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According to the latest data*, Marks & Spencer has been named as the nation’s favourite supermarket, beating premium brands as well as discount supermarkets to take the crown.

But despite coming out on top in the in-store ranking, M&S was trumped by most other brands in the online league tables, with Iceland beating Tesco, Ocado and Sainsbury’s at the top of the list.

With the cost of living surging as gas, petrol and electricity prices hit all time highs, it’s never been more important to shop smart and keep the cost of your weekly food shop as low as possible. To find out how, check out the latest tips from’s personal finance experts:

James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at, said: “If you want to keep the cost of your weekly shop low, the key is preparation.

“Shopping without a clear plan is an easy route to overspending, so before you set out, do a quick inventory of your cupboard, fridge and freezer check to see what you’ve already got in – especially anything open or close to going off or out of date.

“Once you know that, work out what else you need to buy to turn those items into meals for the week ahead, and then do a quick sketch of what other meals you’ll need.

“You want to keep this flexible – think meal ideas rather than exact recipes – because once you get into the store you might find a really cheap deal on sausages, and nothing at all on mince, meaning you need to adjust your plan to get the best value.

“Don’t get too hung up on brand names either. The biggest brands have the cash to run regular promotions, which can be tempting. However, most of the time, even these discounts will end up costing you more than going with the supermarket’s own brand range.

“If you’re worried about quality, give the own-brand items a try one week and see what you think – if you’re happy with the taste then you can stick with them in future.

“It’s also worth covering every aisle. Some items – think soy sauce, rice and noodles – are far cheaper in the ‘world foods’ aisle than in other parts of the supermarket. Snacks like raisins can be found for less in the ‘home baking’ aisle than among the snacks and the freezer aisle is almost always cheaper than the chilled one for a whole host of almost identical items.

“It’s also worth doing a bit of detective work at your local store to find out when the yellow reduced stickers come out. You could get tomorrow’s lunch or dinner at a cut price if you shop a few hours before closing time, for example, but asking staff in store is often the best plan to find out exactly when reduced items appear.

“Finally, make sure you don’t miss out on any cashback offers, vouchers or reward cards that you may be eligible for.

“Nectar and Tesco Clubcard holders can use mobile apps to collect points, which can be redeemed for discounts on shopping. Make sure to check your app before going shopping so that you know which discounts you can get.

“Taking vouchers and discount codes with you to the shops can also go a long way to cutting bills – and you can plan your meal list to include them. That also means you’ll be able to use them up before the expiry dates.

“Vouchers are also available for parents and caregivers. To find out if you qualify, contact your child’s school and they should have the information you need. Similarly, discount codes found inside free supermarket magazines at store entrances and exits often provide handy savings, so it’s always worth grabbing a copy.”