With energy prices skyrocketing this year, there’s no time like the present to look into your finances and consumption to see how you can be more financially savvy this Autumn and Winter to get through the most expensive months of the year. There are many aspects of this and, in this article, we are going to look into a few ways that can help you spend less and save more money.
Save Money on Food
Food is a huge expense for most families but also an area where you can save a lot of money if you try. Here are some things that can help you reduce food costs:
Meal Plan Better. Meal planning will save you lots of time, frustration, and money! Doing it weekly works well for most families. Before choosing any meals, look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards to see what’s already there and try to build as many meals as possible from those ingredients. Add needed ingredients to your shopping list. Look for affordable recipes online for new ideas. Vegetarian meals are usually cheaper so consider at least a few vegetarian days per week if you aren’t already doing so.
Smart Food Shopping. When it comes to food shopping, don’t buy more than you need when it comes to fresh produce. Only bulk buy items you know your family will actually get through. Be flexible with your recipes so that you can use alternative ingredients if you see something on offer that would work just as well but will save you money too. Another way to save money on food is by using Latest Deals. Their website publishes hundreds of new deals daily with the best discounts on food from different retailers around the UK. They also have a tool called Supermarket Price Comparison, which allows you to check which supermarket is selling a product cheaper. And they also have a guide with 40 ways to save money on food bills.
Look After Your Leftovers. Leftovers are brilliant – when they’re not forgotten in the back of the fridge. I like to make leftovers on purpose for many of our meals so that I don’t have to cook the next day. This works well with things like lasagna and chilli. Store your leftovers properly in reusable glass containers in the fridge for the next day or freeze if you want to save things for longer. Just don’t forget about them!
Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Since energy prices are a hot topic this year, let’s continue with looking at how we can reduce energy consumption to limit the rise in our energy bills. Below are a few things to consider:
Delay turning on the heating. When it starts getting cold, start with extra layers (clothes & blankets) and slippers and make sure cold air is not getting in anywhere. Close curtains and use draught excluders on any doors that need it.
Be mindful of your energy consumption. Are you turning of devices that are not in use? Are you turning plugs off? Is the washing machine/dish washer appropriately full when you turn them on? Be actively aware of what you’re using and how you can reduce it. Planning how you cook your meals is a good way to reduce usage – if you’re doing something in the oven, prepare your other cooked food in the oven at the same time. Don’t use both the hob and the oven when it’s not needed. Not boiling more water than you need is another easy trick – if there’s leftover hot water, put it in an insulated flask and use that for your next cuppa.
Shopping less is a great way to spend less which is no surprise. Generally, don’t buy things that you don’t need and this will instantly save you some cash. There are however always things that we do need to buy and when we do need to purchase something, it’s important to look around for the best deals and to do a search for discount codes to apply to your basket. Every little helps and even small discounts will add up to big savings over the year.
Some things you’ll be able to source second hand for great prices – children’s clothes, toys and books are great examples so do check your local charity shop for some bargains.
Manage Your Subscriptions
These days, many people subscribe to online entertainment services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Audible, paid apps and more. Make a list of all your non-essential outgoings like these and see what you really need. You can pause most memberships and you can also get a free trial of most streaming services etc. so that’s a good way to get a few month’s of entertainment for free meaning you can cancel what you are currently paying for.
The above ideas are just a few simple ways to be more financially savvy. Hopefully they are useful to you and will help you reduce your bills this Autumn and Winter. Feel free to share any tips that you have in the comments below.
This blog is edited by a mid-30s mum with over 15 years of professional childcare experience. Now 10 years into motherhood and enthusiastic about finding great products and helpful solutions for busy families to make life more fun and easier too.
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