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Tips for planning your shopping list on a budget

If you need help staying within a budget and saving money, read our tips for how to plan a shopping list!


person making a household shopping list in the supermarket

Key steps

  • Set yourself an achievable budget within your income limit.

  • Create a meal plan.

  • Make a shopping list from your meal plan and stick to it!

  • Shop around if you can to check for a better deal elsewhere.

  • Allow a buffer for treats and emergencies.

Planning your shopping list well is one of the best ways you can save money when buying groceries. You'll also be able to prevent food waste by restricting yourself to what's on the list and the items you absolutely need. Read on for our top grocery list tips to help keep you on track and organized when it comes to planning your weekly shopping.

Whilst it’s important to budget and account for each sum you spend, don’t forget to allow a buffer for the occasional treat or emergency cropping up!

Top tips for planning your grocery list on a budget

Working out a budget grocery list doesn’t have to be a difficult chore; you simply need to stick to things you need! Here are 4 ways to make sure you stick to your weekly budget.

  1. Set yourself a budget. Whether you decide to use a pen and paper, or opt for a tracking app instead, the best way to stick to a budget is to set a target and account for each outgoing expense within that.

  2. Create a food plan. The best way to ensure that you both stick to your budget and also save on food waste is to start with a food plan. First, write out which days you need to create a meal. Decide which meal you plan to create and make a note of which items you have in your cupboard (such as staples like oils, salt etc.) and which you will need to buy.

  3. Make a list. If you want to feed your family on a budget, it's important to make sure you go to the store well prepared. Start with a list of essentials by creating a meal prep shopping list from your food plan, followed by other items such as toiletries and cleaning products.

  4. Don’t forget to shop around. Whilst this may not always be feasible for every item, if you are doing online shopping or mail order always check around for a more competitive deal, which may help you stay within your set budget.

  5. Don’t forget to allow a small buffer. We all come up against emergencies as well as wanting the occasional treat. So, whilst it's important to set a budget and stick to it, allow some cash to be set aside for the occasional impulse buy. Ultimately you are the master of your own budget, so ensure that whatever you do works for you.

With this simple guide for how to plan grocery shopping for a week, we’ve given you all the hacks you need to be able to plan ahead and save money when shopping!

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