We all know that having children is expensive, and being a parent we are always looking for ways to cut costs, and reduce our monthly outgoings. This is true in my case as I’ve recently left my job, and at this current time I have no consistent monthly income. Although I hope this is only temporary until early next year when I hope to have set myself up as a social media freelancer.
For now as a household we’ve recently been looking at ways in which we can cut costs and save some money. So, here are 10 easy ways to cut costs as a parent, or if you’ve had a change in circumstances, or if you just want to save money.
- Change nappy brands. This might sound obvious, and switching is something that you can do with a lot of household brands. We were previously buying a leading brand of nappies, and have now switched to supermarket brands. We are saving pounds every week by doing this, and I am amazed that I see a pack of 19 nappies for £6, when I can buy a pack of 60 for £6!
- Consolidate your video and music streaming services. This was a difficult one to give up, as I was using my Spotify music subscription daily. However we shopped around and now use Amazon Prime for video and music, plus it gives us all the benefits of Amazon Prime shopping too. I’ve found all the music to be the same, and I’ve kept my Spotify free subscription for my playlists.
- Meal plan. It sounds a little crazy, but meal planning is so useful. The key benefits of meal planning are that you only buy what you need for the week, and you know exactly what you are cooking and when. I wrote a blog post on meal planning earlier this year, and I can honestly say it saves us money each week, as we are not buying food that we don’t actually need.
- Online food shop. Tied into the point above, doing an online food shop saves money. It means that you only order what you need, so there’s no wandering around the supermarket putting that pack of biscuits into the trolley. It also means that you are focused on what you need to buy, without being distracted by little ones.
- Switch broadband and line rental. We’ve recently consolidated our broadband provider, line rental and my mobile phone contract into one provider. By doing this we saved a fair few pounds, plus we were able to negotiate a little on my mobile phone contract.
- Reduce your weekly takeaways. I am ashamed to admit this, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one, but we were having a takeaway pretty much every Friday night. This was costing us about £120 a month. We’ve reduced this, not stopped it, as we need a break from cooking dinner every now and again. If you already have a meal plan set up, it makes it harder to reach for the phone or laptop to order your takeaway, as you already have a meal planned for that evening.
- Free tickets to events and attractions. I’ve found this to be particularly useful especially when we’ve been on holiday to save on ticket prices. However I’ve only been able to do this through my blog in exchange for a review. Some of our most recent days out include London Zoo and Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire.
- Goal setting. One of the things that I am trying to do is to pay for my daughter to go to nursery for 2 days a week throughout the duration of my course, and this is my goal. Your goal can be anything. It could be to save £200 a month, or to only have a takeaway once a month. But with any goal, once it’s achieved and you know you can do it, it makes it easier to stick to.
- Go shopping in your own wardrobe. This was something I was learnt at the last Lucky Things Meet Up all about style. I have a huge range of clothes in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn for years. So, instead of defaulting to go to the shops to buy new clothes, I’ve gone through my wardrobe to see what works with the clothes I love. This could save you a fortune and stop you from buying the latest styles every season.
- Collect points and check your loyalty cards. There are so many loyalty cards out there. Use them. You can save money on your food shop, in Boots, and get free coffees. I recently discovered we had a full two weeks food shop budget on our Nectar card, and nearly £60 on our Boots cards. If you have these cards, it’s worth checking your current points value.
So, with some of these simple cost cutting tips it is really easy to reduce your monthly bills and save more.
Have you had to cut costs as a household or individual? I would love to hear from you, and see if I can use some of your tips to help reduce our outgoings, or increase our savings further.