You’re burning hard-earned money if you do these 6 things.

Do you ever get the awful sinking feeling of watching your bank balance fritter away with no idea where the money is ending up?

Well, it’s a horrible feeling and here’s where you might be slipping up. Don’t worry; I have the solutions too!

You shop when you’re hungry.

1.) First and foremost, don’t shop when you’re hungry! Whenever I say this to people, it makes me chuckle slightly; though It’s not a laughing matter as the amount of rubbish food we buy is no joke. I guess it refers to the days of going out on the town, then eating my body-weight in food the next day to try and soak up the alcohol.

The thing about shopping, when you’re hungry, is that you won’t be thinking rationally. Your greedy stomach will be thinking and not your logical mind. You’ll likely come back having spent double the money, or you’ll have a selection of delicious treats, with no prospect of a meal, insight… Let alone seven.

TSC Blog Cover Images 3 min 1

You shop without a list.

2.) It makes sense, then, to mention the list situation next.

In terms of groceries, I believe that the majority tend to write a list as a reminder of what to buy for the week. Though if you don’t, please start!

However, food is not the main culprit here.

Gift buying. Where do I begin?

The thing about gifting is you can get seriously carried away and spend far too much money.

I have a love-hate relationship with gifting.

Finding the perfect, thoughtful gift for a good friend and watching them open it is a truly joyful experience. However, I’m ashamed to say that I often don’t give myself enough time to think and look for the item, which in turn causes me a huge amount of stress and anxiety when I have to scramble around to find something!

If I succeed in finding a gift, I then overthink it even after giving it to them. Did they like it, did I spend too much, did I not spend enough, should I get them something else, do they hate it, do they hate me now?! It’s a problem.

One major cause of clutter I see on a regular basis is hoards of gifts. Wardrobes, chest of drawers, endless boxes, all full of gifts that have not yet been wrapped and with no sign of who the gift is for. I guess that you don’t have the space, nor the money for this excess.

The other point to note (and I know I’m not alone in my thinking) is that if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a gift that you feel cost too much money, it can make you feel quite awkward.

In conclusion, always shop after you’ve written a list. Whether that be for food or gifts, please stop buying extra last minute.

You shop without taking an inventory of what’s already in the cupboards, fridge and freezer.

3.) You set off merrily to the weekly food shop, clueless of what you already have in.

Not only is this a dangerous way to shop in terms of missing what you need. It’s also a prime opportunity to spend way more money than you wanted to because, well, just in case.

You’ll likely end up with duplicates or even more. This isn’t such an issue with longer-life items, such as tins, but it will be a real problem for fresh produce. We know where they’ll be heading if you can’t use them in time. Straight into food waste or landfill if you don’t have a compost bin and your council doesn’t take food scraps.

When you add food to general rubbish, it goes into landfill where it slowly rots, releasing methane. Methane gas is more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. Eurostat states that the UK throws away over 14 million tonnes of food annually, which is horrifying. In terms of monetary value, WRAP states it’s around £700 yearly wasted on food (for an average UK family with kids). I don’t know about you, but I can think of much better things to spend £700 on.

You don’t plan your meals for the week.

4.) Once you’ve filled out your food inventories, you’ll be able to plan meals incorporating items you already have in stock. This will use up existing produce, causing less food waste and saving you money on the food shop. You’ll feel a real sense of achievement, I assure you.

I always try to cook meals where I can make double the amount and either freeze the extra portions or take them for lunch the next day. This will save energy costs and your time spent cooking.

Great options for making extra are, Chilli con Carne (or with a meat-free option), vegetable daals, curries and lasagne.

I recommend using a meal planner that you can stick on the fridge door or wall. This is great if you have kids, as they can see what’s for dinner every night.

You take advantage of multi-buy offers when you don’t need the extra items.

5.) Aimlessly walking up and down aisles, chucking things into the trolley willy-nilly is bound to happen if you’ve not pre-planned, as above.

The whole point of those brightly coloured offer stickers and signs is to entice you in. They aim to catch you unawares, and those of us who haven’t got a list are the prime candidate to fall into this supermarket trap.

You are only getting a good deal if you need it!

Buying four bags of potatoes because it’s a bargain is not a bargain if you can’t eat them in time. Instead, you are eagerly throwing cash down the pan.

Another big problem with multi-buys is space. Loo roll is regularly on offer (excluding the mad loo roll panic-buying era, circa March 2020). Of course, loo roll isn’t going to “go off”, but what’s the point in buying three super 24-pack rolls if you live in a one-bedroom flat with non-existent storage?

What is the moral of the story? Only buy what you need and what you can fit in your home easily.

You don’t budget

6.) Finally, let’s talk about budgeting.

Now I’m no financial advisor and don’t claim to be. However, I know how to do a basic budget, and you should too.

First, grab a piece of paper. You do not need to do a fancy Excel spreadsheet for this!

At the top of the page, note your monthly income. Next, list all your fixed monthly bills, plus any credit card, loan and finance payments. Don’t forget childcare or child maintenance and pet insurance etc.

I like to work out what’s left over and then make a monthly budget.

Whether you have £50 a week or £300 a week, try to stick to it.

A helping hand, or should I say Printable PDF?

If you need something to help your resolutions. I have some great organisation printables to get you well on your way!

  • Ultimate Organisation Bundle – This includes 66 pages of organisation printables to get you super organised, including weekly meal planners, shopping lists, kitchen inventories (to help prevent food waste), cleaning checklists, password logs, 5-minute journal, travel packing checklists, daily, weekly and monthly planners, monthly bills tracker a habit tracker and so much more! Wowsers…
  • Household Chores Planners – This includes daily planners, weekly cleaning and monthly tasks, a brain dump page and advice for “daily non-negotiables” to level up your home organisation!
  • Meal Prep Bundle – This includes everything you’ll need to finally get organised with your food, stop wasting leftovers and save money on your food shop each week just by getting organised!

These are the exact printables I use to help me stay on track!


Amy xx

-Your decluttering bestie

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