I don't know about you but I've really noticed these last few weeks just how hard it is to juggle the cash coming in with what we need to live on. The recession has finally hit home.
So when I found out the Moneysupermarket were running a blog competition to highlight ways to save a pound I thought it would be good fun to have a go. So here are my top 30 tips to save your precious pounds:
1. If you can't afford to fill your freezer buy very cheap bread and fill each basket it makes your freezer more efficient so costs less electricity to run.
2. Don't get pulled in by BOGOF offers think about whether you will actually use the extra food or will it be thrown out?
3. Always compare 'Special Offers' For example if a 4 pack of baked beans are on offer for £2.40 but individual cans of the same make are only 58p a tin you will end up paying 8p extra for the plastic wrapper holding the 4 tins together!
4. Make a note of food you throw away and after a month work out the amounts you NEED to buy not what you THINK you need.
5. Wash your own car! Don't be tempted to use the car wash, plus the exercise will do you loads of good so you could lose LBs too!
6. Always plan your weekly meals before you go shopping this way you avoid buying unnecessary ingredients.
7. Write a shopping list and STICK to it!
8. Try a value version of one of your favourite brands each week, if you really don't like it then you have only lost pence but if you do then over a year you save pounds!
9. Check out your local 99p store or Poundland - they often have well known brands at a fraction of the cost.
10. Always research a large purchase on the Internet or word of mouth and then shop around - prices vary so much it is always worth looking around and not just buying the first thing you see.
11. Grow your own veg, it's fun and saves so much money. You don't need masses of space just a bucket and some soil and you have a potato planter!
12. Get your kids involved in growing the veg and fruit it also encourages them to eat more of them!
13. If you have cats that use litter change to clumping litter it is cheaper and you use a lot less as you can just scoop out the do do etc without losing all of it at every change.
14. Back to the 99p shop if you have children they always carry a great range of crafting supplies for rainy days!
15. If your favourite lipstick is down to the nub get a small pot and scoop it out into it with a cotton bud, mix with a little petroleum jelly and hey ho lip gloss that lasts ages!
16. Make your own bath softeners with muslin and fill with porridge oats tie under the hot tap and let the water flow through fantastic for dry skin!
17. If you are on a deal where home phone calls are free up to an hour then set your mobile alarm to go off every 50 mins so you know to hang up and re-dial!
18. If you are an ebayer make sure you take advantage of the free listing weekends that they are doing frequently and avoid the listing fees.
19. I am plagued by the ice cream man - he is so expensive so I buy what ever is on offer at the time and keep them in the freezer then when the music starts playing I produce them for a quarter of the price. This goes for a tub of Vanilla some cones (99p shop) and flake pieces (multi pack always on offer) makes about 9 for the price of 2 YES 2 off of the vendor!
20. If you are making a stew or casserole always cook more and freeze (see 21)
21. If you have a take away keep the tubs for freezing meals, fantastic for 1 or 2 portion sizes.
22. Keep padded envelopes that arrive in the post - even if you don't reuse them to post in they make great padding for packing boxes.
23. Tie Dye is back this summer, use left over veg such as beetroot to dye old T shirts and revamp!
24. Dylon fabric dye is amazing to brighten up old tired jeans and T shirts so if you Tie Dye use the rest to give your wardrobe a new colour.
25. Check the internet for Voucher and Promotional Codes for shops you are planning to visit and print them off before you shop.
26. Buy generic pain killers / anti histamines - they are exactly the same, the price difference is just Marketing - playing on the if it is so much more it must be better clap trap! you can buy the SAME product for hayfever in Boots for 99p and £8.99 ABSOLUTELY identical.
27. Find your local farmers market for locally sourced produce and buy less more often to save waste.
28. Do you really REALLY need that paper bill through the post? Lots of companies offer small (but still) discounts if you go email / online only.
29. Join your local Freegle group to giveaway and request items that are still to good to go to landfill.
30. Last but not least keep nice Christmas cards and cut them up to make next years gift tags, also a great afternoons crafting with the kids!
So there you go 30 ways to save a pound and if you are really broke and can't afford the gas to heat your water then you can always wash your hair at the jet wash when you've finished with the car!