How to slim down your spend with these simple hacks for your home
With the country emerging from the pandemic, many are tightening their purse strings due to pay cuts, redundancies, or even just putting a bit away for next year’s holiday. There are many ways to cut back on things around the home, with a bit of organisation and planning, you’ll soon see the pounds stacking up.
It may seem like you’re always at the supermarket, stocking up on essentials to feed the mouths around the table and watching your money disappear from your account at a rapid rate. When it comes to feeding a family, meal prep for weight loss on a budget is your secret weapon – it’s not just for bodybuilders and can be essential in cutting wastage in your household.
To embark on your meal prepping journey, you’re going to need some food containers to divide up the portions and pop in the freezer. Glass containers or zip lock bags are great for fitting in the freezer and last much longer than plastic, giving you more value for your money. Next, you’ll need to prepare big batches of your favourite healthy meals, from hearty soups to chillis and portion them up for each day of the week. The best thing about meal prepping is you can use cheap ingredients and make each meal last much longer than usual.
Another way to save money at home is to switch your light bulbs for LEDs – the average UK household can save up to £160 a year by making this simple change, according to ledbulbs.co.uk. LED bulbs can be inserted into your usual light fitting and last up to 50 times longer than normal bulbs, meaning you have to buy them less often. The added benefit of LED bulbs is that they’re much kinder on the environment and come in a range of colours such as cool white and warm white, perfect for creating a gentle ambience in your home.
As the winter nights start to draw closer, the cold also starts to creep into our homes and without measures in place, heat can escape through nooks and crannies in your humble abode – costing you hundreds in energy bills. To keep your home toasty and your bank balance happy, invest in some draught excluders for your doors. They’re great for keeping residual heat in and blocking out any nasty draughts, whilst being relatively inexpensive to buy. If you’re feeling crafty, you could even make your own using scrap material and a cheap stuffing material such as rice or lentils.
If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that going out is where we spend the most money. From trips to the zoo to evening visits to the cinema, it’s easy to rack up a huge bill when entertaining the kids. It’s estimated (by The Independent) that British parents spend £2.6k a year on keeping their children busy, with £400 being spent on soft play centres and £600 on meals out – it’s clear to see how this money could be utilised elsewhere. Sign up to local Facebook groups or local council websites to find out about free activities you can do with children, from storytime at the library to free entry to interactive museums, there’s a whole host of free, fun things to do right on your doorstep.
Many people say good organisation is the key to success and money is no exception. Start a journal of your spending over the month, tracking your incomings and outgoings regularly – there are lots of apps out there that can help you to do this with ease. In simple terms, to save money you need to reduce your outgoings or increase your income – with the effect of the pandemic still very much apparent, it may be difficult to earn more at the moment, so take a look at how you can minimise what you pay out each month. A great way to cut costs is to switch your utility bills to a cheaper supplier, websites like Uswitch are quick and easy ways to reduce your monthly spending.
Making small tweaks here and there throughout the year will quickly come into fruition and your hard work will pay off – there’s no better feeling than seeing a little bit extra in your account at the end of the month. Once you’ve totted up your savings, you can start planning for that luxury holiday or a new car – the world is your oyster!