Life can get expensive when you have a family, especially when there are quite a few of you. Spending doesn’t have to be outrageous though, careful planning can make sure that your family spending stays sensible.
There are lots of ways that families can save money, but I’ve included five ideas here for starters. You don’t have to go all out frugal to make a difference. There are some small changes that can make a big difference over time.
If you are carrying out this exercise, you could take the opportunity to discuss money and saving/spending with your children. For example, teaching kids/young adults about responsible borrowing/lending and only using FCA registered and authorised brokers like Little Loans.
Meal planning and batch cooking can make a huge difference to your spending over time. When meals are planned out and/or prepared in advance you avoid the need or temptation to have to pick something up during the week. Inevitably those quick shops when you are only popping in to grab something for dinner, can turn into shops that cost as much as your weekly shop did.
Planning ahead what you want to cook and what you will need for each meal avoids random purchases and means you’ll have everything you need to prepare meals for your family.
Online food shopping
I love online food shopping mainly because I can place my order anytime and anywhere from the app on my phone. It’s super easy and everything arrives at my door during a time slot convenient to my life (very late at night once everyone is finally sleeping).
Shopping for food online also means I don’t have to drag children around the supermarket, always a win!
The added bonus of online shopping is that it’s much easier to avoid those impulsive purchases. You can just re-order the same every week if you like, obviously taking off or adding any items you might need to.
Sell items you no longer need
As parents we accumulate a whole load of ‘stuff’ we never had before don’t we? If you have several children, re-use the items and save money by holding onto things you can use again. Every child does not need new everything all of the time, it’s a real waste of money.
Once you’ve finished with things you could start selling off bits and bobs you no longer need. There is no point holding onto stuff you don’t need. You can obviously try things like eBay but I find Facebook marketplace and other local selling groups on Facebook really helpful. Nothing stays listed for long if you are asking a fair price for it.
You can put the money you make into the pot to fund the next lot of child-related stuff you need, or put it towards saving for something special. Make sure you develop a good system for listing things and don’t leave them hanging around for ages in a garage or anywhere where things can get damp.
Be smart with your energy bills
Energy bills can take a massive proportion of you monthly budget if you aren’t careful. Don’t put off giving yourself an energy health check, as you could be wasting hundreds of pounds over a few months. Switching energy providers can save you lots of money over the year, but make sure you read energy supplier reviews before switching, you can do that on sites like energy-review.co.uk.
You could switch to a provider like Utility Warehouse where you can get cash back on your bill, or you could join a company like Flipper. They find your best energy deal within one working day, taking any exit fees and discounts into account when they calculate your savings. They send you the full details of your new tariff and start switching you to it straight away. Zero hassle to you. This has worked really well for us over the last year. If you don’t want to do that you can obviously use price comparison sites yourself to find a better price.
Look out for offers
Offers can be great. 3 for 2, buy 1 get 1 free and general reductions on things can save you a fortune. However, be careful that you don’t just end up spending more because the deal was just too good to miss.
If you have place to store things then offers like this can be ideal. You can pick up all sorts of things and store extra. It’s an ideal thing to do if you are going to be on maternity leave or dropping your hours to fit work around family. Spending some time stockpiling items when you see them on offer can help you out later on and mean your weekly shopping cost comes down.
If you already do all of these things and you need more ideas, pop over to cashlady.com for lots of other hints and tips. Their blog is full of creative ideas for saving money including how to save money if you have pets and which apps to use to help you save money.
Have you got any of your own money saving tips to share?