I thought I would share some of my top personal saving tips with you guys and with these, I tried to think of some tips that might not be so obvious in the hope they would be useful for you and your family.
As a family grows that budget needs to go further and as we have discovered ourselves as a family of 5 the bank likes to empty quicker than it is filled. When thinking about what ways we budget as a family, I thought about the different rooms in the house and how we apply our frugalness to each of them.
Of course in the kitchen, the obvious place to start budgeting is the fridge. Now we have three little mouths to feed we have to stretch the food further, and we have discovered that less is more. Take for example meat dishes; we have found that chicken drumsticks are half the price of chicken breasts and taste so much nicer. I find that one pack of drumsticks will give me enough chicken for a couple of meals such as curry one night and fajitas another night.
We often cheat with our ingredients and instead of buying fresh every time we will use the bag of frozen ingredients found in the supermarket aisles or from our leftovers which we have frozen. I often freeze leftovers peppers, onions, and garlic which can be added to lots of dishes.
Make lists! List what you have in the fridge, freezer and cupboard and then meal plan with what you have. I did this not long ago and realised with all the stuff sitting there that we had enough meals for at least several days. Write up a shopping list when you go to the supermarket and stick with it, try to avoid any temptations! For me, it’s that chocolate aisle!
When it comes to the other rooms in the house, I thought about the household bills and how you can save money on them. Especially at this time of the year with the weather being a tad chilly still and the heating is still being used. Simple things such as opening up the curtains during the day can help up warm up the room with the natural light coming through the upvc windows. If you require replacement windows, then check out some window prices in time for the chillier months.
Unplug chargers when not in use as a lot of devices draw power when plugged in and not being used. Turn off lights when you don’t need them and avoid leaving TVs and other devices on standby.
Swap books instead of buying them, lots of websites enable you to do this or even sign up to your local library. When a new book comes out which I’m interested in, I state my interest to my library, and they will reserve it for me when it comes in, some libraries even let you do this online these days.
Towel dry hair instead of using hair-dryers, I make sure I wash my hair in plenty of time before I go anywhere/to bed so that it can dry itself. It’s always could to give it some time away from being blow dried as well.
That packet of nappies in the corner? Why not turn them into a box of reusable nappies. I dread to think how much we have wasted on nappies over the years, but I like to think I’m making up for it now with the days that we use our cloth nappies. We have even branched out into using reusable wipes.
No longer watching live TV and using subscription TV services instead? Then ditch the TV license as you no longer have to pay for it. It’s something we are considering ourselves as we seem to watch everything on catch up these days.
Walls needing pictures? Try making your own using your printer with photos that you have taken yourself. We have a blown-up photo of a winter scene at the park that I took on my mobile hanging in our hallway. I grabbed the frame cheap online but even with doing that it was less expensive than buying paintings or pictures for the walls.
I was often found sitting at the table changing over batteries from toys though the difference this year is that I have not had to buy a single pack of batteries thanks to purchasing rechargeable batteries. We have probably saved ourselves triple what the rechargeable batteries cost in obtaining new ones.
We have learnt that doing odd DIY jobs ourselves is cheaper than getting the professionals in. It makes me smile thinking about how much we have probably saved by watching tutorials on YouTube to teach us the things we need to know.
Unless one kid is particularly dirty, then we chuck them all in at the same time to save water. At the moment, they all enjoy this, and all get to reap the benefits of a nice warm bath though with the 6-year-old getting taller by the day I don’t think we will get away with this much longer.
Clear it out and not only will you have a tidy garage but you could sell those unwanted items which are cluttering it up on some sites or at a car boot. It is so easy to do these days, and you can be making money instantly which could be spent on items which won’t be gathering dust in the garage.
Cancel your gym membership and instead turn that newly cleaned garage into your very own home gym. Investing in home gym equipment will save you money in the long term. Why not hire it out to family and friends and make some money at the same time.
Grow your herbs and vegetables. And if you don’t have a garden, herbs can easily be grown on windowsills in pots.
Save on buying plant feeder by making your own instead with a homemade compost heap. Much of your household waste can contribute to this. We shred up packaging from the numerous deliveries we get each week as well as using leftover food to build it up.