Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Saving Money with mySuperList

Recently, I was contacted by mySupermarket about testing out their new money saving app called mySuperList which covers the main supermarkets and several major retailers. At heart I am a bargain hunter and always shop comparing prices from small shops and the market, to large supermarkets, often researching via the internet beforehand (including the mySupermarket website which I also love). However working shifts around the clock and facing life’s other challenges often gets in the way, it can be hard to find the time to shop around and still make savings. So I was very interested in finding out if we could actually save money at the supermarket and decided to put mySuperList to the test.

Image Courtesey of mySuperList
To give you a little more background it’s not often I actually do one big shop anywhere – mainly as I like to shop around and tend to stockpile things on offer (we have enough washing powder until at least the middle of 2015!) but I normally keep a paper list and scribble things down as we run out or when I think we need to do the meal plan. I managed to club together a list to use last week when me and a girlfriend went shopping. We are both bargain hunters together and often will share offers, so she was keen to test out the app with me.

Having a list and not going out whilst hungry or thirsty are two of the best tips for going shopping without buying up the entire sweets aisle – so after tea and biscuits we quickly downloaded the mySuperList app onto C’s phone (my new one has since arrived yay!) which is available on both iPhone and Android. My friend preferred to go over to Tesco, despite it being a bit further away however she had seen a dress in the sale that she wanted to pick up!  I did mySuperList based on Sainsbury’s anyway as in the back of my mind I thought we could always go on the way back instead as it is nearer home.

After typing in and finding my items, Tesco came up as the more expensive option – however after clicking into the actual comparison, it was because some of the items were not comparable so it wasn't as clear.. After removing a few items and following their tips on the Swap and Save feature I did manage to save a few pounds off my shopping! I also had received some in-store vouchers in the post which further increased our savings. I am sure on a bigger shop there would be more savings to be had via checking on the app.

Some example items for cost comparisons where I saved money were –

UHT skimmed milk was 8p cheaper in Tesco – 57p vs 65p at Sainsbury’s – I buy at least 4 at a time so that’s 28p less a week! It all adds up when your rent goes up but your pay doesn't! £1.12 per month as a saving approximately

Value porridge oats 75p per 1kg in Tesco, no equivalent in Sainsbury’s – their cheapest option was £1.25 per kilo. so a saving of 50p – This is brilliant as I eat a lot of porridge and make a lot of flapjacks!

Plain flour was on offer at 90p in Tesco – however it suggested their value one – a saving of 45p. Again I bake a lot so go through easily 2-3 bags a month so approximately a saving of £1.35 a month

Whilst I was in there I managed to take advantage of some instore offers – including some fab new Hello Kitty pyjamas in the sale for me and my friend got her dress, so a worthwhile visit for us both! She also bought nearly all the same items as me and was pleased with her savings!


Things I liked about mySuperList:

Swap and Save - It suggested how to make things cheaper by down-branding items ‘Swap and Save’– I am no stranger to value/ basic options anyway but it’s a handy reminder and interesting to see what other options there are

Convenience: The app is quick to use, I can make a list or even just compare prices for example on my break at work or whilst waiting in the doctors surgery. Plus you can also check out online using your phone if you prefer shopping online- so you can literally shop anywhere!
  
Informed: Regular emails advising how to make the most of the app’s features – including scanning barcodes and how to Swap and Save – great to make the most of it

In the right place: I have a terrible habit of forgetting the list so having the list ready on the phone is very helpful!

Lists: I can make as many lists as I want! Perfect for both small and large shops. I like lists. A lot. You can also sync lists you’ve made on the site with the app and vice-versa. Listmania!
  
Major Retailers: I can compare my shopping across several retailers as the touch of a button – at the moment there is ALDI, Waitrose,ASDA, ocado, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Price alerts: You can set up price alerts for items you might be coveting – I.e the treat bottle of wine or chocolate you have your eye on and it will tell you when the price changes to at least 30% off. This is the time to buy!

Being nosey: You can see how the price has changed on the item over the course of the year, handy if you are increasingly surprised at spending more but getting less!

Things I didn’t like about mySuperList:

Finding certain deals - I got stuck trying to find other ‘butchers choice’ bacon in the ‘2 for £4.50’ deal on the app but found it in store easily. 

Lack of some normal items - There didn't seem to have a price comparison option for other retailers – in particular for Kitchen foil - it showed me the cheap one in Tesco at 56p -I had to manually search for Sainsbury’s separately – which did indeed show Sainsbury’s basics one at £1.08 – obviously at half the price I bought two whilst in Tesco!

Differing pack sizes - Whilst its not the app’s fault sometimes it can’t find items as they are in different pack sized in different retailers – in particular the fruit n fibre cereal I buy every week and this applies to the main website too…… I’ve been told that you can scan items to compare using the app, so maybe this will help next time I use it. . I will let you know!
  
No Deli choices - I actually like going in-store (except weekends!), especially to my local Sainsbury’s as I love their Spanish green olives off the deli – this applies to the random slices of salami’s I buy. (note: you can’t get this online anyway!)

The Verdict:

Overall with having had only a brief play with it, scanning items which I am yet to try and I am still getting my head around the settings, I like it so far and will carry on exploring, especially as I have now installed the app on my new phone!

I am very good at wandering around aimlessly in supermarkets up and down the aisles, as I quite like picking things up and putting them down again, as my mum often says but when time is not on my side the app comes into its own as I can focus better!

It’s also great to have a practical app that will help us keep on top of our household budget and hopefully pick up a few bargains too!

I will keep you updated regularly with my savings via my twitter feed too.

Here are the links for downloading mySuperList:

To the app store (iPhone) : http://ow.ly/uFDZm
To the Google Play store:  http://ow.ly/uFEs2



Disclaimer: This post was written in conjunction with mySupermarket and all work remains the property of Anne's Kitchen. I received expenses to cover my time and expertise however my this does not affect my opinion and all views are my own. 



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Anne
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