This is a collaborative post.
Have you noticed the bills creeping up recently? Are you finding there’s very little, if anything left at the end of the month, once all of the outgoings have left the account? If this is the case, it might be that a few simple money-saving switches could mean you could start saving for a summer holiday or those Christmas presents the children have started asking for. Running a household is never cheap, especially with children in tow, but here are a few ways to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to when it comes to everyday living with some cost-effective tips and tricks!
Self-made cleaning products
You have probably heard of this before and have never been drawn to the idea – and I wouldn’t blame you. Store-bought cleaning products stand big and bold on the supermarket shelves, claiming to kill 99.9% of germs that exist and smelling of fresh lavender whilst doing so. This might be all well and good and buying something bright green might convince you that you are going to get your kitchen the cleanest it has ever been, but is it all really necessary? Good old fashioned cleaning methods such as lemon and vinegar, or easy to make solutions that can be put in a spray bottle, still have extremely effective antibacterial properties and cost a fraction of the price – not to mention the absence of harmful chemicals!
You may think that being eco friendly would work out more expensive but Enviroline Blog has written a great post on how to save money whilst being eco-friendly, so make sure you head over there too!
Bargain Hunting Online
We’re all guilty of a cheeky online shopping order or two when we haven’t really got any spare cash, but if you can’t stay out of the ASOS ‘New In’ section, it might be worth knowing some handy tips and tricks to save you some money when you do spot that dream dress.
Firstly, always search for a discount or voucher codes– there is usually always one lurking around somewhere on the internet and they don’t take too long to find – even if it’s just 10% saved – every little helps! Try out voucher code sites like dealsqueen for home decor, furniture, foods, gardening, and beauty products.
Secondly, if you have the time, try leaving some items in your ‘basket’ for a while so the site thinks that you have discarded them or changed your mind. More often than not (particularly with smaller clothing sites) the site will email you with a discounted offer, to encourage you to buy the items – sneaky!
I know that after the end of a long day the last thing most of us want to do is cook one meal, never mind several, but bulk cooking really is a great way of saving money, and if done when you have a spare moment, say on a Sunday evening, you can have everything ready for the week so you don’t have to think about what to make during the weekday rush.
Great, nutritious things to cook in bulk include simple chicken curries (pad out with veggies), turkey mince bolognaise and if you’re vegetarian sweet potato and lentil stew. If you have a blender you can also blitz veggies, chilli, garlic and stock for a delicious and simple soup. There are loads of possibilities that only require a few ingredients (if you are really struggling money-wise, ditch the expensive meat and opt for lentils/pulses instead) and this will really save you time and money!
Thankfully, as technology develops we now have lighting that will save us a whole lot of money and are much more cost-effective than regular halogen bulbs. Whether it’s lighting for your porch and garden or lighting for the inside of your home, LED bulbs will shine just as brightly yet they use less energy. They also have a power time of 30,000 hours which means no more life-endangering, chair-balancing attempts to change a bulb. If you’re bored of regular coloured light bulbs, you can also opt for different colours, to really add an element of excitement to your décor.
Walk don’t Drive
Of course, driving can be a necessity a lot of the time especially when things are too far to walk to or you are really pushed for time…but stop and think for a moment, are you driving places that you could really walk to with a bit of careful planning?
Is your workplace so far away that you absolutely have to drive? I understand some people do have a lengthy commute, but could you leave a little earlier, throw on your trainers and just walk? Can you walk the kids to school? Or even walk to the train station? If you’re feeling a little adventurous you could even buy a bike! These can be a little costly so you might want to hire one to try out first, but if you like it and think you’ll stick with it, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run!