Don’t score an own goal with your shopping habits

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Don't score an own goal with your shopping habits

Don’t score an own goal with your shopping habits

“It’s time to go shopping, there’s nothing left in the cupboards!” 

Those dreaded words mean it’s time to tear yourself away from return of the footie season and last of the summer sun for the chilly confines of your local supermarket.

The goal of whizzing round as quickly as possible means you can often end up with a penalty at the checkouts. How did that happen and why is shopping so expensive these days?

Let’s dig into the top 5 shopping mishaps and offer our advice on avoiding being caught off-side at the tills.

1. Shopping hungry

When all that’s left in your cupboards is a lonely tin of beans then you know it’s time to shop. But have you eaten yet? Going food shopping on an empty stomach can encourage you to spend more on items you wouldn’t usually buy.

If during your shopping trip your stomach’s growling like a junkyard dog, take a moment to look at what you’ve got in your basket. Ask yourself if the items in there represent a typical food shopping trip for you. It not, put it back.

2. Budget, budget, budget

At MoneyAware we love budgeting – and for good reason! Wandering down the aisles without realising what you’ve spent is an easy way to waste money on items you don’t need. Feel that phone in your pocket? It’s also a calculator. Use it and you’ll soon notice just how quickly those pre-match footie snacks add up.

3. Having a list and knowing the score

All too often we can end up buying items we don’t need and these end up being relegated to the back of the cupboard. Having a list and sticking to it helps keep your shopping trip organised and also saves you time and money.

4. Spending money at the checkout

Once you’ve tackled your way down every aisle you’re now into extra time. Where better then for the supermarket to place an array of tempting treats for you to browse than at the checkout?

Tesco recently reported that they were removing sweets and chocolates from the tills. Not only does this promote healthy eating, but it can also save you spending extra on those sugary temptations. Whichever store you go to, don’t get a red card at the tills.

5. Branded 1:0 unbranded

When it comes to branded vs own-label products it’s often a game of two halves. Some of us head straight for the brands we know and love and others opt for the supermarket no-frills version.

There’s often little difference between products (except for a cheeky pun on the name) but there can be a big difference in price. If you’re in a hurry you’ll recognise those big-name brands but slow down and spend some time hunting for a bargain and you’ll be onto a winner.

We recently did the hard work for you with our very own chocolate biscuit taste test to see if we could tell the difference between no-name vs. brand names, the results were interesting!

Do you have any shopping tips for us? We’d love to hear them in the comments! You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter for more budgeting advice and money tips.

Rory Marshall joined the MoneyAware team in July 2014 after working for our Web Helpline as a debt advisor. In his spare time Rory is a self-confessed technology geek and spends far too much of his spare time on his phone.

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