PRICES of baby supplies such as nappies and wipes have skyrocketed by 60 per cent in recent months.
A Pampers 24-pack of Baby-Dry Night Nappy Pants Size 6 at Asda was £5 in June and £8 in July, trade magazine The Grocer says, and it is a similar story across the major supermarkets.
While most stores offer cheaper own-brand buys, the cost of many parenting essentials has soared in what is being called “mumflation”.
Meanwhile, the average cost of a family’s weekly grocery shop is up £10.25 over the past month, which means £533 more a year, research firm Kantar reports, and outlays for nurseries, school uniform and stationery are going the same way.
Ken and Mary Okoroafor who run the Humble Penny savers’ blog, suggest how to make your parent pound go further, and over the page we compare prices of some products at major stores.
SHOP AT 8PM
It might not be the most convenient time to shop but Ken and Mary recommend heading down the aisles in the evening to get the best prices.
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They say: “Visit supermarkets from around 8pm for reduced- price items like bread, fruits, etc, which can be eaten in the next couple of days or frozen.”
Freezing on the day of purchase will make your goods last longer.
Don’t just rely on the major supermarkets for your shopping. If your children like to eat a lot of the same sorts of food, Ken and Mary recommend going along to wholesalers.
They say: “Bulk-buy groceries for significant discounts at wholesale retailers such as Costco.
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“They offer individual, trade and online membership options. Other wholesale retailers include Makro and Bestway.”
Last week it was reported that Sainsbury’s will cut its Nectar card rewards from November 1 to one point for every £2 spent — down from the current two points per £1.
But you can still earn rewards while shopping. Ken and Mary say: “Loyalty cards such as Co-op offer great value. You get 2p of every £1 you spend going into your Co-op membership card to spend later and they give the same amount for charitable causes.
“You will also get weekly offers such as discounts on groceries in the store.”
Ken and Mary say: “Beware of multi-buys and work out the cost per unit by doing a quick unit-price calculation.
For example, work out the cost per 100ml if buying drinks, by dividing the total price in pence by total volume and multiplying this by 100.
"Supermarkets are required by law to use unit-pricing on items, but some do not do this clearly enough.”
DITCH SCHOOL SNACKS
There is one food item parents do not need to waste their hard-earned on, according to The Humble Penny bloggers. Ken and Mary say: “Avoid buying ridiculously marked-up supermarket pre-packed school snacks.
“With a little prep the night before, you can slice up some apples and add berries and pop them in a Tupperware tub (labelled with your child’s name). For example, an Aldi apple snack pack is 33p for one apple sliced up, but you can get a pack of six apples for 90p.”
BULK UP WITH PULSES
Our savvy pair do not advocate ditching all meat, but suggest bulking up meat dishes such as spag bol with pulses.
Ken and Mary say: “They are healthy, delicious and cheap — cooked the right way, you don’t even notice the difference.”
BUY PRE-LOVED CLOTHES
Clothes for growing children can be extremely costly, but Ken and Mary have saved hundreds by buying secondhand.
They say: “Schools should provide a secondhand uniform shop or stall as part of government rules to drive costs down for parents. Not only does this help reduce waste, you also make a saving.
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“We have been buying pre-loved clothes for years, and also donate our children’s old clothes to the secondhand shop. This has saved us hundreds of pounds.”
- Ken and Mary Okoroafor are founders of personal finance blog The Humble Penny, and their YouTube channel. Follow them @thehumblepenny on Instagram.
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