We all feel the pinch every now & then, especially right after Christmas & New Year. I know we have, especially since I’ve had to reduce my working hours due to Archie needing extra care with his Autism. Then to top it off I’ve recently had spinal surgery so I’m now taking time off work, as I’m self employed there’s no sick pay.
If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Tightening the purse strings has really helped us so I wanted to share 10 easy ways to save money without much effort at all.
1. PUT CLOTHES ON AN AIRER OVERNIGHT BEFORE PUTTING INTO THE DRYER IN THE MORNING
The clothes take barely any time to dry in the dryer after being on the airer, meaning you save a fortune on electric but still get nice fluffy towels & crease free clothes.
2. START MEAL PLANNING & WRITING A LIST
I try to plan our meals for the week as much as possible, especially when I am following Slimming World (I’ll no doubt be back at group after this Christmas!) This way I can work around the bargains I’ve bought in the reduced section, or the meat we already have in the freezer. This means I’m only buying what I need for those specific meals instead of spending a fortune & still having ‘nothing in for tea’
3. ALWAYS HAVE A NOSY IN THE REDUCED SECTION IN THE SUPERMARKET
I try to time my grocery shopping around the time when I know my local supermarket will be doing their reductions, this way I get lots of fresh fruit, veg & meat at a fraction of the cost.
4. STOCK UP ON MEAT WHEN IT IS REDUCED
If there’s some great reductions on meat & fish then I’ll buy as much as I can afford, to stock up the freezer. It lasts much longer than it’s best before date as it’s been frozen & we get lot’s of meal choices for less money.
5. TAKE YOUR OWN LUNCH TO WORK
I always make the hubby a quick breakfast & a brew in a morning to take to work so he doesn’t get tempted to spend extra pennies on a morning coffee, plus one of us will make lunch too. This can save a fortune as you just don’t realise how those few pounds on a sandwich or a meal deal each day adds up at the end of the month. If we both spending about £5 on lunch a day that means we’re spending about £200 per month. Making our own lunch costs so much less!
And if you love your coffee to go with your lunch why not bring your own instead of popping to your local coffee shop. You can always splurge for a home espresso machine if you prefer, but it’s not a must, as most of the experts we asked recommend a quality pour-over apparatus for maximum control over flavour and water-to-coffee ratio. So why not buy your own coffee & use a cafetiere to make your own perfect coffee.
6. SAVE BY SHOPPING FOR LARGER ITEMS ONLINE
Register & add the product to your basket then DON’T click buy, just leave it a few days. Sometimes you’ll get an email offering you a discount if you go through with your purchase. It doesn’t happen all the time but if you don’t get offered a discount then at least you needed to buy it anyway.
7. USE COUPONS OR VOUCHER SITES
I’ll write a full post on couponing as it can really save a fortune but it does need some explanation on how to get maximum benefit, but I try to use coupons & voucher sites as much as possible. If I’m planning a family day out or buying something online I’ll always google for a voucher code, even if you just find one for free delivery it’s still keeping a few quid in your purse rather than giving it to someone else.
One of my other favourite sites for a shopping bargain dealsdaddy it’s a fab site for discount and promotional codes such as health, beauty, fashion, sports etc so that you will get all your deals at one place.
Another is dealsplanet it’s another great discount code & coupon site for over 2000 online. They have codes for everything from Wilkos to Pretty Little Thing to Mothercare. So you really need to pop over to these sites for a nosy too.
8. HAVE A NOSY AROUND CHARITY SHOPS
I always try to have a nosy around our local charity shops before buying anything I need. Recently we needed some new plates, I had a nosy around the shops and found a 1960’s Wedgewood dinner set including dinner plates, side plates, soup bowls, teacups & saucers, milk jug and two serving tureens. If it was in better condition it would have been worth a fortune but I love it even with the odd chip.
I’ve even set myself a #CharityShopStyleChallenge this month to not only save money by not buying any clothing new but to also challenge myself to step out of my usual style boundaries. Hopefully I’ll find some fab items that will get me out of my usual mum uniform of jeans & a tee.
9. USE A SEPARATE ACCOUNT FOR YOUR BILLS
The hubby & I have separate personal bank accounts and a joint account. We both pay into the joint account each month & have all our direct debits come from that account. There’s never any bank charges as there’s always enough to cover the bills. Plus keeping the money separate means you never accidentally overspend.
10. PAY A LITTLE MORE ON YOUR MORTGAGE EACH MONTH
We’ve been doing this for a few years now & we’ll be mortgage free by the time we’re 45, yay! We asked to round our mortgage payment up, which originally meant paying around £35 more each month, which isn’t noticeable at all. Whenever we renew or move our mortgage to a cheaper rate we still ask to keep the repayments the same but reduce the terms, so we’re paying a little more for a lot less time, in turn saving thousands in interest and getting our mortgage paid off a lot quicker!
What are you top tips for saving some money? What would you add to my list?