When money is tight

When money is tight

*This is a collaborative post*

I don’t know about you, but I am always in need of a little more cash. Life just seems to bring a curveball every time you start to get into a groove. Whether it is a big bill or a boiler – something always needs paying for. Saving money can be so hard, gone are the days where you’d easily save for a deposit on a house and have a mortgage of £150 a month (yes that’s what my parents paid!). There are so many ways you can save money by just cutting a few pennies off on a regular basis, here are a few of my best tips.

1. Shop savvy.

Do you shop in the supermarkets? I’m guessing yes. Do you do an online shop that’s delivered? Well, we used to all the time. However, we found that this was getting more and more expensive. Initially, we transferred from Tesco to Morrisons and then to Asda, but a weekly shop was costing north of £90 when there was only 2 of us eating proper food (this was in the days before Isabelle was weaned). It’s so hard to see the special offers with so many pages to scroll down so in the end, we started split shopping at Aldi and Iceland. Now we’ve cut our weekly shop to less than £50 for three people. Yes, £50! We do an Aldi “stock up” shop every 3 or 4 weeks, then an Iceland mega shop in between and spend about £60 in each place.

It does take a while to get used to the Aldi brands but we have noticed no difference in the quality between them and the “big 5” supermarkets. Our personal faves are their steak – which we can now afford to eat on a regular basis; and their crisps. Iceland’s “fake away” foods are fab as well. Try buying the frozen chinese food and the chicken to have a cheap Chinese or KFC “fake away”. We only ever go to the bigger supermarkets for the branded items like Pepsi.

2. Have a big freezer.

This is only good if you already have one – otherwise buying a new freezer defeats the object of being thrifty. However, if your freezer packs up and you’re buying a new one anyway, opt for a big one. This way you can batch cook in the slow cooker and really stock up when you get the deals in the shops. It means you have to go shopping less as well, so a nice added bonus!

3. Pack a lunch.

I’m guilty of this, it’s just so easy to buy something at work for lunch, but you’ll save a fortune packing one in advance. A sandwich is a fraction of the cost and leftovers can be reheated rather than wasted. It’s just getting into the habit of doing it, really.

4. Use budgeting apps.

I haven’t yet myself but I’ve heard wonderful things about Cleo and other such services, they help you to get from one payday to the next on what you have already in the bank. Using your own banking app can also be helpful on saving and paying bills. You can access your balance on the go to make sure you always know what you have left.

5. Only pay in cash.

This works better for some people. Paying by card can make it seem you aren’t really spending money, so try getting the cash out of the bank and only using that for purchases. You can then easily see exactly how much you have left and know that it’s a finite resource.

6. Emergencies only.

We all sometimes need a bit of help and there are so many people offering short-term loans if you need them. You can get quick loans online with Lendgreen. But please, please, PLEASE make sure you can pay it back and are fully aware of the interest rate. Don’t forget to ask your bank about overdrafts, as they may actually be cheaper for you to use than external companies.

*This is a collaborative post. Please ensure when you get a loan you can afford to pay it back.

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