Thrifty tips for families on a budget

22 Feb

I had a nice letter from the tax man today saying that our tax credits were going to be stopping in April. Not a great surprise, we all knew it was coming but it’s still a shock when you see it in black and white. Families all over the UK are struggling to meet the cost of rising fuel and energy bills and this just feels like one more struggle that we have to cope with.

So in an attempt to help each other I thought it would be good to share some money-saving tips! Here are our top thrifty tips for families on a budget:

  • Reduce your heating bills by turning down your radiators or your thermostat to a lower temperature. Get into the habit of wearing an extra layer and you probably won’t notice much difference.
  • Use energy-saving lightbulbs and always ensure appliances are turned off, not left on standby.
  • Wash at 30 degrees and always with a full load. Avoid tumble drying as they are very expensive to run.
  • Don’t buy new goods. Try ebay, charity shops, car boot sales and freecycle. You can save a lot of money buying this way.
  • Sell on any items that you no longer need. Again, ebay is a good one for selling used baby equipment and the like. There are lots of Facebook pages devoted to selling second-hand baby goods.
  • Cut down on your food bills by planning your weekly shop ahead of time. Ensure that you only buy what you need for that week. Check out our post here for more info. Talking of saving money on your food shopping – try to avoid going shopping with children. They are sure to plead for those little extras and it’s always hard to say no!
  • Use the library. Rather than buying books just borrow them. Libraries will reserve any book for you and email you when it is available.
  • Do you need all those TV channels? With so much choice from Freeview there is more than enough to keep the whole family amused without spending out more each month.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This applies to so many things but basically before throwing something away think if it can be reused for another purpose. Use cloth nappies instead of disposables. At a saving of around £500 per child it’s a no brainer really.
  • Shop around for Insurances. House Insurance, Life Insurance, car Insurance, Pet Insurance, Breakdown Cover… the list is endless. Ensure you are not paying over the odds by using a website like Go Compare
  • Avoid eating out too much (oh how I wish!). If you are dining out check the restaurants website or ap before you go. They may have a special offer or voucher. Have you heard of the Tastecard? This card gives you 50% off many restaurants. Check out their website as they are offering a free 1 month trial.
  • Finally… grow your own fruit and veg. Even if you only have a small garden it’s amazing what you can grow in pots. Have a look at this link for more info.

This post is my entry for the BritMums Piggy Bank Tales competition, sponsored by Virgin Money.


6 Responses to “Thrifty tips for families on a budget”

  1. rationingrevisited February 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    loved the post… nothing terribly hard to do either. Hubbie, 3 kiddies and I are on a 1940s ration diet at the moment which helps cut down costs…. we were amaized at just how much food we waisted (and how much junk we consumed). Weekly shopping down to £30 per week (£40 max)
    I gave up my tumble dryer [SOB] and we now dont have a car (everything is within 20 minutes max walking distance… seemed daft to keep it.)
    The only weakness is DVDs for the kids…. i get mine in the used section of… some prices start at about 98p not bad plus we can sell older (but in reasonable condition) on the same site when the kids tire of them 😀

    • greenmumsblog February 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      I must admit we have a subscription to Love Film. It’s only the basic one though and far cheaper than a sky package. My husband and I don’t get out a lot so our treat is a night in with a DVD! I’ve never thought about selling DVDs on again, might have to look at doing that.

      • rationingrevisited February 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

        we have a whopping sky package (so pricey now a days, its rediculous) …. just dont think im brave enough yet to ask MrC and kiddies to cancell it yet lol they love their disney channel and discovery channel.

  2. mrs green February 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Hi 🙂 I popped over from the Britmums green roundup. Thanks for joining in and sharing all your wonderful ideas. I think it’s amazing just how much we can save once we put our minds to it. I challenged myself to a ‘no unnecessary spending’ for a month – it’s was a great lesson in separating my wants from my needs and I learned a lot about my spending habits. It sounds a boring thing to do, but as someone who enjoys a challenge it was great!


  1. Piggy Bank Tales – Top Ten Tips | World Learning - June 11, 2012

    […] If you want to make a big purchase (say furniture or electricals), wait for one month – then ask ‘do I still need it?’ Normally not and you’ve forgotten about it by then. 9. Be green | Green Mums Blog […]

  2. Parent Blog » Piggy Bank Tales – Top Ten Tips - August 30, 2012

    […] If you want to make a big purchase (say furniture or electricals), wait for one month – then ask ‘do I still need it?’ Normally not and you’ve forgotten about it by then. 9. Be green | Green Mums Blog […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: