Category: Save Money

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How to Create a Grocery Budget – Simple Guide

Spending money on groceries is necessary, but are you spending too much? Grocery costs take up the majority of the expenses when it comes to most families.

Food is important, we need it to survive, but that doesn’t mean you cannot set a budget and shop for groceries at an affordable price.

Following a budget takes time and a little bit of planning ahead. Don’t expect to have a perfect food budget right away.

By doing a little bit of tracking each month you can figure out what you’re actually spending and come up with a realistic budget that you can follow!

In this post I’m going to explain everything you need to know on how to create a grocery budget for your family.

 

 

How to create a grocery budget you can stick to

I used to go to the grocery store, fill up my trolley of all the foods I wanted, and let myself be surprised at the register with the high price of groceries. This type of shopping was costing me a fortune!

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Over the past few years, I’ve been able to cut my family’s grocery costs in half with budgeting and planning.

One of the biggest factors that contributed to our drastic grocery savings has been my solid grocery budget.

 

Why do you need a grocery budget?

If you don’t have a budget to stick to, you find yourself spending big. And for some people, spending money you don’t even have – and then it goes on the old plastic friend, no thanks.

When you have a budget and a plan, you know exactly how much you can spend each week. You won’t overspend and risk leaving funds low for other expenses.

Related posts:

Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!

 

 

How much should your budget be?

Many experts suggest the average person spends £28 per week in the UK. So, if you have a 4-person family, your budget would be £112 a week. So, if possible, you should aim at this figure or there about.

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This is a great starting point but I think you’re more likely to be successful if you adapt this to fit your family’s specific circumstances. Here are some examples on what I mean:

  • Do you live in an area where groceries are very expensive? Your budget may need to be more.
  • Likewise, if you live in an area where groceries are less expensive, you can probably get by with less.
  • Do you have specific food allergies or restrictions in your family? That may increase your budget some.
  • Are you pregnant or nursing? You will probably need to spend a little more for extra food.

I grocery shop for my family of 6 – my partner, her two daughters, myself, plus I have my twins visit three time a week.

We eat pretty healthy with lots of produce and fresh ingredients. My twins don’t eat a ton of food because they’re only 6, so they’re grocery expenses are not much.

We shop mainly at Aldi, which is very cheap and has excellent products for the price.

We also shop and Farmfoods, Home Bargains and few other smaller stores.

So, because of all these things, my grocery budget is £120 per week.

All things considered; it is much less than we were spending on groceries before we started sticking to a budget.

Should your budget be the same as mine? Probably not.

You’ll need to consider your family’s needs in determining your budget. I know that’s not the cut and dry answer that you’re probably looking for, but it’s realistic and it will actually work.

Related posts:

Interested in finding out how living a Frugal lifestyle can save you thousands? See my post below:

 

 

Create a budget that challenges you

I encourage you to keep your budgeting attainable but challenging. Start by cutting back 5 or 10 pound/dollars each week. You’ll know you’ve hit your just right budget when it’s tough but still feeling possible.

Just sticking to a budget is sure to save you money. But the tighter your budget is, the more money you’ll save.

 

Know what your spending

You don’t need to carry a calculator around the store and be super precise down to the penny when you’re putting items in your cart.

Here’s the secret… Overestimate!

If you put something in your cart that cost £2.50, call it £3. Then if the next item rounds up to £4, your running total is £7. Keep a running total going in your head of what your spending.

It’s important that you always round up. You don’t want to round down because that will cause you to go over your budget. By rounding up, you’ll come in a little bit under budget. And that is a beautiful thing!

 

 

Track your grocery budget

It’s really important to keep track of all the money you spend! Keep all your receipts and add up every penny you spend.

I put all of my receipts into an envelope that I keep in the draw. On the outside of the envelope I add up how much I’ve spent so I know if I’m getting close to my weekly budget goal. I can easily check this to see how much I have left to spend.

 

How to Create a Grocery Budget – Final thought

Now you know everything you need to know to start budgeting your grocery shopping. Set the right grocery budget for your family and make sure it’s challenging but possible. Then, track your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget.

Do you have any tips for creating grocery budget that you can stick to?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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Frugal Living Lifestyle – 11 Habits of Frugal People

Have you ever wondered what makes frugal people tick? What is it about their brains that are just hardwired differently from the rest of us? And do you want to see what you can do to be as frugal as they are?

But what I think is even better than having these Holy Grail of answers from frugal people themselves is that there is no one answer that is right. Some things work, some don’t.

But the biggest thing that separates those highly frugal people from the rest of us is that they keep trying. They keep moving.

Here are some frugal habits that have the power to save you thousands if you commit to sticking to them. Implement one or two habits at a time until you’ve mastered them all! You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.

 

 

What is a Frugal Living Lifestyle?

Frugal living is a way to get more for your money and making it go further by spending wisely and buying only the things you need. Frugal people are always finding ways to save more money and avoid waste by using what they already have. It’s about smart money management.

So, what kinds of things do frugal people do that makes them frugal?

 

Set out a plan and then live the plan

It is crucial that you have a plan for your money. Some people (like myself) would call this a budget. Because a budget at its most basic is simply a spending plan.

You need to know where all your money goes! But before you even look at where it is going. You need to have a plan about where you want it to go.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are your financial priorities?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is important to you?

Once you have answered those questions, look at what you are spending money on and if that aligns with your money plan? If not, you need to make some changes.

Second point, once you have the plan you need to make sure that you are then doing the second half and living it! So, tracking your expenses, checking in weekly, consider making the switch to a cash budget, whatever you need to do to stay on top of your money– just do it!

Plus, hopefully, there will be something in here you can take and use to supercharge your frugal life!

Related posts:

Read my post on how to set SMART achievable goals below!

 

 

Plan your purchases and pay in cash

Stop impulse shopping all of your money away.

Think about the things that you need ahead of time.

Talk about all of your large purchases with your spouse.  Decide together what is a large purchase for your family.

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For us, it’s £100 or more. Whenever we’re going to make a big purchase, we think about it and shop around for as long as possible (at least a month). We save money by waiting for a good price.

Sometimes it turns out that we don’t actually need that big thing that we were shopping for. And then we save a lot!

When you do decide to make a large purchase, make sure you can afford it — and that means paying for it in cash. Never go into debt to buy stuff you don’t need. It’s just not worth it.

 

 

Keep track of prices of items

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.

By doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.

How would you know what the usual price is?

Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.

Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.

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Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites

Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.

