In the current economic climate, we all need to make the most of our resources, both in our personal and business lives. For some this has been a choice. For many, it is now a necessity which has brought money saving into sharp focus. For some, it is no longer about saving for holidays or luxuries but about saving their business and their family. In such times, small steps add up to big gains, and here are just a few tips to save a few pennies. Because our grandmother’s weren’t far off the mark when they told us that if we look after the pennies then the pounds will look after themselves.
There has been a renewed interest in cooking from scratch now that people have more time to do so as well as a renewed emphasis on saving money on food and reducing food waste. A number of websites are available to help with this but one of the most popular is The Bootstrap Cook. Author Jack Monroe is an ex-foodbank user who has forged a career helping people to eat healthily on very little income. She has a number of recipe books available, makes many of her recipes available for free on her website https://cookingonabootstrap.com/ and has been running a very popular Lockdown Larder challenge on her Twitter feed where individuals tweet her with the random items in their larder and she suggests recipes to use them.
Planning your menus ahead of time, keeping an active shopping list and only purchasing the items you need to make the planned menus can also be helpful. If you are going to the grocery store rather than using a delivery service, don’t go when hungry. You will pick up all sorts of things that you don’t really need, which are not on the list.
Drinking tap water rather than bottled can create huge savings. The cost, even if you invest in a water filter jug, is so much less, plus it reduces plastic waste.
Cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers. This allows you to make the very best use of your oven and hob, and make overall savings on gas and electricity. On cold days, when you’ve finished with the oven, leave the door slightly open. It will let the heat out to warm your home, reducing the need for the heating.
Only put the amount of water you need into the kettle before boiling it. This will save energy costs as you won’t be heating water that you aren’t using.
If you have a good drying day and you have a garden or balcony available, drying your washing outdoors will save the cost of a tumble drier. If you don’t have either, but you get the sun in one of the rooms, try putting the clothes airer in front of the window in the direct sunshine to get the best drying conditions indoors.
Look at unused expenses such as gym memberships, subscriptions which you no longer need and online automatic account renewals. If you don’t need them, ditch them.
Rather than throw away a garment which has torn or has missing buttons, repair them. If you’ve lost the matching button, why not replace all the buttons with a new set and give your garment a new lease of life?
Got a garment no longer want? Don’t throw it away. If it’s in good shape, save it and send it to the charity shop when you are able to do so. If it is not suitable for sending to the charity shop, why not remove buttons, zips and other fastenings and keep them safe so you can add them to another garment later. If your jeans are so badly damaged that they can’t be saved, it can be worth cutting the legs off and keeping those. You can patch another pair of jeans with the saved fabric later.
Keep the house tidy and always put things back where they belong. This saves you money in the long run because you don’t end up buying the same thing several times simply because you knew you had one but couldn’t find where it had disappeared to.
Natural products can be used to clean your home in order to save money. In our last edition of the Handpicked magazine we had a whole article devoted to cleaning with common items such as vinegar and baking soda.
Article originally appeared in Handpicked Harrogate Magazine. Read more articles here.