Money saving

Spending more at the supermarket if you have children

Posted 30 June 2015

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How to save money if your children make you spend more when you’re at the supermarket.

According to recent research* carried out for the Debt Advisory Centre, parents spend up to £20 more when they take their children shopping with them. That’s probably due to the extra toys and sweet things that children love and might end up pressuring you into buying.

Now, if you’re a busy parent contending with your children’s wants and needs, this probably doesn’t surprise you, but actually when you think about this, it amounts to a serious amount of money. If you did your shop weekly and spent £20 more than you had to each time then that adds up to £1,040 a year - that’s definitely money worth saving! Here are some ideas about how you can save some of that precious cash.


Go shopping by yourself

So the biggest tip we could give you when shopping is… don’t take the little ones with you! We understand this isn’t always going to be possible of course, but when you can, leave them with your partner or maybe a grandparent, and get the weekly shop done with less stress and less cost!


Go online

If you’re a single parent and it’s really going to be hard getting to the supermarket without the kids, why not try online shopping? Most of the main supermarkets provide this service so you wouldn’t even have to change who you buy from. Online shopping can be very convenient and once you’ve done one shop you can save the list on the system, meaning that you don’t have to select all the products again the next week.

Just think, with online shopping you could choose exactly when you want to go shopping, when it gets delivered to your doorstep, and never be pressured into buying those biscuits, sweets and toys again. You might even find that there’s an added saving from cutting out travel costs.


Distract the little ones

If you find that you can’t avoid going to the supermarkets with the children – it’s bound to happen sometimes – then providing a distraction for them might be the best way to stop them adding stuff to your trolley that they shouldn’t.

You could try actually getting them involved in the shopping trip themselves by giving them the shopping list or just part of it and setting them the task of finding the items. You could encourage them to check the price of items and add up what they’re spending to help them with their maths as well.

They could take a book along with them and read to you as you shop. This is a nice way of diverting their attention, helping them at school and you’ll probably find that it relaxes you as well!


*RedDot questioned a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and over between 20th and 22nd April.



by Christine Walsh

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