How to save money in today's materialistic world

Bex8814 By Bex8814, 19th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Money Saving Tips

With wages dropping and the cost of living rising, people are facing financial struggles on a daily basis - there are ways to keep your head above water...

Home Cooking & Discount Stores

Heading to your local supermarket and filling a shopping trolley for the week ahead is of course the most convenient way to feed your family, without take aways!

I live with my partner and 3 sons, a weekly shop at my local store costs in the excess of £130, this is £520 a month - £6,240 per year ON FOOD! This is more than six family holidays, new cars, a wedding: it's an astronomical amount, and it doesn't need to be this way.

By budgeting and looking our incomings and outgoings I reckoned we had around £60 per week for food shopping, and so I switched to a discount store, it actually was the same distance as my usual store and the savings have been amazing. For the exact same products, with different packaging, I can pay less than half the price - due to their being no brand name. Nine times out of ten the products are of better quality, fresher, and better tasting.

Cooking from scratch is not always practical, but home cooking is. You can resuse many ingrediants from your Sunday roast to aid many meals throughout the week: For example, roast a chicken on a sunday to add to roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, vegetables and gravy - the monday use the rest of the breast meat to make a stew, curry or other chicken based dish and then the carcus on the tuesday for a soup and/or to make a lovely stock - this is over 3 days worth of meals from one chicken (retailing in the uk from around £2.99).

Mince beef is one of the cheapest meats you can buy, and it is also one of the most versitile, it can be used in almost anything - curries, cottage pies, stews, caseroles and so on and a small amount of mince packed up with onions, vegetables and lentils can stretch really far.

If you do your shopping as late in the day as possible, you will find many discounts on fresher foods which need selling that day - these foods can almost always be frozen and thus presevered for you to use at your leisure.

A cheap dish in the UK is a hash - different names from different regions, sometimes known as a scouse, potato hash, corned beef hash and so on. This is a dish which comprises of cheap meat (usually tinned) potatoes, vegetables and gravy - if you're really hard up you can try one of the oldest English dishes a 'Blind Scouse' - this is without meat. For a normal hash you will pay less than 20pence per head, and this is a dish that can be bulked up and packed out with absolutely anything - peas, sweetcorn, carrots, onions, parsnips, lentils, beans. It can be made in bulk and then portions frozen for those rush days. I am yet to find someone who doesn't like this dish.

Take advantage of the kids!

If you're from a larger family Birthdays and celebrations can be an almost weekly event, and these don't come cheap. Or do they?

Especially for relatives; grandparents, aunts and uncles etc getting your kids involved is not seen as cheap or tacky but considered bespoke, unique and thoughtful. Everyone is familiar with kitchens full of hung hand prints, painted rainbows and so on and these all came from the little artists that we produced.

Heading to a local discount store and buying a few pots of paints is indeed an investment these can be used continually for any kind of celebration and nobody is every disappointed with something created just for them.

Plan Ahead

Christmas is the time of year that those with lower incomes and large families begin to fret. But, why? The 25th of December happens every year, it is of no surprise to us and yet so many people end up in debt at this time of year - debts which are needless.

So, you want your childs Christmas to be special, this must mean buying them the latest gadget, 'must have' or taking note of their Santa list - no! Before you deny this point, I ask you to sit down with your child and ask them what gifts they received for the last 3-4 Chrismtas's - if they recite each gift, then I am wrong. - Children will not remember whether they got the bike they wanted when they were 5, or the barbie doll everyone else had when they were 6, but I'm sure you will remember the stresses and worries you went through in order to obtain them.

Nobody wants to let their children down. But you do have 12 months warning, every year, that Christmas will happen. This gives you 52 weeks to buy gifts, don't leave it til the last minute. Depending when you receive your salary, weekly or monthly, buy one of two gifts a time, look out for discounts, special offers and multi buys but check the authenticity of these as many aren't quite as money saving as they seem.

Seconds are not bad!

I have never been one to visit a second hand store or charity shop, and then we fell on hard times.

In recent months I have bought myself, my partner and my kids real genuine designer clothes from these stores and some still with store tags on them - brand new condition, and at less of a fraction of the cost in larger department stores. I have bought gifts, in brand new condition, kitted out my sons toy boxes, winter wardrobes, homewares and more and I have not felt the pinch one iota.

I save on an average trip £10-£100 each time, when comparing prices to other stores. This is money not to be sniffed at!

Tags

Family, Family Life, Save Money, Save Money Easily

Meet the author

author avatar Bex8814
Mother of 3 - Writing focusing on personal experiences and information I have learnt regarding business, children, animals, immigration, places as well as current media stories from different angles

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Comments

author avatar Funom Makama
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Exactly the recommendations for this very tight-financially driven world. Great piece and a wonderful share... All your articles are worth a star, just do well to put in a little more effort to put pictures and the stars will come flooding. You made my 3 or so minutes, worth spending. Thanks!

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author avatar Bex8814
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks so much for the feedback

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Mar 2014 (#)

Great piece filled with a lot of interesting facts and tips very useful!

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author avatar Bex8814
20th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you for your comment, and for reading

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