Five quick ideas to help you save money on family expenses
Raising a family can be expensive. You need to keep a warm dry food over your children’s heads, and make sure they’re well fed, cared for and entertained.
And, while there are some costs that you can’t avoid or reduce, like local taxes, there are some ways you can ease the financial burden and save money. If you’re looking for ideas for how you can save money, here are five quick ideas.
1) Save money on your food shop
Food is one of the biggest and most unavoidable expenses families have. You want to feed your children healthy, nutritious meals, but you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) spend a fortune doing so.
Luckily eating healthily doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By planning ahead, you can make sure you shop for only what you need – eliminating expensive impulse buys and wastage.
Batch cooking also means you can buy food in bulk, cook and freeze it for when you need. Not only does this work out cheaper, but it means you have a supply of healthy food whenever you don’t have time to cook.
If your kids are partial to cakes and biscuits, why not show them how to bake their own too? Not only will this save you money, but you’ll be keeping them entertained and teaching them valuable life skills.
It’s also worth checking out the cheapest shops in your area. Or considering buying your weekly supermarket shop online, and reducing the temptation of being swayed by in-store offers for more expensive branded products.
2) Spend now to save later
Sometimes being frugal with your money doesn’t mean buying the cheapest of everything.
If you buy a used car, for example, the cheapest model you can find won’t always give you the best deal. By spending a bit more, you can buy a car that requires less maintenance and is less likely to breakdown – saving you more money in the long run.
Another example is commuting. It could be cheaper to take out a small, 12-month personal loan and buy an annual ticket or pass than paying weekly or monthly (especially if you buy your annual ticket before the January fare increase). The monthly repayments on your annual loan should be less than a monthly ticket.
3) Have fun for free
Who said that having fun has to be expensive? There are plenty of ways you can entertain your family without spending a fortune – or even anything!
You can take your kids out for a walk with a picnic. To make it more fun you could have a nature treasure hunt, or play games like hide and seek.
On rainy days, you can spend time watching movies at home with homemade popcorn. Or you may decide to learn a new skill by watching how-to videos. Home baking and craft days, or Lego building contests also go down well.
4) Buy more things second hand
If you want to save serious money, consider purchasing some items second hand. For example you can often find nearly new children’s clothes and toys on Facebook marketplace.
Places like eBay is also great for second-hand bargains like clothes, accessories and furniture. You’ll be surprised by how many things you find that are almost as good as new, but available for a much lower price.
And if you do want to buy something new, don’t forget to look for discount codes and vouchers to reduce the cost.
5) Negotiate on everything
Finally, if you want to save money you need to be willing to negotiate. That doesn’t just mean arguing with your children about what movie you’re going to watch. Rather, it means making sure you get the best possible deals on your monthly payments.
So, rather than just assuming that you’re paying the lowest prices for your broadband, electricity, and other essential expenses, check using comparison sites to see if you can save by moving.
If you don’t want to move provider, you can always phone the customer service team and tell them you’re considering switching to a different provider unless they can give you a better deal.
Often, and especially if you’ve been with a company for a long time, they’ll look for ways to help you save some extra cash if it means that they get to keep you as a loyal customer.
Photo by Erol Ahmed