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6 Smart Ways to Cut Down on Convenience Spending

How to Cut Down on Convenience Spending
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Life is so busy, and we are all trying to save time and mental resources wherever possible. Sometimes when we are in a hurry, we’ll grab items on the go without too much thought.

However, these purchases can be incredibly costly, particularly if they become daily occurrences; convenience purchases tend to have a high mark up, and can be an easy way for your day to day spending to creep up. From takeaways and short taxi trips to next-day delivery services and menial household chores, a survey finds that an average Brit could save £3,000 a year by cutting convenience spending.

We might not even register how many convenience spends we make. Bad spending habits can become normalised over time, and society tempts us with new ways to part with our hard earned cash every day.

For this guest post, Taryn from savinginlondoncity.com has compiled her 6 best tips to cut down on convenience spending without impacting your quality of life.

1. Pack snacks and drinks when you leave the house

Buying a drink here, a snack there is fine, but if you notice yourself wandering into corner shops and supermarkets often for small purchases, it might be time to rein it in!

Build a habit of packing a reusable water bottle (and you can include a squeezy squash bottle to add flavour to your water if you prefer juice), along with a cereal bar in your bag each day. Having these items in your bag should reduce the need to pop into the shops regularly, and will save you buying overpriced individual snacks.

When heading to the office, take several snacks with you to reduce trips to the vending machine.

2. Stock items you buy regularly in advance

Popping into the shops for one item can often lead to additional unplanned purchases. How many times have you stopped by the shop for milk, only to get tempted by the end of aisle promotions?

Avoid heading to the shops altogether by buying larger packs of items you buy regularly in advance. Not only will this reduce the amount of times you shop, but items are usually cheaper in larger quantities, too. Toilet roll is a common item we tend to run out of mid week, so be sure to purchase plenty to avoid the mid-week corner shop dash.

Milk and bread are also popular top up items; try freezing your bread and toasting individual slices, and freeze your milk into smaller portions ensure you’re always stocked up.

3. Plan your meals each week

Takeaways have their place, but they can quickly become a money pit if you rely on ordering too regularly.

Try to buy takeaways when they are planned in advance, instead of impulsive purchases or alternatives to cooking when you’re feeling a little tired.

One of the best ways to avoid regular takeaways or last minute ready meals, is to meal plan. Draw up a list each week of every meal you plan to eat using the ingredients in your pantry, and keep a few easy meal ideas for those lazy days.

There are so many ways to be more frugal with your food; if you’re looking to increase your savings, this is one of the number one areas of your budget you can make quick cuts to save cash fast.

Related: Top 12 Grocery Shopping Hacks That Save You Money

4. Take a small kit with things you’ll need in your bag

When I was out and about, I found myself often having to find a local pharmacy or clothing store for bits that I had forgotten to bring with me.

Now I take a small pouch with me in every bag, containing plasters, paracetamol, tissues, a hair scrunchie, a pen, a sanitary towel, lip balm and more! It can be transferred to whichever handbag or backpack I’m using, and it has stopped me needing to shop on the go.

5. Avoid next day delivery

In today’s society we can get almost anything we desire dropped to our door within 24 hours. However, for this service we often pay a hefty premium for the convenience.

After spending a ridiculous charge for next day delivery for a birthday gift once, I resolved to change my shopping habits and avoid this charge going forward.

We don’t really need most items immediately; we can be patient, wait a few days, and pay less.

To avoid these charges, try to plan Birthday and Christmas shopping well in advance to avoid next day delivery, which is effectively a ‘left it last minute’ tax. If you’re heading to an event and need an outfit, ensure you start your outfit planning a few weeks in advance minimum. Nobody needs the stress of finding the perfect dress when the clock is ticking!

6. Try a low spend challenge

A spending reset can be a good way to step back and analyse how we are managing our money. It’s easy to fall in to traps, spend more than we realise, and fritter money away mindlessly.

Try a low or no spend challenge, to strip your money management back to basics, and to test how well you cope with fewer opportunities to spend. It doesn’t have to be long; perhaps try just one week to start with, and take some time following the challenge to think about how well it went. Be honest with yourself; did you struggle in certain areas? Did it highlight any spending habits you’d like to cut down on?

Challenging ourselves to shop more mindfully is a great first step to reducing impulse purchases, and ultimately saving more towards things we really value.

Related: 7 Simple Rules for a No-Spend Month

Conclusion

I hope these tips to cut down on convenience spending help you save money! By implementing these strategies, like planning ahead and making deliberate choices in your spending habits, you can potentially save hundreds throughout the year. These adjustments not only improve your financial health but also encourage mindful spending, allowing you to focus on your long-term goals and priorities rather than spending impulsively on immediate conveniences.

This guest post was provided by Taryn – a money and lifestyle blogger at savinginlondoncity.com who is on a mission to share the best money saving tips and tricks with her readers. Taryn discusses the best ways to explore the capital on a budget, whilst saving towards her long term money goals, which include saving for a house deposit, travelling the world and investing.

Best ways to cut down on convenience spending

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