Monday 4 August 2014

Shopping Wisely

Over the course of the last six months of doing my other blog '365 Days - £365' it's reinforced my absolute belief that shopping wisely, knowing what's in your cupboards and freezers, knowing what's in season and thus much, much cheaper in the shops and thinking ahead of going shopping either by writing a shopping list or, if you can, I can't ..... just committing to memory what you need, and then shopping just for that and not what the supermarket has bought in bulk and decided that you will buy off them, by pushing it in your face so much you do almost without thinking, it is still possible to keep your food budget right down.
Using vouchers wisely, here I had a £5 off a £25 spend in M&S, combined with a £15 voucher obtained by using my credit card for other purchases (it's always paid off in full when the statement comes in, no interest payments for me).  This gave me a total of twenty pounds worth of 'free food'. 
You need to keep an eye on the date a voucher is up, I took this to the wire and used it on it's last valid day.  As I didn't need lots of things, I used it to stock up on some storecupboard items that I would be needing soon.

We get lots of these when we shop at Sainsbugs, the machine next to the till churns them out like a maniac and it's always interesting to see what it thinks you will need to be buying next time.  I rifle through them as soon as I get them and throw away any that I obviously will not use.... or not want to be tempted to use while I'm in the shop next time.
When I get home I see if I need to restock on any of the things on the other coupons.  While I was doing my challenge I tended to use these to buy things for the Foodbank trolley that is positioned in our nearest large branch of Sainsbugs.  Just because I didn't need the food (or couldn't afford the food) didn't mean that all the coupons went straight in the bin.  I've noticed that recently some people are just putting their coupons into the trolley for the Foodbank.  I'm not sure if they are able to make use of these but it's better than just putting them in the bin, so I will do this in future.

In my purse at the moment I have these and the ones in the picture above.  So before I go shopping in a while I will be checking through my cupboards and seeing if there is anything I need, if not I will be Foodbank shopping today, while I get the things that I do know I need and using all these vouchers to add to my points total.

I have got in the habit of writing myself a shopping list with the coupon requirements on one side and other things I need to buy on the other.  It saves having to get the coupons out over and over to make sure I am buying the right things at just the right price to take advantage of them. or even worse getting to the till and finding out I have made a mistake by not quite reaching the required threshold.
Supermarket shopping takes time and a lot of mathematical skill these days.  But if we take our time and shop wisely we can use what the supermarkets are trying to bamboozle us with to our best advantage.  And at the end of the day you don't have to spend coupons, sometimes I stand and decided that no I am not going to actually buy what is on the coupon because it is actually a bad offer compared to something else that is nearby.
And I apologise to my brother now ..... he doesn't really like my shopping and foodie posts, and now the other Blog is over and done with they will be appearing with a little bit more regularity on here.
Sorry Graham ... but I hope you picked up a tip or two, if you managed to read all the way to the bottom  ;-)
Sue xx


  1. lol, Sorry to your Bro...........big wave to Graham ;).......... but I like the shopping discount posts to. I agree some of the voucher and money off codes do entice you into buying things you wouldn't normally buy but sometimes you can get a voucher for money off and with price matching you can get it for free, not very often but it does happen, I once filled my freezer with enough cheese for a year this way............ohhh those were the days lol x

  2. Big fan of using my vouchers for 'free' food too. And yep, also a list girl! But I've never thought to put the corresponding voucher on my list. Good tip :-)

    Since I was on holiday and am only just catching up, congratulations on your new wee pup. She's gorgeous!!

  3. I am always amazed by the things that the Sainsbugs machine thinks that I am going to buy!! It is convinced that I will do online shopping very soon, but I won't! xx

  4. Thanks for the tip about putting coupons into the Foodbank !!

  5. Excellent plans for shopping! I'm a coupon clipper, as we get these always in the Sunday paper. However, I find that so many of them are for cosmetics and hair products now, and there is no way I need that much stuff. And at the grocery at checkout, the machine spits out a list of coupons for things you just bought!

  6. I had two extra £5.00 off a £40.00 shop coupons when I went shopping on Friday. They were pushed through my front door by Morrisons, thank you muchly. I used an £8.00 off a £60.00 shop so gave the other coupons away. It made me happy and the recipients too.

    Jean x

  7. I pay attention to flyers and coupons for protein foods such as peanut butter and tuna - so I can buy extra for the food bank. I never find much for myself - all the coupons seem to be for cleaning products and personal care stuff.

  8. Great idea of putting coupon details on shopping list - will do this next time. I don't feel right shopping without a list anymore it makes me feel very secure and focused having a little list to clutch (although I do sometimes lose/mislay said list and vouchers). Shopping carefully does require organisational skills. Nice to have food posts here again, sorry Sue's bro!

  9. When I have vouchers for items, I write a 'v' beside the items on my shopping list. I research online using mysupermarket or Aldi's website to see what offers are on while writing my list. I check out the yellow/orange sticker sections in the supermarkets to see what bargains I can get. Sometimes this means dashing home and cooking food which is on its sell by date and freezing it. Also, if I have a voucher for say £6 off a shop and haven't spent enough, I will look around to see who has enough in their trolley to benefit from it and hand it over. No point wasting it. We only have one supermarket in our area which has a food bank trolley. I have raised this issue with the food bank to see if this can be extended.

  10. You are very organised which definitely pays off. You remind me of my mum when we were growing up. She was a mad saver and budgeter, always had a handful of coupons at the ready come checkout time. saved us heaps when shopping for a big family. T x

  11. Thanks. Have learnt lots of useful things from you x

  12. All for saving money here, my daughter is into gliches and does a lot of shopping this way I am not sure how it all works. I always use the vouchers they send for money off the total shop, the individual ones I often find are for things I dont usualy buy.
    Keep up the food posts they are interesting.

  13. I'm still hoping that you'd enter something in the flower show?

  14. I'm so with you, not purchasing the things the supermarkets want to sell you. When did shopping become our sport, we never do a big shop any more, and use the big 4 for our store cupboard items getting best price. It's nice to understand what they are doing and ignore them. We are now eating better and only in season foods, it's great to wait for strawberries to come into season, they taste better for the wait.

  15. Nice ways are available for shopping this one also awesome.
    Thank you for sharing
    online shopping


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