Now that I have left my job for my blog I am aiming to seriously cut down on costs in 2017. Self-employment comes with a great deal of uncertainty, not knowing where or when you next pay will come from is quite scary, especially when your mortgage payment is due! As a result I'll be putting some tried and tested money saving tips into place.
Before making any purchase online try and find a discount code, you will be amazed by how many are out there. You may not always come across one but it doesn't take long to run a quick google search, I usually just search '*retailer name* discount code'. You will likely come across expired discounts which can be frustrating but when you find one that works, even if it's just for free P&P, it's a great feeling and often a great saving.
As well as searching for a discount code whenever I make a purchase I also search for a discounted voucher. I use Zeek, I have the app on my iPhone and quickly search for the retailer to see if there are any vouchers available to purchase. If you purchase an online voucher you will receive the code instantly, if you purchase a physical voucher it usually arrives within a few days by Recorded Delivery.
We are using Zeek for pretty much every purchase that we make nowadays, even our grocery shopping. We tend to buy a Tesco voucher on payday and then use this to shop throughout the month, this means that the majority of our shopping is paid for in advance and we have saved money on it. The savings aren't huge but they add up, for example there is currently a £100 Tesco voucher available for £97.
What's great about Zeek is that as you are paying with a voucher rather than a discount code, any discount codes that you find can be used along with the voucher, so you could technically get double the discount. If that isn't enough they occasionally send offers out, such as £5 credit which is fantastic and would mean that the example £100 Tesco voucher above could be purchased for just £92 - saving you £8.
If you like the idea of Zeek sign up with my link and receive £5 free credit to get you started, alternatively you can use promo code 2LBI8B for the £5 credit.
I've been making use of cashback sites for quite a while now, but I do tend to forget about them when making purchases on my phone. I've set my computer to pop up and alert me when there is cashback available on a site, I don't think there is a way to do this on my phone so my aim for 2017 is to remember to utilise these sites more.
My cashback sites of choice are Quidco, where so far I have earned £130 in cashback, and Kidstart. Kidstart works in a slightly different way to most as all cashback goes into a savings account for your child rather than to you. While you aren't saving money I thought it was worth mentioning as it is a lovely idea and Kidstart is one of the only cashback sites that I have come across who pay cashback on Amazon and eBay purchases.
We waste a lot of money on takeaways. After a long day the last thing that I want to do is cook a meal, and very often we just don't have any food to create a meal from. We need to be more organised with meal planning and shopping lists. Now that I'm working from home I have more time to plan, prepare and cook. I intend to utilise my slow cooker more often and cook larger meals for tea so that I can have the leftovers for lunch the following day. Spencer has also started taking sandwiches to work instead of spending £2+ each day on takeaway lunches.
Always visit the reduced section when visiting the supermarket, but be careful, sometimes you can get a real bargain, other times it's actually cheaper to buy the product in a 2 for £3 type of offer than to pay the £1.80 that it has been reduced to! I often pick up things like mince when I see them cheap and pop them in the freezer.
I am useless at coming up with meal plans so am hoping to take inspiration from blogs who regularly publish them, such as the below :
You never know, maybe when I get into the swing of things I'll start publishing my own meal plan!
I hope that you found my money saving tips useful. Do you have any that I haven't mentioned? Would you like to see regular weekly meal plans posted here? Warning - they will likely contain delicacies such as fish fingers & chips on a regular basis!