words Alexa Wang
Before you can add to your retirement pot you need to ensure your finances are not stretched in the here and now. So, what can you do in the present to make saving easier? A good place to start is with the weekly shopping budget.
A few tweaks here and a few teaks there can reduce costs and so add a few pennies to your retirement fund. So, let’s take a look at some top tips. Some of these tips may seem ridiculously obvious but by keeping to the fundamentals you can really save a lot of money.
Use the same shopping outlet
When you use the same shopping outlet you get to know prices (making it easier to budget), you are less likely to buy outside of your shopping list (you are less likely to buy new and exotic products while searching for your essentials in unknown shop layouts) and you can save through loyalty points.
Use a shopping list
The key is in knowing what you are going to buy – and keeping to it. So always make a list, don’t get distracted by irrelevant offers.
Set a budget
Put a cap on your weekly shop. It is difficult to add up the cost as you go around the store if it is a big shop, but by using the same store every week you will know where your limits are. On your shopping list separate essentials from treats.
Don’t shop before a meal
You are more likely to be attracted to your favourite tasty products and snacks if you are hungry – adding to the final bill. Eat before shopping and watch your shopping bill go down!
Are those offers really for you?
In-store offers can mean savings but are they really what you need? For instance, you may see a “buy one get one free”, but is that product something you need this week? You may be able to congratulate yourself on buying something at a ridiculously low price but in the long term be unused and so actually add to your bill.
How far do you go to shop? If you have to go some way, don’t forget to take your mileage into account in your overall budget. To cut costs down think about closer shopping outlets.
Big brands will always be more expensive but that does not mean a stores cheaper own brand is inferior. Once in a while try a cheaper brand, you may be quietly surprised.
Watch out for the cashier queue trap!
Food stores are mined to catch the unsuspecting buyer and the most dangerous place is the queue to the cashier. Little packets of sweets, nuts, crisps, snacks etc – stuff you wouldn’t normally buy but look very appealing while waiting. Don’t be tempted – keep to the list, keep to the budget.
Factor in the treats
Keeping to a strict shopping budget is a little like keeping to a strict diet. You often find yourself going without the things that keep us going in life – the treats. So, factor in a treat for keeping to your budget. Otherwise, you will just give up or constantly go outside of your budget.
Motivation front of mind
Keeping the reason for saving front of mind while shopping will give you extra strength to ignore those offers, those products you do not really need, keep to your list and ultimately your spending budget. It may seem hard at first but if you have a real goal to aim at, it’s all a little easier.
If you are looking at options for your pension or retirement, consider using a regulated pensions specialist like Portafina or, view the info at Pension Wise.