Times are tough right now and we are all pulling our purse strings just that little bit tighter in order to just get by.
Many of us will remember experiencing tough times in our youth or hearing anecdotes from older family members about surviving through tough times, “pulling together”, “making do” and “doing without”. It’s unfortunate that, whilst we live in an age where convenience is key and mass production has meant that many goods and services are more affordable than they have ever been this very convenience factor may be the very thing that can end up costing you more.
It’s so easy to jump in the car and drive down to the local supermarket, pay your bills at the click of a button or contact anyone all over the world in an instant. We never question it, we just accept that it’s part of life and feel comforted that this convenience gives us more time to get on with everything else. Then of course we wonder why our pay packets don’t quite stretch as far as we would like them to!
But stop and ask yourself this… what is that “everything else” that you are getting on with? Work, cooking, looking after the kids, cleaning, socializing, sport, holidays? Although the pace of life is different than it was in your parents or grandparents day, they didn’t do any less than you do right now, in fact back in the day, they didn’t have microwaves, dishwashers, tumble dryers, convenience foods etc, so carrying out daily chores took even longer. But they still managed and often on a lot less money (in relative terms).
So how can you get on with your life whilst at the same time, saving a bit more money? Well it’s easy! As long as you are prepared to set aside a small amount of time every so often. All it takes is a little planning and forethought. Where better to start on your money-saving quest than food Shopping. Here are some inspiring tips to help you make your money go that little bit further.
1. Spend a few minutes each week planning your meals then make a list of what you need and stick to it.
2. Rotate your food cupboards and freezer.
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Plan your meals around those packets, tins and freezer items that are about to expire.
3. If your regular shopping outlet has a web site – check out what is on offer and try to plan your meals around those items – although don’t be pulled into the trap of buying something that is on offer if it is still more expensive than something you would normally have. You can brag all you like over the dinner table about that Rib Eye Steak that you bought for £8 instead of £12 but if you would have normally had a chicken for £4, who are you trying to convince that you bagged a bargain?
4. Try to do one big food shop per week this will cut down on travel costs and temptation to buy something more than you need.
5. Never go food shopping on an empty stomach, you will end up buying little snacks or treats that you would not normally purchase.
6. Bargains are great if the bargain applies to something that is already on your shopping list. If you didn’t put it on the list, you didn’t need it so don’t buy it, it’s not saving you money therefore it’s not a bargain!