Wednesday, 7 October 2015

How I save money on grocery shopping

In this post, I want to tell you about my experience on how I save money on grocery shopping.

I have lived on a student budget and let me tell you, some of the lessons I learnt then will always stay with me.
As someone who looks after their spending, I really like to save money, specially on things such as groceries.

Let's face it, grocery shopping is like rent - you have to spend money on it. The trick here is: shop with your head and not your stomach. Your wallet will thank you for it, and so will your body!

You see, the most common mistake people make in regards to grocery shopping, is to go shopping when you hungry. Sometimes, it is unavoidable, and for those times my next advice helps!

Make a list. It does not have to be elaborate or even complete, buying items that you NEED and are not on the list is OK. Buying that 10% off sale product that you are not even going to use is NOT OK.

Try downgrading a brand? Sometimes, items are even manufactured in the same place, by the same people, and yet you are paying 30% more due to a brand or label - try it, if you don't like it you can always switch back, but chances are that you won't even notice the difference. That's where I found a lot of savings.

Another useful tip is of course, to buy 'reduced' items. Here is a quick table which may help with that:

Supermarket rough reductions schedule

Don't however, compromise on what you eat - that ready meal with 25% sugar content is probably too unhealthy to be worth considering.

Another thing to be weary of, is ready packaged vegetables and fruits. £1 for tomatoes can usually be bought for £0.60 (for example) if you just grab the loose tomatoes and buy them that way. Supermarkets will pack vegetables and fruit in neat packaging for you to just grab and go - but they charge an insanely high price per kg. Don't believe me? Next time you buy a bag of apples just check what is the price per kg. Then compare that to the price per kg of the loose apples next to it.

Now.. none of this will work without some restraint. It is not realistic to go from buying whatever you feel like, to just a bare list. Start slowly, plan ahead a bit, consider prices. You will soon start realising what works for you. I still get that warm fuzzy feeling when I get to the till and spend less than what I thought I would - and sometimes buy more?!

I hope this is of some use to you ! Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree!

Monday, 5 October 2015

How I save money on impulse buying

In this post, I want to tell you about my experience on how I save money on impulse buying.

Like most, I enjoy shopping. Something about the feeling of acquiring a new gadget or 'thing'..
Now, if you are anything like me, you have tried some or all of the advice out there: 'Leave your card at home' - 'Don't go to the shops' - 'Don't watch adverts'.. and you will by now know that none of that

I wanted to reduce the amount I spent on unplanned shopping, or impulse buying, so I did some research. We all feel it, some more than others, but as it turns out, there are ways to control and even stop how much impulse buying you do.

I will share my own personal experience:

Delay it.

Yes, just delay it. The urge to buy something diminishes with time, as enough time is spent analysing and understanding if there is a 'need' for the product. Try what I have tried and succeeded with: the next time you really want those shoes you have just seen - just delay it. Even if it is for just an hour - delay it. This is still true if you are out specifically to buy shoes, but the ones you happen to like, are over the budget you set yourself. Perhaps that hour will allow you to see that you can't afford them, and should instead find something within your initial budget.

The new iPhone 6S is out, and your contract is up - your premium will go up - delay it! Even if for a day. This will allow some clarity to really consider the long-term investment.

From experience, I have found that delaying my impulse buy does in most occasions result in savings. I have even been able to influence some of my friends (and they thanked me for it).

I hope this post helps you in some way! Do comment if you agree or disagree !