The key to saving money at the supermarket

Did you know companies can pay for prime spots on supermarket shelves?

It's a clever ploy to get you to buy their product. Things at eye-level are more likely to be snapped-up than those above head-height.

Darryl Evans from the Mangere Budgeting Services took The AM Show through some steps to ensure clever tactics like this don't dupe people over the Christmas period.

"Everything above the shoulder and below the knee is much cheaper," Mr Evans said.

He explained companies know that "nobody wants to bend".

Another tip: Go for a smaller-sized trolley.

He said that people often fill trolley space because it's there, not because it needs to be filled.

"More often than not you're filling it because everybody else is filling it."

And there are better days than others to shop if you're on the hunt for a bargain.

He said Mondays and Thursdays are when a lot of sales occur.

"Most supermarkets will order big on a Friday because they think they're going to have a really big weekend," he explained, "if that doesn't occur they reduce those prices on a Monday".

"The other day to go is a Thursday, often they down the prices on meat products and dairy products."

Mr Evans said frozen vegetables were increasing in popularity as a good way to save money, and often had similar if not equal health benefits.

He also pointed out that home brands are usually great quality, and often made in the same factories as name-brand counterparts.

"A can of home brand beans is about 85 cents, versus, say, Heinz, which is about $1.95."

Mr Evans said there were huge differences in what people in different areas of Auckland were putting in their trolleys.

In more affluent suburbs there was a trend towards more expensive "health foods" whereas poorer areas spent a lot more time in the soft drink and potato chips aisles.

He said it was "shocking" to see children in poorer suburbs walking to school with bottles of fizzy drink.

"A litre of fizzy drink right now is 89 cents... we've got to do better".