Shopping on a budget

Budgeting your spending can be difficult but Citizens Advice Scotland has a useful tool that will help you work out your budget. In addition to the online tool, you can keep a spending diary - this will help you track your spending and ensure you are following your budget effectively.  


There are many ways to cut down your food shopping bills, such as:

  • planning your meals
  • writing a shopping list
  • reviewing deals on offer in shops

Try value or own brands

Supermarkets have own brand versions of popular food products. These brands are cheaper and can be a good alternative when shopping on a budget.

Community larders

A community larder is another option when shopping for food on a budget. They require a membership but the cost of becoming a member is normally only between £3 to £6.


There are a variety of cheaper clothing options, such as:

  • supermarket brands
  • charity shops
  • second-hand clothing apps

Products from these shops are cheaper and are a good option when looking for clothing on a budget.

Other essentials

Hygiene products

Community larders may have certain hygiene products available although this will vary from larder to larder and depend on stock levels.

Free sanitary products

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 sets out the right to free period products for those who menstruate and places a duty on local authorities to provide these products within school and community settings.

Real nappy incentive scheme

Our real nappy incentive scheme allows parents in North Ayrshire who are interested in using ‘Real Nappies’ to try them out for free, giving a chance to see what suits you and your baby best.

Household goods

We work with the Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company (CRFC) to recycle furniture and reduce the number of household items being sent for final disposal. CRFC provides an affordable option when looking to furnish your home.

A mattress reuse project is also ongoing which allows mattress to be donated, cleaned and sanitised and then sold for an affordable price.

You can view the process for sanitising mattresses or find out how to buy a re-use mattress.

Books and online resources

Our library service offers a free ebook service for library members through BorrowBox which will allow you to read online.

PressReader is also available to members, allowing you to access magazines and newspapers as soon as they are available on shelves.

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