Money is tight! I think that’s true for most of us. We’re a family of 4 on a single income and we’re certainly feeling the pinch! I’m always on the look out for money-saving tips and I know that lots of you are in the same boat so I thought I’d pass on the things that our family does to keep costs down.
Money-saving when you’re shopping
- Don’t buy anything online until you’ve done a quick google search for discount codes
- Search charity shops – our girls love buying handbags and jewellery from charity shops AND you’re doing a good deed too!
- Spread the cost – buy Christmas / birthday presents all year round so it doesn’t all come out of the same pay packet
- Pound shops – these are great for stocking fillers and it’s surprising what you can get!
- If you’re purchasing an item that will last a while (e.g. kids’ bike or sleeping bag), get unisex so it can be passed on to younger siblings
- Set a budget and stick to it, whether it’s a night out or a shopping spree
- Stick to the free tv channels – you can always supplement with YouTube, catch up TV, and DVDs
- Have a think about free kids activities that you can do. Here are some of our ideas:
Cutting & sticking old magazines
Dressing up (use parents’ clothes if you haven’t got any)
- Free events – check library / museum / council websites and see what free events are on near you
- Taster classes / free trials – try out a taster session (but you need to be disciplined and not sign up for more!)
Money-saving in the home
- Use draft excluders to stop cold air cooling the house down
- Wear warm clothes (I wear my dressing gown permanently!)
- Turn lights off when you leave the room
- Dry washing on the line instead of the tumble drier
- Only set the washing machine / dishwasher going when it’s full
- Cut the kids hair yourself (this is a risky one but simple haircuts are achieveable)
- Replace your boiler*
- Swap to LED bulbs (we’re gradually doing this as each old bulb needs replacing)
- Do some DIY (anyone can paint a fence and it’s much cheaper than getting someone in to do it)
- Use comparison websites for your utility bills
*HomeServe have just released a 5 minute quiz to calculate how much you could save by replacing your boiler. And they quantify in language that you can understand – apparently, I could save the equivalent of 291 chocolate bars a year if I updated mine! Find out how much you could save with the HomeServe Heating tool.
Money-saving when you’re eating
- Do your supermarket shop online – you get a running total and can adjust accordingly AND you aren’t bombarded by offers on food you don’t usually buy
- Buy supermarket own brand items – things like crisps / chocolate bars / frozen pizzas are often just as nice but a lot cheaper
- Plan the meals for each day so you only buy the food you need – Ticklebuds is a great resource for this
- Set the slower cooker going or make a picnic before you head out – then you can’t decide to go out for food!
- Save any leftovers and reuse them the next day
- Buy wonky veg – lots of supermarkets have this option now and it is cheaper
- Buy a supermarket takeaway – we’ve finally admitted that buying a takeaway on a Saturday night is inevitable, but we can fool ourselves if we have a supermarket takeaway in stock
- Go shopping when the sales are on – I buy the next-size-up clothes through the year so that I’m ready when they finally outgrown their current size
- Accept hand-me-downs!
- Save clothes from older siblings
- Only buy school uniform when it’s needed (not because it’s the start of term)
- Fix clothes where possible – sewing buttons back on and fixing popped seams is just about within my capabilities
- Take buttons / decorations off old clothes and use them to customise other outfits
- Fuel costs money – walk or cycle if you can (check out my tips to get kids walking)
- Instead of staying in a hotel or cottage, try camping – we borrowed a tent from a friend to keep the cost down even more!
- Go and stay with friends for a change of scenery instead of paying for accommodation
- Do a house swap with friends for a week, or house sit for them while they’re away
- Try a staycation – stay at home but go out for day trips, saving money on accommodation and travel
- Go on holiday with friends / family – this spreads the cost of the accommodation between more people
- Visit attractions at off-peak times because it’s often cheaper
So those are a few of our top money-saving tips. Which ones did you like best? What are your best money-saving tips? Did you have a go at the HomeServe quiz – how much did it say you’d save?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by HeatServe. All opinions are my own. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.