It is a well-worn adage that it is the little things which add up and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to trimming down family expenditure.
Often the best ways to save money is to do so in lots of little ways so as to make as little negative impact on your life as possible.
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We have collected together some brilliant simple tips to start you on your journey to a more frugal life
10 Quick Tips for Frugal Living
Reduce your heating but keep toasty
Invest in a couple of cheap fleece blankets (such as this one from Amazon) to keep on the sofa.
Then in the evenings try turning your heating off a couple of hours early.
You can then wrap yourself and your loved ones up in these gorgeous fleecy blankets to keep nice and toasty while you watch TV or read.
By using your heating less it should add up and shave some cash off your heating bill.
Sensible sale shopping
When the sales hit make sure you hatch a plan to make the most of reductions on clothes.
Buy the winter coat you need in the January sales (when shops want to shift their excess stock) and always buy ahead for the next size up for your child so you have a stock of good value clothes for them to grow into.
This one is so simple but it has saved us so much money over the years!
I frequently used to go to the supermarket when hungry and with no idea what meals I was going to make that week… so I’d just buy random ingredients (and too many biscuits!).
Now I plan out my menu for the week, what I will cook for dinner every night and list all the ingredients. This means I waste nothing as everything has a recipe it is going to disappear into.
This is a great blog with some tips on getting started with meal planning.
Cut down on meat
Meat is expensive so the more vegetarian or vegan recipes you can use the better.
You can also work on just using less meat by bulking out the mince you use to make bolognese with lentils, or throwing a load of extra beans into your chilli con carne.
Switch to soap
Instead of spending money on those pump hand-wash dispensers and fancy shower gels invest in some simple bars of soap instead. Not only will you reduce the amount of plastic you use but soap tends to go a long way and costs very little.
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Dye your own hair
Instead of paying through the roof to cover your grey at a salon invest in your own hair dye from the chemist and do it yourself.
There are tons of great tutorials out there from experts if you feel nervous about attempting this.
Just make sure you do a patch test first to ensure you are not allergic to the dye.
This can be a great activity for the kids too. Get out and about in your local countryside and forage for some tasty treats.
In autumn blackberry bushes are usually heaving with fruit, perfect for making your own jams, crumbles and cakes.
Lots of villages have community orchards where you can pick apples and pears, or if you are confident try foraging for edible fungi (but please only do this with a quality guidebook).
This amazing website has a free open access map showing you where there are free-to-access fruit trees: http://fallingfruit.org/
This BBC blog contains tips for beginner foragers including 5 foods to start you off.
Make your own cards
Birthday cards, Christmas cards, get well soon cards – they soon add up!
We save money by investing in a large multi-pack of plain cards and envelopes from The Works and then we get the kids to draw their own cards for friends and family members.
Shop-bought cards cost up to £3 a pop whereas this pack of 30 costs £3 at The Works (which works out at just 30p per card!).
The savings soon add up and actually a hand-drawn personal card is so much more special than a generic shop-bought card and the kids love it too (and it keeps them busy and quiet for a bit as an added bonus!).
Old skool cleaning
White vinegar and bicarbonate soda are both really effective cheap and natural cleaning products.
Try switching fancy sprays and creams for dilute white vinegar in an old spray bottle and a bit of bicarb to fizz it up and clean your sink.
Additionally use reusable J cloths for wiping down surfaces instead of reams of paper towels.
Make use of special offers
When food is on special offer at the supermarket fill your freezer or cupboards with items you know you will use and that will keep.
It might sound obvious but try not to get tempted by a good offer on something you never or rarely eat, it does not work out as good value if you don’t eat it!