Sunday, 9 January 2011

Getting to grips with shopping

It is almost two years since the programme 'Hunt for Britains Tightest Person' was first shown on Channel 4, since then it has been and still is available on the Channel 4 web site. In case you missed it you can see it here.
www.channel4.com/programmes/the-hunt-for-britains-tightest-person/4od
Tune in and have yet another laugh at me hanging my pants out to dry on the washing line.

I'm going to bring up the subject of money, I know, you'd rather not think about it, but tough. You either let it rule your life or you knuckle down and take control, the choice is yours.


It is the beginning of the year, cards and bank accounts have taken a hammering over the Christmas period, people are asking how to get back on track, build up their kitty and put a bit by for a summer holiday. Now is the time to start talking about it, and not to brush it under the carpet, because it will never go away. The best way is to approach it full on, and get to grips now.

There is a lot of pressure on us to spend money these days, we get bombarded by advertising on all levels, from a small newspaper ad, to a massive billboard on the corner of a busy road junction. We cannot get away from it, it is always there in our face. What we have to do is learn to ignore all these attempts to get us to open our purse. The only advertising we should be looking at is that which we seek out ourselves. When we need to buy something we need to know our options, so we can make informed choices to get the best our money can buy.

When I go into a shop other than a supermarket, I know what I am looking for and go straight to the relevant shelves to make my choice. I go in the discount stores to look for cheap food. I walk straight past the toiletries, I don't want any toys, stationary, cushions, (cushions bloody cushions, why are they everywhere? grrr), household utensils, table lamps, cleaning products, or household textiles. Just a quick note here about Pound Shops, they aren't always the cheapest. I have found bleach and washing up liquid cheaper elsewhere. Admittedly only saved 15 or 20p, but it mounts up over the year.

Then when I am in the food aisles I narrow my search down even further. I don't want cakes, biscuits, jumbo bags of crisps, fizzy drinks, and sweets. All these things are impulse buys, and to save money I need to curb my impulses. My mind is focused as I march through, and I scan the shelves for prices. I want Nescafe and Coffee Mate, (whitener - cheaper than fresh milk but tastes ok), then I check the prices of a few other items to see if they are cheaper than the supermarket. I might pick up a food item that is a good buy and I know I will eat it.

I am like a horse with blinkers on, don't look sideways, in my own bubble and ignore everything going on around me. I have come into the store for a purpose, and I intend to leave when my mission is accomplished.

Next I take a look at the pet food shelves. At the moment they have four tins of Feline Fayre tuna in jelly for £1, a good price and my cats like it. Best to get it now while I am here, how many can I carry to the bus station? Pay and exit shop.

Will power plays a big part in shopping sensibly. Dont go food shopping when you are hungry. You will put all sorts of rubbish food in your trolley, and the moment you get out into the car park you will be frantically ripping bags open to stuff something delicious into your mouth. I know I have done it. Confession time.......I can get through six small bags of crisps out of a multipack bag, while I drive home. Then of course I am full so I skip my meal. Big mistake, my will power went out the window and I am disgusted with myself. Crisps are my weakness so now I don't venture into the snack food aisle. Shop just after you have eaten a meal, then the crisps and cream cakes won't look so tempting.

I hang on to my money untill I want to spend it. No one can pull the wool over my eyes, no one can talk me into buying something I don't need. What I spend it on is my choice. I'm not saying I haven't made a few mistakes along the way, that's human nature, but I always manage to get back on track. What's done is done, move on. Good luck, and keep a tight grip on your purse.

16 comments:

  1. Lol. That is so funny! I have a tendency to skip lunch when I am at work and then buy crisps at the petrol station when I fill up before driving home.Must try to make a lunch the night before to take with me!
    We are just looking at sitting down and planning out financial situation and our goals for the year. You are so right when you say that about not brushing it under the carpet.
    I'll just go and watch you hanging out your smalls now.

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  2. yes agree with going shopping when you are hungry! I'm just the same, I have a list and stick to it unlike hubby, we did a shop at morrisons before xmas (I usually shop online at tesco, yes i know there is the delivery charge but by the time you've drove to the shop and back again using petrol and I can stick to a budget) anyway hubby kept putting extras in and it came to £69 for a week for two people and two cats, which I think is too much! and then you are having rob peter to pay paul to cover the extra and so it carries on....if hubby's petrol money gets spent on something else and not on petrol he then seems to think that he still has petrol money left for that week, erm no!! men!!

    Josie x

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  3. Hi Josie, Men are just hopeless at shopping aren't they, like little kids stuffing things in the trolley when you aren't looking. They shouldn't be let loose in a supermarket.

    Jan, I have managed to cut my crisp intake down such a lot. It takes will power, because they are positioned in your face when you pay for your petrol.

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  4. Hi I didnt realise you were a celebrity!. You are much more intersting than any celebrity. I enjoyed watching that and meeting you.
    I love going to asda and finding the woopsies marked down. Just before christmas I bought family sized quiches for 25p each!
    Keep up the good work x

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  5. Loved watching you on the programme! I too like to get the bargains, so well done with your persistence! Our biggest reduction every year is buying my turkey last thing on Christmas Eve so that I get the best price!
    Jille x

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  6. Thanks Ilona for sharing the documentary with us. I hadn't seen the whole doc before, just a short preview. You gave lots of interesting tips there but I'm sorry, I couldn't go without my shower or bath every day. I consider my shower my one big luxury, not just to keep clean but for total pampering and relaxation. But I'll bet you save a fortune on your water bill.

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  7. I've not seen the doc, so will watch it online. There would be a riot in our house if I didnt buy any milk, but the dog does have the cheapest food - when you compare ingredients there is often no difference between brand and basic/value range x

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  8. 2 years how time flies! I love crisps too. I buy cheap low fat ones, I cannot not eat them !

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  9. Yes, I like Asda whoopsies as well, when I go to that side of town. They take a bit of finding though. Yes, Jille Christmas Eve is the best time to shop for your seasonal stuff.

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  10. Shop just after you have eaten a meal

    Excellent and wise advice Ilona!

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  11. Hi Anna, I can have a bath now that my heating is fixed courtesey of the Warm Front Grant. I don't have them that often though, still wash in the sink, just as a treat, like you say, for relaxation.

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  12. Warm Front Grant? I heard about that but I thought it was one of those companies that con you out of money. how does that work if you don't mind me asking as my mum is 67, a widow on a pension, living in her own house and doesn't get any help with anything(or either too stubborn or proud to ask for help)

    Josie x

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  13. we buy powdered milk in lidl, it is a metal can. if there isnt any of that we us skimmed milk granules from Tescos. make sure it isnt the powder in the milk bottle shaped container. and sainsburys milk powder tastes metalic to me.

    The milk granules can be stired straight into a cup of tea. we take it on holiday when we have been abroad. cant stand UHT

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  14. I can't stand UHT milk either. Powdered milk is trial and error to find one you like. I always add a splash of cold water from the tap to cool the coffee first, the powder disolves better that way.

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  15. Aww, I tried to view the video but got a message saying its not available in my area. Im in Alabama, US, so I guess thats why.

    :(

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  16. Oh, I'm very sorry, simply mocha. I believe you can't log on to the Btitish TV chanels from other parts of the world. Such a shame, as I thought this was the World Wide Web.

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