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Responsible Shopping

These lessons and pages that will help the family are provided for free by Edukits.

After working out your disposable income from our budgeting page you will now know how much you have to spend on your weekly shopping.

Before you go shopping - here's a hint - Use your eftpos card wisely and as little as possible - you could be being charged around 60 cents for some transaction - check your receipts to find out where and avoid them in future. If you do not have a bank account with zero charges for transactions, we advise making one larger withdrawal from your account each week for expenses and shopping instead of using it at every shop you go into - you could be saving around $6 to $24 a month (it all adds up!).

Write down a list of all of your family's favourite and not so favourite meals.

Write out a complete list of all of the ingredients that you would need to make each of these meals - your own family meal recipe book.

Before doing your shopping, write down a menu of all the meals (including lunches and breakfasts and drinks) for the next week.

From the menu, write down the ingredients you would need to make each of these meals. Make a separate list for each of the food groups:

  • Meat
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Spices and condiments (salt, flour, sugar, herbs, oil, sauce)
  • General items (from baked beans to detergent)

Make a list of "other" items you will also need for the week like toiletries, rubbish bags/tags, cleaning material.

Look through all the 'specials' flyers from your mail box and local newspapers of your local shops or sign up for an email of specials from the website of your local shops and note their prices next to the items on your list with the name of the shop next to it. NOTE: A good exercise is to go around your local shops or supermarket and write down the lowest standard price for each item (usually, but not always, the "unbranded" products like 'Basics', 'Budget', etc.) so you will have an idea of the prices you can expect to pay.

Make a separate list of all the items you know you will have to buy individually throughout the week such as bread and total up this list for inclusion in your grand total.
After pricing every item, rewrite your shopping lists as per each store you will buy them from and then total the cost on each list and then add up all the totals to reach your expected grand total for the week.
Compare this total with how much you know you can spend from your disposable income. If you are over budget, adjust one or more of the meals on your weekly menu to suit so that you will not over-spend. Something to note is that if you wanted a roast chicken as one of your meals but you know that chicken is not on special that week, don't buy it - save that for another week when it is on special.
You are ready to go shopping. Remember that you listed your spices and condiments on a separate sheet? That's because all of these can usually be purchased at a lower cost from a "bulk" shop - look around. Don't forget to take your lists with you and still compare the prices on the shelves to yours as you go around - there may be one cheaper that you have overlooked.

NOTE: If your disposable income will still not be enough to live on you may need to seek additional budgeting advice and you may even be entitled to assistance from Work & Income - contact your local branch.


List Maker

Help for making your shopping list: Get our Free App: Make a shopping list or to-do list on your phone and store it on your phone so you can go back to it later, look at it and delete items when you no longer need them.

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