Are you wasting hundreds of pounds on things you never use?

How to cut out the dead wood

Updated: 
Clothing in wardrobe

There's great satisfaction in finding a bargain, whether it's a two-for-one deal in a supermarket or a 50% discount in your favourite designer store.

But while you're busy getting a discount on your purchases, do you ever stop and ask yourself whether you really need them at all?

We've all thrown out a bag of salad that we never got round to opening, or have a pair of painful shoes we've never worn lurking at the bottom of the wardrobe - and according to Providential Financial, we're wasting a fortune on things we never use.

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Its new survey has revealed that, on average, Brits spend £66 on their weekly shop, of which 5% will go in the bin - mainly because products have expired before they could actually be used.

"What's more, despite the younger generations not earning executive wages and not being able to save considerably, they are the most likely to throw away food – almost 10% - whereas the older generations have an average of 3.8%," says the firm.

Meanwhile, we're buying clothes that we never wear. The average woman has at least three unworn dresses in her wardrobe, along with two pairs of trousers, three t-shirts, two jumpers and four pairs of shoes.

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And don't forget the less tangible things that we're forking out for unnecessarily - all those delivery services, gym memberships or cable and music services.

"For those that have been paying a monthly subscription without knowing or using the product, it took an average of four and a half months for them to stop the direct debit," says Provident.

So what can you do?

To reduce food waste, one of the best techniques is to try and shop only for what you need that day - at least when it comes to perishables such as fresh fruit and veg. Plan menus, make a shopping list, and freeze leftovers for a later date.

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If your wardrobe's full of things you never wear, try selling them on a site such as eBay. Alternatively, you could swap them for something you might actually use on sites like Swishing.co.uk and Depop.

Finally, go through your bank statements for the last year and consider every direct debit. Would pay-as-you-go be cheaper than gym membership? Could you get by with Freeview instead of Sky?

Provident has created a handy tool to help you identify where you're wasting money - and, as it says, "If you find the cause, you find the cure."



10 easy ways to stop waste

10 easy ways to stop waste