Times are tough and prices are rising which means that families across the country are feeling the strain. It’s time that we all take control of our finances and make savings wherever we can. Here are just a few tips for families to help save those precious pennies:
1. Hungry Tummies: Plan Your Meals
When there are lots of mouths to feed and grumbly tummies, your food bill is likely to be one of the biggest drains on your resources. Amazingly, the majority of us still don’t plan our meals and that means that lots of food is going to waste every month.
– Flick through easy recipe books and get some good meal ideas. One of the hardest things about cooking is thinking of what to cook so don’t leave your planning until you’re walking down the aisles at the supermarket.
– Statistics show that families that plan their meals before going shopping will usually spend a considerable amount less at the supermarkets each week.
– Think about how you can re-use leftovers for meals later in the week. If you’re throwing food away, you’re throwing money away!
2. Write Lists: Your Memory Won’t Be Good Enough!
This tip links quite well with the meal planning and to save the most money, you need to do them both together. It’s all well and good to plan your meals but if you can’t remember what you need for each meal then what’s the use?
– Write down every ingredient you’ll need to go onto your shopping list. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ll remember everything: you won’t!
– When you haven’t got a list in front of you telling you what you need to buy, chances are that you’ll end up picking up a lot of stuff that you don’t need and won’t use.
– It’s not the end of the world if you do forget something on your weekly shop but you’ll be spending money unnecessarily on the higher prices at your smaller local store.
3. Budget for Every Eventually: Have a Family Clothing Budget
As you sit down to budget for the coming month, do you take into account any clothes that your family will need? We think of clothes as a treat when money’s plentiful but as you’ll well know, your kids’ clothes will need replacing more than you’d like! Factoring in a clothing section to your monthly budget means you won’t be left short and you can budget effectively.
– Try to only buy quality clothes. You won’t have to replace pajamas, trousers and t-shirts half as much if you buy the good stuff!
– Factor the clothing budget in and if you don’t have to buy any this month then that’s a bonus!
– Think about the practicality of your kids’ clothes as well as the style; your children might love the latest trainers to hit the shelves but what’s the point in buying them if they’ll need replacing 2 months down the line?
4. Cut Your Energy Use with Healthy Competition
Your energy bills, along with your rent, will be one of the highest outgoings on a monthly basis and it’s something that you and your family need to work together to reduce.
– If you’re a family of bathers then it’s time to swap to showers. If money saving is your priority then you’ll have to sacrifice regular baths.
– Devise a family competition to see who can take the quickest showers. Of course, with younger children you will need to make sure that they’re showering properly!
– Set a target. First get your home an energy monitor so you can see exactly how much energy you’re using. Set the family a target of how much you want to reduce your energy consumption and of course, offer a (cheap!) prize that they can win if you all reach the goal.
A great way to keep your energy bills down is to turn the heating down and wrap up warm. Invest in some really warm fleece tops and a great pair of lounge pants; baton down the hatches and snuggle up for the evening. Who said saving money had to be hard?
5. Use the Resources Available: Shop Around For Best Deals
These days you can find almost anything you want to at the click of a button or a tap of a screen and that means it’s easier than ever to find the cheapest prices around. Don’t be content with your existing suppliers or your usual preferred shop; use all of the resources available to you to find the best deals!
– You will rarely get the best deal on your insurance if you renew your existing policy. Use one of the hundreds of comparison sites to find a good deal.
– Quick Tip: you can often find a cheaper deal online as opposed to on the phone!
– Don’t be afraid to haggle. Most of the time if you ask your phone company for a cheaper deal and play hard ball then you will find that you can get a cheaper rate. The same rule applies for broadband and television packages.
When times are tough and our money isn’t going quite as far as it used to, we need to get our finances under control. These are some fairly simple money saving tips for families but browse websites and forums for more tips; there are hundreds of frugal families more than willing to share their money saving tips.
This article was written by Jennifer Griffiths on behalf of Mini Vanilla. If your kids need new pajamas then you need make sure that their new ones will last! Mini Vanilla is the best place to go for high quality but affordable kid’s pajamas.