If your shopping bill has become unmanageable your not facing this problem alone. With food prices rising, wages falling and household bills taking up an ever growing share of the family budget, every pound you can save goes a long way to making ends meet. Whether you’re looking to save money on your weekly food shop or trying to cut the cost of your online buying, follow our tips and hopefully we can help lower the cost.
Work out what you spend your money on.
Seeing where you spend your money will let you know just what you can and can’t afford. Create a spreadsheet and list all your incomings and outgoings. Its probably best to start with your major outgoings and expand from there. Be honest, the more accurate the easier the process will be. As always there are also many tools on the internet that will help you with this and our favourite is the budget planner at MoneyAdviceService.org.uk. We like this one because you don’t even need your own dedicated spreadsheet software, its all done online.
Food Shopping:- Make a shopping list.
This is great if you’re super organised but if not, don’t give up. Try creating a simple weekly meal plan and your shopping list should take care of itself. Its surprising just how effective those supermarket marketing ploys are, you and your shopping list are going to beat every little trick they can throw at you. By ONLY buying what you need you can easily save £20+ per week. Grab your shopping list and get on over to mySupermarket.co.uk. Here you can save even more by letting them doing all the hard work for you. They will tell you exactly where your food shop is cheapest, direct you to their website and add it to your basket just waiting for you to press go.
Beware of special offers.
Vouchers, special offers and cashback deals were invented to make you spend more, not less. Never buy something you don’t need just because it’s on offer.
Consider supermarket own-brands.
Not all own-brand supermarket products these days are inedible boxes of cardboard mush, believe it or not, they can be just as good as the named brand products you have grown to love. Some are just……. quite good. Generally own brand products differ only very slightly from their named brand alternatives and quite often you will find that they are produced in the same factory or picked at the same farm as the more expensive product.
Don’t impulse buy.
Think carefully before making a purchase – especially if it’s expensive. At the very least sleep on it, it might seem less appealing in the morning. Remember these two questions, “Do I NEED it?” and “Can I afford it?” if the answer to both is no………….
When buying online just remember to shop around, it really is that simple. There are several comparison sites online these days and all make the process really easy. A selection of the more well known ones are…
Remember your rights
As a consumer, you have the right to complain about issues with any goods or services you’ve purchased. You can find out more in MoneySavingExpert’s guide to Consumer Rights.
Using your credit or debit card
If something goes wrong, buying on your credit or debit card gives you greater protection than cash or cheque. Credit cards offer the most protection – as long as the item or service you bought cost over £100 you can claim against your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to get your money back
Worried about online scams?
There are plenty of benefits to shopping online. You’ll often get the most choice, the best prices and can shop from the comfort of your own home. However, there are some guidelines you should follow to keep your online shopping experience as safe as possible.
- Research your retailers. If you’re using a website to buy something for the first time, do some research to make sure it’s a legitimate business. If in doubt, search for their details with Companies House. For financial firms, check that they’re on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.
- Pay by credit card where possible. Credit cards give you more protection than other payment methods. You can find out more in How you’re protected when you pay by card.
- Check the website is secure. Before you enter your payment details, you should make sure the website is secure. Scroll down to How to make sure you’re on a secure site for more details.
- Read reviews. If you’re still not sure about using a website, then search the internet to see what other people are saying about it.