How to save money at Sainsbury’s

Save money whilst shopping at your favourite supermarket

Sainsbury’s has the second largest market share of the UK grocery industry and with a well established loyalty scheme and shelf-ends of enticing offers, it’s a popular choice for consumers. But can you save money whilst shopping at Sainsbury? 

Earn Nectar points

If you’re shopping at Sainsbury’s you should swipe that Nectar card. You’ll get one point for every £1 you spend at Sainsbury’s. This isn’t worth a huge amount – just 0.5p per point, or the equivalent of 0.5% back on your spending – but it’s better than nothing.

You can use the points to pay for your shopping or use them with selected partners. Though rare, keep an eye out for offers such as ‘Points Power Up’ where at various times of the year they increase the value of your points, as much as doubling their value. 

You can read more here on how to earn and spend your Nectar points.

A word of warning – don’t leave your Nectar card on your keyring as if you lose your keys, anyone picking them up can spend your points. If you can, it’s better to keep it digital and saved to your phone in the Nectar app.

Get Nectar Prices

Nectar Prices are lower prices offered to Nectar card holders. You’ll need to swipe your card in Sainsbury’s in order to get these discounts.

Be careful not to assume the prices you see are good value. It might be that the normal selling price at other supermarkets is actually less than the Sainsbury’s full price, and not much different to the Nectar Price. Here’s more about how they work.

Help kids get Nectar Prices

Don’t forget to load your Nectar card onto your kids phones so they can benefit from Nectar prices. Sainsbury’s terms & conditions state that individuals under 18 years of age, can use their parent’s or legal guardian’s card.

Stocard is an easy way to add loyalty cards to phones so they’re all in one place and ideal for adding to kids phones so they don’t miss out on cheaper prices.

Save with Your Nectar Prices

There is also the similarly named ‘Your Nectar Prices’, which are bespoke to you and based on your shopping habits. These will automatically be applied if you shop online, but if you shop in-store, then you have to use the SmartShop app or handset to apply the lower price. We’ve summarised all you need to know about Your Nectar Prices here.

Your Nectar Prices are based on your shopping habits and the savings can be quite significant, but examining my current offers and from past experience, none of them are for lower prices on products I buy regularly but tend to be on products I’ve bought just once.

For example, two pints of milk when I normally buy 4 pints (I did buy two pints recently when there were no 4 pint bottles available!). Of course they are trying to encourage me to repeat the purchase but the randomness of the products can be a little hit or miss.

Earn points via Sainsbury’s Offers

In your Nectar account you’ll also see weekly updated offers to earn additional points on certain products. You must save these offers before shopping in order for the points to be added when you buy those items.

Check for other Nectar offers

It’s also worth taking a look at the Nectar app from time to time for other ways to earn bonus points when shopping at Sainsbury’s. 

For example, a recent promotion offered 3,000 points if you collected 300 points at the supermarket within a certain time period. We’ll share any particularly decent deals like this in our Loyalty card points offers page.

Shop Sainsbury’s own label

Sainsbury’s used to have a large number of value sub-brands like Lovett’s, J. James, Hubbards to name a few but they’ve recently been rebranded under the Stamford Street Co. name. 

Having one brand name makes the value range a lot easier to spot when you’re shopping at Sainsburys. Many of the Stamford Street Co. products are also price matched to Aldi keeping the prices in line with many of Tesco’s.

Check for freebies

It’s possible to pick up some freebies when shopping online with Sainsbury’s. The items are listed here, along with some competitions.

Shop in the evening for yellow stickers

Although stores vary with the times they reduce groceries, the general consensus for Sainsbury’s is that it usually takes place after 7pm. 

Price reductions in Sainsbury’s vary but they’re usually in one place making it easier for you to hunt for those yellow sticker bargains.

Buy surplus fruit and veg

Sainsbury’s has introduced fruit and vegetable boxes at over 200 stores for customers to purchase surplus products at a reduced price. For £2, you can purchase one of their ‘Taste Me, Don’t Waste Me’ fruit and veg boxes.

Check cashback apps

Don’t forget to check your cashback apps like Checkout Smart, Shopmium and Green Jin, before you go shopping as you may find money back on something you were going to buy or even free items.

Sainsbury often has one of the greatest number of offers on these apps. You can find out everything you need to know about cashback shopping apps here.

Don’t use the Sainsbury’s credit card

Earning extra points on your spending by using a Sainsbury’s Bank credit card may seem like a good idea but there are currently better reward credit card offers you can get instead and still collect your usual Nectar points.

For example, spend £10 at Sainsbury’s with their own credit card and you’ll earn just 10 extra Nectar points, which is worth 5p (so the equivalent of 0.5%). Spend the same at a different shop and you’ll get just 2 points, worth 1p (which works out as 0.1%). 

So, the Sainsbury’s credit card may be what’s known as a reward card, but be warned, the rewards are not great!

A better alternative is the American Express Nectar credit card. That’ll earn you two points for every £1 spent regardless of the shop. That’s 10p for every £10, the equivalent of 1% back. It’s free in year one, but has a £30 fee from year two.

More on this and other options in our round up of the best reward credit cards – use one of these when shopping at Sainsbury’s instead.

Avoid Local stores

We expect to pay a little more for convenience, but Which? undertook a survey in February 2023 that actually found that for a basket of 69 items, Sainsbury’s Local cost on average £477.93 over a year more than a regular Sainsbury’s supermarket. 

Although Sainsbury’s Local is significantly more expensive, don’t forget to take travel costs into account if you have to travel to a larger Sainsbury’s supermarket as this could off-set any savings.

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Buy a discounted gift card

Sites like JamDoughnut, TopGiftcards, HyperJar and Cheddar sell prepaid gift cards to use at Sainsbury’s earning you cashback when you purchase them. Here’s how they work.

JamDoughnut currently offers 3% cashback and HyperJar 4%. These are both boosted rates at the time of writing but check all four as they often vary the amount of cashback they offer.

Purchase a Delivery Pass

Sainsbury’s offers grocery delivery and Click+Collect services with varying prices depending on location and time but be warned, their online information pages have conflicting information on prices and minimum order thresholds. Most deliveries cost between £1 and £5.50.

If you regularly shop online with Sainsbury’s, you can save on delivery costs by purchasing a delivery pass. The Anytime Delivery Pass entitles you to a free delivery per day, 7 days per week with a minimum spend of £40. This pass costs £80 for 12 months, £43 for 6 months or £7.50 for a monthly pass.

The Midweek Delivery Pass offers one free delivery per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when you spend £40 or more.This pass costs £40 for 12 months, or £4 for a monthly pass.

Get a Christmas boost

You can earn a 5% bonus when you pay into Sainsbury’s Christmas Club. The last date to top up your Christmas saver was 1st November in 2023. You can top up your Christmas Club saver card at any in-store checkout or self-service till. 

It’s a good idea to add money into the Christmas saving scheme as close to the closing date as possible. By doing this, you’ll still qualify for the bonus, but won’t lose out on any interest you would have made if the money was invested elsewhere. Andy has compiled all you need to know about Sainsbury’s Christmas saving scheme here.

Is Sainsbury’s the cheapest UK supermarket?

Sainsbury’s sits in the middle of the supermarket price table for 2023 and is just pence off Tesco for a basket of 44 set items. Lidl and Aldi average around £10 cheaper for that set basket but you can’t get all the groceries and the selection of brands that you can at Sainsbury’s. There aren’t a lot of tricks to make your shop cheaper but if you want good quality and consistency, then Sainsbury’s is right there.


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