With a second child on the way, I need to turn my financial brain on and make some savvy frugal changes. There are large changes that most of us have to make when we become parents, such as reducing large treats that we may never have batted an eyelid at in the past. I have previously given you my money saving top tips for stay at home parents but now it is time for me to be a little more clever in order to make a few extra pounds and to save a few more.
I am not exactly a great cook. My husband tends to do the cooking in our household and he is brilliant at it all- the timings, the ideas, getting the right ingredients etc. However, I know this is going to have to start to change as I will soon have two little mouths to feed before my husband gets in from work which means that more than just chicken nuggets will have to be on the menu (seriously I do try he just never eats anything else I cook!)
Anyway, luckily for me I have stumbled across this amazing post that is going to be printed out and will live on my fridge door! Oh and cheap doesn’t have to mean junk food either as this post advises.
I must admit that I am starting to get better at this. When I attempted to do this for a week last year I found it exhausting and time-consuming when I knew I could get everything I wanted in Sainsbury’s… so I quickly reverted back to my old ways. However, as Jake has grown his appetite also has and this has meant more trips to the shops for bits and bobs. The changes in my bank balance spoke volumes and I knew I had to start to make changes. I have often now found myself perusing the reduced sections in supermarkets, I have spent more time comparing prices from up and down the aisles rather than just going for my favourite brand and I have discovered the benefits of stores such as Home Bargains. One example of a saving you can make by shopping in Home Bargains is the difference in price on Belvita biscuits. We love these in our house but at £2.50 a packet I was starting to consider dropping these from my shopping list. Now I have discovered that I can get a 12 pack instead of the regular 6 pack for the same price if I pop into this store for some of my food items! It’s just about thinking about how you can plan these extra trips into your day/week and planning your shopping list accordingly.
This is, unfortunately, the way of the world for a second child and now that we know we are having another boy we are already in for many savings because I have been very organised and kept all the good clothes and have them stored away. However, Jake has recently got the best toys from second-hand shops and being a child he doesn’t know any different! Even the new ornaments in his bedroom came from a second-hand store which proves there are gems to be found.
If you own your own home this can be a brilliant investment in many ways. Not only are you not giving your hard earned cash to somebody else, you have the opportunity at any time to sell and downsize to receive some cash or you could remortgage to release some equity and to help pay your way during difficult times. For example, you could remortgage to consolidate any debt you may have across credit cards, loans or overdrafts. You may also want to find a better interest rate and reduce your monthly repayments. House prices are very high at the moment and as we bought 6 years ago when the recession affected prices we have found ourselves in a good position. Now, this isn’t for the financially faint at heart so you need a good numbers head on you as well as plenty of time to compare the deals. However, if you want a quick way to receive the best deals you can use a third party service such as the one that Which? offer which is what we opted for in the end. They did all the leg work for us and worked quickly and efficiently- yes, there was a fee but it took away the stress, the confusion and time wasting.
Compare Your Bills
I have looked at our gas and electric bills for a while now and am really beginning to wonder if we are paying over the top. I am always very conscious about turning off lights, not having the heating on and not having anything on standby but I never see a reduction in our costs. There are plenty of sites to compare tariffs online so I think it’s time to have a sit-down and look into this, there’s no point in throwing money away if we aren’t using much in terms of power for our home.
Website Reviewing and Surveys
When you are sitting at home during nap times or epic feeding sessions why not earn some money at the same time? There are plenty of apps that you can download to your phone with surveys that will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Examples of these are MySurvey, ipoll and Swagbucks but there are many others.
You can also carry out website reviews which will take you around 15 minutes by using sites such as what users do.
If you can do these regularly you could be making extra cash every single month.
Look For Freebies and Coupons
Yep, you read that right I did say freebies! What you may not know is that there are sites which bring together free stuff UK, competitions, offers, coupons, voucher codes and more. I love the fact that there is a one stop site that will not only save me money but also time surfing the internet.
Get Paid To Exercise
I didn’t know this was possible until I came across this post from Mummy Saver Money Maker where she tells how you can link your fitbit up with Bounts app and earn points as you walk! These can be received in the form of vouchers, sports equipment or exclusive experiences. Now that sounds like my kind of money making when I have a dog and a very active three-year-old.
I am hoping that if I can stick to all of these financial changes we will have more money to spend on fun family days out and holidays.
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*This is a collaborative post but as always all opinions are honest and my own. For more information please refer to my disclosure page.