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The Frugal February Challenge to save £250 in 28 days, has me thinking about my spending habits and behaviour. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by making little lifestyle changes. I’ve been taking a look at our lifestyle and identified eight things to stop buying in order to save more money.
My maternity leave is imminent so these cutbacks are essential as my household will be down to one income. My maternity pay at work is a little over statutory so anything I can do to keep costs down I’m going to give a try. The eight things we’re going to stop buying in no particular order are as follows:
1) Save More Money By Limiting Takeaway Food
Takeaway food is a waste of money and something I try and steer clear of. I did get into the habit of taking my sons to Mc Donalds once a week before swimming as it was more convenient than a packed lunch. I had to nip that in the bud as I was wasting £15 a week on this. Not only is it not good for the body, but it’s also not good for the bank balance! Moving forward I’m limiting takeaway food to once or twice a month.
2) Say No To Juice & Fizzy Drinks To Save More Money
You’ll be surprised at money you can save by cutting out the juice and fizzy drinks. When we fancy something different to water I’ll buy squash as it’s cheaper, lasts longer and has less sugar. We were spending £4-£6 a week on juice alone, so just by cutting this out, we will save approximately £200 a year!
3) Pre-cut Fruits And vegetables
We are all time-strapped and love convenience. Supermarkets know this and are really capitalising on this notion. How long does it really take to grate a few carrots? Tesco’s lose carrots cost £0.65 for 1KG versus, whereas the pre-grated carrots cost £3.75 for 1KG – that’s a 477% increase in price – extortion or what? Avoid this trap and you’ll shave a fortune off your grocery bill.
4) Ditch Small/individual Snack Portions
Similar to point number 3 above, someone has to pay the price for convenience and it’s never going to be the retailer! Buy larger snack packages and create individual portions yourself at home.
5) Buy Seasonings From The Market – Not Supermarket
I used to buy spices from the market before I started online food shopping. It’s so convenient to buy my seasonings when doing my online Tesco food shop. The reality is it’s a lot more expensive buying seasonings from the supermarket verse the market and the options in the supermarket are very limited. Moving forward I plan to once a month go to the market to top up my spice collection.
6) Cut Out Branded Cereal
We stopped buying Weetabix and switched to Tesco’s Wheat Biscuits years ago. A box of 48 Wheat Biscuits costs £2.50 versus Weetabix which costs £4 – that’s a saving of £1.50 per box. This rule can be applied across most food items. The truth is that there is a limited number of food manufacturers supplying different food brands and the only difference a lot of the time is literally the packaging!
7) Say Bye-bye Kitchen Towel And Save More Money
We currently buy kitchen towel in bulk from Costco which costs £20 and lasts a couple of months depending on our usage. I’ve decided to stop buying this as not only is it bad for our environment, it’s also an unnecessary expense given that there are reusable options that do as good a job and last a lot longer.
8) Avoid Impulse Purchases
Meal planning really helps to reduce the urge to buy things for the sake of buying them. Just because they’re on offer, or because Tesco reminds you to add them to your online basket when you’re about to check-out your basket, you don’t have to oblige. These supermarkets will do anything to get you to overspend but having a list that you’re working off and staying focussed on your mission will help you avoid falling for these marketing tactics.
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