Showing posts with label money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts

Friday, 10 December 2021

Tips for saving money on your Christmas shopping.

Hey readers, 

Christmas is fast approaching and with lockdown, it can be quite daunting especially as a lot of people are going through financial difficulty. 

Here are some ways to save money on your shopping at Christmas. 

Tips for saving money on your Christmas shopping.

1. Budget. 

It is important to set a budget and stick to it. Not only does it feel like you are in control but it allows you to also enjoy the event without getting flustered. Christmas doesn't have to be OTT with presents because remember it is also about sharing time together with loved ones. 

Don't let finances rule you, take control, and if you can't afford something don't buy it, people will understand if you tell them. Christmas should be a time to relax not get stressed out.

2. Sell. 

A good way to earn some money is to look around your home and sell stuff on eBay or Facebook marketplace. 

I have done this myself and it has helped with my Christmas budget, which again is a great deal of pressure off. 

3. Cashback sites.

If you are shopping online for presents then I recommend using cashback apps such as Quidco and Top Cashback. 

What you so go on the site search a shop you want to buy something from click on the link and it will take you directly to shop. 

Once you have brought something from the shop you get a certain percentage of cashback.  

4. Spread the cost. 

Spread the cost of your shopping so buy x amount each week and then this means it won't be overwhelming if you left it to the last minute. 

5. Research. 

Before hitting the shops, take some time to do your research online with google shopping to find the best deals on the things you want to buy for Christmas. 

6. Planning.

Planning is key and is the one main thing to help you keep within your finances. Write down a list of your budget and the things you want to buy within that budget. Always stick to a list than less likely to impulse buy. 

7. Loyalty cards. 

I really like loyalty cards as they give you money back which will save you money. Shops like Tesco (Tesco rewards), Sainsbury's (nectar card), Boots (Boots advantage card) give you x amount of points when you shop with that store. 

Then once you have accumulated so many points can transfer money from your shopping from the store. 

8. Vouchercodes. 

Check out Vouchercodes where they have a search engine for voucher codes and discounts on a lot of stores such as Tesco, New Look, Debenhams to save some money if you are planning to shop in certain stores. 

9. Supermarkets.

Swap supermarkets when you do shop for budget-friendly ones Lidl and Aldi are so much cheaper and the quality is still very good. 

Remember to write a list before you go as I have been guilty of being caught up in the moment and at least with a list you can stick to it and not buy too much food.

10. Yellow stickers.

In my household, we buy our Christmas meat in the yellow stickers that are reduced at the end of the day and put it in the freezer. Saves an absolute fortune. 

Also nowadays people are braver and don’t all go for turkey – don’t feel pressure if you don’t want, there are so many meats to choose from. Even better if you feel up to it you could go vegetarian and save the pounds there.

11. Courier.

If you are sending presents to relatives or friends don't just rely on Royal Mail as a courier. Have a look around as there can be some services that are much cheaper.

12. Christmas post. 

When sending a Christmas card in the post to someone a cheaper way to do is to use second-class stamps. 

However, it may take longer but make sure you’re earlier, and then it should not be a problem and your purse will be happier for it.

13. Christmas tree.

I know it is tempting to have a fresh tree as they seem to be the fashionable thing to do. But really it is a lot cheaper to opt for a fake tree as this will save you money in the long term. 

Not to mention the positive impact of choosing a more environmentally friendly option as a pose to buying a fresh tree that is chopped down just for Christmas and then checked away in a few weeks’ time.

14. IOU.

We all know items in the shops are cheaper instantly after Christmas Day. One way to save some money is between you and say your friend is doing an IOU (I owe you) meaning instead of handing your friend a present at Christmas do it after.

Hope this helps. Have I missed any tips on saving money that you find helpful? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.

Cheers for reading X

3 Little Buttons

Monday, 11 January 2021

You know your skint when...

Hey readers,

Sometimes now and again we all worry about money. I have been totally skint but I am so lucky to not have to be in this situation. I am truly grateful for being in a more comfortable position.

 Here is what I experienced when I was totally skint for months due to poor health.

You know your skint when...

