Nectar Prices – will they save you money at Sainsbury’s?

The latest Sainsbury’s and Nectar scheme offers extra discounts on your shopping.

There’s been a change in the way you can get offers at Sainsbury’s via Nectar. It’s effectively the same as Tesco’s Clubcard prices, with extra discounts available to those who swipe their Nectar card at the till.

This is in addition to similarly named My Nectar prices, now known as Your Nectar prices. More on both these schemes below.

What are “Nectar Prices”?

Nectar Prices is a new promotion from Nectar and Sainsbury’s. You’ll be offered reduced prices on a selection of items, starting with 300 products from “household products, pet food and confectionary” and expanding further as the year goes on.

This is actually quite a broad range as household products includes things like cereal, baked beans, tea and gin. The main absentees look like fresh and frozen food.

How to get Nectar Prices

You’ll need to be a member of the free Nectar loyalty scheme, and then scan your card at checkout or have it linked to your online Sainsbury’s account. The discount will then be automatically applied to your basket when you pay.

How good are the My Nectar Prices discounts?

The discounts are only on specific items, so you won’t save any money if what you want to buy isn’t part of the promotion.

But if you do want to buy something included, how much will you save? I’ve looked at a handful of random products at launch in April 2023.

ItemFull priceNectar PriceDiscount %
Hellmann’s Real Squeezy Mayonnaise 750ml£3.90£3.2516.67%
McVitie’s Hobnobs Milk Chocolate Biscuits 262g£1.90£1.2534.21%
Corona Extra Premium Lager Beer Bottles 12x330ml£14.00£9.0035.71%
Taylors of Harrogate Lazy Sunday Ground Coffee 227g£4.303.518.60%
Fairy Fabric Conditioner Original for Sensitive Skin 2.905L£4.75£4.2510.53%
Aussie Mega Instant Shampoo 500ml£5.50£4.5018.18%
Capri-Sun Nothing Artificial No Added Sugar Multvitamin 8x200ml£3.00£2.2525.00%
Cadbury Darkmilk Hazelnut Chocolate Bar 85g£1.50£1.2516.67%
Diet Coke 2L£2.40£1.5037.50%
Gillette Venus Swirl Flexiball Women’s Razor +2 Blades£19.00£12.6533.42%
Sharwood’s Butter Chicken Curry Sauce 420g£3.00£1.6046.67%
Lynx Black Deodorant & Bodyspray 250ml£5.00£3.0040.00%

From this random selection of items, the discount ranged from 10% to 47%. That’s quite a difference.

However 300 items isn’t actually that much, and it looks like it skews towards things like washing up and shampoo rather than food. And many are variations of the same thing – so 10 types of Lynx deodorant, or 7 different bottles of Fairy Liquid.

So don’t expect to find the bulk of your trolley to be discounted – at least for now.

Are other supermarkets cheaper?

Sainsbury’s doesn’t have a reputation as particularly cheap. So even with the discounted prices it stands to reason you might still get these items for the same price or less at another supermarket – particularly if they have offers on the go.

Well I had a quick look at the Trolley supermarket comparison site for the 12 items above and prices were either the same or less at Sainsbury’s! Quite a surprise. Of course, that will change depending on your offers not just at Sainsbury’s but those other retailers.

How are “Your Nectar Prices” different?

Launched in late 2021, Your Nectar Prices (previously called My Nectar Prices), is very similar. You’ll get a lower price on selected items as a Nectar cardholder. However there are a few big differences.

First, the reduced items are based on your shopping habits, so they should be items you’ve previously bought. The more you shop at Sainsbury’s (and scan your card), the more products you’ll likely see.

That’s the theory at least. There are often some very random products listed for me, though that could be since I don’t visit Sainsbury’s much. The offers will change every week.

The discount on each product is valid on multiple purchases for a set amount of time, so if there’s something you really like you can stock up.

Second, and perhaps most likely to catch you out – you can only get the discounts in-store at Sainsbury’s, and only if you use the SmartShop app or handsets.

At launch in 2021, I asked Sainsbury’s if they planned to bring them to online purchases and they told me “We will be listening closely to customers’ feedback before bringing My Nectar Prices to other channels.” 18 months on and it’s nothing has changed – so I wouldn’t expect this offer to come to online shopping.

How to get Your Nectar Prices

You’ll be able to see your personalised discounts in the Nectar app and on the Nectar website. There’s no need to activate the offers, as you would with the Weekly Offers promotion. You’ll see how long you have to get the discount.

You then need to use SmartShop. Smart Shop is a system where you scan as you go. This allows you to pack as you shop and avoid normal checkouts. Instead, you’ll go to a dedicated SmartShop till where you settle up. Occasionally you might be randomly asked to rescan your purchases.

