With the Eurozone in crisis and the UK in the grip of a double dip recession, budgeting is more important to most households than ever before. Figures show that the majority of us spend in excess of £100 on our weekly family shop – but that amount can be slashed by following a few simple rules.
1. Shop online: When you’re in the supermarket, it’s hard to constantly assess the price of everything in your basket. When shopping online, you’ll have the total constantly to hand and you’ll be able to go over your shop before hitting the virtual check-out to make sure that you really need everything in your basket. Plus, most supermarkets will deliver for free, meaning you’ll save on the fuel bill as well.
2. Switch to cheaper brands: Cheaper doesn’t necessarily have to mean tackier. Taste tests by the major supermarkets has shown that own-brand products often taste better than the branded equivalents – and many people only buy brands because they’ve been seduced by the advertising or have never bought anything different.
3. Pay by credit card: Major credit cards frequently offer rewards or cashback to customers – take a look at the Santander credit cards range for examples. Just make sure you pay your credit card off every month via direct debit, or you could end up paying over the odds for your shopping.
4. Keep to the list: Make a list before you hit the shops, and make sure you don’t buy anything not specified. It’s easy to pick up snacks and treats when you shop, but you’d be surprised at how much these can add up. Being organised will help save you money, as well as keeping your waistline trim.
5. Take advantage of offers: Reductions and offers can save you cash, but don’t be lured into buying items that you don’t need. A site such as Martin’s Moneysaving Tips will alert you of the best offers before you hit the supermarket, allowing you to budget in an organised way rather than buying on an impulse. Once you’re in the shop, look for reduced items that are still within their best before date, and generic items that can be bought in bulk for a saving.