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How I Saved £40 a Month on My Shopping Bill
You Can Reduce Your Shopping Bill
I always considered myself a fairly low maintenance woman, that was until I really looked at my shopping receipts for a month. I mean, I don't wear designer clothes or expensive jewelry or anything like that, but there were a load of little things that added up.
For example, I was spending about £8 a month just on dry shampoo! I mean, I have long hair and oily roots, but £8 per month is pretty excessive for dry shampoo. And when I worked out I was spending 96 per year on the stuff I knew I had to make a change.
So I looked at how I could bring down the cost of my monthly shop including toiletries, I knew there had to be a way.
Make Your Own Toiletries
I am not talking about really fiddly processes and ingredients that actually cost more than the shop bought things. I am talking about basic, simple ingredients that can replace what you use and cut the cost at the same time.
My biggest toiletry outgoing was dry shampoo, but I couldn't just do without it, my roots are really oily and my ends are really dry so washing my hair every day wasn't an option. I looked online and found a recipe for dry shampoo specifically for dark hair, it was 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and one of cornflour, I used this, but found the cocoa powder made my head itch.
So I decided to use just cornflour, and at 89 a box which lasts about three months for my long and thick hair it has saved me around £7.71 per month! Just sprinkle it on your roots and rub it in, leave it for a few minutes and brush it out, it's that simple.
Savings of £7.71 a month.
Another thing I was using a weird amount of, I was getting through 4 packs per month somehow, despite not having any kids. And I knew that this was an unnecessary amount of money to be spending on baby wipes, and then I found out that baby wipes had plastic in them! I genuinely didn't know this, but when I found I knew I had to stop buying them. So I looked online for a way to make my own.
Baby wipes contain a lot of chemicals, and a lot of parents are quite rightly opposed to this, so there was no shortage of tutorials. It's so simple, all you need is:
- Good quality kitchen roll
- Baby shampoo or baby bath wash
- Coconut oil or olive oil
- Warm Water
Find an airtight container that you want to store your wipes in, then in a bowl or cup, mix a big squirt of baby wash, a small squirt of coconut or olive oil and then however much water you think you will need to soak the paper towels in.
You can't really find specific measurements because you need to find out the quantities that work best for you and your baby if you have one.
Pour the mixture in the tub then let the towels soak it up, ring out the towels and pour out the excess mixture. Keep them in the airtight tub and they last for ages, and it only takes a few minutes to make them.
Savings of £3 a month
Another thing I was getting through too many packets of, and another thing with hidden plastic in. These are really easy to make too, it's the same measurements and process as above.
Savings of £4 a month.
Anyone who wears makeup and glasses knows how frustrating it is having to clean your glasses constantly. I cleaned mine with a store bought wipe around 6 times per day, it might be obsessive, but I hate having smudgy or dirty glasses. And again, hidden plastic in these too. It was harder to find a recipe for glasses wipes, so I decided to try my own.
What you need:
- Good kitchen roll
- Window cleaner
- Lemon juice
Find a good container to keep them in (I use an old business card holder) and cut the squares of kitchen roll to fit inside the container. Mix two parts window cleaner to one part lemon juice and soak the kitchen roll in them, wring out the excess and keep them stored in the container.
They worked so well that my wife and mother in law asked me to make some too. They can also be used to clean phone screen, tablets and computer screens.
Savings of £5 per month
I have dry skin, so I need moisturizer otherwise it gets itchy, but I was spending about £8 per month on body lotion to try to keep my skin looking and feeling nice and protecting it from the weather.
But when my friend told me that she uses baby oil on her skin, I thought I would give it a go. I got a stores own one for 79p and used it straight after my shower. I really regret all that money I spent on body lotion now, the baby oil works even better and has even got rid of the dry skin on my elbows.
You have to make sure you keep your hair out of it, but that's the only drawback.
Savings of £7.21 a month
I had kind of meltdown when I realized I was spending about £10 a month on chocolate, that was kind of a turning point. But I wasn't going to give it up completely, I like it and if I want it, and can afford to buy it, I should be able to have it.
But one thing I don't like is cheap tasting chocolate, and that is what most of the supermarkets offer. Until I discovered Lidl's own chocolate, it's the one in the blue wrapper and it tastes really good quality, it's smooth and creamy and tastes a bit like kinder chocolate. And it's a major bonus that it is only 30p per bar!
Savings of £8.20 a month
I go through a lot of juice, I drink a lot and get through about 4 bottles of concentrated juice per month, that might be a bit much, but I would rather drink too much than too little. The juice I normally drink isn't branded, but it is £1.25 per bottle, so that works out at £5 per month.
Trying stores own juices was quite the experience, some of them were a bit gross. But I now found one from Lidl that costs just 49p per bottle and tastes just as good as my normal one.
The bottles are smaller, but even buying an extra bottle, it is still half the price of my normal juice.
Savings of £2.50 a month
I have never considered myself a lazy cook, I will make most stuff from scratch and I don't like to cut corners. Apart from with pastry, I am not very good at making pastry, so I used to buy ready made pastry. And this was costing about £4 a month, when, with a bit of practice, I could have been making it for pennies.
So I decided to start making it, I practiced and made mess after mess, but I got there in the end. Now I can make nice pastry (shortcrust anyway, I'm not Mary Berry) and I have saved about £3 off my shopping.
We Lowered Our Shopping Bill and so can You!
My wife and I are really trying to pay off our debts, and the £40 a month we have saved can help bring those down a bit faster. Why not challenge yourself to see where you can save money on your shopping bill.