Deal stack to bring down the cost of a supermarket shop at Marks and Spencer. Find out below how I recently saved 57% on food and drink!
I’m starting a series of articles showing the tricks you can use to pay less at popular shops and first up is Marks and Spencer Simply Food. And it’s for one very simple reason – it’s not cheap!
Though the quality of the grub is, in my opinion, far better than most if not all the other supermarkets, the prices are much higher.
However, since it’s the supermarket closest to the tube station I use to get to and from work, I do tend to pop in for stuff most weeks. So to bring down the costs I’ve found a series of ways to cut what I pay.
Get a Sparks card
This is the first step to start saving. Once you get a card you can use the app or website to apply discounts each week. You’ll see offers such as 20% off avocados or 20% off fish. Simply apply them to your card and show your card at checkout to get the saving. Frustratingly the app NEVER scans on the self-service checkout, so you’ll need to carry the physical card with you.
Sometimes these discounts are for non-food items, and you obviously won’t want to buy all the food items offered. But every month or so there’s an offer which will give you £5 of £25, or 10% off the total.
These are great! I’ll generally try to hit M&S when these bigger offers come about – and then combine it with the offers below.
Get up to 15% off M&S gift vouchers from Zeek
I’m a huge fan of Zeek, the website and app which allows you to buy and sell unwanted gift cards. For a lot of retailers the discount is only around 3%, but with Marks and Spencer you can often get 10%, if not 15%. First-time users can also save an extra £5 with the code CLEVERCASH. There’s a minimum spend of £45
In Zeek there are usually two M&S voucher types. The biggest discount is usually for paper vouchers which are sent in the post. As I write this there are more than a dozen £50 vouchers available with a 15% discount.
The other option is a digital code, with the discount here usually between 4% and 10%. Obviously, you can’t use these codes in-store, But you can go online to the M&S website and use the e-code to order a physical gift card. As long as you order a card worth more than £30, you’ll get free delivery.
Take advantage of the Dine in for £10 meal deal
One of the most popular regular promotions at M&S is the Dine in for 2 for £10 offer. If you don’t know it you get the following for a tenner:
- A main
- A side
- A dessert
- A bottle of wine
Now if you pick carefully this deal can be great value. I’ll almost always go for the whole chicken as we’ll get a few meals from it. Sides can be a little disappointing, but things like potato rostis are great to throw in the freezer. Desserts all pretty tasty, but things like trifles or apple pies can easily feed four people. Then take your pick of the selected wines.
The last time I used this offer, the items would have totalled £20.51, so that’s more than 50% saved.
Bulk buy offers such as the “3 for £10” meat and fish
You get top quality meat and fish and M&S – but you pay for it. So this is a really good ongoing offer to pay less.
The trick is to pick the products which are most expensive at full price such as salmon and prawns, The discount then brings down prices to on par or less than at other supermarkets. I’ll usually stock up and throw a few in the freezer.
Another good deal is the regular 25% off wine and beer. You need to buy six bottles.
Look for price matching
Often, especially with fruit and veg, I’ll spot a product has been price matched with a retailer such as Tesco. And the quality is often a lot better.
Raid the reductions
You might have read how I’m addicted to reduced yellow sticker food, and if you time it right, M&S have good reductions on their food. Really good. My freezer has a lot of reduced to clear Marks food!
Open an M&S Bank account
You get a £100 M&S gift card when you switch to M&S Bank, then a further £5 a month for a year as long as you have two active direct debits. Free money!
How I combined all these offers to save 57%
Brilliantly, you can stack all these different tricks and offers which means you can use your Sparks card discount to save an extra 10% on your Dine in for £10 deal and “three for £10” meat and fish, then save an extra 10% by using a Zeek bought gift card!
This receipt pic below shows how I did this. The full price at checkout was £38.83, though the asparagas was reduced and the tomatoes price matched, so the real total price should have been £41.53.
Then the 3 for £10, dine in for £10 and a £5 off when you spend £25 Sparks code were applied, bringing the cost down to £20.07.
I paid with a Zeek bought gift card, which meant I saved a further 10%.
So this meant I paid £18.06 – saving 57%! I reckon that’s less than if I’d shopped at Asda or Tesco.
Do you have any other tips to cut what you spend on food at M&S? Let me know in the comments below or email me.