Now that our family has grown we have had to have a long hard look at how we are spending our well-earned cash. We have always tried our best to do what was needed in order to provide for Jake but we all know that a second baby brings more clothing, classes, food and so on which has meant that we have had to reassess everything that we purchase and pay out for, and do you know what? Simple changes can make a huge difference. Here’s how we are saving more money as a family:
Reusable- cost effective and eco-friendly
If you can reuse it then do it.
We had already made a start with plastic bags (as we all had to) but I have also invested in some tote bags too PLUS I always keep them in the boot of the car so I don’t get caught out. I have also been taking our own water out with us and refilling plastic bottles to keep in the fridge at home. But our biggest reusable change has come in the form of cloth nappies and reusable wipes. I had ummed and ahhed over them for months with the only thing holding me back being my mindset! We are all so programmed to use throw away items, aren’t we? Coffe cups, plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, nappies, wipes… if you really start to think about it, the list goes on and on. So, I made the biggest change I could, one that would not only save us £500 a year (yep, that is the average cost of having a child in nappies!) but also saving 6,000 nappies going to landfill (yes, that is £500 a year you are throwing away!) After just one week I had a good routine of changing, washing, organising and using cloth nappies and I can honestly say I am converted. I would much rather spend that money on a trip away with my kids than throw it in the bin.
Switching Energy Suppliers
You know this is one of those jobs that you say you are going to do but you just put it off and put it off because it seems such a hassle. It’s really not. There are plenty of comparison sites online or you can check out what Which? has to say on the matter. We finally properly looked into this and could not believe how much we could save and how much more we had been spending over the years. Yes, so you may have to speak to a few people on the phone but if it means more money in your pocket just go ahead and do it.
Don’t Follow Best Before Dates
I used to follow these religiously. Out of date? Bin it! I never used my nose or checked things, I assumed these dates were accurate. They aren’t. Best before is a guideline and the shops cannot sell them for health reasons but if it is still ok you can definitely get away with using it. OR try freezing more, makeup meal batches, throw the lot into a stew… don’t waste good food, it costs far too much these days.
Food Shop Deals
I have started to shop in all of the supermarkets to try and get the best deals. I had always thought it was so easy to pop to Sainsburys each and every week to get my ‘usuals’ but then I started to see the total gradually mount up over the months. The food prices were rising quite drastically but our income wasn’t and I hated how much we were spending on our weekly shop. I have since worked out what I really need from a main supermarket, how cheap the fruit is at the market and how much I can get in Lidl which is practically the same as the branded products. It does take time and it can mean that you will need to do several trips to get all you need BUT tally up how much you save and you will be hooked!
Shop the Latest Deals
The internet is a haven for the latest deals and we should be using it far more often to pick up a bargain. Instead of sitting in the evening scrolling through Facebook on my phone, I have been looking at what we need and seeing who has the best deals. It’s not like I was doing anything important and I still have the TV on in the background, it is just about getting into the habit of being productive whilst sitting on the sofa! Every little bit off will help towards that holiday fund or the kid’s new clothes or new classes, which, let’s face it, don’t come cheap!
When William was going through his Colic stage and we were being advised everything under the sun, many parents recommended the SleepyHead to aid in a better nights’ sleep. However, with a price tag of £120 brand new, I was very reluctant to spend that amount and take a chance on it working. So, I turned to Facebay to see what people were selling and I managed to pick one up, barely used, for £60! I was over the moon. I have since found plenty of books for Jake for 50p in second-hand shops, toys for William and have started to look at household items too. It is amazing what other people are getting rid of and you can get a lot for almost new.
Until very recently we were paying our car insurance and breakdown cover separately for each of our cars. We had always owned our own cars and with that, we always kept our own responsibilities. Then when the annual renewal came through for me and the insurance company had made a huge increase which they weren’t budging on, we decided to make a big change and see how much we could save by doing both cars and the breakdown cover under one umbrella. Turns out it can save you quite a bit! We now pay one lump sum for everything and can feel happy that we are covered without breaking the bank.
Have you made any changes since your family has grown? I’d love to hear about them
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*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.