Help, I can't stop spending.



  • josephine82
    josephine82 Posts: 447 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi Kitty

    I have a separate account for groceries (in which I include household bits, and my few toiletries).
    I do a big shop once a month, usually online, and stock up the cupboards and freezer. I usually buy the 3 packs of meat for £10, and then divide them all up and freeze individual portions.
    Then on a Sunday I do a little shop for fruit and veg, bread and milk and sandwich stuff for the week. I don't go near Tesco at any other point- unless I actually need something specific.

    It takes a while, but you get used to it. I check my 'groceries' account as part of my online banking, and when the money is gone, its gone. I eat up whats in my cupboards and freezer!

    Another tip is to try some of the value/own brand stuff out there. Some of it is more than acceptable and some isn't, it takes time to try and sometimes you can find stuff you really like. (examples- Tesco value marmalade, rice crispies, fromage frais....erm...rice...)

    Maybe you need to set yourself a challenge to record how much you spend on groceries and then try and reduce it bit by bit each week/month??

    Good luck

    Jo x
    Debt free as of 2 October 2009
    Mortgage free as of 27 March 2024
  • Angela84
    Angela84 Posts: 398 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hope the online thing works for you. The going shopping twice a week thing also doesn't help, I do that sometimes, 'pop' in for some bread and fruit, and end up with £35 quids worth.
    Its so tough, I automatically look for the brightly coloured tickets with the deals on, when actually some other the other things on the shleves might actually work out cheaper. Or I've got home and found I managed to buy 3 bottles of wine which were £3 each, but they were on the 3 bottles for a tenner. I just gave Tesco an extra £1 for nothing!

    One thing I've done when I've got home and realised I already had 5 jars of pasta suace, and there just isn't room for any more in the cupboard is try and use up everything in the cupboard before buying new. And the freezer. Using that last tin of toms, or beans is a scary thing (ahh, what if someone comes over tomorrow and demands beans?!) but the empty cupboard will make shopping feel justified and not a guilty experience.

    Or (this is naughty) wait until you are putting your things on the belt, take a deep breath, and put some of the stuff back you really do feel guilty about in a basket, and tell the check out person you don't want it anymore.

    Also, actually look at the 2 for £2 deals etc, sometimes you are literally saving 3p, not even worth it if it makes you feel bad. Or start keeping jumpers in your cupboards, then they'll be no space for you shopping and with it all out on the surfaces you'll definately not want to buy anymore!

    And make sure you look in all cupbaords before going shopping. Otherwise you can't remember what you have and end up buying stuff you don't need. Depending on the size of your family I reckon 2 tins of whatever is enough for the week, you don't need more.
    LBM January 2017 £34k will have paid back finally by my DFD May 2021
    got my first store card on my 18th birthday, never known a life without the grey cloud of debt looming over me. 18yrs and the end is finally in sight 🤩
  • Marisco
    Marisco Posts: 42,036 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Hi Kitty, online shopping is a good idea, it keeps you in line when you see it mounting up at the bottom:eek: Another thing to watch out for is "economy" size packs!! A while back in Tesco they were selling Special K cereal bars in 12 packs - but working it out it was cheaper to buy two 6 packs!! That goes for a lot of items! The generic brands are usually just as good as named brands, the only thing I won't buy is cheap coffee:o I don't drink tea and I love my coffee (decaff of course;)) and I've tried cheap coffee and I can tell the difference. Still, a treat now and again keeps things going;)
  • KittyBoo_2
    KittyBoo_2 Posts: 676 Forumite
    Thanks for your really useful suggestions.
    I'm sure I get the "pantry" thing from my Mum and also reading other sites that promote stockpiling.
    In all the years I have been running a home, I don't think I have ever got to to the last one of anything (and I'm 52 now!).
    I am going to have a good root through the pantry, freezer and cupbards and see what's what.
    Then I'll put an online order in and buy my bread and milk at the local shop.
    That will stop me wandering up and down Tesco's just looking for stuff that's on offer.
    When I take my Mum, I'm leaving my purse at home.
    I might even put that in the freezer and defrost it next week.
    NSK Zombie # SFD 7/15 Food Bank £0/£5
    £73.57/£122 (incl. pet food)
    Petrol £20/£40
    Exercise 2/15 Outings 1/2
    Debt :eek: £18,917
  • jwil
    jwil Posts: 19,019 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    I'm guilty of this too Kitty. One thing I have tried to remind myself is that the same things go on offer periodically, so don't buy them this time because you have a load already, and then next time you need it it is more than likely going to be on offer again so you can restock then.