1. You raid the 1p money jar.

2. You watch more TV than normal because you can't afford to do fun things. 

3. You dread it when someone wants to go for a coffee and become anti-social.

4. You live of value food.

5. Choosing between food and electricity.

6. Sleeping the day away because of your cold and hungry.

7. Not sleeping because you're scared of how to survive off your income.

8. Nicking the toilet roll from local college because you can't afford it.

9. You were your coat at home because it is freezing. 

10. So thankful for Freecycle or else I wouldn't have been able to afford a bed.

11. You use brown tape to cover the hole on your shoe because you can't afford a new pair of shoes. 

12. You water down milk and hope no one notices. 

13. You hate the middle of the month as you worry about how you will survive till the end of the month. 

14. You live of pasta. 

15. If you are totally skint then eating toilet paper is the alternative. 

16. You use washing up liquid as a substitute for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. 

17. You youtube how to sort out holes in your clothes.

18. You go to your local library because it is free and warm during wintertime.

19. You heart sinks when it is Christmas around the corner or any other time which involves having to find extra funds. 

Cheers for reading X

Monday, 9 November 2020

Why I don't participate in extreme couponing

Hey readers,

You properly have heard of the American show called Extreme Couponing and the craze is here in the UK. Sadly though there are fewer coupons available here in the UK.

I love saving money, so I researched online about what all this fuzz of extreme couponing is about. 

Since 2008 couponing and finding ways to save money has been a big interest in a lot of peoples life. At the time recession hit hard and people wanted to save money as there was less disposable cash available, especially through loans etc from the bank.

Why I don't participate in extreme couponing

Now there are loads of different ways to save money. A common one is searching and printing coupons, from magazines such as the Tesco Magazine which comes out monthly. 

The other way is to go on to the companies own website and if you sign up to a newsletter it gives you free coupons to print at home, such as Coca Cola or Covent Garden Soup. Next thing you have to do is find the supermarket with the lowest price for that specific product. 

An alternative way to save money is through top cashback sites and SwagBucks.

Then there is the good old yellow sticker hunting where if you got closer to the time the supermarket closes you can be lucky to grab some fab bargains with up to 75% of the original price of the item.

Now I do use some of these methods such as yellow stickers, SwagBucks, Store Rewards which are fab and fairly straight forward to get. Though the only downside with these apps is they take time to build up the reward.

The thing that I can't manage is extreme couponing, where you do the whole signing up to the company and also get a lot of people such as friends or relatives to sign up. Therefore instead of getting one bottle of Coca Cola, you can get four.

Now I am a mum of two young children so don't have a lot of time to faff about and get the permission of others to sign up, hunting for coupons or money back from items etc. 

Most of the stuff I tend not to use so I ask myself do I really need this, nine times out of ten the answer is no. I would much prefer to spend my time doing something a bit more exciting, to be honest with you. 

I think the key thing to be a successful extreme couponer is time to do the research of looking around for the best deal, printing out and travelling.

Now I do use coupons casually for the odd thing here and there but I don't buy multiple items as I do not have space to stockpile (where you buy large amounts of the same product and store them typically in a cupboard). 

Fair play if you do, but if I did have space I can't really be bothered to have to say 15 bottles of strawberry shampoo, 6 bottles of washing up liquid and so forth.

My other problem is that the products tend to be store cupboard or junk food most of the time. You may get the odd offer for yoghurt or Nakd bars but they are few and between.

 As someone on a low income, I need food to feed my family that is reasonably healthy and that I would definitely use.

I believe that nothing is free, there is a cost somewhere down the line. Yes, you can get a coupon but you need paper and ink to print it. 

If you are skint and you can't afford travel, I mean for me to get on the bus it would cost me £3.10 for my child, and £4.00 for me to travel anywhere.

Not to mention the fact that different offers are on at different stores, you have to travel here there and everywhere. Which I don't mind but with two young kids, going on the bus and then shopping is a depressing state of affairs.

I also want to point out that it is better to shop less frequently then go to loads of different places as it saves you in the long run. If you don't shop you will find a solution. Whereas if you are constantly in the supermarket the temptation is there and you just waste money just for the sake of couponing.

A lot of the time the supermarket's own brand is just as good (if not better) then the actually branded stuff, instantly you save a small fortune just by swapping.
Therefore, extreme couponing is not suited for me. 

I  don't knock people for doing it, it is their choice but for me personally, I don't have the time/money/need to warrant the item. That doesn't mean I don't use coupons and they can be beneficial but you have to weigh it up to do I really need this and if so go forth and buy.

