheapest

Tesco’s own products are surprisingly not always the cheapest.

A 60g bag of Tesco wild rocket costs £1.10 for instance, but a similar bag made by another brand called Fresh & Naked costs £1. 

Or a bag of Tesco gala apples cost £1.60, but Rosedene Farm (also a Tesco brand) sells a six-pack for 90p.

Using price filters helps to bring the super-cheap brands to the top, but remember to compare value, i.e. price per weight, rather than price.

Hidden offers

Starting with an empty basket means being able to pick and choose Clubcard deals.

My kids love a Cantaloupe melon, normally £1.90, but this week they are getting a Galia one as it’s 40p cheaper with a Clubcard. 

I also swapped 90p tins of Branston beans off our order for a four for £1.70 deal on Tesco’s own.

Had I just repeated my old orders I reckon I would have missed out on £5 worth of savings on Clubcard deals alone. 

Buy frozen

We’ve always chosen fresh meat and fish over frozen due to the quicker cooking times and stronger flavours, but a quick browse of Tesco’s virtual shelf convinced me to switch. 

I can get four frozen salmon fillets for £4, while two fresh ones cost £4.50. 

A 1kg bag of frozen chicken breasts for £6 is better value than a 300g pair of fresh ones for £2.50, saving me £1.50 over three weeks. 

A year ago I would have been happier to have paid the premium for fresh produce, but in light of soaring price hikes I’ll be buying frozen from now on. 

Be ruthless

Going through an order manually helped me see which of our regular buys we don’t really need. 

My toddler can live without her £2 packs of Organix crisps that mostly end up on the floor or stuffed in my pocket while my six-year-old really doesn’t need kids’ mouthwash.

For my part I’m going to ditch the highly addictive Snack A Jacks salt and vinegar rice cakes that taunt me all day from the cupboard.

These have been on my repeat shopping list for weeks but due to laziness I’ve not really considered how little we need them.

What I learned

All supermarkets have website or app functions where you can add items from previous orders – so my findings will likely apply wherever you shop.

Tesco said it shows weekly special offers prominently on both the website and the app, so customers can have a browse through and see if there’s any cheaper alternatives.

From now I'll never repeat orders again – even though it will probably take an extra 20 minutes or half an hour each week. 

It’s worth it for the savings – although I know I won’t be able to claw back £50 every single week.

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It could be less or more, depending on what i have in my basket at the time, and what's on offer.

But if I make even just a few quid back by switching up products on Clubcard deals and multibuys I’ll be happy – after all, every little helps.

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