The Disorganised Mother’s Guide To Money Saving

Two months have passed since I pledged that this year would be the year that I took control of my finances, the year that I made changes and spent less, the year that I organised my home and my life. I’m disorganised, I like to wing it and I have a tendency to leave things until the very last minute, but now that I no longer have a guaranteed monthly income Spencer and I really do need to be sensible and save ourselves some money. We like the finer things in life and so we want to spend less money without compromising on style, taste or our lifestyle.

It hasn’t been easy but we have implemented a few simple changes which I believe have saved us money. Now don’t get me wrong, we aren’t saints, we’ve had quite a few major cock ups where frivolous Leanne has reared her head and come out to play. Like yesterday, when I bought Aria a pair of £25 Vans because they were cute (wait until you see them, they’re adorable!). I justified it because her feet have only grown by half a size in a year so they will last her ages. Things like this aren’t sensible and aren’t how to save money.

Moments like the above are exactly why I need to save money on the everyday, mundane things. Things like food shopping and home essentials.

My main goal was to start food planning, this would result in less food waste, money saved and a healthier diet. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that since publishing that post I have done a complete total of two meal plans. Shocking I know. BUT we have still managed to get a little more organised in that department and save money. Instead of just having no food in and ordering a takeaway I will now go for a walk up to the local co-op to pick something up for tea, granted, their prices are a little higher than the supermarket but it is still cheaper and healthier than ordering a takeaway. Another thing that we have started doing on the rare occasion that we actually make it to the supermarket is buying several seasoning sachets and then following the shopping lists on these, completely winging it but we have delicious home cooked meals without spending a fortune. On the occasions that I manage to meal plan I tend to do an on-line shop. I compose a meal plan on the notes on my iPhone, make a list of the ingredients, check off what we already have in the cupboards and then place an order on-line. I order it to be delivered on a day that I am working from home so that I can opt for flexi delivery and save a little more money.

Another major change that we are implementing is switching to LED lighting. The #LEDeasy campaign from the lighting superstore has really opened my eyes to the benefits of switching, not just for financial reasons but also for environmental reasons. LED lights last an average of 11,000 hours, they are energy efficient and (the photographer in me loves this) you can choose the level of warmth, bye bye tungsten induced yellow tinted indoor photos!

We’re never going to be a frugal family, but we’re getting there.

*Collaborative Post*

Can You Feed Your Family For Just £2 A Day?

When Voucherbox got in touch to ask if I would like to take part in their £2 food challenge I couldn’t resist, I love food, I love a challenge and I love saving money! For this challenge Voucherbox have teamed up with Zamcog to help support Zambia’s most at risk children through food and education. They are challenging families to feed their family for just £2 per head for a day. Giving our family of three a total budget of £6 for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

can you feed your family for just £2 a day? Join the budget food challenge with voucherbox and zamcog

It is difficult to believe how much of a struggle this challenge was, especially when you consider that it costs just £2 a day to both feed and educate a child in Zambia. I’ll be honest, I thought that this would be easily doable, but I was wrong. There was a lot of fiddling around with my meal plan in order to try and eat filling, healthy meals while keeping the costs down.

So, what did we eat and how much did we spend? We spent a total of £5.79, which gave us three healthy meals, a snack and a pudding and some change!

Breakfast – Porridge & milk – £0.54
Tesco Everyday Value Oats 1kg 75p || Approx 120g = 9p
One pint milk 45pLunch – Ham salad sandwich – £1.72
Tesco white Danish bread 45p || Approx half the loaf = 23p
Tesco Everyday Value Ham 60p
Nightingale Farms Round Lettuce 40p
Tesco Cucumber Portion 24p
Nightingale Farms Cherry Tomatoes 49p || Approx half used = 25p

Tea – Spag Bol & garlic bread – £2.99
Tesco Beef Steak Mince 250g £2.00
Tesco Everyday Value Chopped Tomatoes 31p
Onion 16p
Tesco Large Garlic 50p || Two cloves used, approx = 10p
Tesco Everyday Value Spaghetti 500g 20p || Approx half used = 10p
Tesco Everyday Value Garlic Baguette 32p

Snacks – 54p
Tesco Everyday Value Chocolate Mousse 20p || 3 out of 4 used = 15p
Tesco Loose Bananas 13p x 3 = 39p

My top tips for feeding your family on a budget are to shop the stores own brands, they are usually just as nice as the premium brands for a fraction of the price, and to buy things that can be used for various meals throughout the week, for example the large bag of porridge will see us through breakfasts for quite a while.

You can read more about the campaign here, where you will also find details of how to take part yourself.

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Can you feed your family for just £2 a day? The answer is yes! Find out how with this meal plan and shopping list.

 

*In collaboration with Voucherbox.co.uk and Zamcog*