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I can't reminder prices and so am making bad choices when grocery shopping

19 replies

freckles20 · 04/02/2023 12:23

I have dyscalculia and some other executive function impairments which mean that I can't memorise numbers.

I understand numbers, so out of two prices side by side I know which is more and which is less. I'm also very able to look at products side by side and work out which is the most or least expensive by 100g / KG.

This isn't a case of lack of learning. I have had several interventions but unfortunately whatever makes that part of my brain function just doesn't work properly. In other ways I am less impaired- I have 4 A levels, a science degree and cope with a good self employed job.

What I can't do is recall the 'usual' or 'previous' price of something. So I've no idea what a loaf or bread, dozen eggs, apple, avocado or cheese costs usually for example. My common sense tells me they are all over £1 and under £8 but after that I'm lost.

This makes it hard to hard to grocery shop without getting stung by items which have increased in price massively. I guess some things I would buy anyway e.g. cats preferred food- but other items I'd look to substitute or not buy at all.

I used to mitigate this by shopping at Asda as I know that it has a reputation for low prices. But we are a family of 3 and my MIL expired that Asda's best prices are aimed at larger families and I also find the quality of fruit isn't great there.

This is causing me more of an issue as prices are rising so much and I'm oblivious to it when grocery shopping which is frustrating and embarrassing.

I'm also trying to eat more healthily and bring more pulses, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds into my diet but this stuff is crippling my finances which think is partly my own fault for struggling to do it is a frugal way due to dyscalculia.

Can anyone suggest a way around this please? I have done online shopping in the past but it doesn't really help with the issue unless I compare every item across every supermarket which takes forever.

Any advice would be fantastic!

OP posts:

AndyWarholsPiehole · 04/02/2023 12:24

Keep your shopping receipt/ save a pic of it on your phone and use that to refer back to.


Logburnerperils · 04/02/2023 12:27

If you do online shopping it keeps a receipt of what you have previously bought and how much it cost etc. Might be a less stressful environment from home as well.


mrsbyers · 04/02/2023 12:29

I would swap to Aldi or Lidl for consistent prices and also use notepad in phone or physical to keep a note of prices , an address book could be ideal as you could put the A’s together etc to make things easier to find


Luredbyapomegranate · 04/02/2023 12:29

Logburnerperils · 04/02/2023 12:27

If you do online shopping it keeps a receipt of what you have previously bought and how much it cost etc. Might be a less stressful environment from home as well.

This exactly.

Supermarkets are very distracting environments - much easier at home.


bellac11 · 04/02/2023 12:30

I couldnt even tell you what I paid for the same thing last time. I just go to the cheapest shop (aldi) and buy what we need.

The only alternative is not to buy the shopping for the week. Its pointless trying to work out if somethings gone up in price, what difference does it make if you need it?


Notanotherone5 · 04/02/2023 12:31

Surely it doesn’t matter what things used to cost. Just look at what they cost now and how much the alternative is, then decide which to get


HamFrancisco · 04/02/2023 12:36

Not related to prices, but we use an app called Bring, which helps reduce waste, it’s a shopping list app. We find it means we’re less likely to forget stuff or run out and then have to pop to the corner shop for expensive things.


PlaitBilledDuckyPuss · 04/02/2023 12:40

Make a list of things you buy regularly and next time you shop, note the price next to them. Keep the list to cross-check. You could use Excel if you like spreadsheets.


FatAgainItsLettuceTime · 04/02/2023 12:40

There's an app called Trolley that you can install and add a shopping list of your frequent purchases to. It shows you the prices of those items in all the major supermarkets and send you alerts if there are price changes on them.


TheChosenTwo · 04/02/2023 12:43

Can you shop online so you can take more time to look at the prices and make a decision?
Also, things have just gone up in price. I couldn’t tell you either how much a loaf of bread, an avocado or cheese cost, they just cost whatever the price says. I wouldn’t get hung up on what things used to cost, if you need them you need them.