Most stores will have a scanner when you enter the store. You’ll need to scan your Nectar card. Otherwise you’ll need to download the SmartShop app to your phone. It’s available to iOS 12.0 or later and “most Android phones”.

Warning: check the actual price

The Your Nectar Prices discounts are against a “usual price”, which is based on how much the item is selling for at the Beckon Sainsbury’s up to a week before the day the offer is shown to you. This means your discount might actually be less or more than the one shown to you.

Though it’s less likely an individual shop has a different price (unless it’s part of a stock clearance), there’s a chance past or future promotions could change the original price when you actually go to use the offer.

Here’s what I found for five of the 12 discounted items on my account when it launched in 2021 (the rest where the same price):

“Usual” priceMy Nectar PriceActual selling priceDifference
Decaff Yorkshire Tea x 160£4.75£3.89£4.50£0.25
12x Schweppes Slimline tonic£4.90£3.78£3.50£1.40
Manilife crunchy peanut butter 295g£3.00£2.31£3.75-£0.75
BOL Thai Green Curry£2.75£2.25£2.25£0.50
McCain Chimichurri chips£2.00£1.64£3-£1.00
Real selling price via on 29/9/21

Three items were selling at a lower price thanks to special offers, therefore reducing the size of my discount. One item was still cheaper with Nectar Prices but another one was the same as the My Nectar Prices offer, and the third was cheaper! In the case of the latter, you’d obviously pay the lower price as listed on the shelves.

But with two items the My Nectar Prices discount actually grew! It seems the “usual” price, as set by the Beckton store a week ago was lower than the full price available to me. Perhaps there was a discount that’s now ended? Whatever the reason, you’d get a larger than 30% discount in these examples.

Since everyone will get different products it’s hard to say how common this will be. And it could also vary depending on the day you use the promotions. The only way to know for certain if it’s a decent discount is to check the price on the shelf when you pay.

Though it’s also a good reminder that just because an item is discounted it doesn’t actually mean you’ll be saving money. So don’t buy anything unless you actually want it – regardless of the amount you might “save”.

How do Nectar Prices work with other Nectar offers?

Nectar points

Nectar prices is an extra offer rather than replacing the usual points system. That means you’ll still be able to earn Nectar points on your shopping. The rate will remain at 1 point per £1 spent, which works out as the equivalent of 0.5% back.

Sainsbury’s Offers

The Weekly Sainsbury’s Offers look like they are here to stay. Each week you’ll get the chance to earn bonus points on selected products. They’re often based on your shopping history. You need to first save the offer via the Nectar app and then buy it before the deal expires.

Other deals

There’s not really much to shout about here at the best of times, but it doesn’t look like there’s been any change to the other ways you can use your points. You can read more about the best ways to spend and collect Nectar points here.

Are Nectar Prices good or bad for shoppers?

Andy’s Analysis

My early take on the offer is that it’s OK. If you shop at Sainsbury’s anyway, and if you are going to buy those items anyway, then you may as well grab the discount. But this isn’t going to revolutionise loyalty schemes.

It does mean you’ll need to remember to bring your Nectar card with you when shopping – though it’s easy to access this via the Nectar app so that shouldn’t be a problem.

However, I’m still not convinced by Your Nectar Prices – why the need for two different apps to get the savings? Why can’t they offer the discounts online?

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2 thoughts on “Nectar Prices – will they save you money at Sainsbury’s?

  1. Hi there,
    You seem to suggest that to benefit from Nectar Prices, those advertised on the shelf, you have to have the app or the smart shopper thingy.
    I’ve been into Sainsbury’s twice in the last week to purchase Leffe beer at £13.00 down from £16.00 as advertised online and on shelf. Both times I have been charged full price and had to justify the reduction at customer service. They don’t seem to have a clue. I’ve been told, unconvincingly, that I need the app, I need the smart shopper thingy, that it’s online only, that it stopped on Sunday. Despite this I bought another, different, item and the Nectar Price was clearly shown on my receipt.
    The advertising blurb from Sainsbury’s says all Nectar Card holders. Just swipe at the till. Perhaps you can explain to me that which Sainsbury’s have been unable to. Can I just go in and put stuff in my basket and pay at the till having swiped my Nectar Card and receive the discount or will I have to train myself to use the smart shopper doubrey? I do not carry my phone with me all the time so the app would be no good to me!
    Thank you for reading and hopefully responding.

    1. No, there are two promotions – Nectar Prices, which is online and instore and available to all with a Nectar card; and Your Nectar Prices – which is instore only and requires the Smart Shop scanners. Details are in the article


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