Thursday 16 May 2013

30 Ways to Save £1

With the rising cost of living, and the stagnant nature of today’s wages, we could all do with saving the odd penny or two. Here are thirty of my best money saving tips.

Household spending:
  1. Be Mr Banker - life is almost exactly like a game of monopoly, and someone has to be the banker.
  2. Have a budget - every penny should be accounted for exactly. Using vague figures just leads to confusion when mystery amounts start disappearing from your bank account.
  3. Keep your spends separate - allow yourselves a bit of money each money to spend on whatever you like. Family days out, meeting friends, books and clothes are all nice things to spend money on. Keeping the budget for this separate means you’re not seeing it as taking away from the weekly shop budget.
  4. There’s an app for that - keep track of your spending to avoid charges. I use an app on my phone to note down everything I spend, that way I know how much should be left.

The recipes
Food glorious food
  1. Meal plan - I find it really odd that people don’t meal plan. How do you know what to buy if you haven’t done a meal plan? I hate throwing away food, so this is a good way of preventing that unnecessary waste too. We have loads of amazing recipe books, and meal planning is a good way to make sure they actually get used. I love looking through the cookbooks and deciding what to make that week. We must have hundreds of recipes we’ve not tried yet.
  2. Plan the shop online - you could do the shop online if you prefer. I use mysupermaket to create an online shopping list. It helps me to stick to budget, and makes the trip to the shop easier.
  3. Send the husband shopping - this saves us way more than £1. We must save at least £30 a week simply by me not going shopping. The husband can walk into a supermarket, buy only the things on the list and leave. I have no such skills. There are plenty of unexpected items by the time I get to the bagging area - coconut ice, spicy cashews and amaretto.
  4. Buy in bulk - this is a bit of an obvious one. If there’s a good offer on a product you use regularly, stock up.
  5. Don’t buy snack packs - buy in bulk and make your own snack packs.
  6. Give up coke - not the white stuff. Well, you can if you want, but I’m talking about the carbonated drink. I used to drink a lot of coke. On hot days, on tired days, on headachey days, I’d pop to the shop and buy a can of coke. At my local shop, a can of coke will set you back about 80p. Ten weeks ago I decided to give up coke. I’ve lost a bit of weight, and saved approximately two bazsquillion pounds.

With one of many charity shop finds
Shopping tips
  1. Voucher codes - if you’re shopping online, always search for a voucher code before visiting the checkout.
  2. Charity shops - I love charity shopping. I buy all of Ebony’s books from the local charity shops because they’re so much cheaper.
  3. Don’t impulse buy - I’m terrible at this. I always want to buy everything in the queue to pay. I think it’s the boredom eating away at my soul.
  4. Hay ho - Buy your rabbit hay in bales from a farm, it works out so much cheaper than buying tiny bags from pet shops
  5. Whatever you need to purchase, shop around for the best deal.

Lifestyle choices
  1. Use washable nappies - this has saved us a ton of money, a load of environmental guilt and oodles of nappy rash.
  2. Use washable wipes - these are the ultimate in thrifty parenting. Baby wipes cost a fortune and are a total waste of money. The washable wipes are easy to use, softer on skin, and you are less likely to end up with the dreaded poo finger.
  3. Save on petrol - I walk everywhere. Unless it’s raining. I try to avoid using the bus, and my recently acquired driving phobia keeps me well away from the roads, so I walk everywhere. I save quite a lot of money by doing this. Not to mention the road deaths avoided.
  4. Fix things instead of replacing them - or get my dad too, he can fix anything.
  5. Organise a clothes swap - you’ll get some new clothes without spending a penny, and you’ll rehome your old garments.
  6. Sell sell sell - declutter, and sell the things you no longer want.
  7. On the cheap - check freecycle and online auction sites for items you need
  8. Plan ahead - hungry and bored kids will cost you money. Make sure you have snacks, drinks and FUN with you wherever you go.
  9. Party - invite your friends round instead of going out.

Enjoying the outdoors
Take advantage of the weather
  1. Have picnics instead of eating out - me and Ebony are ladies who lunch. On sunny days, we like to picnic instead. It’s cheaper and much more fun.
  2. Line time - if it’s not raining, line dry your clothes instead of using the tumble drier.
  3. Weather or not - take advantage of the rare beautiful weather and spend time outdoors. On sunny days, I take my daughter to the park or for a walk along the canal. It’s nice to play outside so she can run about. So much nicer - and cheaper - than a stuffy soft play centre.
  4. Spend family days in the great outdoors - going for walks and enjoying nature are great, fun things you can do as a family.
  1. Turn your thermostat down 1 degree - you’ll hardly notice it but it will save you money on your energy bills.
  2. Hello summer - turn your heating off as soon as the weather improves.

So there you go, 30 ways to save £1. This post was written as part of the 30 ways competition hosted by MoneySupermarket.

Do you have any saving tips to share?

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