If you’re strapped for cash, there are a few changes you can make to how you shop which can make all the difference. Our shopping habits can often account for a large chunk of our weekly expenses, and that’s why they are so important! You may have developed some expensive shopping habits without realising, such as only buying brand names, buying too many unnecessary shoes or always using a credit card. Here we break down the simple ways you can shop well while on a budget.
Remove Brand Names From Your Weekly Shop
Wherever your preference lies, brand names are almost always more expensive than the supermarket’s own-brand equivalents. A great way to save money on your weekly shop is switching out some of these names. Maybe you can change to own-brand washing up liquid, toilet paper, tea bags or even ketchup. Sometimes the store-brand equivalent is different from the branded product, but often they are the same or very similar. Have a look at your shopping list and see which products you wouldn’t mind switching for their cheaper alternatives. You may find that you are comfortable with the differences, and this could quickly become a nice permanent saving on your weekly spending.
Avoid Impulse Buying
Another tip for shopping on a budget is avoiding impulse purchases. It’s easy to be sucked in by impulse buys, but even small unnecessary purchases can quickly add up. Try shopping as infrequently as possible so that you have less chance of picking up things that you see in the store but don’t actually need. It’s also great to use a shopping list to keep you on track with what your necessary purchases are. If you’re struggling to stick to your budget, read Top 5 Budgeting Tips.
Don’t Purchase Unnecessary Clothes
When you’re budgeting, the aim is to keep your finances in check by tracking and reviewing where you’re spending your money. You may be able to make small changes which result in big savings – read our guide 5 Small Changes To Help You Save Money to find out more. Everyone has their own individual overspending habits to knock. But for many, buying unnecessary clothing items, shoes or handbags is a big one! If you are someone who often can’t resist when you walk past a storefront with newly released sneakers or a bag, avoid walking past the stores that are the most tempting – and don’t go in just to browse! Plus, don’t be fooled by a sale. We all love a good deal; however, it is usually the case that we end up buying things that we don’t need.
No Non-Essential Purchases On Credit Cards
Finally, the way we make our purchases can also be an important way to shop on a budget. If you find that you are using a credit card for non-essential items, you may be spending more than you have to. It can be tempting to pay for unnecessary things on credit cards when shopping online, such as a new phone, gifts or a holiday.
However, credit cards usually charge interest if not paid back before a specific time. You may even intend to repay the card on time but could be late due to an unforeseen expense. This means that you will incur the extra cost of interest and if you find yourself in a tight spot could keep you in ongoing debt resulting in more interest and fees when you are looking to make a larger non-essential purchase, save-up for it beforehand! If you use your credit card impulsively, you may end up racking up debt that has to be paid back with interest.
Similarly, avoid using payday loan lenders when you need money for essentials – since this is a high cost way of borrowing.