You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.

Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.

After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.

 

Utilise vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

Related info:

Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.

 

 

Simplify your food

One of the highest impact frugal habits is to cut down on your food costs.

Try tracking your expenses for a little while and you’ll probably find that you are throwing away a ton of money on take-out and convenience food. And even though it probably tastes good and makes your day a little bit easier, when you see the huge effect it has on your finances it clearly isn’t worth it.

The easiest way to save money on food is to make your own as often as possible. This does not mean you need to be an expert chef. Just learn one meal at a time.

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A great way to be intentional about your food costs is to meal plan. I struggled with meal planning for a while, so I came up with a meal planning alternative that works just as well.

For maximum savings, make sure that you set a grocery budget and actually stick to it!

If you have leftover food and you’re struggling to think of a meal you can make from it, then Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

Related posts:

Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!

Read my post on how to save money with groceries below!

 

 

Buy in bulk

Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.

We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.

We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.

Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.

Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.

Here are some products with a long shelf life:

Disposables/Cleaning:

  • Toilet Rolls
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toilet bleach
  • Laundry detergents
  • Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
  • Hand wash
  • Diapers, wipes and milk powder
  • Sanitary towels
  • Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
  • Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
  • Batteries – can come in handy

Groceries:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt/Sugar
  • Cereal, peanut butter, jam
  • oil
  • Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
  • Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
  • Plain/Self Raising flour

Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.

 

 

Fix it, instead of throwing away

People in general, seem too quick to throw things away, I use to be the same.

Instead of being one of those people, try to fix or refurbish what you can.

YouTube is a great place for videos that show you how to fix and refurbish just about anything.

One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Just because something is old, broken or worn out, that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life.

Give it some TLC, work some magic and give it some more life if possible.

You never know, you might find yourself a new hobby you enjoy!

 

Used goods

Before purchasing something new, always browse for used items beforehand.

There is some great stuff out there, and there are more sources than ever online. You can find quality used stuff of just about anything on the internet

Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are just a couple of those available, that are great resources.

You can also buy used items on Amazon. When you’re looking at an item, check below the main price for it to say “new & used from”. Click that link and it will send you to the listing of the used versions of that item.

There are many ways to buy good used goods, when you think beyond only buying brand new.

 

Just say no

Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and family when they invite you to an expensive activity. It’s a smart idea to talk to your friends about money and your goals. When you’re invited to do something that it out of your price range – or simply a waste of money – just say no. Offer an affordable alternative. If your friends really want to spend time with you, they’ll be happy to be with you without spending so much. And if they just really want to do that expensive thing, let them do it without you.

 

Create an emergency Fund

Frugal people are already on top of their finances, so it makes sense they’d have an emergency fund.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what’s important is to save 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in case of an emergency and you can’t work.

 

Never stop looking for Frugal ways to save money

Our last frugal habit is to keep looking for new money saving methods.

The first step is to know exactly where your money is going. Know exactly what your current costs are. Then, be constantly looking for new ways to lower your expenses.

Ask yourself how you can do things better. Talk about it with your spouse regularly.

 

Frugal Living Lifestyle – Final thought

Money is a tool. Learning to live well on less positions you in a place of power over your life and finances. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your life.

Maybe sign up for a few money saving apps. Check Google for possible coupons before you hit, ‘Buy’. Or maybe it’s finally making a spending plan for your money.

Wherever you start, the most important part is that you start!

I’d love to hear from you, if you’ve got any super frugal tips, I’d love to hear them.

Please comment below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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save-electricity

How to Cut Your Electricity Bill – Simple Guide & 10 Tips!

Are you looking for ways to reduce your electricity bill and save money? If you struggling to find an alternative cheaper plan with an electricity consumer, there are actions you can implement to cut costs.

For the majority of people, a combination of lower electricity costs and smart electricity usage leads to lower bill overall.

Electricity bills sometimes turn out to be higher than they should be, causing frustration and the inevitable need to control energy consumption to keep the finances in check.

Fortunately, there are some ways that can help you save at least a few pounds/dollars on your monthly utility bills:

In this short guide I will tell you some tips that will help you save money on your bill.

 

 

Turn off electric devices that are not in use

You’ve probably heard this one a few times, but that doesn’t make it less true or helpful. Your television, computer and stereo can be enormous energy vampires when not in use. That little light that stays lit means that these items are still consuming power.

By using a shared power extension lead, for example, it’s easy to turn your television, Android box, Echo Dot and other equipment off with a click of the switch.

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If you’re worried about updates to your smart TV or Android box, you can alternatively enable power saving mode when they’re not being used. Go into the settings and change the default to the shortest time before sleep mode takes over to reap the biggest cost savings with these items.

 

Buy Energy Efficient Rating Appliances

When you see an Energy Efficient Rating on an appliance, it’s not just a gimmick to make you think you’ll save money on electricity, you actually will.

These appliances use less electricity than non-labelled appliances.

Since appliances account for about 20 percent of an average household’s electricity usage, choosing equipment that saves power can really add up to a massive effort to conserve electricity without your having to do anything else.

Energy saving appliance such as washing machines and dishwashers are also designed to help save water, giving you even bigger benefits over the long term.

Sust-it.net and Energy.gov (for US) have a helpful appliance and electronics calculator to estimate how much energy specific devices use.

Top tip:

Want to save money in other ways? See my post on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Call your local utility for an energy audit

You may think that you’re already doing so much to conserve electricity that there’s nothing left to do, but you’re wrong. There’s always something that can be improved since no home is 100 percent efficient.

An energy audit is a great way to have a professional look your home over and find even more ways that you can save money on electricity.

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By utilising thermal cameras and other specialized equipment, they can determine where your home is leaking air or lacks sufficient insulation and give suggestions for improvement.

Energy audits are a very affordable way to save money on electricity and many local utilities provide this service for little cost.

 

Turn off Unnecessary Lights:

This might sound like a pretty obvious way to save money on electricity bill but this is exactly where most of us fail. We roam around in the house doing our daily jobs but we simply fail to recognise how easy it is to leave the room without switching off the lights and fans.

We leave things on standby mode thinking that it won’t consume energy but it really does. Make it a habit to switch the lights off while leaving the room and make it sure not to leave appliances like microwave and TV sets on standby mode after using them.

 

 

Regular maintenance and servicing of home appliances

I never bothered to get my home appliances serviced on a regular basis until I realised that the outdated and unmaintained appliances were eating up a hell lot of energy.

