20 pound notes with red circle and line through

Saving money is hard work and a constant battle between wanting to spend and managing not to. Whilst you’re doing a great job, here are some things which may not be helping in your saving endeavours as much as you initially thought…

1) Buying In Bulk

Buying in bulk is touted as a way to save money on anything from groceries to clothing. The idea behind it is that by buying a larger number of items you’re able to get them cheaper. For groceries, this could mean going to a wholesaler such as CostCo Booker or British Food Wholesalers.

Unless you’re meticulously organised you’re not going to be able to use everything you buy for the month in one hit. It requires planning and organisation, not to mention cooking and freezing meals. Then there’s the initial upfront cost and the space needed in order to buy the items in the first place.

What You Can Do

For staple items it may be worth buying in bulk- for example rice, pastas and items you tend to use a lot. However, for grocery shopping, make a list of what you need and stick to it. Try not to shop when you’re hungry as you’re more tempted to buy more items which tend to be high in sugar and try to stay strong when the kids want extra goodies.



BOGOFS, the ‘buy one, get one free’ is a staple of supermarket shopping. Unless you need the item, is it really worth the price you’re paying? It could just be that you’re attracted to the possibility of ‘saving’ money and not the item itself. Or it could be that you just need one item, but now you have three because you bought two to get the third free, ultimately spending double what you would have spent in the first place for two items you may not use.

What You Can Do

Decide whether you’re really going to use the three items on offer, or if you need one. If you just need one, it’s not really a good deal.


2) Shopping Around For The Best Deals

The way we shop has changed completely. Long gone are the days of loyalty, especially when it comes to supermarket shopping. Instead of shopping in one supermarket, many people are now choosing to shop around for groceries in the hope of finding items for less. Shopping around involves travelling to a number of different retailers, which means extra transport costs. Many don’t consider how they travel to the different shops or the extra expense this involves. When thinking about how much you’re going to save by shopping around and comparing prices, include the transport costs to give you a better idea of how much you’re actually saving.

What You Can Do

There are a number of different online resources which can compare the prices of groceries. Sites like mysupermarket will compare the price of your shopping online, giving you an idea of the best deals before you even leave the house!

Make a list of what to buy and which shop to buy it from before you start. This should help you to streamline your spending.

Alternatively, decide which shops you want to visit and plan your route so you’re not making multiple trips or travelling further than you need to.


3) Charity Shopping

There’s nothing better than rummaging through charity clothing stores to find something to wear for less, but many people complain that they’re doing this and still not saving money. Why? Well, they’re still shopping and therefore spending money. True, it may be discounted but money is still being exchanged. Charity shopping every now and again is fine if you can afford it, or if you need a new item. Replacing normal shopping with ‘charity’ shopping may save you some money, but it’s only once you break the spending habit completely that you’ll see real results.

Vintage Shopping

Don’t get confused between vintage shopping and charity shopping. Vintage shops are privately owned and their items are being sold to make a profit. They are therefore not necessarily a cheaper way to shop.

What You Can Do

Don’t feel like you can’t treat yourself every now and again as you’ll soon be put off saving. Instead, budget in a treat every few months and only go shopping when you have budgeted the money to spend, don’t go ‘just to see’.


4) Sale Items

We all love a sale and the buzz of getting items for less! Shops can lure us in with promises of 20,50 or even 70% off. However, if you didn’t really need the item in the first place, are you really saving money? Can you think of how you’ll use this item? A good rule of thumb for clothing is to halve the cost of the garment in your head. Now, in order to get your money’s worth, you need to wear the item that number of times. For example, if a pair of boots cost £40, you need to wear them at least 20 times to get your money’s worth.

What You Can Do

Avoid the sales if possible, but if you do find yourself in a sale and come across a bargain, ask yourself whether you need it. Think about how many times you could use the item- is it worth the money spent? If you’re looking at clothing, are there a number of different ways you can wear it? Do you have matching items or will you spend more money finding them? Remember the rule: Halve the cost of it and this is the number of times you need to use it.


5) Buy It Cheap…

Buying items cheaply is great as it saves you money compared to more expensive items…or does it? There’s an old saying: ‘buy it cheap, buy it twice’ Cheaper items can be made of lower quality materials as their more expensive alternatives, so you may need to spend more in the long term on replacing the cheaper items time and time again. Some things, such as winter coats and waterproofs may be worth investing more money in upfront in order to really get your money’s worth.

What You Can Do

Try to decide whether you need to spend more money on this item in order to get the best value for money. Research the average cost of the item and go for a mid range to higher end price. Budget this into your monthly costs or save for this item.

Do you have any money saving tips? Share them below or on our Facebook page!