Shopping on a budget

Budgeting can be difficult. Keeping a spending diary will help you to track your spending. Citizens Advice Scotland has a tool that will help you work out your budget.


Cut food shopping bills by:

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

Value or own brands

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

Community larders

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


Cheaper clothing options include:

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

Other essentials

Hygiene products

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

Free sanitary products

Local authorities provide free period products for those who menstruate 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. 

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 allows mattress to be donated, cleaned and sanitised and then sold at an affordable price. View the process for sanitising mattresses and find out how to buy a re-use mattress.

Books and online resources

Library members can borrow books or ebooks free of charge. PressReader allows members to access magazines and newspapers as soon as they are available on shelves.