Old appliances usually eat up more energy than the newer ones which makes it important to replace them after some years.

Regular maintenance and servicing of home appliances might cost you a few extra pounds/dollars but it will go a long way in saving you even more money.

 

Save Money on bills by adjusting your thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you tons of money on electricity over the long run. If you don’t have one you really should consider upgrading because this is a good long-term investment.

Programmable thermostats are great because you can set your thermostat and not worry if you forgot to turn the heat off before you left the house for work.

I’m a big fan of adjusting your thermostat when you aren’t home to help save on electricity. By adjusting your thermostat just a couple of degrees up or down you will notice a big difference in your power bill.

Top tip:

Have trouble with your finances? Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Take advantage of smart meters

Many electricity providers are moving to smart meters, a tool that not only makes it easier for them to take readings but helps you save money also. The regular reports that smart meters create, based on your overall electricity use, can help you figure out what appliances or habits are spiking usage during costly times of the day or increasing your electricity usage overall.

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Many electricity providers now offer electricity usage reports to their customers based on their smart meter data.

 

Switch light bulbs

LED bulbs and CFL use way less energy than the old Incandescent bulbs for the same requirement of light. Replacing your regular tube lights and bulbs with LED and CFL can save you some money without really affecting the lighting quality.

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Charge devices in your car

To save more on your electric bill, you want to use less electricity. One easy way to do this is to charge your devices in the car instead of in the house.

Car chargers are inexpensive and it’ll make up its cost in savings.

If your car allows you to plug in USB cords, you can charge other devices in the car too.

I’ve charged multiple devices in the car. Most devices come with a USB charger and can be charged in the car. If you’re unsure about it, I recommend doing a quick Google search “device name, charge in the car”.

Top tip:

Struggling with debt? Want advice with what method are available to tackle debt? See my post below:

 

 

Put Up A Clothesline 

The dryer of your washing machine uses a lot of electricity and is also too harsh on the clothes. The more economical way to solve this issue is to put up a clothesline and hang drying your clothes.

This will not only save you a few pounds/dollars in electricity bill, but exposing clothes to sunlight also keeps them germ-free.

 

How to cut your electricity bill – Final thought

I hope that you found these tips for saving money on electricity to be helpful. By everyone doing their part to reduce energy waste we can make our world a better place.

There you have it some of my top tips for saving money on electricity. Do you have any creative ways to save money on electricity you think would be helpful to other?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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How to Cut Back on Monthly Expenses – 10 Tips & Simple Guide to Save Money!

We all like the finer things in life, so talking about cutting down expenses is a conversation no one wants to have.

We don’t want to be discussing cutting back financially, because it feels like you’re failing with money.

But that’s not the case.

If you’re struggling with money, the wisest move you can make is a plan to cut down everyday expenses.

If you don’t, then your situation will never improve and you will never lift the burden of struggling financially.

Unless you fall into some major luck by winning the lottery, or you’re left a big sum of money by a relative, your financial situation will worsen without doing so. If you’re relying on that happening, you will most likely be waiting forever.

In order to avoid financial ruin, there is nothing wrong with making financial cutbacks where possible.

You might not even be struggling financially, perhaps you’re just fed up of not be able to save enough money to move house or a make big purchase you’ve always wanted, or you’re just fed up of living from payday to payday.

I believe there is always a way to save money.

Here is a simple guide on how you can cut back your expenses and save a lot of money in the process.

 

 

Determine your financial goals

Most people want to reduce their monthly expenses because they want to save and accomplish more with their money. Knowing your goals can help you align your budget around achieving them.

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The best part is your goals can be anything you want. Perhaps you want to pay off credit card debt, save money to purchase a car, or build an emergency fund. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to break down your goals into manageable steps.

Ask yourself – what do I want my finances to look like a year from now? But starting today, you’ll begin planting the seeds for a successful financial future.

Top tip:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

Want help with what method would be best for you for tackling debt? See my post below:

 

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Sky/cable

This year we decided to cut or Sky/cable, by doing this we are saving £50 per month.

I thought getting rid of this would be brutal, and I would miss it, but that’s not the case at all.

Most of the time the TV was just on as background noise, we only actually sit down and watch TV for about two hours daily in the week, and a bit longer at weekends.

You can cut back your package to save money, or get rid of it all together and use a subscription service such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have both of these; they are excellent value for money.

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You might find this work out to be much cheaper for you.

There is always new TV shows and movies being added and the back catalogue on just these pair are huge. You will always discover something new to watch!

These are just two available, there is also Hulu, Disney+ and much more if you search online.

You are never tied in to a subscription service such as these, they can be cancelled at anytime you like.

 

Gym membership

I have been guilty of this, having a gym membership I never used.

The money would be coming out my bank account every month, while I’m trying to convince myself I would start to use it.

You need to get rid of it – ASAP

If you haven’t been using it regularly and consistently for months on end you are not going to do it now.

According to This Is Money, Brits waste a collective £25billion a month each year on subscriptions they don’t use or want, and a massive 12% of that is on gym memberships alone!

That’s a whole lot of money!

If you don’t use your gym membership, look at alternative ways of exercise instead. I have invested in resistant bands and an exercise bike. I prefer this way, and there are plenty of workout tutorials on YouTube to follow.

If your finances are tight, then this one has to go!

 

Branded food/drinks

People love brands names, but in my opinion, the majority of the time, you are paying just for the name!

I have ditched name products and shop at Aldi and sometimes Lidl majority of time. There are alternative items of food/drink, are just as good if not better in some cases.

The money you save week in week out is massive!

The Same goes with clothes, I use to buy brand and designer all the time. Not anymore, there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as Boohoo, Primark and ASOS where you can look smart for cheaper.

As long as I look good and feel comfortable in my clothes and shoes, that’s all that matters to me, not what branded name I’m wearing.

Top tip:

See my post on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

Top tip:

Want to know more information on how to complete a no spend month and save a huge chunk of money? See the below post:

 

 

Vouchers/coupons

Take advantage of coupons/vouchers to save money.

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online. I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

 

 

Cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

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I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

Cancel subscription services that you don’t use

No matter how closely you pay attention to your monthly bills, I’m sure if you take another look, you’d find at least one subscription that you’re not using. You may even discover a late fee you’ve forgotten about!

I recently went through all my monthly subscriptions and memberships and noticed there was a few I didn’t need anymore. Now the only monthly subscription I pay for is Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime.

 

Lower your mobile phone bill/cancel your landline

How much are you paying per month for your phone bill?

