The new year is in full force and I know a lot of my readers would like to save some money this year. You may want to pay off debt, save up for a holiday or for retirement.
I know it’s not easy to go from December, which was full of celebrations, to a no spend month like January.
So, to make it easier for you I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to save you money. You can use these throughout the year without any extra hassle.
One of my personal favourites. We’ve all been there, you look into your cupboard or freezer, which is pretty much the same as a wardrobe and decide that you have NOTHING to eat. We start to panic and run to the nearest supermarket, buy a bunch of food and feel good again. The problem with this is, that you end up spending unnecessary amounts of money on foods that may not even work with each other. Not budget or money saving friendly at all.
What you want to do is: MEAL PLAN. I suggest going to the supermarket once a week only, not once a month or daily, but once a week. You take yourself a piece of paper and think about what you’d like to eat for the next 7 days. You then take your list and only buy the ingredients that you need for those meals and hey presto, you’ve saved yourself some money and avoid food waste at the same time.
PANTRY / FREEZER CHALLENGE This is a bit like the meal plan that I’ve mentioned above, but different. What you do is, you have a look into your freezer and fridge and make meals out of what you have left. Only when you’ve used up everything, youre going back to the supermarket. You’re allowed to stock up on fresh items like eggs, milk and such.
SHOP AT NIGHT
If you’re a weirdo like me, you like to avoid big crowds and queues, so the best way to do that is to shop at night. Not only is it so much quieter, but the supermarkets also reduce their stock drastically. Some supermarkets also reduce throughout the day, depending on how much stock they have that needs to go, but night time is definitely the time for the biggest reductions.
Do you like free or heavily reduced food? Of course you do, who doesn’t, right?! I urge you to immediately go to your app store and download “Shopmium” (use my code: AEKGKACG to get yourself a FREE Lindt chocolate bar), “ClickSnap” and “CheckoutSmart”. I’ve only been using them for a bit over a month, but I’ve already received so much free or heavily reduced food. What you do is, you open the app, and you will see all the offers that you can buy, you go into the supermarket, buy the item and then take a photo of your receipt. You then upload that photo and receive the money that you’ve spend or cashback.
BUY YOUR CLOTHES OUT OF SEASON
It’s no secret, that after every season, there’s big sales all around. Like Christmas, we can always be sure that there’s going to be another spring, summer, autumn and winter. So, if you know that you’ll need a new coat next winter, buy it in the winter sales and put it away for winter. Same goes for summer clothes. Buy your bikini in August/September and enjoy it next year.
MAKE DO AND MEND
If you think you need new stuff, I will tell you right now to think again. Most of the time, instead of buying brand new, it makes sense to have a look first to see if you can’t fix it. If you can’t fix the item, have a look in a local charity shop or ask a friend, if they can help out.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
You love to travel, but you don’t like the high prices of flights? Fear no more, I’m here to tell you: Don’t book your flights in the evening or on the weekend. Airlines tend to increase the prices around those times. It’s best to book flights during the week and in the early afternoon. If you want to fly short distance book around 1-2months in advance. If you want to fly long distance, book at least 6 months in advance for the best prices.
I don’t know about you, but thanks to Christmas and other occasions, I have more shower gel / lotion sets and candles than I could ever need. I’ve asked people not to gift me anything, but you know how they are. Anyways, I didn’t want to give the stuff to the charity shop or eBay, because there’s always people who really, REALLY want a gift for whatever occasion. Fine by me, because I can’t make everyone understand my lifestyle. So, I came up with a regifting basket. All the unwanted gifts I’m receiving go in there and I just regift them. I made a list, so I know where I got the gifts from, that way I won’t be regifting a gift back to the person who gifted it to me.
It’s Friday night and you crave a take away. So far, so good..but have you ever thought about how much money those convenient take aways cost you per year? Probably too much. If you want to save money in the long run, I suggest a fake away. No matter, if you crave Chinese, Italian or a curry. Get the ingredients cheap from the supermarket and make it yourself. Not only do you know what exactly goes into your food, it also only costs you a fraction of a real take away. Involve your partner, if you have one and this could be a really nice evening. Love goes through the stomache and that J
If we’re going back to number 1, you could say that your wardrobe is pretty much like an unorganised pantry / freezer. It’s full of stuff, but gasp..you have NOTHING to wear..like ever. You spend hundreds of pounds or dollars a month on clothes, but nothing seems to work and on top of that it leaves you skint. The only thing that helps is a capsule wardrobe. What is a capsule wardrobe, you ask? It’s your wardrobe, but carefully selected. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is that you have quality over quantity, timeless pieces in neutral colours. Think: Little black dress, blazer, v-neck jumper, blouse, blue jeans, basic t-shirt in colours like navy, grey, black and white. Everything works together as a team.
Imagine you have only 3 bottoms (2 trousers, 1 skirt) and 4 tops (2 shirts, 1 blouse, 1 jumper) then you already have 12 outfits, because 3 x 4 = 12. Not only does this save you lots of time in the morning, but also a lot of money. You have a few high quality items, that will last year after year, because of the quality and colour and you always have a perfect outfit that only need an accessory or two.
And that’s that. 10 tips to help you save money in the long run. Adapt the ones you think you can manage and see your savings grow. For daily money saving tips and updates of my no spend year, check out NOSPENDYEAR on Instagram.