Picture this: you’re perusing the aisles of your local supermarket and add a cheeky pack of biscuits or a random pizza you haven’t tried before. When you get to the checkout, your food shop has somehow totalled over £150.
If this seems to be a regular occurrence, then you might want to try a relatively simple hack that could save you hundreds of pounds in the long run.
Money saving expert Richard Price, from online supermarket Britsuperstore, says the simple act of crafting a shopping list before you head to the supermarket could save you big bucks over time.
This is because it ensures you buy only what you need and reduces impulse purchases.
It’s advice worth taking – especially as just over half (52%) of adults across Britain say they are spending more than usual to get what they normally buy when food shopping, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Richard Price estimates that having a shopping list reduces impulse purchases by about 20% each time you shop.
Assuming you spend around £200 on your food shop each month (which, let’s face it, many of us will be vastly struggling to achieve right now), creating a shopping list could save you about £480 a year, says Price.
How to nail your shopping list
Here, the money saving pro shares his top tips for perfecting your weekly shopping list so you don’t go over budget:
1. Take inventory
Before making your shopping list, check your pantry (or cupboards), fridge and freezer to see which items you already have. This helps you avoid buying duplicates.
2. Plan your meals
Decide the meals you’ll be preparing for the week ahead and stick to it. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
3. List essentials first
Begin by listing essential items that you need for your planned meals and daily use. Prioritise fresh produce, proteins, grains, and staples.
4. Create categories
Organise your shopping list into categories based on the layout of the store. Common categories include produce, dairy, meat, canned goods, bakery and household items.
This makes it easier to tick everything you need off your list quickly and efficiently, without having to dash to and from different aisles.
If you need non-food items like cleaning supplies, toiletries or pet food, don’t forget to add them to your list.
5. Set a budget
Determine a budget for your shopping trip and try to stick to it. Having a budget in mind helps you make conscious choices.
6. Use technology
Consider using shopping list apps or digital note-taking tools on your smartphone to create and manage your list. Many apps also offer features like syncing with family members and checking off items as you shop.
7. Review and revise
Periodically review your shopping list and adjust it based on changing meal plans, pantry stock or preferences.
Here’s to a streamlined shopping experience!