Shopping with children

Some adults love shopping and some adults hate it, but if you have children you will know that almost any shopping trip can fast become a nightmare.

If you are shopping for more than 30 mins or so, many children start to play up and get frustrated and this can make days out shopping very unenjoyable. If at all possible I would recommend not taking children shopping with you if you know you are going to be a long time but if you have to then try and make sure you have regular breaks where they can sit down with a drink and maybe a snack. Sometimes just a ten min break is enough to settle them again for another few hours.

Some people try to bribe their children with a promise of gifts etc if they behave but this can quickly make a very expensive trip every time.

Making a shopping list to save time and money

Making a shopping list is a great way to save time and to ensure you do not buy items you do not need when you go shopping. Many people using shopping lists when it comes to doing their grocery shopping, but I also make one for when I’m going clothes of present shopping.

If I know I need to get a jacket and two skirts, for example, then I write this down. I also set myself a budget to spend on the day. I firstly aim to get the items on my list and then if there is any budget left over I can then have a look through everything else.

When it comes to Christmas shopping I again make a list of everyone I have to buy for and ideally what I would like to get them. At the end of the trip, I can scan my list to make sure that I have not forgotten anyone.

Can you haggle in shops?

When people think of haggling they often think of markets and places abroad where haggling is done often. But you can actually do it in many shops in the UK, even some big chain shops. When you have found a product that you want to buy, why not speak to a member of staff and ask them if they can do you a better deal. If you have seen the product cheaper elsewhere many stores offer a price match or lower price than their competitors if you ask. If you are buying a large quantity from one store then you could also ask to see if they will give you a bulk discount. Some places have a policy of allowing a discount if ten or more products are bought. This will not usually work with you general food shop but may be the case if buying online or from a wholesalers.

If an items is marked or damaged you can again ask for a reduction in price but it may then not be allowed to be returned.

Know your rights when it comes to shopping

Well not exactly shopping, but when returning items that you have purchased. Many items and shops have different rules regarding returning items. Some items such as earrings, underwear and make up cannot be returned unless damaged or faulty due to hygiene reasons.

If you buy an item in the sale, then you may be advised that the item will be exchange only. Again this should not include items that are damaged or faulty as then you are entitled to a refund.

All electrical goods sold new should come with a 12 months warranty which may be with the retailer or with the manufacturer.

If you need to return an item that is damaged or faulty, you may want to call the retailer first to find out what their policy is. If you are not happy with the response you get initially you could ask to speak to the manager or escalate the issue to head office. If you are still not happy then you can contact the consumer advice line to find out what to do next.


Saving money on your weekly shop

The food shopping can be a massive weekly cost for many families. Not only will you have to buy food for all the family but you may have to buy nappies, baby milk, pet food and toiletries which can all add up very quickly.

Many of the supermarkets now do a price match promise, whereby if you could have bought the same product at one of the other leading supermarkets for cheaper, you are entitled to the difference back off your next shop.

Something to consider is, often, products such as mince beef are exactly the same across many supermarkets just worth a different label on, so you may think you are buying a better quality product when actually they are exactly the same. To check this, you could have a look at the ingredients and most importantly the percentage of meat content compared to the water content.