As a mum to a larger than average brood, I’m often asked how I afford it. My kids don’t go without as they are in a bigger family. I just assess where I can cut costs on everyday living so that we can afford the bigger treats. So I thought I would share my family money saving tips with you all.
- Food shop wisely – the weekly food shop is often most families biggest expense after mortgage/rent repayments. Well, it’s essential we eat so we have to spend it. Over the last few years, things have crept up in price, plus my kid’s appetites have soared. So my food bills were often hitting £120 plus weekly plus top up shops between £20-£30. I made the change to Aldi and saw my food bills drop pretty drastically to around £70-£80 per week. Plus I now send one of the older kids into the local shop to get that loaf of bread we might need midweek. I find then I don’t get distracted by the end of the aisles deals. And leave the co-op with bags full instead of just the loaf needed.
- Annual Memberships – we love days out but they can be really expensive. So look into annual memberships. If it is a local attraction that you know you would be likely to visit 3 times plus (Easter, Summer Holidays and Christmas) then it is worth the investment. It can be a big initial outlay, so it might be worth giving it to your children as part of their Christmas or Birthday presents. Last year we had Merlin Annual Passes, which were a real treat. We used these loads. Gate prices for Chessington and Legoland are around £45 a day, but the passes cost just over £100. So this was recouped in less than 3 trips. The passes also included Sealife Centres and Alton Towers. We made a holiday around Alton Towers by hiring a cottage over October half term to enjoy daily visits to the park. If you are looking for more low-key days out, we have had National Trust memberships for several years now. These are so reasonable, and within a couple of visits, they have also been covered. We often just pack a picnic and head out for an afternoon and the kids get to run off steam in the picturesque gardens. And learn lots of historical facts, whilst we explore the houses.
- Cashback on your shopping – we are a generation of online shoppers, I love the ease of shopping whilst I lounge on the sofa. I always shop through the Quidco gateway, which is great to earn cash back on my purchases. I let my cashback collect up through the year, to withdraw and use towards treats.
- Buy second hand – the kids grow quicker than I can keep up with. So I seem to forever have a shopping list of what is needed. Even though I have 4 girls the hand me downs don’t always last through all of them. Yes, the older girls get to an age that they know what they want, so I do buy new for them. But whilst the little ones aren’t overly demanding (with regards to their fashion anyway) I head to local nearly new sales, pop into charity shops and watch the Facebook selling sites for bargains.
- Have a goal – I find it harder to save and then decide what to spend the money on. So if I have an aim, we love holidays but often miss having one as I think yeah I’ll book that somewhen. But before I know it is July and I can’t spare the cash. But if I book it and calculate how much I’m going to pay towards it each week/month then I will pay for it and we get away.
I hope these few tips help, please share your money saving tips too.