Money saving tips to cope with the rising cost of living

With the cost of living rising and so many families being plunged into a situation where keeping on top of their bills is proving difficult, I thought I would share a few practical tips I’ve found useful myself.

Washing clothing

When it comes to washing clothing, with a family there is no getting away from the fact that this uses A LOT of energy and therefore costs a great deal.

Just check in with your family members and make sure they aren’t adding things to the washing basket unnecessarily. I caught my seven year old adding a towel he’d used for one shower and clothing he’d had on for 1h30 to the dirty washing basket the other day! As you can imagine, my reaction was “hold on there…those will do another day”.

Another thing to check is the washing programme you are using when you switch your washing machine on. I have always used the ‘eco’ setting on all the washing machines we’ve had, believing that was the most economical. I’ve never really given it much thought until recently, but our ‘eco’ setting takes 2h38 to run – which then uses a lot of electricity. I’ve recently played around with the settings a bit, trying too find the shortest programme which still washed the clothes well. I now the the machine on maximum spin, at 40 degrees but with a cycle of only 30 minutes. I’ve not noticed any difference in the washing quality, so I’ve stuck with that.

I suggest you just have a play around with you washing machine and see how you can reduce the washing time.

Food shopping

Food shopping is another big cost for families. There are a few things you can do about this. Spend a bit of time trying different supermarkets, or, if you have the time and access, try buying things like fruit and veg from your local market, and just the rest of your things from the supermarket.

If you shop online, you can make savings over a few weeks trying the different online delivery services. For example, Sainsburys offers £18 off a £60 shop on your first online order. Ocado, do something similar too. It can be advantageous to sign up to all of them and try them out to benefit from these offers.

Another thing you can do is go one week of the month without a food shop. This is a great way to use up leftovers, the contents of your freezer and cupboards. Obviously purchase any fresh essentials you might need like milk, but other than that, try not to buy any food for a week and see how you manage. Chances are – you’ll manage just fine and you will discover you’ve managed to keep your family going all week without buying any additional food.

You could also sign up to get some of the introductory offers from places like Hello Fresh, Oddbox, Mindful Chef and so on. You can pause or cancel anytime and still benefit from these offers, so it’s well worth it.

You could also try online discount stores like Cut Price Barry, or Low Price Foods, which can be grate places for things like lunchbox items and cupboard fillers.

Check over your Direct Debits

This might sound obvious but spend a few minutes checking over your direct debits to make sure you still need them all and they are still relevant. I recently discovered I had been paying insurance on a mobile phone I don’t even have anymore.

How does that happen you might wonder? I think quite easily actually. The name on the direct debit was similar to another insurance I have, it wasn’t for a huge amount and I guess life takes over and you just sort of forget about these things.

No one wants to be making unnecessary payments for things – especially at the moment, so do check yours!