If you can’t afford to pay for a phone in full, it’s too much. There are cheaper alternative plans out there, or consider getting on a family plan with your close family or friends. That way you’re saving money as a team.

And call your provider to see if there’s any way you can reduce your monthly plan. There’s no harm in asking. The worst that can happen is if they say “no”.

But what if the answer is “YES”?

 

How to cut back on monthly expenses – Final thought

Whilst these items individually may not seem like they can make big changes to your monthly budget, making small changes can, in fact, help you to save a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Those extra pounds/dollars can really help you make a dent in your debts.

Don’t be discouraged by having to cut back on expenses.

It’s better to look at your long-term goals and use that as your motivation to keep pushing forward to your financial freedom.

One thing I have realised is that you should never turn your nose up at small savings because eventually, they do add up to make a considerable difference.

Let me know what tips you have for cutting down on expenses!

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How to Save Money on Online Shopping – 8 Tried and Tested Tips!

 If you’re someone like me, online shopping makes life so much easier. I don’t like busy places and being around crowds, so I shop online as much as I can.

I find shopping online is cheaper most of the time, and I especially love to use this method in the build up to the Christmas period. This is because I don’t have to leave my house, I can shop in my comfy clothes and I can avoid the crowds, particularly during during the Black Friday sales.

I almost always find just as good of deals, if not better, while online rather than going to the store.

Most of us shop online at least part of the time. Make sure you’re getting the best deal by following these 8 tips.

 

 

Cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

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I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

 

Rewards sites

Save money by shopping online using rewards sites such as and Swagbuck or PrizeRebel. With these type of sites you can earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Rewards sites also offer multiple ways to earn money or rewards by doing tasks such as searching the web, filling out surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping, printing out coupons or completing a variety of other activities.

Once you accrue enough points you can redeem them for an eGift card for various popular retailers, or a PayPal deposit.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to save money with groceries below!

 

 

Deals and promo sites

Deal sites help you find promo codes, deals and coupons so you can save more on your purchases. One deal site that I often use is Honey. I have saved a fair bit of cash when using the Honey extension while shopping online.

Honey have people working constantly to keep promo codes and discounts current. And on Honey you’ll find unique discount codes for popular retailers such as Boohoo, River Island, Pretty Little Thing and Topshop.

shopping-Online-for-Clothes

Other deals sites that are popular include Latest Deals (UK only). On this site you will find deals, coupons, promotions and competitions for thousands of online retailers!

And another site that regularly have great deals are Groupon. This site offer different deals each day on activities, travel, goods and services in a city for discounted prices ranging from 40 percent to 90 percent off, but the deals are only offered for 24-72 hours. This is a great way to try out a new business, purchase an activity for a date night or find activities for the family that are less expensive.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to live a frugal life and save money below!

 

 

Deals on Amazon

If you shop on Amazon regularly, you’ll want to check out the Amazon Warehouse Deals where you will find discounts on open-box and pre-owned products such as computers and accessories, televisions, cell phones, power tools, grocery, toys, games, kitchen and dining and so much more.

And keep an eye on Amazon’s deals page, which features hour-long lightning sales and price-reduced items from around the site.

Many products have the option to choose Subscribe & Save on Amazon, which will save you up to 15% and includes free shipping. After your products are delivered to you, you can cancel Subscribe & Save anytime or skip an order.

Another way to save money on shipping is to sign up for Amazon Prime. With Amazon Prime, you get free, next day shipping, as well as exclusive access to movies, TV shows, ad-free music, Kindle books, original audio series and unlimited photo storage. You can try out Amazon Prime for free by signing up for the 30-day Prime free trial here. Right after your free trial is up you can cancel it.

 

Price Drop Alerts

Keep items on your wish list in your online shopping carts because some companies, such as Amazon, will send you an email alert or notification in your account when a price drops on an item that is in your online shopping cart or on your wish list.

While shopping online, as you see items you want, place the item in your online shopping cart and stay logged in. If the price drops, you will get notified. Not all retailers use price drop alerts, but it is quickly catching on with retailers.

ExcitedOnlineShopper

If you shop online a lot and don’t want to pay full price for items, Shoptagr is a free service that notifies you in real time when the price of an item drops, right down to your preferred size and colour.  You simply browse online and save products you like to your wish and watch list on Shoptagr.

Then you will be automatically notified when the items you selected go on sale, are about to sell out or if they come back in stock again. And if it’s the holiday season or if your birthday is coming up, Shoptagr has a feature where you can create and share lists with friends and family to make sure you receive the gifts you want.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to complete a no spend month and save money below!

 

 

Compare Prices Before You Purchase

Shopping online makes it super easy to compare prices from store to store. You can have several tabs up from many different websites.

There are also a few online tools that can help you compare prices. 

You can also Google a specific product that you’re looking for see prices from several retailers right next to each other. Google aims to show you the lowest prices too, so that is helpful.

CamelCamelCamel is a price tracker for all of the products on Amazon. It will help you see how the prices of those products have changed over time, so you can decide if the sale price is actually a good deal.

This can help you even if you’re not buying from Amazon. Amazon sells pretty much every product under the sun, so you can look up the product that you’re wanting to buy on CamelCamelCamel to see what the price history of that item has been on Amazon and then compare the price history to the sale price you’re seeing for that item on any store’s website.

 

Sign up for Emails from Retailers

For those stores you love to shop at regularly, sign up for emails from those retailers. Not only will they send you a 10-20% off discount code for signing up for their emails, but they will regularly send you promo codes and discounts to your inbox.

 

Save Money on Shipping

You may find an item on sale, but it may cost a lot to ship it to you. If the item you purchase isn’t shipped free to your house, see if you can ship it to the store and then pick it up there. Many stores have these options to get free shipping to the store. I do this often to save money on shipping and will pick up my purchased items while running other errands.

 

How to Save Money on Online Shopping – Final thought

These are only a handful of ways to save money when shopping online. By putting these 8 tips into practice, you can save money online.

The key to saving money while you’re shopping is in not buying anything extra just because it’s on sale. Stick to your spending plan. As you’re shopping online for the things that you do need, use these tips to save money.

Remember to compare prices, get cash back, earn though rewards sites, use a coupon through sites such as Honey, and consider signing up for Amazon Prime if you don’t have it already.

This simple guide has helped me save money, what tips do you have to save money when shopping online?

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Save Money Online



How To Do a No Spend Month – Simple Guide to Save Money!

