Britons Laziness Costs Them Millions Every Year

By: Andrew Regan

Britons could substantially boost the amount of money they have stored away in savings accounts if they shopped around for their groceries, it has been revealed. Research by Alliance & Leicester Savings has found that 36 per cent of people in Britain - or 16 million - are paying over the odds for basic household provisions.

This has been put down to the fact that 62 per cent of the people polled - which equates to around 27 million people - do not choose the grocery products which offer the best value. By way of contrast, just three per cent of people (1,326,000) say they would not shop around for the best available deal for a holiday flight or new electrical product.

This disregard for prudence is attributed to a commonly held belief that savings cannot be made on everyday goods. However, the study shows that in fact savings of up to 50 per cent can be made on items on an ordinary shopping bill.

This means that savings account balances - or even the balances of e-savings accounts - could be significantly boosted should a little extra effort be exerted. Specifically, 51 per cent of respondents said they didn't believe there was much difference in the cost of typical groceries, and 43 per cent shop at the most accessible store regardless of price.

As a result, 78 per cent said they are prepared to pay what they realise might be slightly more for a loaf of wholemeal bread and 47 per cent would pay an above average price to secure a pint of milk.

Alliance & Leicester therefore speculates that collectively, Britons pay around ?16 million more than they need to just to buy a loaf of bread, a pint of milk, half a dozen eggs and four toilet rolls - money that could be stored away for future use and earning interest in the meantime.

Indeed, it is all the more surprising that people don't search for the cheapest goods given that the average annual shopping bill for a family of four comes in at around ?4,700, especially as the reason for this is given as "we can't be bothered" by 26 per cent - or 11 million people.

If consumers took more control of their finances and put money saved by being more prudent into a savings account, more could be spent on life's luxuries in the future.

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