Kids, bills, and food shopping. The expenditure never ends, and it often spirals out of control. Fortunately, it’s something you can put back in your control. It just requires a little bit of savvy, cunning and careful planning!
Probably the biggest money waster there is — not least due to the fact that a lot of it gets chucked away. Here’s a couple of handy tips…
- Slow cook all your meat for the week on a Sunday. This means you can just buy one huge joint — pork, beef, etc — without rushing out midweek to stock up.
- Shop around. You may prefer a particular supermarket, but chances are you could save money buying the exact same stuff elsewhere. A supermarket comparison tool is your friend in this scenario, and can throw out prices for your weekly shop at different outlets!
- Buy basic brands. Half the time, you’re paying for fancy packaging. Buying the cheaper version of an expensive product will more than likely be the exact same thing. The manufacturer has just saved money on colorful branding!
- Don’t be afraid to try “quick 5 minute meals.” We’ve all seen the adverts claiming to give us delicious meals at affordable prices, and at times it seems too good to be true. However, purchasing a cookbook in a similar vein can both give you ideas for teatime and provide you with a complete shopping list. No more hastily buying the first thing you see on the shelf!
- Invest in some loft insulation. It’s amazing how much heat will escape through those little nooks in the roof, and ensuring that the top of the house is fully heated through will keep the temperature just right.
- Double glaze those windows. Getting them doubled up could save you as much as £165 a year, so it’s a worthwhile long-term investment.
- Check energy saving tips with your provider. Companies like Palmco can offer you guides that outline every area of the house, so all bases will be covered.
- Unplug all appliances, even when not in use. This can save your electricity bill hundreds of pounds a year in excess usage. Additionally, energy saving bulbs can give you a saving of over £100 across each bulb’s lifetime. Madness!
- Getting all the kids school books from a library or from the school itself can save you a tonne of money. These things are expensive, and don’t always get a lot of use. Better to provide them with a free one than none at all!
- Many newspapers and websites offer you coupons and discounts on family friendly activities. Use a comparison tool like money saving expert to get cheap deals on everything from cinema trips to theme park rides.
- Use those coppers! Last year, after collecting pennies for around three years, I was shocked to discover I’d accumulated over £250. Many people will disregard them, but they’re important. Buy a copper jar, or invest your unwanted coins in a child savings account. You may not want to lose the wallet space, but your kids will thank you for a nice round sum when they’re old enough to receive it.
Do you have any top tips for parents to save some money? Any food tricks, energy saving ideas or just general advice? Sound off in the comments below!