Everyone loves a challenge. Especially one that involves not spending money, right?

Not really? but what if the challenge could save you a lot of money? Then, of course, you would be interested!

Don’t let the name no spend month scare you because it can be so beneficial to your finances.

A no spend month is a smart, efficient way to recover from overspending, to knock out debt quickly, or to give yourself a boost toward your savings goal.

I know the idea of doing anything for a whole month sounds really challenging. Especially something like not spending money for a whole month. But trust me, it is not as impossible as it sounds.

Here’s what this no spend challenge means, and what it doesn’t mean.

 

 

What is a no spend month and what are the benefits?

A no spend month is just what it sounds like. It’s a month that you try not to spend any unnecessary money to help you save as much money as possible.

This is a great way to help jump-start a savings goal or if you are paying down some debt. In both these situations, any little money you can find to put toward your goal is super beneficial.

No spending challenges are also great all year round.

Or maybe you just realise that you need to reset your spending habits because it’s been out of control lately.

Either way a no spend month can be really helpful for any and all your financial goals and you should strive to at least do one-month long challenge a year where you don’t spend any money.

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As great as a no spend month can be for your money, it honestly isn’t that fun or easy.

In fact, the first time I did a no spending month I failed miserably at it. It seemed so easy to do but that was definitely not the case.

Since then I have been able to not only successfully complete the challenge but thrive from doing a no spending month challenge.

I figured out how to easily make a no spend challenge a walk in the park for me and my family.

It’s even become a sort of standard to not spend if it’s not necessary.

Here are the proven steps you can take to do a no spend month-long challenge and be successful!

 

The rules

You’ve probably heard of a spending freeze, which is where you don’t spend any money at all for a set amount of time.

A no spend challenge is actually a different thing.

For a no spend challenge you can still buy some things – if you absolutely need them.

You have to feed your family, so you can buy groceries.

You need to be able to drive your car to work or school, so you can put petrol etc in the car.

Of course, you need to keep paying your bills too.

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The point is that during a no spend challenge you don’t buy anything you don’t need.

You don’t need a new outfit, or concert tickets, or take-out food. Those are clear no’s.

There may be a few questionable decisions throughout the challenge. Does your child really need a haircut this month? Can you hold off on certain purchases? In those situations, it’ll be up to you to decide.

But basically, you are only buying essentials.

So, a no spend month is simply when you keep the challenge going for the whole month long.

 

How to make it work

I’ll be honest. There were a few times that I tried a no spend month and failed.

But I’ve learned from my mistakes.

I want you to benefit from my experience so you can be successful with your no spend month.

Here are some tips to rock your no spend month.

 

Set a goal

You have to know what you’re working for.

Where will the money you’re saving go?

This is absolutely essential for your success.

SetGoals

Set a very specific goal for the money you save.

Then, keep it top of mind.

Write it everywhere.

Put a post-it on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator (or both!).

Most importantly, put a reminder in your wallet. Look at it before you whip out your money. It may make you rethink your purchase.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

Don’t do it alone

Get your family involved.

Set that specific goal as a family. Talk about your goal together and get excited about it.

If your children are old enough to understand the concept of not buying things (4 or 5, maybe even 3), talk about the goal regularly and make sure they know that you’ll need their help.

Then, when you’re in a store and they ask you for a lollipop or a toy, remind them that you’re not buying anything you don’t need right now because you want to reach your exciting goal.

Make sure your spouse is sticking to the challenge too. Talk about it together and keep each other accountable.

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Another great idea that’s worked really well for me is to do your no spend month alongside a friend.

Find a frugal friend who would also like to save money this month. Make sure this is someone you’re comfortable talking about money with.

When you’re tempted to spend, message your friend and ask them if you really need that thing you want to buy. You can even send them a picture.

And make sure to celebrate your successes together when you stick to your goal.

Saving money is so much more fun when you’re not doing it alone.

Top tip

See my beginners guide to Frugal living:

 

 

Avoid temptation

Be smart about the choices you make during this time.

Don’t go to a major store to walk around. Avoid the shopping, unless if for essentials. Do not window shop.

Don’t log into Amazon to look something up.

It’s so much easier to stay on track when you put yourself in a position to succeed.

 

Track your savings

Make sure you keep track of your progress throughout the month.

When you defeat temptation, track it. Write down the item you decided not to buy and how much you saved by not buying it.

When you find a way not to buy something you usually do, track that too.

You want to make sure you know exactly how much you saved at the end of the month.

 

How to do no spend month – are you up for it?

You’re going to feel amazing when you stick to your no spend month challenge and reach your goal. All you have to do is make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t need. Can you do that for one month? I absolutely believe that you can!

Set a solid, specific goal before you start. Get your family involved and excited. Partner with a friend who can keep you accountable. Stay away from the places that tempt you. And track your progress so you know exactly how much you saved when you’re done.

Get ready to save big!

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Setting Financial Goals – Remain Debt Free!

You have been successful in paying back debts. So, now what?

Your job doesn’t end here. You have to set a goal to remain debt free or at least manage your debts effectively.

By setting goals you can stay on top of your finances and live a happier life. So, set effective goals, stay debt free, and build a better financial future.

In this simple guide I will discuss how that is possible and how you can achieve success when setting financial goals.

 

 

How to set effective financial goals

Goal setting will not be fruitful unless you plan them in an effective way. The effective way includes a technique, i.e. SMART financial goals. SMART is the abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

 

Set specific goals

When you are setting goals, it is important to be specific. Specific in the sense of taking particular steps to achieve the goals.

You might have a goal like “saving for a down payment” but have you decided the amount you are going to save for a down payment? If not, then your goal is the vague one.

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To make your goal specific, you need to determine an amount you want to save in a year or month or week.

For example, suppose the amount of your down payment is £20,000, which you need to save in three years. So, you need to save £6,666 in a year, and that means £555 in a month.

You can also set a goal of building an emergency fund worth of 5-6 months of your lifestyle expenses. It can help you if you’re laid off for a certain period.

Top tip:

I noticed when I write my goal on a calendar that I tend to work harder to achieve that goal by the date. So don’t just add a goal without a narrowing down a deadline date.

 

 

Set measurable goals

It is important to make your goals measurable for some reasons like to stay motivated and assess the progress toward the goal achievement.

For example, you have set a goal to “save money” by spending less. In such a case, you’ll have to know how much you are spending now. Else, you can’t decide how much you have to cut back on your expenses to save the required amount.

