As a stay-at-home mum, we rely financially on my husband's salary, so I try my best to save money where I can. Here are a few tips that I use!
Find and use relevant discount codes and vouchers
I can find vouchers everywhere: supermarket literature, magazines, newspapers, Facebook, VoucherCloud, and even in random places such as a recent LoveFilm delivery where I received a £1.50 voucher for tortilla and salsa. Perfect as we have fajitas at least once a week!
Of course not all vouchers are useful. Don't be misled into purchasing something with a voucher if you are not going to use the item. Pass on the voucher to a friend instead.
A lot of brands offer freebies via their website or Facebook pages. A great website to use is latestfreestuff.co.uk as it lists all the freebies. I've received tea bags, coffee, shampoo, chocolate, face cream, body moisturiser, and even Chanel mascara (although it was a sample size) all for free!
Rummage in charity shops
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I love delving through the racks at my local charity shops! If it can be chucked in the washing machine or steam-cleaned it's up for grabs. When buying clothes, do check for stains (especially on the arm-pit section) and holes (again, wear'n'tear seems to be worse in the arm-pit section, but also on collar section too).
Do check prices though. As we all know Primark, for example, is a treasure trove of extra-low prices, so finding a Primark top in a charity shop can sometimes mean paying more than it was brand new! Ouch. But, you can also find excellent brands such as Next (women's dungerees for £6!), Gap and Zara. I also spotted an Iron Fist hoody, brand new with tags, in the men's section a few months ago too.
Use comparison sites
When your renewal comes up for your car insurance, or you want a better deal on your utility bills, use several comparison sites. And compare the comparison sites too! And if you've found a good deal, double-check by getting a quote direct from the company too. I saved £100 by using a comparison site (instead of accepting the renewal quote) and another £20 by buying directly through the insurance company.
Great website are: Compare the Market & Go Compare (insurance, credit cards etc), MySupermarket.com (food) and USwitch (utilities)
Shop in Lidl
You won't find many of your branded items here, but do take a chance on Lidl items and enjoy both the taste and the price difference! I adore their Half Price weekend, where every weekend, at least 3 products are half price. And if you "like" Lidl on Facebook, they publish a £5 off a £40 shop voucher a few times a year.
Yesterday, I did a fortnightly shop for only £80! That includes fresh fruit and veg for the next few days, so I will need to top that up later this week, along with bread and milk. It also included toilet roll, pull-up nappies and a few cleaning items.
We love their pesto sauce, beef mince, salami, lemonade, quiche and frozen chips! Breakfast cereals are cheaper, and my two cannot tell the difference between branded Shreddies and Lidl's version. Being a European store, they sell the best chocolate too!
Remember to bring your own bags too as they charge for theirs.
Use local selling groups on Facebook
I find it's easier to buy and sell on Facebook compared to eBay, for example. If you are selling, the buyer comes to you so there is no faff with packaging, no taking it to the Post Office, no fear of the parcel being lost or broken in the post. And they pay in cash (no faffing with PayPal or cheques!).
I like to buy too, but I always ask if the item is from a pet-free and smoke-free home first (especially if it's toys or clothes). And I always inspect the item (working if it's electronic) before handing over cash.
Of course, do stay safe. Always stay on the doorstep, and keep collection time during daylight hours. If unsure, meet the buyer at a public place such as outside a supermarket or pub.
What do you do to save money and be thrifty?