I had a very rock and roll moment last night.
I was overcome by the urge to sort out the kitchen food cupboards, an urge that I’m sure was slightly annoying as my boyfriend was trying to cook a roast dinner at the time. Our kitchen is small and having a girl sat on the floor surrounded by tins of beans and half empty bags of pasta isn’t helpful when you’re trying to check the rise on your Yorkshire puddings.
It was certainly helpful for me though as I discovered that while I had been frantically buying those fruit yo-yo bear things on my Ocado app in a bid to get Belle to eat fruit in some form, I had actually been stockpiling them at the back of the cupboard. I transferred them to an old biscuit tin and discovered I had enough to feed a family of four for roughly eight days.
With my iPad in hand, sat on the lino, I did a spot of food shopping and menu planning and reckon I will have saved a considerable amount of cash, just by taking half an hour to actually think about meals rather than just panic buying various meats.
It got me thinking about other potential ways that I could save money, so here are a few of my thoughts to inspire you:
Reduce, reuse and recycle
As much as I don’t want to be the kind of person who leaps on you the minute you unwrap a present so that they can fold and save the paper, there is a lot to be said for being a bit more thoughtful when it comes to waste. Things like wrapping paper and padded envelopes are stupidly expensive and given the number of padded envelopes that come through the letterbox, I really can’t justify ever having to buy one.
Get the best deal
I’m pretty good at comparing insurance deals and energy suppliers – Belle has at least four Meerkats – but I’m a little ashamed to say that I have never tried sites where you can save money on your monthly bills phone, TV and broadband bills. Silly isn’t it? It’s just not something I’ve ever thought to do, mainly because I’m terrified that it might mean not being connecting to the internet for a period. This is less for me and more for Belle – how would she monitor her Dance Moms Instagram account effectively?? It’s definitely something to think about though.
Switch bank accounts
This one really does fill me with dread, which I take as a sign that I am old and scared of change. I may as well give up now and take up bridge. I have been with my bank for 15 years now, I know where the branch is, I have just about managed to memorise my PIN number, and the thought of everything suddenly being different is perhaps a little too much to think about. I am the same with buying train tickets. I know that I am being ripped off by the fees on The Trainline, but I know how it works and I like that. I am basically my mother.
Be more organised
Today I came to work with a small pot of seeds and walnuts, a banana, a nutrigrain bar and half a packet of rice cakes. (Can you tell I am trying to use up the cupboard oddments?) This is a very good thing as it means I can nibble on snacks all day – something that is very important to me – without having to spend any money. There is a very nice little sandwich bar just down the road from my office, but as tasty as it may be, a shop bought sandwich really should be a luxury when you’re on a budget. Add up that three pounds you spend every morning on your Starbucks latte over the course of the year and I think you’ll agree that there are better ways to splash your cash.
Enjoy the simple pleasures
The very best way of course to save money is just to spend less and get more enjoyment out of the non-financial aspects of our lives. We have gone a bit crazy over the last few decades convincing ourselves that the only way to be happy is to earn shed loads of cash in jobs that make us miserable so that we can go on holiday once a year to cheer ourselves up again. How screwed up is that? Whatever happened to just going for a walk and having a nice cup of tea?
What are your favourite money saving tips?