- Plan your menu a week ahead and buy foods accordingly.
- Always shop with a list so that you are not tempted to buy unnecessary items.
- Visit supermarkets at the end of the day, when fresh food is often marked down in price.
- Look for "own brand" items at supermarkets. They are usually cheaper.
- When you get to the supermarket, immediately check out the ‘reduced item’ shelves (usually at the end of an aisle) to see if there is anything you could use.
- Buying fresh vegetables from the local market or greengrocer usually works out cheaper than buying them from the supermarket.
- Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season or even grow your own.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables that need washing and cutting are much cheaper than prepared or frozen items.
- If possible avoid prepared meals or other convenience foods as you are paying for someone else to prepare them.
- Remember packed lunches work out much cheaper than buying sandwiches or eating out.
- Watch the ‘sell by’ dates as you shop. You do not want to throw away food which you bought cheaply but cannot use in time.
- Keep a running total as you shop and check against the till receipt – mistakes do occur.
- Take advantage of all the money-off coupons you can.
- When buying larger items, don't be afraid to ask for a discount.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle (try to get a price reduced) – especially if you are paying cash.
- Look for sales — they can be at any time of year (and are sometimes continuous). Christmas cards are very cheap in January!
- Buying second-hand can be good value — but be sure things are in good working order, and won't fall apart.
- Buying cars two years old and keeping them for three years is the most economical way to own a car — but make sure you get the car thoroughly checked over before you buy.
- Take advantage of discounts for buying in bulk – but only when you are sure you will be able to use the items. There is no point buying ‘3 for the price of 2’ if the product will be out of date before you can use it. Tinned goods and toiletries are ideal things to buy in bulk.
- When you are thinking about buying something, don’t be afraid to walk out of the shop if you are not happy about the product, the shop or anything else.
- Buy the items that do the job best: don’t pay just for the ‘right’ label.
- Shop around for the best price. If you are thinking of using credit, remember to compare the APR as well as the prices.
- Get a written quote when having work done to your home or car.
- Try DIY if you can (but don't take unnecessary risks).
- Don't waste money on electricity and heating. Turn switches off when you're not using lights and appliances.
- Many people don't plan spending for things like Christmas and end up struggling. Putting aside an amount each month could help.
- Can you make your own Christmas or birthday presents? This may sound a very old-fashioned idea but some of your older relatives might still like a gift you have made more than one you have bought.
Below are just a few more ideas that can help your money go further.
- Only pay with cash. This is easier said than done, but if you can’t afford something, save for it.
- Walk or cycle to work whenever possible. This saves money, keeps you fitter and is better for the environment!
- Remember that restaurants and fast-food places charge a high price for what you get.
- Keep your budget up to date.
- Keep looking for ways of making the most of your income and cutting down on your spending.
- Keep a record of what you spend and check this against your bank statement.
- Keep receipts and guarantees in case things go wrong.
Try the MoneyBasics Budget Calculator or download the MoneyBasics Budget Form to see how you can manage your spending better.
For more help on managing your spending, you can contact Credit Action on 0152 2 69 9777
In debt and need help?
Call a CCCS counsellor at 0800 138 1111