What do you think about extreme couponing? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 30 October 2020

Leading an eco-friendly life in a busy home.

Too busy to think about how to make eco-friendly choices at home? Try these one-step, one-time ideas to live greener, but think a bit less about it.

Leading an eco-friendly life in a busy home.

Leading an eco-friendly life in a busy home.

Modern life certainly comes with its challenges. The climate crisis has thrown another one into the mix, forcing us all to be more aware of what we consume and how we consume it.

 The most simple and cost-efficient way to start living more sustainably is definitely at home. Green living is becoming increasingly important to people across the UK. More and more of us are opting for energy-efficient appliances, environmentally friendly products and low-waste alternatives. 

A lot of households now actively work to lower their carbon footprint and make their way of life that little bit more sustainable. But with the business of life, how can we fit these changes into our daily routines?

How can we be more efficient?

Making your home more sustainable involves making changes that improve the energy efficiency of your property. This means that you waste less energy and save money in the process. 

Sustainable living means you will make the most of the resources you have, reducing your carbon footprint. This can range from the cleaning products you use at home to the energy supplier you choose to power up your home. 

Some of these changes require sustained change, but some are small, one-off things you can do, which will make a big difference. For example, don’t leave the fridge door open, unplug appliances if they are left on standby, and try to purchase as little plastic as possible.

While making these other changes, it might be a good time to switch your energy supplier. If you haven't managed to switch in a while, it's highly likely that you are overpaying for your energy. 

Not only is this a waste of money, but you can also make the switch over to a more green energy supplier with green energy tariffs

A green energy supplier means one that provides tariffs with 100% renewable electricity and aims to offset gas usage by investing in green projects.

 Also, you can switch to a tariff that saves you money, like an Economy 10 tariff for your electricity. This is a one-off task, so once you’ve switched you hopefully won’t have to switch again for a while. 

You can be content with the fact that your energy is coming from more renewable sources. If you lead a particularly busy life, switching suppliers is an easy way to be a lot more eco-friendly at home, without having to put in any hard work.

In short, you want to make sure that your gas and electricity come from renewable sources, rather than fossil fuels that are contributing to climate change. 

You won’t have to feel guilty about the energy you use at home, as you know that you’ll be leading a greener life in your safe haven. You can read more about ways to make your home greener on Ofgem’s handy website.

Go reusable.

Like I said, let’s avoid plastic when and where we can. Stop buying zip-top bags, plastic straws and food in a lot of plastic packaging. Let’s start buying alternatives, like beeswax. 

They last for ages, way longer than plastic, and are far better for the environment. Invest in glass tupperwares so you don’t have to throw away single-use plastic bags and boxes all the time.
 All these things you can do one time so you never have to worry about them again.

Consider composting!

If you like gardening, at least make it efficient! Keeping a compost bin means you won’t have to think about throwing food away, which we all know is really bad. 

Keep a compost bin where you can put peels, coffee grounds and other organic waste. If you don’t have a garden, or enough space to keep a compost bin, then you can always give your compost to public gardens or to friends and neighbours who have the resources.

Save water.

Water is one of our most wasted resources. Think about how many times a day you use water - it’s all the time! 

So let’s start thinking about how much water we use and when. Are you an avid tea drinker? Don’t waste water by filling up the kettle more and more every time you make a cuppa.
This also wastes so much energy and you’ll see the consequences on your energy bills. Take shorter showers or buy a low-flow shower head; only use the appropriate amount of water when you are boiling food; don’t overwater your lawn and your plants.

Ready to make all these small changes? Of course, you are! No matter how busy you are with life, work, family and friends, you can transform your eco-lifestyle with just a handful of different, more thoughtful choices. 

Things just got easier if you are struggling to pay for your energy bills.
Ofgem has just introduced new regulations for energy suppliers to introduce as of the 15th of December 2020. The new regulation’s purpose is to protect customers who are struggling to keep up with their energy bills. Energy suppliers will be obliged to give more time to customers who are struggling to pay their bills this winter.
For those on prepayment meters, more time will be given to top-up and additional credit will be given to those customers who need it. A debt repayment plan will also be introduced for all those that are currently behind on paying their bills. Energy suppliers will also reach out to customers that they deem more vulnerable and aid them in setting up this repayment plan.
For more details you can read the full article

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

My top seven frugal tips 

Hey readers,

I love a good bargain and trying to save money when I can. 

