This is a guest post
When it comes to being thrifty, the majority of us could probably try harder. We are all guilty every now and then of overspending or wasting what we already have and believe it or not, if we just made a few little tweaks and switches, we could find ourselves saving a significant amount of money – and most of the time helping the environment as well! I’m not talking throwing out all of your clothes and wearing a pair of curtains, buying dinner ingredients strictly from the reduced section or living in an igloo because you refuse to pay the heating, but there are still less extreme changes that you are probably overlooking in your day to day life and here are a few tips to help you on your way to being that little bit thriftier!
Prep, Prep, Prep
You have probably heard the term ‘meal prep’ being thrown around in recent times, particularly on social media as fitness, health and nutrition bloggers swear by it for a way of staying ‘on track’ with food in order to achieve weight loss/live a healthier lifestyle. Whilst it does definitely help with these things, there is also another big factor that attracts so many people, and that’s the money saving aspect of it. The most wastage in UK homes stems from the kitchen, with a ridiculous amount of food being thrown away on a daily basis. Bulk cooking at the beginning of the week (maybe three dishes) and dividing it into portions can be an absolute lifesaver not only timewise, but also money wise. Anything that you want to eat at a later date can be frozen. It is also worth remembering that meat isn’t an essential part of every dish. Whilst it is great for some meals, eating meat for every night of the week can get pretty pricey and there are some great plant-based meals that are just as delicious! Why not try a hearty chickpea stew or a delicious spinach and lentil curry? Cooking with things like pulses and lentils are great because a little goes a long way and their nutritional value is excellent!
Be Supermarket Savvy
Another way to tackle food wastage is to make a shopping list before you head off for your weekly shop. This way you’re more likely to buy what you actually need and far less tempted by the strategically placed goodies as you wander aimlessly around the shops. Of course, straying from the list a little (it’s ok, the bottle of wine was half price) is allowed, but if you have a good idea of what you set out to buy then you are less likely to go for things you don’t need (or might already have).
It’s also worth remembering that buying branded items isn’t always the best option. Ok, some things have unbeatable branded versions (ketchup, mayonnaise and Peanut Butter anyone?!) but there are a lot of products where you are quite literally paying more, for the same item. It may take a little longer, but reading labels to see what the actual difference in the product is, before buying a branded version for the sake of it, could help you save some pennies!
Re-assess your Bills
Yes, this is a little, ok, very, tedious task. Sitting down with a year’s worth of utility bills and looking over them all isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a fun Sunday afternoon, but chances are, you have been paying well over the odds for either estimated readings or because you are with the wrong provider and by looking at your bills, you might be able to spot a way of saving money either by switching providers or cutting back on some of your usage. A great way of using less electricity is by switching your regular halogen bulbs out for LED alternatives. Not only do these use less electricity, they also last a lot longer, which means no more tirelessly changing lightbulbs. They are also a lot better for the environment and shine just as brightly!
Make your Holiday Cheap and Cheerful!
Of course we all look forward to going on holiday, time off from work, time spent with loved ones and a little bit of indulgence guarantees for a great time…but if you’re a family that loves to go abroad and stay in an all singing all dancing resort for two weeks…have you ever considered an alternative? Granted, you can’t rely on the weather, but there are plenty of fabulous holiday destinations all around the UK that will make for a fun-filled family adventure. If camping is a little too extreme for you, why not hire a caravan, a chalet or even a holiday home and spend the week
exploring the great outdoors? Yes you might miss your sun bed and Pina Colada but you’ll definitely come back feeling refreshed…and change is good for all of us, right?!
Have a Clear Out
Buy and sell sites such as Depop and eBay are great for when you have good quality items that you no longer use or wear. It can take a little time, especially if you’re new to using it and you have a lot of stuff, but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy seeing things that have been gathering dust in your home, turn to money in your pocket instead. How about putting away the money you make, and seeing how much you manage to save?