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Support with food, shopping and travel

You might be able to get some help if you’re struggling to afford food, public transport and other essentials.

Food banks

If you’re struggling with the cost of food, there’s help available. You can search for your nearest food bank on The Trussell Trust’s website. You can also contact your tenancy or money coach who can refer you to a local food bank.

Join a pantry

For a small weekly subscription of around £3.50, members can select at least 10 things from a wide selection of groceries. Find your local pantry here.

Help to buy food and milk

You could get help to buy milk, fruit, and vegetables if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under the age of four. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. Find out more about Healthy Start here.

Cooking on a budget

Serve up wholesome meals on a budget with these recipe ideas:

Second-hand or free household items and more

If you need to furnish your home, replace an appliance or get some clothing? You might be able to pick up a second-hand item or something for free on the following websites:

  • Freecycle is where people get (and give) items for free in their own towns, including dishwashers, clothes and furniture
  • Freegle allows you to ask for items you’d like for free and list items you want to give away
  • Gumtree has items for free and for sale, including appliances, clothes, footwear and furniture
  • Facebook marketplace is where you can find a range of items for sale or for free, including beds, sofas and dining tables
  • eBay has new and used items for sale such as clothing, furniture and appliances
  • Reuse Network stock used items for sale such as furniture and electrical appliances
  • Preloved lists second-hand items both for free and for sale

You can also see what your local charity shops have to offer. Find your nearest charity shops. Remember to stay scam aware with these top tips from Action Fraud.

Discounts and voucher codes

Search for money-off codes for supermarkets, clothing shops and more on websites like MyVouchercodes.

Moneysavingexpert.com regularly post the latest deals they find, so it’s worth signing up for their alerts too.

Approved Food sell a selection of clearance food and drink at discount prices. Their items are near or past their ‘best before’ date but are still good enough to eat or drink.

Your own transport

To search for the cheapest filling stations in your area, head to petrolprices.com or Confused.com.

And don’t forget to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance and breakdown cover. MoneySavingExpert.com have some great guides on cheap breakdown cover, multicar insurance and more.

Public transport costs

There’s help available if you use public transport, such as free bus passes and money off train tickets. Check your eligibility for help with transport costs.

Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card

You could get 50% off selected rail tickets with a Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card,  You’ll be eligible for one of these if you’re unemployed and have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit for 3-9 months if you’re aged 18-24 or 3-12 months if you’re over 25. Other benefit claimants may receive a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card from 3 months of their claim and if they’re actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser. Contact your local Job Centre Plus for details.