How to do the weekly shop on a budget

One of the most exciting perks about living independently is that you get to stock your own fridge. No more being told what to eat – hooray! However, with great power comes great responsibility, and budgeting for the weekly shop is a real and unavoidable responsibility.

But you can own it and Kristy is here to tell you how.

Let’s recap on Kristy’s top tips for shopping success:

Write a shopping list

  • It helps to plan your weekly menu in advance and then write a shopping list from that. This will help you to shop in a more focused, less ‘supermarket sweep’ fashion. Plus, you get to tick things off as you go: win-win!

Make friends with your local budget supermarket

  • You can save a lot of money by changing where you shop.

  • Alternatively, try buying own brand products. They’re cheaper and you might not notice much of a difference.

Keep track as you shop

  • Using the calculator on your phone or a ‘scan-as-you-shop’ tool will help you see how much you’re spending as you go. It’ll save you any nasty surprises when you get to the till as you’ll be able to see straightaway if you overstep your budget.

Buy in bulk

  • It’s true that buying dry goods (things like rice, pasta, beans) in bulk is often better value than buying individual packs. But occasionally this isn’t the case, so stay switched on.

  • If you’re not sure whether it’s better value to buy two small packs or one big one – take control. Get your phone out and do the maths.

Search for deals and use coupons

  • Online deals can save you a pretty penny, as can loyalty cards. Keep tabs on your savings and use those extra pennies (or points) towards something fun as a little reward for being so thrifty!

Never shop whilst hungry

  • If you do, you’ll buy twice as much and it’ll be twice as unhealthy! Don't say we didn't warn you!

As Kristy says:

Buying cheaply doesn’t mean buying unhealthy food

and it doesn’t mean you can’t splash out on a bit of what you enjoy from time to time either.

In fact, having a clear overview of your finances can be really empowering and help you feel more in control of your independent life. You’ll never look at a shopping list in the same way again!

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