Being in debt means sticking to a budget, cutting out unnecessary expenditure and generally just being smart with your money to make it go further. In this post I explain how I stick to my food shopping budget each week.
Staying in the black is a constant balancing act but it is possible if you maintain control of the more variable expenses. Food shopping is one such expense as the amount can change each week. Here is what I do to keep control of the cost.
Set an amount to spend
I allocate an amount to spend per month and divide that by the number of weeks until the next payday. I try to spend less than this amount if possible and save the rest for a rainy day. Knowing how much you have to spend means you know what to expect, and can work towards meeting the target you have set yourself.
See what’s left
Before making a food shopping list, I take a quick inventory of what’s left in the cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what creations I can come up with for that week. That way I only buy what’s needed for the rest of the week. It also reduces waste which is a good thing.
Plan your meals for the week
Each week I plan what we will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This allows me to generate a list of what is required, ready to generate an itinerary when I head to the shops. I am not a fan of supermarket shopping and getting in and out with least possible fuss is my primary objective.
Make a List
I make a list each week using The My Supermarket website and print that off and take it to my local store. You can also shop completely from that website and have the shopping delivered to you if you like. The other good thing is that the website will compare your shop from Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Acado and show you which is cheapest overall.
If you are really into saving money you can even split the list across the different supermarkets as some items may be cheaper from one place. However if you have to drive a distance to get to a particular supermarket, it probably doesn’t make sense to do this.
The website will also point out where you can save money, for example by trading down a product or by buying more of it. It will also point out things on offer if they are similar to what you are buying. Sometimes the suggestions are a little off though but most of the time it works quite well.
If you have an iPhone the website can send a list to it, saving you printing it out. When you are shopping you simply tick the boxes on the list when you have got the item.
Don’t be tempted
When you arrive with your list at the store, stick to the list and get out. Sadly there are so many offers competing for your attention that you can be tempted to get something because it is on offer. Stick to the list and get out is my advice.
I have followed the above for about two years now and it has worked well for me. How about you? What ways do you save money when shopping? Please share you experiences in the comments box below.