Help, I can't stop spending.



  • Marisco
    Marisco Posts: 42,036 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    These shops use all sort of psychological tricks to make you spend more:mad: They have "special" offers as soon as you come in, so it hits you in the eye as you come through the door, then sweets by the checkout, so kids see them as your waiting your turn. And my particular bug bear - shifting the goods around, just when you're used to their location:mad: Tescos have all their leaflets by the till i.e insurance, mobile, car insurance etc, and whilst your waiting in the Q, you start reading them!!! If you go in and think "I know why they are doing that/why they've put that there" you can sail through and beat the burgers - its good fun!!!:rotfl:
  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Posts: 13,458 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Never forget that the supermarkets spend literally millions marketing what they want to sell, not what might be best for you to buy ;) As others have mentioned, the BOGOF, 3 for 2 etc. offers are cyclical and it's usually the same 'premium' branded nonsense coming up time after time.

    I'm not a food miser by any means (avid foody) and while my shopping bill remains high, it's because I eat delicious fresh foods and cook everything from scratch.

    At the same time, I'm careful to ignore the stuff I don't need and am quite religious when it comes to planning in advance.

    My GF often takes the Mickey about this, but I've seen the amount of rubbish (snacks, cakes, pre-packaged meals and booze) her parents buy and I'm genuinely shocked!
  • I used to be really good and disciplined at the supermarket but have recently got completely out of control. I always find I'm tempted by the non-food goods like books and DVDs as I shop at a massive Sainsburys full of clothes and homewares.

    The easiest way is to shop online however I always found they would bring inferior meat and not make "sensible" substitutes so you would end up going to the supermarket anyway to buy the things they didn't bring.

    What I try to do now is select the stuff I want from the Sainsburys website so they add it up for you, then it's easy to be ruthless at the end if you are over budget - I frequently realise that I can make it for another 7 days with what's left in the shampoo bottle. Then I get out the cash I need, leave my card behind, print the list and go and do the shop myself so I can pick my own vegetables etc. is a great site if you are shopping online - you select your groceries and it will tell you whether (a) you would do better buying a supermarket's own brand or as part of an offer, or even separately and (b) it would be cheaper to order from Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda or Ocado (in my dreams!)... So it tells me whether the only brand of cat food that my very fussy cats prefer is on offer at a different supermarket. Again though, I don't actually buy the goods for home delivery, I print the list and take it to whichever supermarket is cheaper (except Asda as there isn't one near me).

    Thanks for the original post, it has inspired me to get back into the habit and halve my monthly supermarket spend!
  • Hi there

    I have exactly the same problem! I've tried so hard on cutting down on buying clothes and other non-essentials that when i go to Sainsbury's I figure if I can't have a bit of a treat here, where I buy necessities, where can I?! However, I've been going badly over budget and have had a particularly difficult last month or two monetarily, so I've realised that even 'stockpiling to save' (something I'm very prone to too) is going to bankrupt me, so here's what I did:

    Stopped shopping. I figured I already had a cupdoard of food that needed eating, so I'm trying to eat my cupboard bare (it helps to think of how enjoyable it will be to re-fill it when it's empty and I'm feeling a bit richer!) and others on here are right, it does make for inventive meals, plus you find all sorts of food you had forgotten you had! Then when I got to the point when I absolutely HAD to go shopping, I made a list of the absolute essentials (this week it's loo rolls and washing up liquid. That's all, and only cos we really are out of both!) and took a £20 note with me. The first things I put in my basket were my essentials, then I thought what else would be good for dinner JUST for this week, and anything I had left over I allowed a treat or two. Counted it as I went round to the nearest 10p.

    From then on I allowed myself to go shopping once a week with only that £20 note each time. You can't spend what you don't have with you!

    I know this sounds awfully harsh, but it's only for the two of us, and neither of us eats lunch at home (I have 10p noodles at my desk - not very healthy but good for the broke times) so it's just about doable. This way I'm managing to spend only £80 on food each month. And it's amazing how much you start to value own brands/vouchers etc - just having an extra £5 from Nectar points makes for a lovely treat :)

    I did think about shopping online but the cost of delivery and having to arrange it rather than just go when I want to (normally on a Sunday afternoon at present) made me think twice. Plus I have a huge weakness for online shopping too, which I know sounds bizarre, but I really have to stop myself going mad on Amazon, and I think if I allowed myself to shop for food online, the permanent temptation of the internet would get even worse!

