If you’re anything like me when you go shopping you come out with a light purse and a trolley full of items that you probably don’t need. I love sweets, chocolate and makeup and I’m easily attracted by bright packaging and my favourite treats. Whilst buying treats from time to time is fine, too much of a good thing can certainly cost in the long run. Find out what techniques I used to avoid buying items I don’t need.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry
When you’re hungry you’re more likely to fill up your trolley with instantly edible goodies like crisps and chocolate. By shopping on a full stomach you’re more likely to only buy things you need.
Stick to stores you know well
Often when you visit unfamiliar stores you don’t know where anything is so you’ll find yourself visiting most aisles which can lead to purchases you may not normally make.
When you shop online it’s a lot easier to avoid temptation as you’re not physically passing items on the shelves. You’ll also generally know what you’ll want to buy so you can save them in your favourites and reload it when you next go shopping.
Use up what you’ve bought
Often we’ll find ourselves buying more food and drink when we haven’t even finished the last items we bought. Check around your kitchen before you write your list so you’ll only buy what you need.
Create your own snacks
If you buy a lot of sweet snacks or fruit packets you’ll find these cost a lot in the long run. Buy whole pieces of fruit and chop them up for breakfast or lunch. You can also freeze fruit like grapes for a frozen sweet treat that will satisfy a craving without costing you anything.
Buy non food items at Poundland
Whilst it’s more convenient to buy items like washing powder and bin bags during your weekly shop, it’s probably costing you more. Shops like Poundland have well known brands for only £1.00 so you’ll save a lot more money in the long run.
Write a list
If you go shopping with a list detailing everything you need that week, you’ll be able to go straight to that item without throwing stuff you don’t need in the trolley. The best way to create your list is to add the essentials like bread and milk then add the ingredients for three meals you’ve planned that week.
Don’t fall for those BOGF offers
These are a great way to save money – but only if you know you’re going to use them. If you buy 2 extra items for something you’re not that keen on it’s not going to get eaten is it?
Get cashback if you can
If you can always utilise cashback sites like TopCashback to earn money back on your weekly shopping. Whilst this mainly applies to online shopping, shops like Tesco and Sainsbury’s reward you with points for shopping.
Don’t dismiss own brands
Whilst not all own brands are equal to brand name products (Cheap cola I’m talking to you) a lot of other own brands are made in the same place as branded stuff. Give them a go and if you don’t like them you can always go back to your old favourites. If you do find you like them however you may save a lot of pennies over the space of a year.
Set a budget
Got a certain budget in mind that you don’t want to go over? The best way to stick to a budget is to add up the cost of each item as you move through the store. If you exceed your budget you can stop or put back items you may not need.
Learn how to cook
If you’re a lover of microwave meals and convenience food then you may or may not realise that is where a lot of your shopping budget will go. Microwave meals often cost on average £2.50 and if you used fresh ingredients you could probably create the same meal but make several portions!