So, figure out your expenses to decide the amount you want to cut back and put it in savings.

It will help you save a required amount every month which you can put into your emergency fund to avoid falling into debt.

 

Set attainable goals

Your goal must be a realistic one so that you can attain it with some easy moves. In case of unrealistic goals, it will be difficult for you to achieve, and in turn, you’ll lose hope.

While there is no will, no hope, you can’t achieve any goal. So, before you set goalsmake sure you can achieve them, and for this, you need to know some secrets to set achievable goals.

Suppose, you aim to save £150 per week but if you have only £30 extra at the end of the week. And, it’ll be quite impossible for you to achieve your aim.

Therefore, get well aware of your financial state and then set goals so that you don’t have to face any hardship to achieve them.

Also, one good way to avoid debt is to restrict using your credit cards and paying back the bills in full at the end of every billing cycle.

 

Set relevant goals

Set goals that will keep you motivated to save a significant number of bucks. If you set goals which don’t make you excited to save extra, then it will go in vain. Because there is a higher chance to quit it in a middle way. So, set goals that you love to achieve, not those which make you feel difficult to achieve.

Take a sheet and a pen to list the goals you want to achieve in the next five years or ten years or more.

Your list can include building an emergency fund, planning for a vacation, replacing your car, buying or renovating your house, saving for your kid’s education, planning for retirement, and so on.

Just make sure you are setting relevant goals.

If you want to achieve financial independence, then calculate your FI number and set your goals accordingly. Measure your achievement at regular intervals to keep you motivated.

Top tip:

Invest in a good planner, organise your finances and prioritise your goals.

 

 

Set time-bound goals

Most of us have a tendency to delay making money related decisions. But you need to set a timeline so that the sense of accomplishment motivates you to work towards achieving your goals.

To set a deadline, you need to figure out when you’d like to accomplish your goals.

For example, if you are planning for a vacation next year, the timeline is one year, and somehow, you’ll manage to save a certain amount to reach your goal within a set period.

What you can do is, calculate the overall expenses of your tour and divide the amount by 12 and save that amount every month.

Doing so, you can avoid swiping your cards and fall into debt. Your vacation will be more enjoyable when you know you don’t have any debts to pay off later.

 

 

Types of financial goals

While setting goals you need to know about the types of goals based on the timeline.

  • Short-term financial goals

Short-term financial goals take less than one year to get accomplished. Examples of short-term goals can include planning for a tour, buying a new TV, or paying off small debts.

  • Mid-term financial goals

Midterms financial goals take more time than the short-term goals and less time than long-term goals. Midterms financial goals can be buying a car or paying off debts.

  • Long-term financial goals

Long-term financial goals generally take more than 5 years or more to achieve. Long term goals examples include saving for a child’s education, saving for retirement, or buying a home.

It may take about 20 years or more to achieve financial independence.

 

Setting financial goals – Does having a financial goal lead to a debt-free life?

Yes, there’s a connection between having financial goals and living a debt free life. When you have financial goals, your mindset will be saving money.

Saving money or putting aside a certain amount works as a strategy to avoid debt. It prevents you from falling into a debt trap as you have already set aside a certain amount in your savings account or in an emergency fund.

Moreover, you also plan your finances effectively to have a better financial future.

Setting financial goals and strategy will help you keep an eye on your expenses and in turn, win a monthly savings challenge. Moreover, it will teach you to live a frugal life where debt has no entrance.

However, even after following these strategies you fall into debt, don’t waste time. Select a suitable debt relief strategy like debt consolidation or debt settlement and work your way out of debt. At that point in time, set the goal of getting out of debt as early as possible.

So, set goals, achieve them, and have a wonderful life ahead!

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10 Tips To Pay Off Debt – This Guideline Helped Me Pay Off My Debt!

Up until 2018 I was constantly in debt, living month by month scraping by. It’s not a nice position to find yourself in, but there are ways to get yourself out of debt.

People will say “how am I supposed to pay off debt when I can’t even pay my bills?” Without stating the obvious, you need more money.

It will definitely be a difficult task to pay off debt with low income, but if you’re determined, it can be done.

To pay off any debt you are going to need to DECIDE and COMMIT to the process. Following these two principles is so important, you will not succeed if you don’t.

The below 10 tips have worked for me, and I believe they will work for you. It won’t be easy, and with low income, it will definitely be harder and take you longer.

I believe you can pay off your debt.

With determination, persistence and commitment, it can be done.

 

 

Make the debt your top priority

This is not easy. Our money is spent in many different ways and paying off debt is never fun.

But once you manage to pay it off, life will be much better and the weight of the world will come off your shoulders. You will have more money to enjoy life and be more flexible with your spending.

In order to get to this stage, you need to make working towards being debt-free a high priority in life.

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This will look differently depending on your specific circumstances.

For example, a family could pay their essential bills each month, and then pay as much as they possibly could to their debts, while leaving enough left over for the grocery budget and basic needs.

You need to live simply and not purchase expensive things you don’t need. You might not be able to do an activity with friends because it’s too expensive, but you need to think of the end goal of being debt-free.

By doing this it means you are committed to being debt-free as soon as possible. Someday, you will be free of the money issues and be able to spend your hard-earned cash on those nice things you have missed out on while being focused on reducing your debt.

You can kill off your debt. But you have to make it a priority!

 

Debt strategy

There are 2 main debt strategies, these are called the Snowball Method and The Avalanche.

I started the Snowball Method back in 2018 and have paid my debt off after two years.

I encourage you to really look into and consider these two methods. Talk it over with you partner (if you have one) and put a plan into place.

Once you decide on the method that’s right for you, commit. Dedicate yourself to a plan, and stick to it.

Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your plan if your financial situation changes.

Related post:

Want to find out more about the Snowball Method and The Avalanche Method? See my post below for a detailed breakdown:

 

 

One debt at a time

For a while I was making the mistake of spreading my money over various debts. I found this to be more of a long-winded way to pay off my debt.

At the time I believed that spreading my payments would help me pay off the debts faster, but this definitely wasn’t the case.

Focus on one debt at a time, once this is paid off, then move on to the next. I started with the smallest debt then moved onto the next in size after that.

By doing this method I paid my debt off faster.

 

Cut back on expenses

with the savings you make on cutting back, pay it off your debt.

It’s really as simple as it sounds. The more you can throw at your debt, the faster it will be paid off.

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Anywhere you can cut back, then do so.

