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Nine ways to save money on grocery shopping in Spain

The Local
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Nine ways to save money on grocery shopping in Spain
Ways to save money on supermarket shopping in Spain. Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

Food shopping has definitely put a dent in all of our wallets recently, so here are our top tips on how to save money at Spanish supermarkets, from the cheapest 'supermercados' in Spain's different regions to the apps that'll help you cut costs.


Inflation in Spain stood at 10.4 percent in August 2022, 0.4 percent lower than that registered in July, according to the latest data from Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE). 

This only represents a slight decrease in price, not enough for it to be noticeable when you reach the checkout during a weekly food shop. 


Supermarket prices have risen considerably since 2021 in Spain. Carrefour has raised its prices by 12.1 percent, Mercadona by 11.4 percent and Euroski by 9.5 percent. 

Some of the products that have risen the most include sunflower oil (up by 44.4 percent), Red Bull (up by 15.9 percent), ketchup (up by 15.2 percent) and Coca-Cola (up by 14.3 percent). 

Here are our top tips on how to save money on your supermarket shop in Spain. 

Know which are the cheapest supermarkets to shop at

It pays to know where to shop and can save you a significant amount of money by shopping at more affordable chains. The cheapest supermarket may not be the one just down the road from you, so you may have to go slightly further, but as long as it’s not costing you extra petrol money, it might be worth it.

The cheapest supermarkets will depend on where you live in Spain. According to the latest data from the Organisation of Consumers and Users in Spain (OCU), these are the cheapest places to shop in your region of Spain:

  • In Madrid the cheapest supermarket chains are: Alcampo, Supeco and Mercadona.
  • In Catalonia the supermarkets offering the lowest prices are Alcampo, Supeco, Consum, Mercadona and Lidl.
  • In Galicia the cheapest are Alcampo, Familia, Mercadona and Gadis.
  • In the Valencia region the most affordable are Family Cash, Alcampo, Consum and Mercadona.
  • In Andalusia you can get more for your money at Híper Dani, Más Ahorro, Consum, Alcampo and Mercadona.

Buy supermarket store brands

Forget fancy brands of peanut butter and Kellogg’s cereals, if you want to save money, the best way is to buy store brands. According to the OCU, Aldi sells the best value own brands, followed by Mercadona and Lidl.


Be organised and make a list

Make sure you’re organised when you go shopping – have a budget and make a list of ingredients you need. If you have it all written down, you’re unlikely to go rogue and buy other items, just because you like the look of them. Remember never to shop when you’re hungry as you’re bound to overspend and load up your trolley with more than you need. 

And while you're at it, if you can help it, try not to go shopping with the kids. You're more likely to get lots of extra items in your basket if the little ones get any say. 

Pay attention to promotions

Look out for promotions and vouchers both in-store and online. You may be able to get money off, buy one get one free offers or coupons for discounts on certain products. 

Make use of loyalty card schemes

Not all supermarkets offer loyalty cards in Spain, but the main ones that do in Spain are Carrefour, Dia, Lidl and Eroski.

The Dia Club card gets you benefits such as coupons and special prices, while Lidl’s Club Plus enables you to get discounts through the app as well as enter you into prize draws. It can also get you discounts at certain petrol stations, as well as deals for family days out to local zoos.  

Those who opt for Carrefour’s scheme can get savings on insurance offered by the supermarket, a five percent deduction on your energy bill if you’re with Iberdrola, and eight percent if you’re with EDP.

You can also save one percent on food prices, as well as enjoy an eight percent refund on the petrol cost if you refuel at one of their own service stations or four percent if you fill up at a CEPSA station.

Take your own shopping bags

This should be something that you’re doing anyway in order to help the environment and not use so much plastic, but taking your own reusable bags will save you money too. Shopping bags on average cost around €0.05 to €0.30 cents.


Look out for discounted items

Sometimes items may be discounted because they need to be used up quickly or have gone past their sell-by date. Usually, these items are labelled with a bright yellow sticker and have a percentage discount on them. As long as you plan on using up the food soon, these discounted items can help you save a lot.

Use apps

Using apps such as Too Good to Go can also be a great way to save money on food shopping. Simply sign up to the app and you’ll be able to see all kinds of deals available.

It could be a bakery that needs to sell off their bread and pastries quickly before they go stale or a greengrocer that needs to sell the rest of their tomatoes before they go bad. This means that you could grab yourself a whole box of food for just a few euros.

Buy loose grains

If you’re buying for just yourself or yourself and a partner instead of a whole family, it can sometimes be cheaper to buy smaller quantities. Rather than buying a whole family bag of rice, it might make more financial sense to buy loose rice from dispensers and get a smaller amount. Of course, this option won’t be available in all supermarkets, so shop around and find out where you can buy grains this way. 


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