- Personal Finance
Top Ten Money-Saving Tips
1. Make your own meals
Believe it or not, you could save money by making your own meals. Rather than buying expensive ready made meals on a regular basis, save your pennies by buying fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch. Don't worry if you feel daunted by the prospect of cooking your own meals. There are loads of quick and easy to follow recipes both on the web.
Quick and simple recipes from scratch
Quick pizza dough
Easy dinner recipes
Easy to make Chinese noodles
2. Use what you already have
Instead of buying tinned food every week, use what you have first. There are a number of websites around that will show you how to effectively use all of the products you have bought. On the Lovefoodhatewaste website, you'll find tips on frugal shopping and, on buying just the right amount of food for the amount of people you're cooking for.
More money-saving tips
- Stop food waste: find recipes; save money
A site that helps you avoid food waste.
How to save money on your supermarket shopping
3. Embrace second-hand products
Rather than buying new products, (and pieces of furniture,) have a look around and see if you can find the same thing for a fraction of the price in a second-hand shop. You'd be surprised at some of the products people get rid of: I found a solid wood bookcase in a second hand shop for just £5.00!
4. Bargain books
If you're a book lover, make full use of your local library: signing up for a membership card is easy and, once you're a member, you can read to your heart's content. If you want to buy a copy of a particular book to keep, shop around until you find a bargain. There are a number of great sites out there that sell high quality, second-hand books at great prices. Just type second-hand books online into your search engine. Alternatively, there's always a bargain to be found on an online auction site, (like eBay.)
5. Don't forget loyalty cards
These days, most of the main high street brands offer you the chance to sign up for a loyalty card, allowing you to collect points every time you make a purchase with them. Though these points accumulate slowly, it doesn't take them long to add up. Make sure you collect all of the points owed to you and, eventually, you'll be able to purchase a number of items, (or a high-ticket product,) for free!
Loyalty card tips
- Loyalty cards: 10 ways to boost your rewards
Which? lists 10 tips for maximising the returns on your loyalty cards.
- Loyalty cards boosting: Nectar, Tesco, Boots - MSE
Tricks to improve your stash of Nectar, Tesco points.
6. Homemade baby food
Buying little pots of baby food on a regular basis can get expensive, but, once your child has moved onto eating solids, there's no reason why you can't blend together a small mixture of the family meal for them to eat. (Be sure to cut back on the added salt, though.) In feeding your baby a mashed version of the family dinner you'll be introducing them to a variety of new flavours whilst ensuring that their diet is healthy and additive free!
7. Take days off spending
Though it might sound difficult at first, set aside days in the week (or month) where you do your utmost not to spend any money. By setting aside just one day a week/month, you could save yourself a small sum.
8. Do you really need that?
When you're browsing around the shops and something expensive catches your eye, don't just make a snap purchase: stop and think about whether you actually need the product in question. If it's a product you feel you need, shop around: see if you can find it cheaper in another shop or online. Sometimes, you can save a substantial sum by shopping around.
9. Save money on your fuel
To try to avoid extortionate fuel bills, shop around until you find a competitively priced supplier. Before signing up with one company over another, be sure to check all of the small print, (just to make sure that you're getting a good deal.)
Switching your energy supplier
- Cheap gas & electric: compare rates & save - MSE
Compare supplier to say £100s.
- Citizens Advice - Switching gas or electricity supplier – top tips
Switching to a new gas or electricity supplier - tips to ensure your transfer to a new supplier goes smoothly.
10. Find cheap ways to entertain your children
Rather than shelling out £100s to entertain your children, introduce them to cheap and simple activities that can be just as fun: give your child a piece of paper and a pen (or pencil,) and, let their imagination run wild. There are so many paper based games you can play. What about hangman? Or, why not draw abstract shapes on a piece of paper and see if your child can colour them in?
As well as saving money in the home, you can save money out and about, too. Days out don't have to be expensive affairs. A free day playing in the woods or on the beach (hunting in rock-pools) is worth as much, (if not more,) than a new toy.
Free games and outings
- Free things to do in London with children
You might think that London is not a very child-friendly city but you'd be wrong. You may also think of London as an expensive city. Wrong again! There is always something going on for children and families and there are plenty of free things to do.
- Free family fun | ideas for activities - Netmums
Thousands of Netmums members have shared their tips for free family activities/ family days out. Here are our favourite, most inspiring ideas.
- Accessible days out for disabled children
Directory of accessible days out for disabled children, including fun leisure activities for families of children with special needs.
- Discounted days out for families with SN or disabilities
HI to all! I am trying to start a thread whereby we can add ideas for days out that are discounted because you have a disabled child. It would be
- ActivityVillage.co.uk - Kids Crafts, Colouring Pages, Printables, Puzzles, Worksheets and Holiday Fu
Kids crafts, colouring pages, printables, puzzles, worksheets and holiday fun! Providing parents and teachers with free resources for classroom, homeschool and home.