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Tips to help you stretch your budget when shopping:

  • Draw up a meal plan: Plan ahead the meals you're going to make and then you only need to buy the items you need to make these meals.
  • Keep to your budget: Calculate what you think you will need for your shopping and prioritise according to what you can afford.
  • Try value or own brands: Supermarkets will have their own brands and value ranges at a cheaper cost.
  • Choose 'whole' fresh vegetables and fruit: Rather than ready-cut/chopped 'fresh' food.  Ready prepared food (and meals) are more expensive, less nutritious and have a short 'shelf life'.
  • Know your 'Use by' & 'Best Before' jargon.
  • Reductions: Plan to shop in the late evening when you are more likely to find supermarket reductions on certain items.
  • Use your eyes: Supermarkets can tend to place higher priced goods at eye level so look around before making your choice.
  • Bulk up: Buy repeated purchases in bulk if offers are within your budget
    Eat before shopping - you'll be less tempted to buy an item to satisfy your hunger.
  • Don't shop with the children: It's easier said than done, but children are often tempted by sweets and toys placed throughout the store.  Otherwise you may find there are extras which you didn't budget for in your final bill.
  • Get money back: Websites such as Quidco and TopCashBack offer money back when purchasing products online through their website. Before you buy online, see whether you could earn cash back from these websites.
  • Try a charity shop: Children's toys, puzzles, books and clothing can be got at bargain prices.
  • £1 or '99p' shops: These sell a huge range of everyday items. Be sure to shop around though as some items can be cheaper than a pound elsewhere.
  • Use vouchers:  Look online for discount or a freebie vouchers to use at high street stores. 

You can find more helpful tips and information from the Money Advice Service.

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