Cash-Strapped? Raid Cupboards For Forgotten Products

Written by on June 24, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page


tag-saleHuge numbers of households have hundreds of pounds worth of products sitting in their cupboards, on shelves and in the attic that they have forgotten about.

These expensive goods are simply left to gather dust.

As a result, individuals, couples and families head to the supermarket and stock up on products they simply do not need, unnecessarily making a dent in their ever-dwindling budget.

If you’re facing financial hardship, then being more organised and thrifty is a fantastic way to inflate your bank balance.

Following a few simple pieces of advice could help you with debt management or allow you to improve your savings.

Raid your kitchen

Before heading to the supermarket, make sure to raid your kitchen and find out what is lurking in the back of the fridge or in the corner of a cabinet.

You might be surprised at all the things you’ll find that will help you to reduce your shopping list.

One of the best ways to keep grocery costs low is to make a comprehensive plan of all the meals your household will have in the week ahead. That way, you know exactly which and what volume of ingredients you will need.

If you need two tins of baked beans for the week ahead and you have four sat in the cupboard, don’t bother stocking up on more unless there is a fantastic money-saving offer. Doing so will only increase the risk of them going out of date and ending up in the bin.

Also, by purchasing items at full price that you do not imminently need, you may miss out on a better deal that comes up in the future. You should be particularly cautious when it comes to fresh food, like milk, bread and vegetables, since these have a short shelf life.

When you are particularly low on funds, simply using up the products you already have in your home is a great way to avoid spending. However, getting into permanently good habits will allow you to constantly save cash and free up space in the kitchen – it is also more eco-friendly.

According to Love Food Hate Waste, the UK throws 7.2 billion tonnes of food and drink every year – by being careful about what you buy, you will help to cut down on the unnecessary wastage of vital supplies.

Check other parts of the home too

Although we tend to be most guilty of hoarding and then wasting products in the kitchen, there are other parts of the house where we may store, forget about and then unnecessarily replace costly products.

This may be particularly true when it comes to toiletries and cosmetics. Bottles of shampoo, makeup and similar items are a significant expense, yet we often leave lotions and potions lingering in baskets and cupboards for months or even years.

Take some time out to have a thorough rummage through all of your possessions, and store them in an organised manner for future reference. That way you’ll know whether shelling out for a new tube of toothpaste at the pharmacy is necessary or not.

Never be tempted to throw out usable half-finished or almost-empty products – get the most from everything you buy and you’ll shop and spend less. Scrape and squeeze your money’s worth out of all of these products and it will make a difference to your bank balance in the long-term.

Sell or recycle unwanted possessions

If you find lots of old possessions like electrical items, clothing or furniture when conducting your spring clean, then why not take inspiration from Cash in the Attic and get selling? Rooting around your loft for forgotten goods is a great way to raise some money, save space and go green.

Remember to be realistic when it comes to the clear out – as a general rule of thumb, if it’s not a seasonal product and you haven’t used it for three months, it can go without being sorely missed. Try to be strict with yourself and you will reap the financial rewards.

If you do find any potentially valuable antiques, then it could be worth speaking to an expert and considering an auction like those on the popular TV show. Otherwise, you could simply try bidding websites like eBay.

In the event that these options are not suitable, consider posting a classified ad on Gumtree, in the local newspaper or on a notice board in the supermarket. You could also ask people you know whether they would be willing to take anything off your hands.

For less valuable items, it might be worthwhile looking at trading in. There are a multitude of websites, like Mazuma Mobile, that will give you cash or vouchers for your old mobile phone, but there are online and high street options for everything from DVDs to clothing.

Having completed an IVA with Stef now enjoys the financial freedom that being debt free allows, in her spare time she writes debt advice articles to help others avoid getting into the same financial situation she found herself in. 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid /


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