So, I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me in the past to reduce the cost of my spending and maybe they might help you too :) 

1.  Plan. 

The best money advice I could give you is a plan, set a Budget for an X amount and stick to it. 

Then if you do give yourself an allowance to spend a set amount you don't have the guilt and feel more encouraged to save money as well, win-win.

2.  Supermarket.

To get the best deals at the supermarket timing is key. That is why it is best to aim to visit your supermarket near closing time to get reduced items and in some cases, this can be quite significant with 70% off items because they are close to their sell-by date.

Though don't let this put you off as you can freeze a lot of items.

3.  Receipts. 

You can put your receipts to good use by download Shopprize from an app store and scan your receipts.

 You then can over time exchange the coins into amazon vouchers. It doesn't take that long either. Sadly the app only works on Android at the moment.

4. Post-event.

The best savvy shoppers actually wait until after an occasion such as Halloween or Christmas to get knocked down prices on items and to grab some good bargains.

5. Meal planning. 

To save money on your shopping a good tip would be to plan your meals with what food you have. It is important that to save money you need to stick to your shopping list as this can help with reducing the impulsive buying as you know what food you need. 

This can be of help to reduce food wastage as well and keep on top of what you have got in the cupboards. 

6. Advantage cards.

 Take advantage of the advantage card. If you don't know what an advantage card is it is a store assigned card where you can get discount off products or earn so much money of items you have brought in the store. 

At a later date can exchange the points for money of shopping in the store or online. A couple of my personal favourite advantage cards are Tesco's club card scheme and Boots advantage card and they are nice little earners.

7. Savings.

A healthy habit that you can get into is to save 10p every day in a jar, it soon adds up after a while This helps get you in a habit of saving and before long you can increase the amount if you want.  

Do you have any saving tips that you have found helpful that I haven't mentioned? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Thanks for reading X

Monday, 2 March 2020

My top 25 frugal tips.

Hey readers,

I love to save money and being frugal is something I strive for in my life. So, if you like me and like to save some pounds then check out my top 25 frugal tips below. 

1. Only go to the supermarket twice a week.

2. Don't go to the supermarket when hungry.

3. Swap from branded items to supermarket own branded items.

4. Write a plan for food shopping and stick to it.

5. Use discount sites such as eBay or everything for five pounds.

6. Each week meal plans your meals.

7. Ask yourself before buying do you I really need this.

8. Try cheaper cut meats.

9. Wait 21 days before making a purchase on a big item such a TV. This will give you time to assess whether you need it or not.

10. Use something up before buying something that does the same job.

11. Use trials to get free temporary items such as Amazon Prime and Spotify. 

12. Check out the yellow sticker section of the supermarket, ost stuff is fine if you use it up immediately or freeze it. Saves a small fortune, especially as the supermarket, knocks off a lot when it is about an hour before the supermarket closes. 

13. Before going out buying something specific check out to find the best deal. 

14. If you have short journeys such as taking your children to school, ditch the car and walk. 

15. It will do you and your car the world of good. 

16. Buy second hand because it is more environmentally friendly and tends to be of good quality 90% of the time, checks out eBay or Facebook market to find some fab deals. 

17. Use a budget tracker to keep on top of your finances. 

18. Instead of buying a meal deal whilst at work for your lunch takes five to ten minutes the night before to knock up lunch for yourself, you will be saved so much money it is unreal.

19. Instead of buying coffee from coffee shops buy little sachets take them to work. You still get a treat but cuts the cost down a lot.

20. Shop for season stuff when it is at the end and being reduced, e.g Christmas items in January at knocked down prices.

21. Sometimes, when you are out and about in clothing shops you can forget how much stuff you own. That is why it is good to have a list of all the items you own and refresh your mind when out and about.

22. Rotate your wardrobe so clothes at the back get a chance to be seen and worn instead of instantly going for the easiest items to get hold of in the morning.

23. Check out your local library where there is an array of books and magazines you can read for free.

24. Check out websites like Groupon for cheap family days out.

25. When buying items online use Topcashback to get cashback for buying items on certain websites.

What are your favourite frugal tips? I love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Cheers for reading X 

Sunday, 5 January 2020

50 things to do on a no spend weekend.

