MoneySavingExpert urges shoppers to take Martin Lewis supermarket challenge | The Sun

MILLIONS of shoppers could cut their food bills by taking the downshift challenge.

It involves swapping out premium brand items for supermarket own-brands.

Martin Lewis launched the "downshift challenge" back in the early naughties in the hope to cut food bills by 30%.

The MoneySavingExpert founder suggested families try the trick to reduce their food bills as the cost of living soars.

Energy bills are set to hit £3,553 from October and with inflation predicted to hit 18.6% in January it's vital to save where you can.

The MoneySavingExpert team said: "For a family which spends £100 on their weekly shop, for example, a 30% cut would mean you save a whopping £1,500 over the course of a year."

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Martin Lewis said in his latest weekly newsletter: "If you can't tell the difference with your mouth, not your eyes, ignore the packaging and stick with the cheaper products."

Even if you only swapped half your usual foodstuffs to the cheaper range, there's still a 15% saving according to MoneySavingExpert.

We explain how to you can use the downshift challenge to cut your shopping bills.

How can I take the downshift challenge

The challenge involves swapping out name-brand products for supermarket own-brand food.

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There are four main brand levels to choose from when you're browsing the aisles – premium, branded, own-brand and value.

The downshift challenge applies to most food items as well as other supermarket items such as beverages, toiletries and cleaning products.

Premium products are often described as "luxury" or "finest" and will have snazzier-looking packaging.

Branded goods are the household names we're all familiar with – such as Heinz baked beans and Walkers crisps.

Own-brand lines are usually the supermarket's take on those branded products.

The cheapest items will be in the value or basics range, which will usually have the most plain packaging.

Aldi's "Everyday Essentials" and Asda's "Just Essentials" are examples of supermarket basic ranges.

Moving down one or two levels from your usual price point can help you slash your food bill.

It's best to start small and Martin Lewis said: "So if you usually buy four cartons of Tropicana orange juice, next time buy three of those and one of Tesco's own brand."

If the items taste exactly the same – swap them out, stick with them and save up to £1,500 a year.

And if you want to save even more – try down shifting your supermarket.

Use your usual supermarket saving techniques too, like using your loyalty card or checking for coupons to maximise your savings.

How to find the best supermarket value products

The Sun's Squeeze Team regularly compares branded products with supermarket copycat versions so you don't have to.

And our team of money savers have tested own-brand ice cream, bread, instant coffee and chopped tomatoes across a number of supermarkets.

In our latest product test, we found a Aldi's cookie dough ice cream beat Ben and Jerry's.

Online forums are good places to look for the best dupes, and ask your friends about their favourite basic range items.

In fact, some own-brand products are actually identical to the more expensive options.

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