At Loans at Home, we understand that it can be tough to make ends meet from month to month. However, there are some small changes you can make in your day-to-day life to ensure your money stretches that little bit further.
8 money saving tips to get you started
• Have a clear out
• Introduce a weekly no-spend day
• Get haircuts from apprentices
• Avoid impulse buys
• Adjust your eating habits
• Set your shopping list
• Try ‘own brand’ products
• Explore free activities for the kids
1. Have a clear out
You’d be amazed at the cash you can get for items you don’t use anymore. Look through all your cupboards and wardrobes, and pile up the items that you haven’t used or worn in years – then sell them online or have a car boot sale. Anything goes, from old shoes and tech to that old-fashioned plate that could be somebody else’s treasure.
Read: How to Sell on Ebay
2. Introduce a weekly no-spend day
Although it might sound tricky, it can be done and you’ll find it really makes a difference to your outgoings. Defer any purchases, eat up items already in the cupboard or freezer and – online shoppers – avoid the internet.
3. Student haircuts
Let a student cut yours and your family’s hair. It’s training and experience for them and a freebie (or extremely cheap) haircut for you. It’s a win-win situation. The trainees have a teacher with them at all times and have had plenty of lessons, so it’s not as much of a risk as you’d think.
4. Avoid impulse buys
Always think carefully before making hefty purchases. If you spot something you’re intent on buying, go away and sleep on it as it may seem less appealing the following morning. If you do give in to the splurge, follow the one-in-one-out rule – for every item you buy, make sure you sell one of your existing ones.
5. Think more about your food shop
The supermarkets are there for your convenience, but are the prices in line with the best value for you? Don’t neglect your local markets and the sale section of supermarkets. Markets are a great one-stop-shop for fruit and veg; quality meat at a much cheaper price and a range of herbs and spices delivering real value for money. What’s better, you’re supporting your local community by buying from these stalls. Buy items you love that you can freeze and keep an eye on ‘best before’ dates instead of ‘use by’ dates.
6. Stick to a shopping list
Whether you do your weekly food shop online or prefer to browse the aisles in person, write a shopping list before you go and stick to it. Plan the following week’s meals and any other extras you might need and let this be the guide for the items on your shopping list. You’re less likely to impulse buy if you have a list.
7. Try supermarket ‘own’ brands
This is another simple way to cut down on that weekly food bill. Often, you’ll find that supermarket-own goods are just as tasty or reliable as the branded versions. Swap out a few items every week and you’ll soon notice you’re paying less and less.
Read: 11 Secrets Supermarkets Don’t Want You to Know
8. Entertain the kids for less
Younger children don’t need to be taken on flashy days out to keep them entertained – they can often find fun in the simplest – and cheapest – of ways. Take them out in the garden to plant some seeds, head to the park with a football or take them out on a bike ride.
Read: 41 ways to entertain your kids
These simple tips for saving money don’t require huge lifestyle changes. It’s the smaller things that add up and with a little consideration and a few tweaks to your usual routines, you could make quite a difference to your outgoings over time.