Hey readers,

If you haven't heard of no spend weekend it is basically what it says in the name where you set the challenge of the weekend to not spend a penny other then going for a wee ;). 

There are several different noes spend challenges ranging from one day, weekend, a whole month and if your feeling a brave a whole year (hats of to you people who have achieved a no spend for a whole year not sure I could stick it out that long). 

The idea of the no spend is to stop you from spending money basically automatic times and it really does make you stop and think about your consumptions. It also reminds life doesn't always have to be about money. You can also save money and get you thinking in that frameset. 

In this post, I have put down 50 ideas of things you can do on a no spend.

1) Organise and plan your future money. 
2) Volunteer your time.
3) Watch movies.

4) Help your kid/s with their homework.

5) Start a blog.

6) Try geocaching.

7) Try a board game.

8) Draw and paint. 

9) Make greeting cards.

10) Visit local free museums.
11) Read.
12) Visit a park.
13) Clean the house.
14) Do some baking.
15) Cook something new.
16) Spend some quality time with a partner. 
17) Assess your goals.
18) Start a diary.
19) Catch up on the news.
20) Colour in.
21) Read.
22) Sleep. 
23) Make a to-do list. 
24) Have a bath.
25) Organise your wardrobe.
26) Sell stuff on eBay.

27) Teach yourself origami.
28) Watch a ted talk. 

29) Go for a walk. 

30) Go to the library.

31) Write a  letter to a friend from far away.

32) Make a vision board.

33) Go for a picnic. 

34) People watch.
35) Listen to some podcasts. 

36) Play Pokemon Go.

37) Stargaze.

38) Cloud watching. 

39) Scrapbooking. 

40) Host a dinner party.

41) Attend a free community festival. 

42) Practice yoga.
43) Have a cup of coffee and relax.
44) Think about ways to earn extra income. 
45) Go fly a kite.
46) Collect rocks, paint them and hide them for someone else to find. 

47) Reorganise cd/DVD collection. 
48) Declutter your wardrobe. 
49) Check out trending videos on youtube. 
50) Built a fort with the kids. 

What free activities do you like to do? I love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 15 November 2019

7 ways to save on your energy bill this winter.

Hey readers,

Looking for easy ways to reduce your electric bill during this winter period then look no further as I have some top tips on how to do so!

1. Appliances

One of the most useful habits to get into is turning off standby applicants around the home when you are not using them. Ok, it does not save you loads but it can save you between £80 to £100 a year,  every little helps.

2. Temperature. 

In the UK two-thirds of the electricity used is on heating up our home from heating water to keeping our rooms warm. It is recommended to reduce room temperature by 1 degree and it is not a big difference. If you are feeling chilly but on a jumper or drink a hot drink to warm up. Also, another tip is to turn off the heating when you are sleeping as you don't need as you cosy under the quilt and are asleep so are you really going to notice the heating?

3. Light bulbs. 

Now to start with swapping traditional incandescent light bulbs can be pricy however in the long term it is an investment as you reduce your electricity bill. This is because the more modern light bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs)  use less energy,  therefore worth paying for as you save money and the modern light bulbs last longer overall.

4.  Wrap up. 

This next tip is obvious but a lot of people walk around there home in a t-shirt and shorts in December and wonder why they are cold, they don't think about it and turn the heating on. However, you can easily warm yourself up to by adding additional layers and for example, soft fluffy bootie slippers are brilliant at keeping you warm. Finally, don't forget the hot water bottle to keep close by to feel all cosy without having turn the heating on you soon be warmed up lovely.

5. Washing. 

Washing your clothes at a lower temperature will save you some money when you turn your temperature to 30c as you are using less energy to do the washload. 

6. Leaks.

It is a good idea during the colder periods to check your windows and doors for leaks as this can cause your home to get colder and use more energy to hit up which will, in turn, will mean your energy bill will rise. 

Making sure that you put draught-proof tape around windowsills is a good idea along with using door draughts that you put at the bottom of the door to block heat.

7. Curtains.

During the darker evenings is a good idea to get in the habit of closing your curtains as this will help keep the warmth in the room and reduce the need for whacking the heat up. 

What ways help you reduce your energy bill during the winter period? I love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Cheers for reading X