12 Sep

Written by Kayleigh on September 12, 2017

Bargain hunting and money saving wasn’t something I’ve always done and wasn’t something that I was brought up doing either. So, for me, it didn’t come naturally and I had to learn from the beginning.

My attitude towards money and where it came from was not really a healthy one growing up. My parents were by no means rolling in it but they were good with money. They had savings and they both worked and they didn’t really worry about money, which is fortunate as very few can do the same. I also wasn’t spoilt. I appreciated everything I got as a kid and I cherished it. But I think the fact that I’m an only child meant my parents felt the need to give me everything I wanted. That sounds awful, but honestly, I didn’t expect to just click my fingers and it appeared.

The way my parents did it meant I still appreciated everything, but it also meant I never questioned where things came from or how much they cost. They never taught me about the value of money or how hard it is to come by. So, for me, shopping was a regular occurrence and looking at price tags wasn’t a thing but all. But that changed when, like so many others, my dad was made redundant after nearly 20 years in the job. His job was gone along with his wage and then not a year later my mum was also made redundant. So, they went from a 2-income house with savings to no income and dwindling savings. It took my dad 6 months of searching for a job to finally get something. He must have applied for thousands, but with many others trying to do the same it wasn’t easy. My mum was lucky, she managed to get something within a few weeks but it meant that their savings were gone and both their wages were a lot lower than before.

This is where the money saving started. Trying to change your shopping habits can be very hard, but it is doable. My mum and I proved we can still shop like we did but without spending anywhere near the amount. By changing shops and changing products means you can still have everything you had just for less.

Instead of shopping in clothes shops paying full price for things, try charity shops. I’ve found so many designer items for pennies, it’s crazy. You will really be surprised with what you find. If charity shops aren’t your thing then keep an eye out for sales at the shops. Shopping in charity shops does seem to have a certain stigma attached, but honestly, there is no shame and once you swallow that misplaced pride and dive in you will wonder why you didn’t do it before.

Food shopping doesn’t need to cost the earth either. By simply replacing the brand name products with store own brands, which 9 times out of 10 are the same anyway, this will drastically drop that weekly total. Also, meal planning is a great way to save money and organise the week’s dinners.

Starting a stockpile of non-perishable items, such as washing powder, toiletries’ and baby items has saved me thousands. It’s not something that will appear overnight, but with time, picking up reduced to clear items in bulk and using coupons to drop the price of branded items will save you so much.

Just because your short on cash doesn’t mean it should be frustrating. Bargain hunting can be a lot of fun and the feeling you get when you managed to get everything you’ve been looking for is incredible. I never thought I would be doing anything like I do now, but it just goes to show it can and does happen. So, by changing shopping habits and hunting deals, this can save you thousands.

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