Hey there people and Happy Sunday to you all!! I hope that life is treating you well wherever in the world you may be. I am still marking away (although a good few of my questions are now 75% done - yay!! There is light at the end of the tunnel after all!).
I thought I would start a new series on the blog - it's something I have been meaning to do for a long time actually. One of those ideas that would pop into and out of my head every now and then but I'd not get down to actually writing about it. Well, that changes today!!
So, for the first installment of my Tips and Tricks series I wanted to share with you some money saving tips when shopping. As anyone who reads the blog often will know, I am trying very hard to pay off my debts. You can read about my progress here. In order for me to stand a chance of doing this I need to be careful in my spending. One of the major necessary shopping trips is the weekly grocery shop. We have to have food and drink well enough, but we need to make it as financially viable as possible.
Now, I should preface this with this simple fact: I am not a couponer. I know lots of people are and they seem to save quite a lot doing it. Here's why I don't do it:
- I am forgetful and would forget my coupons (in the same way I always forget my loyalty cards)
- It would take up a lot of time and effort finding and cutting coupons, visiting the right shops.
- It just does. not. appeal to me.
So, how do I make sure we get value for money without becoming a slave to coupons? Here are my tips and tricks:
1. Change where you shop. I went from shopping at Asda to shopping at Lidl. I have saved on average £7 per week (some weeks more). I can also afford to buy much more fresh fruit and veg that way.
2. Don't just shop in one place. Occasionally there are things I want to buy that aren't available in Lidl. So, I pop to Asda for those things (cat food, wholemeal flour) Farmfoods for good value meat and also to Poundstretcher for others (cat litter).
3. Don't do this in separate trips - make it all part of one shopping trip if you can. I found that if I just went out to go to Poundstretcher for cat litter I would look round the whole shop and buy all kinds of other (good value but not strictly necessary) stuff.
4. If you are a compulsive bargain buyer/thrift store enthusiast consider sending your other half out to do the shopping. Give him a list and watch him come back with everything on it and not a thing more. MHI is very good at this and our budget will prosper because of it.
5. Use your freezer wisely. I take everything out of their boxes and put them into freezer bags. I then write onto the front of the bags in permanent marker cooking instructions and use by date. That way you can buy in bulk (saving money) and still fit it into your freezer.
6. Think about your portion sizes - especially in relation to meat. I have been known to use an 8 pack of sausages for three different meals serving two people. By preparing things like casseroles or curries and chopping up the meat into chunks you can make it stretch a little further without feeling too cheated.
So, those are my top tips for saving money. I hope they have been helpful to those of you struggling on a budget. They may even be things you already do yourself - in which case give yourself a pat on the back for being so thrifty!!
Have a great Sunday people - and don't forget about my linky party tomorrow. Come along and link up your favourite inspirational quotes/sites/products.
ps. I am being featured on The Pretty Pinhead this weekend as part of The Great Big Blog Swap (as organised by Helen). Check it out here.