There are so many ways to cut back on your everyday expenses. It takes some work and effort. Sometimes it takes sacrifice. But after a little while it becomes second nature.

The most important thing about cutting back, is that the money you save actually goes on the debt. Don’t spend it on other things you don’t need.

Every dollar/pound you save, should go straight towards your debt.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how cutting expenses can help you save tonnes of money? See my post below:

 

 

Set yourself a target of coming under budget

Then, devote those savings to your debt!

Before doing this, you need to be able to stick to a budget. But, once you’ve mastered that, then keep going.

Try to come in under budget by spending less than you planned.

Cut back a little bit at a time. Read about ways to save money on food and groceries here.

Then, just like cutting back on your expenses, ensure the money saved goes towards your debt.

Related post:

Do you struggle with the organisation of your finances? Then see my posts below which will help:

 

 

Live a frugal life

There is no doubt that frugality is one thing that keeps you rich and sorted. A small step towards frugality can help you make some big savings that can repay a big chunk of your debt.

Related post:

Want to find out more about living a Frugal life to save money? See my posts below:

 

 

Stop taking on more debt

When you are already in debt the worst thing you can do is to continue taking on more debt.

This can be hard, especially if a lot of your debt is credit card debt from indulging in shopping and impulse buying.

Adding more debt while you are working hard to pay off your existing debt is like throwing your money away.

 

Learn to say NO, to your kids and to yourself

We often don’t realise how much money we waste on things that we don’t really need.

We impulsively get convinced by friends to go out when we can’t really afford to, or we end up spending more than we actually planned to.

Sometimes, unplanned expenses take over our financial goals and it’s too late before we actually realise it.

In order to be debt-free tomorrow, you need to make the necessary sacrifices today.

 

Stop obsessing over what your pals are doing

Peer pressure and an associated desire to live a rich life often forces us to make wrong financial decisions.

You are randomly scrolling through your social media feed, only to catch a glimpse of your old school friend vacationing at an exotic location and you can’t help but obsess over wanting to do the same.

10 Tips To Reduce Debt

Well, that’s when you need to get hold of your wants and think of spending money on things that you actually need, or you will be driven to a life that might drown you further into a pool of debt.

Focus on what you can afford and not what can drive you further into debt.

 

Increase your income

In order to get out of debt as quickly as possible, it’s important to expand your stream of income.

You could work extra hours or pick up a side-hustle to chip in with some extra money. This comes with a need to work harder, but these sacrifices will enable you to pay off the debt faster.

TOP TIP:

Check out my posts below on how to earn money online fast!

 

 

10 Tips To Pay Off Debt – Final thought

Being in debt is a nightmare, it’s a horrible thought, knowing that most of your hard-earned money is going on paying off debts.

That’s why it’s so important to put a plan in place to pay it off as fast as possible. Make your debt a priority and cut back where you can to reduce it as soon as possible.

These tips are a great place to start, and helped me pay off my debt.

Pick a strategy, sick to it with commitment and determination, so in the near future, you can live a care-free, debt-free life.

Make sure that you focus on one debt at a time. Cut back on your expenses and try to come in under budget so that you have extra money to dedicate to your debt.

If I can do it, so can you!

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Debt-tips

 

 



How To Create a Christmas Budget – Short Guide & Tips

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, it’s a great time with the family to make memories. Although, this can be over shadowed if you’re struggling financially.

This is when Christmas becomes a stressful time, when the constantly worry of money is on your mind.

You don’t have to spend a certain amount of money on Christmas just because other people are. To have a good Christmas you don’t need to blow a fortune or max out the credit card.

You don’t want to wake up the day after Christmas with a massive knot in your stomach knowing that you just racked up all of your credit cards. Instead of enjoying the time off during Christmas break, you don’t want to be worrying about how you’re going to pay it all off.

You can do Christmas on a budget without worrying, when you know how.

This is why It’s very important to create a budget for Christmas spending. This way you can stick to the amount you want to spend, and not worry about overspending or resorting to a credit card to get by.

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

In this guide I will talk through some tips that will be of help to you when budgeting for Christmas.

 

 

What is a Christmas Budget?

A Christmas budget is basically a plan for exactly what you’re going to spend your precious money on. You should reference your budget as you spend, and use it to keep yourself on track.

I think it’s easiest if you separate your Christmas budget into two parts. One part should be gifts and the other part should be other Christmas expenses.

 

Creating a Christmas budget

Spending less on Christmas gifts will obviously help, but spending less on a whole is the key to keeping to a budget. Save a bit here, and a bit there. It all adds up towards the money to you will save.

Some people make this process much more complicated than it needs to be.

Let’s keep it simple. I think you’ll be surprised at how uncomplicated this process can actually be.

 

Budget for gifts

You can start your budget for gifts by listing the name of every person you plan on buying a gift for this year.

Once you list all the people you want to buy gifts for, write down the amount you want to spend on each one next to their name. By doing this you will get a good estimate of what you will actually be spending.

Christmas-Budget

Once you’ve written your list, this would be a good time to brainstorm ideas for gifts for each person, and find something within the price range of the amount you have highlighted to spend. I find this is easier to do when you’re already thinking about it.

After you assign an amount to each person on your list, add up all those numbers. Is this amount reasonable for you? Can you afford to spend that much on gifts? If not, go back and adjust your spending goals.

If you and your spouse (if you have one) will be shopping for gifts, discuss your gift budget together. By doing this you will ensure you are both on the same page, which will save any later headaches when coming to returning things.

 

Other Christmas Expenses

On a separate page, list all of the other expense you will have to pay for over the Christmas period. This will include things such as decorations, Christmas tree, food, any outings etc.

christmas-budget

Basically, include anything that is Christmas related other than the cost for gifts.

All of these other expenses are important to track, as we often spend money like it’s going out of fashion, just because it’s Christmas! These expenses will take up a big slice of your budget, so you need to know what your money is being spent on.

Be deliberate about what you’re going to buy. Plan it ahead of time.

When you can, choose items that will last you several years. By this I mean things such has decorations. These should be purchased with the idea that they will last a few years, so you’re not buying the same things over and over, year in year out.

 

How will you pay for it?

I always want to know a rough estimate of how much money I need before I create a plan to save money. I figure out how much I’ll need to spend on gifts and other expenses, and then I plan for how I will save.

 

Below are some ideas of how to save money in the lead up to Christmas:

 

Purchase Early

One of the best ways to do Christmas on a budget is to plan ahead.

Saving money for Christmas weekly is one way, another is to buy non-perishable foods ahead of time.

