Mums running a household can teach people a thing or two about saving money! We may not be managing budgets of millions but we still know how to make our moolah go that bit further, so I have put together a list of 30 ways to save money.
1. When I shop at ASDA, I always, without fail, check my receipt online on their price guarantee website I’ve often printed out vouchers for £1 or more and it all adds up. The best ever voucher I got to use against my weekly shop was for £7.77! That’s worth a few minutes of anybody’s time. (I’ve even picked up discarded receipts from the car park floor if they have 8 or more items on them to check and save even though it’s not my receipt, but I think others do too as I haven’t see many stray receipts lately!)
2. Magazine share! Most weekly celebrity and gossip magazines are at least £1 so my friends and I take it in turns to buy them and we share them around the group to cut down on our newspaper bill!
3. A trip to the movies with the kids can be an expensive affair these days. If we want to see a family film we check out the Saturday morning Kids Club at our local cinema where seats are £1 each! Most cinemas have something like this. The movie may be a few months old but it’s still a cheap way to access entertainment. If you have Sky TV, I also scroll through the movie channels at the start of the week for the whole week ahead as a great movie might be playing at 3am or in the middle of the day when the kids are at school. I just record it and save it for Saturday night if we are having a movie night at home, so there is always something to watch!
4. This tip saves wasteage which in turn saves you money. Strawberries don’t keep well for very long, but if you dilute 1 part of white vinegar to 10 parts water and dip the fresh strawberries in, they keep for much longer in the fridge. Gone are the days of throwing away a full punnet!
5. Earning money is as good as saving money. Why not become a mystery shopper and earn in your spare time? I used to do assignments at pubs and restaurants, you get a free meal plus a fee (it used to be about £6 but you do it more for the free meal rather than the £6!) I worked with Retail Eyes back in the day.
6. Sign up to Show Film First to get free preview cinema tickets.
7. Get the meat deals in the supermarket. Most of the supermarkets have offers on fresh meat. I like to buy when it is 3 for £10. This can save a couple of quid on your weekly shopping.
8. Also, in the supermarket, stock up when the 3 for 2 offers come out. If it is non perishable such as deodorant or toilet roll, get a few to save money in the long term.
9. Buy a thermal mug. Rather than purchase expensive store bought coffee before work, buy a flask and make your own at home. This could save at least £2 a time!
10. On a similar note, take a packed lunch! Don’t pay for pre packed sandwiches. Not only are they more expensive than making your own, they are also often higher in calories. Save your waistline and your wallet.
11. Educate yourself and plan. The Money Advice Service website has lots of information about improving your finances, what benefits you could get and how to save.
12. Re-use envelopes. When you get insurance renewal letters or credit card bills in the post and they send you an envelope that you often don’t need, save this and re-use it. I have used mine to put the children’s dinner money in to take to school but I’ve also used one to post a letter. All I did was put a white sticker over the pre printed address and the postage paid part, then used my own stamp.
13. I also make my money go further. Set your printer to print on both sides of the paper to minimise wastage and keep a pile of ‘scrap paper’ where one side is written on, to use for kids drawing projects or by the house phone for messages.
14.Never, ever buy rubber bands! You can so easily get them for free. Next time you have to go to the Royal Mail depot to collect a parcel, just look on the floor outside the depot. There are always loads of discarded rubber bands are they are brilliant thick quality. I usually pick up a handful – I’m saving money and keeping Britain tidy!
15. Club together. If I want to buy in bulk at Costco or another warehouse to save money but I don’t need loads of one item, I team up with my mum or a friend to buy the good and split the cost and the haul. Then we both get stocked up.
16. Keep some cartons in the car. Because I’m always driving my kids to school or after school activities, they often want a drink and if we’ve run out of the one I made at home, it can be expensive to pop to the shops whilst out to buy individual drinks. I keep a carton of juice boxes in the car boot so I always have a drink to hand.
17. Models required! Check out your local beauty school and hairdressing college for the opportunity to be a model and get a trim or your nails done for free or for a low fee. The downside is it will take a lot longer time wise because the trainees are still learning.
18. Have friends for dinner. Rather than go out and pay restaurant prices, invite friends round and get them to bring a course so one person does a starter and another does the pudding. This saves and you get to have a social life!
19. Take the kids to the park. For a free afternoon and to get some fresh air, visit the local park to go on the swings! This saves money because if they are busy playing, they can’t be spending your money!
20. If it is a rainy day and you want to entertain the kids, whip up a batch of home-made play dough from your storecupboard ingredients and entertain yourselves free of charge!
21. Keep the sachets you get from magazines until you have enough to treat yourself to an ‘at home spa day’! Once you have a face mask, some body lotion and some intense conditioner, you are good to go!
22. Use voucher websites to see what the deals are online before making any large purchases. Voucher sites a great resource as they have so many retailers offering discounts through them. This is an easy way to save a bit extra just for a few minutes of looking.
23. Shop at the outlet stores. Fashion bought at out of town outlet stores can be up to 70% cheaper, it will just be around 3 or 4 seasons older than the High Street. But if you are looking for basics and things like fashion jewellery, it doesn’t really matter what season the piece was from and you can make massive savings.
24. If you want to go London shows in August, book tickets via Kids Week so you can get free child seats! A few years ago my daughter and I saw Horrible Histories on stage and we only paid for my ticket!
25. Enter competitions. You’ve got to be in it to win it and you can snag all sorts of goodies from food prizes to cars and holidays! I like competitions run by blogs the best as there are less entries than for national magazine competitions so more chance of winning!
26. Be eco thrifty! Turn off running taps when you are brushing your teeth and always turn lights and TV off when you leave the room. It is ‘back to basics’ but it works.
27. I never have my microwave on standby after I read that keeping it in that mode costs you £50 a year in electricity, so now I just turn it on at the wall whenever I need to use it.
28. Use a teabag twice! I like those Yorkshire Tea teabags that are good for two cups and if I’m honest, I can squeeze three cups out of one of those bags (just as long as I’m not making tea for my mate Karen. Karen has to have her own bag as she hates weak tea, and her definition of weak is my normal level. She likes it really strong!)
29. Don’t let coupons expire! Make a point of regularly checking your coupons to see what is due to expire. If you think you will need the item within the next few weeks, get it now with the coupon before it expires!
30. Lastly, (and this is one of my favourites!) for a super clean toilet on the cheap, don’t buy expensive limecale removers, get some denture sterilising tablets (two tubes for £1 at the pound shop) and pop two tabs into the loo after you flush to get it nice and clean. Just once a week is all that is needed, and best of all- you drop and go. No need for scrubbing!
Saving even just a little can add up to a big difference across a year. Do you have any money saving advice to add to the list? Share in the comments below!