Significant cost savings can be made by households by making the right shopping decisions, the Consumer Protection Service said on Wednesday.

“In these challenging times, the market provides several options in both products and points of sale, allowing consumers to make choices that are most advantageous to them,” its report said.

Inspectors of the Consumer Protection Service visited two supermarkets and carried out a virtual shopping exercise for 44 essential consumer goods.

For each supermarket, two shopping baskets were created. The first basket contained the cheapest items, while the second included similar, albeit more expensive, products from the same shelf.

The results of the simulated shopping indicated that in the first supermarket, the cost of the cheaper basket amounted to €131.27, while the cost of the more expensive one was €177.94, or 35.55 per cent more.

As for the second supermarket, the cost of the cheaper basket was €142.52, while the cost of the more expensive one was €199.39, which was 39.9 per cent higher.

“The result of the simulated shopping demonstrates that careful choices can lead to substantial savings for households in their shopping,” the Consumer Protection Service said, which also recommended rational consumer habits based on real needs.

“These habits can result in smart and cost-effective shopping choices.

“For this reason, we encourage consumers to conduct the necessary market research to identify the most cost-effective supermarket and products based on their needs,” it said.

The report further advised consumers to prepare shopping lists based on their actual requirements, which they should stick to while shopping. Additionally, it urged not to make purchases solely because certain items are on sale.