Finding ways to save money and live more frugally is good practice for any budget. Whether you’re trying to make your pay cheque go further, or you’re saving up for something special, like a wedding or a vacation, finding ways to save cash doesn’t have to be difficult.
Turn off the TV. Reducing the amount of TV that your family watch and you could be surprised by how much money you could save. The obvious saving is of course the power used to keep the TV on, but you could also end up saving more money when you’re not being exposed to as many adverts encouraging you to shop. You’ll also have more time to do other things, like start a side business.
Write a shopping list before going to the supermarket and make sure you stick to your list. This will help you to avoid impulse purchases of things you don’t need and buying excess food that you’ll end up throwing away. Sign up for the rewards card at your usual supermarket to earn vouchers for the things you usually buy and points on your purchases. Just don’t don’t be tempted by deals on things that you don’t need.
Learn to make basic repairs to your clothes. Most of us don’t learn to sew now, but even some simple sewing skills can save you a lot of money on replacing clothes. If you can sew back on a lost button, repair tears or patch holes, you won’t have to buy new clothes as often, saving a lot of money.
By an electric clothes airer. An airer that heats itself dries your laundry faster than a basic clothes horse, but it is also more energy efficient, and cheaper, than using the tumble dryer. If you usually struggle to get the washing to dry in the winter when the house is cold without using the tumble dryer, an electric airer could be the answer.
Keep the kids busy for less money. Most kids, especially the little ones, can be amused without the need for expensive toys. Instead, throw a ball around in the garden, go for a bike ride, or make crafts out of scrap paper. For most children, playing with their parents is more fun than spending your money anyway.
Love video games? Spend your money on games with a good replay value. If you’re buying a lot of new games, you’ll end up spending a lot of money. Instead, buy games that will take you longer to complete and that you’ll be able to enjoy replaying a few times.
Drink water. Not only does drinking more water make you feel healthier, it’s also much cheaper than buying soda, takeaway coffee or fruit juice. Being well hydrated also helps you to feel fuller for longer, so you might find you eat less and save money on that too.
Batch cook. Dishes like stew, soup, pasta bake and casserole can be made in large batches very cheaply and then frozen for bargain leftovers later on. A slow cooker can be a very sensible purchase to help you prepare cheap, batch meals.
Shop around for your groceries. Check supermarket websites to easily compare the prices of the things you buy most often. Find out where your food shopping comes out the best values and switch supermarkets to the cheapest. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of delivery, or the travel to the supermarket into the cost.
Shop second hand. There are lots of things that you can buy in second hand shops or thrift stores for much cheaper than new. Clothes, books and children’s toys are all good things that you can buy in charity shops and save a lot of money. Get in the habit of visiting second hand shops first.
Shop for holidays just after the holiday finishes. Many people have started to do this around Christmas, such as buying next year’s presents in the January sales, but there’s no reason you can’t be this organised about all holidays. Look for discounted Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cards, wrapping paper, Halloween decorations and other holiday items in the sales ready for next year.
Eat breakfast. If you eat a healthy balanced breakfast, you’re less likely to have to make a snack run mid morning or to buy a huge, expensive lunch to curb your hunger.
Do you and your spouse work near each other, or do you live near a co-worker? Arrange a carpool system. Only running one car each day saves on petrol, parking costs and is kinder to the environment too.
This is a contributed post.