    Anyway, I hope some of my experience may prove useful to you, and good luck!
  • Oh, and one more thing - if your shop is in walking distance, then walk! Then the less you buy, the less you have to carry home, and it saves on petrol too. All of this makes for positive thinking while trying to be careful what you buy.

    BTW, I only make a list of absolute essentials, the rest of that £20 is 'free' money, as this makes you feel more like you're allowed to buy things you hadn't planned to. This isn't a good motivational thought for everyone, but as someone who finds planning difficult (I'm terrible with meal plans - too stressful for me!) it makes me feel less like I'm constraining myself.
  • isy1011
    isy1011 Posts: 513 Forumite
    Hubby and I are on a challenge this week to eat what we have in house and not buy and so far we have made a lasagne which lasted 3 days for 4 of us and a big quiche which lasted two days. If you can try and make it fun it doesnt pee you off so much.
    Egg April 10 £6600 Jan £4678 now £0
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    So far paid off 17% of c.c. debt:T
  • willow_loulou
    willow_loulou Posts: 1,067 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary
    My tips are, go shopping at 3.40 on a sunday, gives u 20 mins to get everything on your list and no time to browse in the supermarket. I only Take £45 so that is all I can spend.
    To get your *fix* of shopping give yourself £10 a week and go into a charity shop, carbootsale or somewhere like wilkinsons. I did this and at first bought extreme things I didnt want let alone need ( the most awful decorative plate I have ever seen LOL )I now I set myself the challenge of finding specific things.
    I got a lamp brand new with tags (bhs) original price of £20...I got it from my local hospice shop for £5. My fav toothpast that is just under £3 normally was 98p in wilkinson so I bought 3. Ill go from shop to shop until I spend my £10 or until I have exactly enough change for a costa coffee. :D
    £10 may not sound like it is enough but actually its now fun to only spend the 10. I do buy clothes with it in the sales. If I want to spend more on clothes I have to earn it by selling on ebay or swapping utilities or use birthday money. I have allowed £10 for clothes in my budget which I put into my savings account till I need specifics.
    Life happens, live it well.
  • foxgloves
    foxgloves Posts: 11,094 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I do monthly menus & just buy what we need, mostly at the begninng of each month then we just get the fresh stuff weekly. About 4 times a year, we also go to Lidl specifically to stock up the pantry with things like olive oil, baked beans, tinned pulses, tuna, etc. This seems to work. We do sometimes go over our 250 quid a month budget a bit, but nothing like the overspend we used to have before we discovered budgetting. BOGOFS and similar offers do often look tempting, but if the item wasn't on your list, or isn't something you'd usually want 2 of anyway, then the winner here isn't you, if it puts you over budget, it is as usual Mr Tesco/Asda who may market all such deals as being for customers to save them money, but the bottom line is making big profits for their shareholders, so if doing BOGOfs didn't actually make them a shedload more money through increased sales, they wouldn't do them. Do a thorough menu plan, stick to your list then you'll be the winner, not the milionnaire supermarket bosses. I find this thought always helps me stick to my list!
    "For each of our actions there are only consequences" (James Lovelock)"For in the true nature of things......every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold & silver" (Martin Luther King Jnr)
  • tesuhoha
    tesuhoha Posts: 17,971 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    This is something that I do but I don't do it as much now because I've joined Costco. Its cured me because I go there and buy most of our toiletries and canned foodstuffs in bulk and its so much cheaper than the supermarkets. For instance there was an offer in Asda for a large pack of Finish dishwasher tablets for £8. In the past I would have gone for one or two but the week before I had bought the same size pack from Costco for just over £4.

    However, having said that because I am spending less on basics like washing powder I am falling into the trap of thinking i can afford extra luxuries which I cant and am not spending less. I have just pulled myself back from this and hope to be more careful but its so difficult as there a so many traps in supermarkets.
    The forest would be very silent if no birds sang except for the birds that sang the best

  • tesuhoha
    tesuhoha Posts: 17,971 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    I'm not in debt but on a limited budget due to only one regular income.
    The forest would be very silent if no birds sang except for the birds that sang the best

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