Tuesday, 30 April 2013

30 Ways To Save £££s


You may have seen a few of these money saving '£30 Ways to Save £1' blog posts pop up lately as part of MoneySupermarket's challenge to find 1000 ways to save your pennies. After seeing some of the tips from other bloggers I thought I would share some of my own with you!

First things first, I hate spending money. Long gone are the days when I would splash the cash!
Working for myself,  having a new home and with our wedding a few months away there's been a lot of tightening of the purse strings. Here are a few money saving ideas that have helped me save the pennies at home:




     FOOD

1) Write a shopping list before you venture to the supermarket. Then stick to it. Being strict with yourself and knowing what you want beforehand stops impulse buys and saves plenty of pounds with every shop.

2) If you regularly visit the same shops and supermarkets sign up to their reward schemes; collecting points on things you are buying anyway pays dividends when money off vouchers pop through your door.

3) Get an idea for what time items get reduced in your local stores – there’s so much money to be saved on perishable items that are still perfectly edible but are nearing their Display Until date.

4)…On that note, remember that it is only the Use By date that you need to stick to. Best Before dates are merely a guideline for when the product may begin to lose some of its quality. Display Until dates are to guide the supermarket. Use common sense when thinking of throwing food away and you will save a fortune.

5) Store food properly, if your fridge is set to the proper temperature settings things last a long time meaning you need to go out and spend less!

6) Don’t waste leftovers. I used to throw so much food (and money!) away but these days I make a conscious effort to transform the bits and bobs I used to bin. Old veg is perfect for soup, leftover meat is great in stir fries, risottos and pasta bakes – fab meals on the cheap! Check out some of the recipes I have posted here.


7) Take a packed lunch. Not only will you save loads of money on pre-packaged sandwiches but you also get to choose tasty and nutritional lunches that far out do anything from the chiller cabinet.

8) Cook from scratch. Ready Meals are not only expensive but full of rubbish! Rather than waste money on something to stick in the microwave plan your meals and use fresh ingredients. Your wallet and taste buds will be thankful!

9) Buy in bulk where you need to. I’ve started buying items like pasta in the biggest bags possible. I know that I will always need it and it is far cheaper than buying lots of little packets.

10) Utilise your freezer. Freezing things you aren’t going to use immediately, like meat, is a great way to make sure they don’t spoil and end up in the bin. Also great if you have made the most of supermarket discounts and things are close to their Use By date. Saving money and making sure there is always a dinner on stand-by!


      HOME
11) If you need work done on your house decide if it is possible to do yourself. We have had to make compromises when refurbishing our new home - things like tiling may be laborious but it is much cheaper to try these ‘easier’ jobs yourself than to pay someone else to do it.

12) Always get a range of quotes. We were quoted in excess of £1500 to have our kitchen units fitted but eventually found a great carpenter able to do the job for a third of that price.

13) Buy from trade stores. B&Q and Homebase may not be the cheapest option. Look online for wholesalers and discount stockists.

14) Before going out and spending a fortune on new furniture first have a scout around for what you can buy second hand. eBay, Gumtree and local second hand stores have all been great for finding quality pieces and hugely reduced prices.
15) Visit discount outlets for your soft furnishings. TK Maxx is a great place for good value bed linen for example...


GIFTS

16)
Find your local outlet shopping centre or retail park. Designer labels can be found at really reduced prices – great for Birthdays and Christmas.

17) Keep an eye out for sample sales. Another great way of saving money on expensive items.

18) Some big stores, like Harrods, have pre-sale-sales. At Christmas especially there will be reduced items available before the official launch date.

19) Check online for discount codes before committing to a purchase. Often a quick Google search will turn up codes for free delivery or money off at the checkout.

20) Buy handmade – support small businesses by looking around on Etsy or visiting local craft fairs. You can find original one off pieces or commission an item at a fraction of high street prices.

21) Make it yourself.  There are tons of online tutorials with gift ideas – it doesn’t have to be anything complicated but a framed illustration or home baked cake mean a lot more than anything you can pick up in a shop.




WEDDING

22)
Weddings are crazy expensive so it is a good idea to try and save money where you can! Decorations are a good place to start – tissue pom-poms, bunting and balloons can all be turned into something fantastic without adding more 000s to the final wedding cost! Check out Pinterest for plenty of ideas and tutorials.


23) Don’t limit yourself to traditional wedding or bridesmaid dresses – there are plenty of gorgeous dresses on the high street that are a fraction of the cost but have the same level of glitz and glamour.

24) Design your invitations yourself - a great chance to get creative but also to really set the tone of your wedding for all your guests.


25)
Be ruthless. Don’t invite people you don’t really  want to be there. It’s your day, it’s your money. The price of every invitation and each penny behind the bar is coming out of your pay check – only inviting people you truly like is not only going to make for a better day but also a better bank balance!

26) Negotiate  – often hotels, venues and even wedding dress shops will throw in a little something for free or offer discounted rates if you ask nicely.

27) Trade your talents. Not a great baker but handy with a sewing machine? Save hundreds of pounds on a wedding cake by sewing up some new clothes for a friend in exchange for their pudding prowess. Swapping skills is a great way to spend less on things you love.




LITTLE EXTRAS
28) Make friends with your local charity shops. I’m forever popping in for books and crockery – I save loads of money but get to support worthy causes too.

29)
Keep packaging, newspapers and cardboard. Perfect for packing up parcels and completely free! I have a big pile of old Stylist magazines that are great for padding out orders.

30)
Sign up for newsletters from your favourite restaurants and apply for a tastecard – both will give you big discounts on eating out. Money saving doesn't have to be boring after all!


Do you have any useful money saving tips to share? Any handy hints are much appreciated if you want to leave a comment! Or why not create your own list - more details on the MoneySupermarket website here :)

xx


3 comments:

  1. Great post! You two have the cutest names ever! :)

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  2. there's some really great tips here - the wedding ones are particularly useful at the mo - thanks!

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  3. Thank you Lindey and Annie! x

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