MoneySupermarket.com is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the one pound coin. As I can remember the momentus occasion when pound coins came into circulation I decided to join in the competition to blog 30 money saving tips and hopefully win £1000. For more information the link is here.
When I saw this competition I thought “surely I can think of 30 ways”…so here goes!
A lot of my ways are family and children orientated as this is where my life is at, at the moment, but many can be transferred to your situation in life.
- Make your own bread. This is so much cheaper and tastier than shop bought and if you have a sourdough starter (mine’s called Nigella) you don’t have to buy yeast either.
- Bake half a cake! Don’t make a whole cake and waste half…here is how. And also here.
- Buy fresh veg when they are reduced at the supermarket. Use your judgment to decide if the veg needs eating straight away or if you can blanche and freeze it. The best before dates are a guideline and as long as they are not quietly dying, they will go on longer. Or buy chilled items when very reduced in price which can then be frozen.
- When your veg gets a bit iffy in the fridge, make a lovely soup with it rather than waste it, which you can eat straight away or freeze in portions.
- Visit your local market as it is closing on a Saturday. This week we bought a lucky bag for a tenner which contained a tiny stuffed lamb joint, sausages, 2 chicken legs, 2 pork chops, a joint of pork, a bag of chicken wings, a piece of steak and a bag of mince.
- Plan your meals at the start of the week and stick to it. Only buy the things you need for the recipes. Check out #mealplanningmonday for help and inspiration from others. Here‘s my plan for this week.
- Take a list of the things you need from the supermarket and only buy these things. Don’t be tempted by the offers by the front door that you might not need.
- When in a supermarket, check packet sizes and prices. Sometimes the bigger sizes are not necessarily cheaper per kg.
- Freeze leftover portions of food rather than throw them away so that you can eat them later or take them to work some time for lunch rather than buy your lunch.
- Every now and then have a look in your freezer and cupboards at the start of the week and plan your meals for the week from the contents in the freezer. Don’t buy any more food than what you have in the house.
- Instead of buying a coffee on your way to work, invest in a thermos cup and take your own from home to drink on the way.
- If you do like to treat yourself to a bought coffee, go for a shop that has a loyalty scheme. Collect those stamps or stickers and claim your free coffee.
- Make your own gifts. There are loads of ideas online. A great idea for a mother’s day, father’s day or teacher gift is to wrap some compost in clear wrap, add a pretty plant pot which you could even paint yourself if you are artistic and a pack of seeds! Simple and thoughtful.
- If you have an old pair of jeans that are not worn out but you don’t want anymore, alter them into a skirt. Unpick the inside leg seams and then insert a triangle of fabric at the front and back to make a long skirt.
- If you use a credit card, choose one that gives a reward for spending, such as loyalty points or vouchers to spend instore.
- If you are expecting a baby don’t say no to anyone offering anything for free. Most baby paraphenalia gets used very little and is rarely worn out, and really not worth buying new in my experience.
- Join loyalty schemes in shops to save their points which can be spent instore like cash or swapped for gifts.
- If you are making rail journeys with children make sure you have a family and friends railcard and book 12 weeks in advance. Adults save one third and children save 60%. We recently went from Wakefield to London for £39 return for 2 adults and 2 children. We also got the railcard with Tesco points so that didn’t cost anything.
- Take advantage of all the free museums, art galleries and parks rather than ones where you have to pay. There are some amazing ones if you google your area.
- When you go on a day out, take a picnic and a flask rather than buy the food that is on sale at the destination for a high price.
- Go to the library. There is no need to buy books when you can borrow books for free. You can also borrow toys, jigsaws, cds, audio books and dvds from most libraries for free or a very small amount. I also take my children to a free library storytime one morning a week where they have stories, craft and nursery rhymes.
- Take your pre-school children to the local childrens centre. Mine does a stay and play on a Friday morning for 2 hours. The kids can play with different toys to their own, paint, craft and there are healthy snacks available too, all for free.
- Peg your washing out! It costs a fortune to put the tumble dryer on! I know the weather is a bit iffy in the UK, but if you can at least partly dry your washing outside then you will save tumble dryer time.
- If, like me, you have a local Ikea, make sure you have a family card so you can get free coffee when you visit the restaurant during the week or get discounts on many things in store, including their bargain breakfast.
- Take your kids to restaurants that have “kids eat free” deals. It makes a huge difference to your bill at the end of the meal.
- Choose a restaurant that has a “bring your own” alcohol policy. Indian restaurants often do this. You find that your bill could be halved (judging everyone by our standards!) if you don’t have the alcohol on your bill!
- Sell your old stuff on eBay. If it’s sat in a wardrobe or the loft doing nothing then it might as well be sold! If you only get 99p for it, at least it’s 99p and they all add up! Or have a carboot sale.
- Don’t pay to join a gym! When the weather is good make use of the outdoor gyms in so many local parks. Or just go for a walk for exercise. Make a date to meet a friend so you won’t duck out and avoid it!
- Instead of buying a new magazine, dig out that dusty pile of old ones that you’ve forgotten about (if you’re like me) and reread! Or decide with a friend to buy a different magazine each and then read and swap. Two magazines for the price of one.
- Buy your Christmas cards and wrapping paper cheap in the sales after Christmas. Put them away with your Christmas tree so that you know where they are for next Christmas.
I got into a real swing writing these! I’m sure I could have kept going. I hope this has given you some sensible and practical ideas to save money and I’d love to hear your ideas too!