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Bins, recycling and rubbish

Smart shopping

Top tips to shop smart, save money and reduce waste.

Shop with a list

This is the number one top tip for good reason and doesn't just apply to the supermarket shop.  Many people overspend or buy things they don't want, don't need and never end up using because they haven't prepared properly. This is your hard earned cash and precious time you are spending - it's worth a few minutes of preparation, don't you think? So, before you set off on your shopping trip, prepare. Review what you already have - in your wardrobe, cupboards, home or garage, then make a list of the 'gaps' you have and the needs this item will fill. Make sure they are genuine needs - not frivolous wants (there's a big difference between the two). And finally, remember to use that list when you shop!

Pick the best time for you 

Don't shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset!

Pick a time to shop when you are going to be positive and alert. This is not an exhaustive list of the emotional states that lead some people to over shop and end up buying things they don't want or need but they are some of the most common emotional triggers that prompt people to shop unconsciously and therefore not smartly.

Set a budget

This is important. Many people overspend on things they don't want, need or use because they had no limit set. Not a smart way to shop. Set your budget - and like the list - stick to it!  Whatever your budget - £10 or £100 or £1000- stop shopping once you hit that limit. This will help you to avoid impulse buys that are generally wasteful.

Set a timeframe

Don't allow yourself to meander around a shopping centre -once you've bought all you need (and nothing you don't), stop shopping and turn your attention to something else for the day.

Ask "do I really need this?"

Too many of us buy impulsively with no thought to what we need or even want. Our hard earned cash and even more precious time is wasted on things that have no place in our wardrobes, cupboards, homes or garages. Many of us don't stop for even a moment to consider if we really need this item, and so we end up taking home things we never use. What a waste.

Don't buy just because it's on sale

'Sale' is probably responsible for more impulse buys than almost any other word!  Remember that a bargain is not a bargain if it doesn't fill a legitimate gap you have identified. Only buy items on sale when it's something that is on your list and is within your budget.

Choose less or recyclable packaging

Look for items without packaging or buy refills that allow you to re-use containers.

Use a cotton carrier or re-usable 'bag for life'

If you don't take a shopping bag and you do need a carrier, you will be charged a minimum of 5p for a single use carrier bag. Smart shoppers are prepared!  And it's more than likely that your single use carrier bag will end up in the bin. What a waste!

Buy durable, long lasting and quality products

You've decided that you genuinely need the item but try to avoid single use items such as disposable batteries, razors and cameras. They may cost less but the durable items which cost more will prove their value as time passes. Quality is also key when trying to be less wasteful.  There is a wealth of consumer information and customer reviews for millions of products online. Do your research before parting with your hard earned cash.

Buy recycled

You will encourage manufacturers to make products from recycled materials and help reduce waste to landfill. For example toilet rolls, bin liners and glass ware.

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