Monday, 22 July 2019

How to save money

I've been asked for some ideas, so here are just a few.

1. Look at exactly what you have coming in, and where it is going out.  Be brutal with yourself. Do you need to have that many subscriptions to things you rarely use? Can you live without SKY, Netflix and Amazon Prime? Cancel one.

2. As soon as money comes into your bank account, automatically send an amount to savings - even if it's £2.50, it's savings. 

3. I should have said this first - set up a savings account. That you don't touch! 

4. Have a cash jar in the house for "have you just got?" situations. By that I mean; if you have a teenager who will say, "have you just got a couple quid for a coffee: I forgot my wallet..": or a housemate who will say, "have you just got a quid for.....".. 
Put an amount of money in the jar - £6 perhaps, but all in small change. The money is visible in the jar. Very rarely add any money to it. Then when you are asked, "Have you just got...?" Your answer is always, "I don't know - look in the change jar." 
In this way you can wean folk off always coming to you for their top-ups unless YOU CHOOSE to give them money. 

Which brings me to the next point:
5. Stop paying people to do things for you that you can do yourself.
We pay a window cleaner to just wash the upstairs windows outside. Instead of £15 every month it is £4 every month.  We can wash the inside of all the windows ourselves, and the 
outsides of the downstairs ones. Saving £11 a month.

6. Food.  
This is a large topic, but if you want to save money it is often the area where you can make a big saving - and I'm not talking about going hungry. Not at all.
This list is just a start of where you can make adjustments:

Ready meals to homemade meals - it is much, much cheaper to make your own food, ( I'm not talking about supermarket £1.50 cardboard pizzas here) and many times healthier. And folks who say they don't have time. Really? I used to work two jobs and still made almost everything for the home to save money - it's about what you don't do. I was making food ahead while I was cooking a meal while I was washing the clothes. I wasn't playing computer games or watching soaps on the telly. Choices.

Snacks - can be harmful, fatty, salty, addictive. Few people need to eat snacks. Eating between meals (especially supper time) can become a habit, and habits can be broken.  

Sorting through the cupboards, fridge and freezer - write down what you already have and how these can be made into meals. If you have everything to make four meals apart from one item, it makes more sense to buy that one item and have the four meals rather than leave the freezer full and go buy a different meal. 

Meal planning - the one thing that puts folk off is being told what to eat on a certain day. So don't plan like that. Plan a set of meals with a variation. So plan a roast meal, a stir fry meal, a meal in front of the TV, a pasta meal, a one-pan meal..etc. Then when you decide exactly 
what - (roast chicken this week, veggy stir fry with a Chinese sauce, sausage and jacket 
potatoes in front of the telly, pasta carbonara with that bacon from the freezer, etc. etc.) - 
and make your list before you go shopping so you buy only what you need. Change 
the days around, but you still don't need to buy anything else.

Changing diets - there is no lie here: it's cheaper not to eat meat. I'm not telling you to become vegan, but for the sake of saving money, have some meals that don't involve animals. 

Throwing away nothing. This might make you feel queasy. It shouldn't, but there you go. We don't throw away veg waste. I use washed peelings in soups and stews. I revisit and re-trim root vegetables and ensure I have everything I can from them before they are checked over for seeds. I dry seeds and store these for future growing  or begin to grow the plants. Some seeds we eat in our food anyway because they are edible. Only then is the smallest waste 
from the raw veg given over to the compost heap.
We eat veg that some  other folk don't: cauliflower leaves, for example. Google it. Try it. It's 
a free vegetable you'll wonder why you haven't always been eating. And if you aren't re-growing celery, then that's another topic I can chat to you guys about! 

Growing your own - message me if you'd like me to chat about growing your own food - and if I can do this even while we were living in one room for two years, then yes, you can. 

Saving leftovers and using them for.. - when we serve up a meal, we have freezer pots or bags ready. The leftovers are then labelled and either in the fridge for the next day, or the freezer for a homemade ready meal - for example a homemade chilli or a homemade curry in the freezer to heat through in the microwave or saucepan in the time it takes to cook some rice.

Let me know if these have been useful or if there's anything you'd like me to blog about!

Tracey xxx

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