Wednesday, 26 August 2015

5 Quick saving tips

Here are a few of my fool proof saving tips that I have followed over the last year

1. Swap/cancel - Asses your outgoings such as Gym memberships, utility bills, mobile contracts and regular spends such as hair and beauty appointments. 
I made instant savings by switching to Pay as you go on my phone, swapping my gym membership to one £10 cheaper per month and going back to my natural hair colour to cut out my monthly hair appointments. Apply this logic to home insurance, car insurance etc, even shop around for a better interest rate on your bank account(s). I never used to shop around to get the best deal but over the course of a year I have found it really is worth it!

2. Pack lunch - I go to work with a little picnic these days and it costs me half the price of supermarket lunches - I also have twice as much (sandwich/salad, crisps, fruit and yogurt). I previously bought lunch every day spending a minimum of £5 per day (which stretches as far as a sandwich, bag of crisps and a drink ), £25 per week X 48 = £1,200. I make lunch for myself and my partner so it's a good saving. I tend to go for easy, quick fixes. What's great is that you know exactly what your eating and also when it was made. You could make large batches of things like potato salad and Greek salad for a couple of days and put different meats etc. with them each day to mix it up a bit. I buy coleslaw and some other pre-made items as its still cheaper but is so quick and easy to just assemble. It's also up to you, completely your choice, but I find when buying a sandwich I sometimes end up picking the tomatoes out or not liking a certain aspect/ingredient. Also I can make my lunches as low cal/fat/carb as I like whereas you are really limited at the supermarket/sandwich shops.


3. Don't call the caterers - You can make a good saving by preparing buffet food for parties and gatherings yourself, or having a dinner party as opposed to having a meal out. Yes, you have to cook, this could be a downside but for me that's half the fun. You also have total control again when it comes to budget, nutritional value and ingredients. I have been to so many events where the catering has been disappointing and hasn't come cheap either.

Buffet for my boyfriends birthday with homemade lemon cake
4. Use online tools - I used to buy several glossy magazines on a regular basis, I probably spent in excess of £20 per month on them until I came across pinterest and etsy - these sites are fantastic for inspiration and rule out the need for my fashion, home and cooking magazines! 

5. DIY - There are so many things that given a little time and effort most individuals can achieve. I will say creativity is a great tool for living a frugal lifestyle as is a passion for cooking as per the above. With regards to DIY I do a lot more than I used to, I have learned to do my own shellac nails using a lamp that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas, I wax my own legs and occasionally will dye my hair. 

My boyfriend is a cabinet maker so is pretty useful when it comes to DIY jobs around the house and I am always willing to muck in. 

I am a keen crafter and love to create bespoke gifts for my friends and family which can cost less than store bought but are labour intensive when it comes to time and effort. I also collect items, I do throw things away too but if I think something will have a future use then I keep hold of it.

recycled fruit box, painted using a left over paint tester - Keeps my windowsill dry!

I would love to hear any frugal tips or money saving advice that you can with me and my readers. If you have any questions or comments please fire away and leave me a comment.

Cookie x

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