We’re all looking for ways to save money, with economic problems not looking like they’re going to pick up any time soon there are plenty of ways you can save a few pennies round your own home.
1) Save Energy
One of the easiest ways you can cut back on your household expenses is looking at your energy bills and making sure you’re being as environmentally friendly as possible. Little things like making sure the lights are turned off when you’re leaving a room and you’re not leaving electrical appliances on standby will soon start to add up. Check your taps; a leaking tap is literally pouring money down the drain especially if you’re on a water meter.
Get the kids involved by always making sure there’s a little step if they can’t quite reach the light switches. Make a game out of it, anyone who spots someone wasting energy wins a point or a sticker and these can be collected to make prizes.
These prizes don’t have to cost any money; they can be something as simple as that person gets to chose dinner one night that week or a family film. If you ‘forget’ to turn a light off and your children catch you they’ll get a huge sense of accomplishment and makes them more determined to make sure they always remember.
2) Make What You Can
You don’t have to be a wiz with the sewing machine or amazingly skilled at wood work to be crafty around the home. There are plenty of home remedies that serve as great alternatives to cleaning products. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon are all great at removing stains and lime scale if you know what you’re doing and they can save you a fortune if you’re buying branded products.
Plan your meals for the week and do a big cook if you have a few spare hours on a Sunday or one night in the week and freeze what you can. Ready meals and processed food is expensive and unhealthy so cooking from scratch is better for your waist and your pocket.
If the kids aren’t happy about giving up frozen pizza and chips let them help you make some cakes and treats for the week. They might see the fun side if they get to lick the bowl out.
3) Reuse and Recycle
Depending on your lifestyle you may not want to have an entire wardrobe made up of second hand clothes and there aren’t many children who enjoy going to school in hand me downs.
If you are handy with a needle and thread you can easily transform old pairs of trousers into skirts or t-shirts into shopping bags and make something completely new out of something old.
If something is coming to the end of its life think about what you could turn it into before you throw it away. At the very least clothes make great rags for cleaning and dusting. Apply the same logic with other things you throw away, could that glass jar be used as a candle holder or for storage? Check out sites like Pinterest and you’ll soon find plenty of inspiration to find new uses for old junk.
4) Use The Internet
The internet is a great resource for anyone looking to save a few pennies here and there. Check out authority money saving sites and voucher sites, follow them on social networking sites and sign up for newsletters.
If you don’t want your main email address getting clogged up with spam just set up a second account just for voucher and special offer searching. Before you head off to do the weekly shop check out the supermarket special offers online, this way you can not only chose the most appropriate shop, you can also prepare yourself so you’re not tempted to make on the spot shopping decisions and end up with a trolley full of ice cream and chocolate.
If you’re making any larger purchases always remember to compare prices and do a quick search for discount codes just to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
5) Organise Swaps
There are loads of great sites and groups out there that do swap programmes, you can bring your old clothes and trade them with other people. Have a look round your local area and if you can’t find one think about setting your own up. The moms at your kid’s school would be a great place to start and it doesn’t just have to be clothes.
If you got a juicer for Christmas last year that you’re never going to use you might find someone with an unopened Lego set their kids never played with. You might even find you want to swap services, if one of you is good with a car engine you might want to swap an oil change for a hair cut if someone is a hairdresser.