There are a few things I’m good at: crocheting, the violin occasionally, and some days I can even cook, but one thing I’m really good at is shopping. I don’t mean that in the sense that I can spend a fortune in a short space of time – that’s something most of us can manage – I mean spending as little as possible and still having everything I need. I get a weird buzz out of saving money, and I’m a little bit proud of the fact that my wee Nanny calls me the ‘bargain hunter’.
To be fair, I’ve had worse nicknames – you’d be amazed at how much can be made to rhyme with ‘Gilly’…
I thought I’d share some of my tips and tricks for saving money when you’re out shopping and break it down into a series of posts (I’m getting cocky with this whole blogging thing now, eh?): Food, Clothes and Shoes, Hair and Make-Up, Home Decor and (dare I even say it) Christmas and Gifting.
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way: food shopping. I hate it. There’s nothing I loathe more than trotting off around Tesco. Don’t get me started on self-service tills. Here’s how I stop the weekly shop from getting out of hand…
1. Don’t send Paddy.
Or your equivalent. You might not think you need 4 300g bars of chocolate, but he does. Don’t go hungry either – that does just about the same damage.
2. Plan your meals, and make lists.
Yeah, you’ve heard this one before- but it works! Think about what you would like to make throughout the week, and write out everything you need, then just follow your list. Try and make a little extra too, then you’ve got your lunches covered as well.
3. Keep it local.
I try as much as possible to get into the local fruit and veg shop. Their food is better quality and usually offers a better price because lots of their produce is locally sourced.
4. Pound Shops.
They don’t just sell out of date foods, although do check, no-one likes their Crunchy Nut to be chewy. Biscuits, crisps, cordial, canned foods, sauces etc can be nearly half the price of the supermarkets.
5. Don’t be a brand snob.
I’m guilty of this. I fought Paddy on the Tesco brand Jalfrezi sauce thinking it would be pretty nasty, even though it’s half the price of the branded ones. Turns out I was… wrong, not that I would admit it at the time. It may not be the case with everything, but it’s worth a go!
And that’s how I keep tabs on our food spend. You don’t have to be completely miserable with your purse strings – set yourself a budget and if you come in under it, go back for the donuts – but money saved on food is money to spend on a house, holidays, shoes, clothes, days out… you get the idea, fun things!
P.S. I don’t particularly love Tesco, it’s just the only place within 10 miles of home!
P.P.S. Sorry there’s no pretty pictures to look at- there’s nothing overly pretty about a food shop. 🤷🏼♀️