    Good luck with it!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
  • Verbatim
    Verbatim Posts: 4,830 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    I think it's mindset. It's hard to convince yourself (myself) that less is more. When in debt the best outcome is spending less NOW. Have you tried a store cupboard/freezer challenge? The idea is to buy nothing if possible and as little as you can if not and live for as long as you can on what you have. Obviously stay within healthy eating guidelines. It's likely to lead to some inventive meals! You could also look at old style for their threads on economical but healthy budgets. One woman lived on 50p a day I think, but always with her 5 a day etc.

    I start with working out a meal plan for a month. You can substitute meals during the month but you then know that you have enough food to last a month so don't need to buy ANY, except fresh fruit and veg if you don't have enough frozen, dried, in the garden etc. I froze milk when it was on offer, 2 x 4 pint cartons for £2. I make my own bread and freeze most of the batch for later in the week/month.

    If shopping online search for some free delivery codes. Or if shopping in person challenge yourself to stay within the list/sum you've set. I have got to know what the regular things I buy will cost so can work it out before I go. I've been improving my arithmetic by noting down each item and cost with the running total in next column too!

    But at times I can drift around a supermarket picking up what looks nice with the best of them.
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
  • KittyBoo_2
    KittyBoo_2 Posts: 676 Forumite
    I've just had a good look through my freezer and it's amazing what's in there.
    Lots of veggies, meat from Sunday dinner that I stashed for a rainy day, yorkshire puds.
    I need to look at what needs to bought to get the most out of what I've got.
    Mince seems an obvious choice for chilli, spag bol and shepherds pie.
    I've plenty of onions and tins of tomatoes and beans.
    I'll go and have a look on the old style for some inspiration.
    It's great to have so many options on here.
    NSK Zombie # SFD 7/15 Food Bank £0/£5
    £73.57/£122 (incl. pet food)
    Petrol £20/£40
    Exercise 2/15 Outings 1/2
    Debt :eek: £18,917
  • zarazara
    zarazara Posts: 2,264 Forumite
    Providing you are not throwing stuff away I cant see how its a problem. I find making my own stuff from scratch is money saving and enjoyavble and gives me satisfaction so I spend less. Try making your own bread,cakes,jam,soups etc.
    "The purpose of Life is to spread and create Happiness" :j
  • Herbyme
    Herbyme Posts: 720 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    I have the same problem but one way I find to get round it is to write a full menu out for the week. Literally. Monday breakfast, Monday lunch (if you have to feed anyone, at home or out) Monday tea etc. Write down exactly what you'll have for each meal, like main course, veg, potatoes, pud, etc. Then you'll be more likely to buy only what you need - eg only a handful of potatoes if only needed for one meal, instead of a whole bag which is much more than you need. Or you'll notice ways you can make things work twice, eg if cooking mince for spag bol and cottage pie, and buy a big pack. Each week try to have a couple of banker meals that are cheap and everyone likes - worth taking some time to work out what these are. Mine are baked potatoes with cheese and beans, and rice with bacon, cheese and peas. Sound dull but my kids love them!

    And all the comments are right, the more often you go into a shop, the more often you're getting tempted. Hey, I'm good at the talk, if only I was better at the walk ;-)
  • do_it_today!
    do_it_today! Posts: 786 Forumite
    Hi all :hello:
    some really great advice on this thread!!! I dont know what it is about Morrisons but I always end up spending a fortune when I go in there (list or not!) try online shopping or maybe somewhere like lidl or aldi?
    :j Where there is a will there is a way - there is a way and I will find it :j
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