There are rarely any goods deals on food during December but October/November is great for prices being slashed.

For example, my dad likes a bottle of Jack Daniels at Christmas, so I always buy it in October when the price is £15 instead of the usual £25.

I just have to hide it for 2 months someplace safe!

TOP TIP:

It’s a great idea to simply scout deals on the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Just from the top of head I can tell you that Asda, Aldi, Co-op and Lidl all have weekly and monthly deals that they promote online.

 

 

Use Discount Stores

The discount grocery stores like Aldi and Lidl are a great way of buying cheap Christmas food in comparison to the bigger stores.

They have a good range of festive foods along with their usual low prices.

Don’t upgrade your grocery store just because it’s Christmas, sticking with low cost stores is a great way to save money for Christmas and beyond.

Just because the items are cheaper it doesn’t mean the quality is not as good, majority of the time you’re paying just for the name of the product.

TOP TIP:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Cashback Sites

If you are shopping online, always go via cashback sites to see if your chosen retailer is listed.

Sometimes they are, sometimes not.

Going via a cashback site is incredibly simple.

Sign up for the cashback site (my favourite UK ones are Quidco and TopCashback) and then find your chosen retailer and click through to their website.

I recently purchased some earrings for my partner through Quidco and received £10 in cash back.

In the US the favourite cash back sites seem to be Ibotta and Rakuten (was Ebates)

 

 

Vouchers and deals

The Honey extension/app is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Related posts:

What to know more about Honey? Then see my detailed review below:

Want to know more about the Latest Deals? Then see my detailed review below:

 

 

How To Create a Christmas Budget – Final thought

It’s important to remember, and it’s something that I try to focus on every year, that Christmas is not about what you receive, but rather the memories that you make. Christmas is about being around the people who you love and care about, and that’s the most important gift that you can give.

Financially, ultimately, your goal during Christmas is to survive debt free. You don’t want the stress and worry of maxed out credit cards hanging over your head during the happiest season of the year.

A Christmas budget is an essential tool to help you know exactly where your money is going. Having a plan will keep you stay on track and avoid overspending or running up debt on your credit card.

Budgeting for gifts and other expenses separately will help you keep things organized, and overall lead to a more pleasant Christmas making happy memories.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!



10 Tips To Save Money On Groceries – Tried And Tested Guide!

When shopping for groceries, there are many ways to save money. Whether your grocery budget is £50 or £250 a week, there are savings to be made.

The amount of money we spend on groceries is huge, but we need to eat right?

That doesn’t mean there isn’t money to saved, and we don’t have to break the bank every week while shopping.

Are you spending more on shopping than you need to?

Your grocery bill does not need to cost a fortune! It’s totally possible to feed your family healthy food without breaking the bank.

This guide will give you some tips and tricks to save money on grocery shopping.

 

 

Create a list

One of the most important things when looking to cut grocery costs, is to make a list and stick to it.

Before you go to store, think about what groceries you need for the week and make a list. Then, remember to bring that list to the store. And most importantly stick to the list!

10-tips-to-save-money-groceries-list

If you prefer writing it down on paper, then do it this way, whatever works the best for you.

I prefer to create a list on my mobile phone, this way I know I’ll always have my list on me and not forget it. This way is also ideal, because you can edit the previous week and just add and delete what you need to.

Using your list to ensure you pick up everything you need in one shop is a great way to save money, because it stops you making second trips where you can impulse buy and spend more.

 

Prices of items

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.

Buy doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.

How would you know what the usual price is?

Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.

Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.

Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.

You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.

Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.

After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.

TOP TIP:

Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.

Two of my favourite sites are Topcashback and Quidco.

Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites!

 

 

Swap for cheaper and healthier alternatives

Did you ever realise that raw coconut oil can work out as a cheaper and healthier option to expensive moisturisers?

Or how about reusable kitchen towels instead of paper towels?

There are many ways to swap for better alternatives and even though you might only save a bit of money, it all adds up by the end of the month.

 

Buy in season

In-season fruit and veg and always reasonably priced. You will notice exotic and off-season fruit maybe double the usual price. It’s good to choose wisely unless you really need to use them in a special recipe.

 

Scout deals

It’s a great idea to simply look at the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Just from the top of head I can tell you that Asda, Aldi, Co-op and Lidl all have weekly and monthly deals that they promote online.

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I’m sure that many of you shop at different stores, but these ideas can still apply to you.

Just visit the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Take a look at the savings programs that they offer and make sure that you’re taking advantage of them!

TOP TIP:

The Honey extension/app is one of the best free coupon apps that gives you the latest coupon codes to apply at checkout. Install this app on your desktop, and every time you shop online, it will automatically show you coupon codes to use.

What to know more about Honey? Then see my detailed review below:

 

 

Expiration dates

This may seem obvious to you, but the freshest food will always last the longest.

Check the expiration dates of everything.

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Stores will always put the older date items to the front of shelves and push the older stock towards the back.

If you’re not bothered about having a mooch to get the newer date items, then go for it. By doing this you are lesser likely to throw away out of date products, and therefore save money in the process.

 

 

Buying in bulk

Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.

We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.

We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.

Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.

Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.

Here are some products with a long shelf life:

Disposables/Cleaning:

  • Toilet Rolls
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toilet bleach
  • Laundry detergents
  • Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
  • Hand wash
  • Diapers, wipes and milk powder
  • Sanitary towels
  • Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
  • Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
  • Batteries – can come in handy

Groceries:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt/Sugar
  • Cereal, peanut butter, jam
  • oil
  • Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
  • Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
  • Plain/Self Raising flour

Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.

 

SuperCooks

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

Limit your trips

Visit the grocery store just once a week. The fewer times you visit, the less money you’ll spend. Your menu plan will help ensure you get everything on your grocery list in a single visit.

 

Limit Meat

Meat usually has a shorter expiry and can cost a lot more expensive than vegetables. So, if you can limit the amount of meat you buy each week, you can definitely save some money there.

Another way to save on meat is to avoid buying meat in smaller portions. Most supermarkets charge less when you buy in bulk. You can buy a larger portion of meat, use what you want and freeze the rest.

 

10 ideas to save money on groceries – Final thought

Saving money with groceries can be done with a bit of effort, and over time the money that you have saved soon builds up.

I use to overspend on shopping week in week out, and was surprised at how much I saved when putting these steps into practice.

This guide has really helped me cut back on the spending; I hope it helps you too.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

10-tips-to-save-money-groceries-tips