IbizaToTheNorfolkBroads · 04/02/2023 12:44

Grocery prices are so inconsistent at the moment, that it's not difficult not to know how much something cost last week or last month.

I mainly do my shopping on line so I can keep an eye on the total and swap things out if I need to. I have a big stock up at Aldi from time to time.


DelphiniumBlue · 04/02/2023 12:47

Yes I agree with other posters, just choose a cheaper supermarket and stick with it for your regular shop. We use Aldi, but occasionally go somewhere else for a few items not stocked at Aldi. I can tell you it's much cheaper than Sainsbury, and better quality than Asda.
TBH I think very few people have the time or the inclination to compare prices for different items in different supermarkets, and very few of us would be able to hold those prices in their head.
You say you work, you'd be better to spend your time earning a bit more money rather than taking the chance the saving of a few pennies by going to different supermarkets. It's so time consuming!


turrrniiipz · 04/02/2023 12:58

If you can shop at a supermarket that offers grocery deliveries or collections I would try doing that instead of doing the shop in store.

You can see your basket filling up, and what it will cost, as you shop. So if it's starts creeping up to your budget limit you can go back and swap things for cheaper alternatives or take out luxuries.

You can also search for items such as 'butter' 'white bread' 'washing up liquid' and filter/refine it to cheapest items first. For things I'm not bothered about I just get whatever's cheapest, and sometimes you can see a luxury brand has an offer on and it's the same price/cheaper than the supermarket version. It also helps seeing the weight/size of the products and working out which is best value for money.

If I ever have to do a shop in store I feel stressed about the cost because I'm used to seeing the cost beforehand and being able to go and remove things.


starfishmummy · 04/02/2023 13:07

The way prices are going it's hard for anyone to keep up with their whole list. Notebook of your regular buys and jot the price down - use pencil as it will need to be changed often!


overthink4r · 04/02/2023 13:15

Spread sheet so you can compare each column but that will involve doing a few shops in different places to get the start point data or download all the apps for the main supermarkets and do the same shop on each and see the total. Stick to online shopping to avoid being confused at the point of sale allowing yourself time to cross reference and price check? Just buy fresh fruit and veg etc In store to make sure you are getting the quality you prefer.

I guess the above is better if you more or less by similar week in week out.


ethermint · 04/02/2023 13:19

I think if you're looking for the offers and the price per kg or per 100g you can compare items on the shelf for cost. E.g. cost per kg 99p vs cost per kilo 80p it's clear what you should buy, if you're struggling for money. These are usually small on the ticket for most products.

Also look at the comparative price of pizzas, for example. One costs £2.50 and one costs £5. Which one do you go for?

Stick to supermarket own brand, which tend to be much cheaper but no difference in quality most of the time.

Obviously if you're keen on certain brands and types of foods these tips work less well, but you will find yourself paying over the odds in most cases.


Polarbearyfairy · 04/02/2023 14:40

I have dyscalculia, I think you're trying to solve the wrong problem. It doesn't matter what something cost last week, it costs what it costs when you're in the shop surely?

Do you have a food budget? What I do is to keep within my food budget and not buy things that I don't want to pay that much for whatever the price is. That might mean you get a cheaper vegetable or forego the nuts that week.

The one issue I do have that I can probably attribute to dyscalculia in this context is the inability to add up on the go, so I can't estimate what I've spent anywhere near accurately. For this, I do find it helpful to shop somewhere that has the scan it yourself guns so I can keep track of the running total, or I add it up on my phone as I put items in the trolley.


Bubblebubblebah · 04/02/2023 15:30

Yup as pps saod keep your receipts.
I also have no idea how much most things costed before! At all, totally blank.

I keep receipts and shop online a lot so it's easy to compare with previous orders.

I believe Trolley website can do price comparisons. I just know asda cists basically like m&s now.


trieditbuyedit · 04/02/2023 15:53

Use scan as you shop so it is totting it up as you go. If you get to your limit you can then put stuff back before you get to the till. I find it really helpful

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