Finance Money Saving & Budget

The Disorganised Mother’s Guide To Money Saving

3rd March 2017
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*

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  • Reply Lucy Smith 3rd March 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Oooh I can’t wait to see these Vans. I’ve just bought Lily some new DMs which arrived today, I’m in love!
    We should switch to LED, I know we could do with saving a penny or two.
    I’m also terrible for takeaways, if it’s raining I will instantly order in rather than popping out, well done you!

  • Reply Tracey Williams 5th March 2017 at 11:34 am

    I have been doing online shopping for 3 years, and it’s amazing how much you stick to a budget seeing it go up infront of your eyes. Though the downside is you tend to stick to just buying the same things. Sometimes I love being frugal, but then I see holidays and just want to book them x

  • Reply Nicci 5th March 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I’m desperate to buy a house by this time next year, and we’re still a fair bit away from the down payment, so I decided to make this year ‘the year of frugality’. January went well. Feb not so good. March (yep 5 days in!) looks like it’ll be a disaster thanks to a trip to IKEA and unexpected vet bills…. Every little bit helps though and despite the year being a bit hit or miss on the frugality side one area we’ve improved is the food shopping side and it’s been down to meal planning and online food shopping. Keep it up!

  • Reply Emily 9th April 2017 at 8:40 am

    My boyfriend and I have just bought a house so we too are on the frugality wagon a bit as we still want to be able to go on holiday and buy new pieces of furniture, etc. I have always been pretty good with food mainly because I try to avoid processed food at all costs. I make everything from home and take my own lunch in to work every day and we eat pretty well. You may want to try these other things:

    1. We eat quite a lot of bread. I bought a bread maker, which can do a loaf for about 50p worth of ingredients and it isn’t full of preservatives. Admittedly the bread maker cost £120, but it’s a posh one, but I know I’ll still be saving money as we use it a couple of times a week. We also do pizza nights when we all do DIY pizzas from scratch. Cheaper, healthier and more delicious that takeaway or store bought ones.
    2. Try and find a green grocer rather than buying veg from the supermarket. It’s generally cheaper and fresher.
    3. Get a slow cooker if you haven’t already, and buy cheap cuts of meat to cook over 8-24 hour periods. My favourites are beef brisket or ox cheeks, pork shoulder, belly and neck. 1.5kg of pork shoulder here is £10 and makes a huge amount of pulled pork, and my partner has it for lunches. Get the butcher to separate the skin for you and make crackling. Once the pork is done, make stock using the bone(s). This can be frozen – I like to blend it with roasted carrots, onions and potatoes, add miso paste and coriander for a comforting Asian-style soup. So out of a £10 joint I get a big dinner for both of us and usually five enormous lunch portions + five portions of soup for me.
    4. I also do this with curries and jambalaya. Saves time as well as you can just microwave it and whip up some sides.
    5. Ethnic foods aisle. You can get enormous bags of generic seasoning for less than £1 and all your general exotic herbs and spices are a fraction of the price of the Schwarz or even own-brand bottles in the Herbs and Spices aisle.
    6. No takeaways ever!

    Good luck with the rest of your frugality drive. 🙂 We’ve also changed to LED recently, amazing how much less heat they give off!

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