With half the year gone, a crisis and Christmas on our doorstep, this is the ideal time to save money for presents and to give your finances a review.
In this post I tell you all about the 5 simple ways I use to save money each month and the great results I get consistently.
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The basics of saving money
If you are saving for a purchase, an emergency fund, paying debt or just having the reassurance that there is money there for when it’s needed, you must know where to start in order to make effective changes and be able so save money each month.
First things first, get to know what your fixed expenses are. These are expenses like your rent, insurance, tax… things you pay each month and around the same amount each time.
You may think you already know what they are and disregard this task but I tell you that it is a big mistake to skip this basic step. Knowing where your money is going every month is the single most important part of making a savings plan or a budget to start saving money.
If you want to make savings, you need to know where the money is going and reduce how much money goes out, that is how you consistently save money each month.
Get maximum impact
Start by getting your statements and write down each expense. Make a note of how much you pay, at what day in the month and for what. Now look at food shopping and also look for other expenses you have on a regular basis.
Once you know how much you spend each month you can see where it makes more sense implementing changes. This will get you maximum impact. Below I tell you all about the changes I made.
Swap Branded Products For Supermarket Own Brands
I’m really lucky to live near both Aldi and Lidl, but if you are not as lucky, you can still make some savings just by swapping a few products and creating new habits. Believe me these changes will get you to save money each month and will become new habits for you.
This is a great way to try new things and save money each month. I, for example, have swapped toothbrushes, all dishwasher products, toilet paper, kitchen towels, pasta, rice, most meat, fish, cereals, bread, fruit, and veg.
You can be as strict as you want with what you swap, just make a note of how much you save each month.
Save Money Each Month With Meal Planning
I set aside one hour on Fridays to look both in the freezer and pantry before deciding on a meal plan for the week. Using what I already have, as much as possible, and shopping for the remaining items only, I have saved an average of £40 a month. I don’t spend one hour meal planning, no that takes me around 20 minutes, I plan my week in that time too.
I do most of my shopping in Aldi and Lidl, firstly because they have the best prices and they are the closest to my home too. I supplement it with weekly visits to my local market.
Explore what is around you and find the best places to shop. Don’t focus just on price, you want to find good quality at low price.
Want to learn more about Meal Planning? Read more here: How To Save Time And Money With Meal Planning
Download my free Meal Planner with a shopping list here.
Know Your Supermarket & Save Money
Because I go to Aldi and Lidl often, now I know when I’m most likely to find discounted items. For example, last year, at Christmas, I got an organic Turkey for 10 people for £15.00 and this year I went back at the same time, on the 24th December and got all my shopping at 50% the original price including the Turkey.
Today they had their minced meat at 50% so I got 3 packs and froze them all, this will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer and I can use it when I’m planning my meals.
Become a regular of the supermarkets nearest to you and visit them at different times to see the promotions they have and what times are better for finding good deals. After a few visits, you will know when you are more likely to find bargains. When you find them, buy a few packs and freeze.
Shop At Car Boot Sales And Local Markets To make Extra Savings
You can find amazing bargains at local markets. If you want to make some money on the side, car boot sales are an excellent option for additional income too! Kids & branded sports clothes do amazing as do toys!
I buy most of my kids’ clothes and toys from markets and boot sales. Kids grow fast and clothes don’t get to be worn for several seasons, so this is a great way to find quality clothes at great prices making you huge savings and helping the environment too. Even better, once you are done with those items, sell them on eBay or Marketplace and in most cases, I can guaranty, you will make a good profit!
Save Money Each Month On Your Insurance & Utilities
If you are anything like me, shopping around for better deals on your utilities it’s a task always left for last! Its endless forms to fill in, question after question and in the end, you might be stuck with what looks like a good deal with a price hike two months later…
Ditch Your Regular TV Provider And Get Something Better
I was with two TV providers for years. Would call them each year to negotiate a new deal and without fail, two months later I would get a price hike letter. The same happened with my energy provider. So, earlier this year, I got so tired, I cancelled all my services and bought an Amazon Fire Stick for my TVs, this was the best move I have ever made!
Read more about swapping cable providers here: 3 Cable TV Alternatives To Save Money
I also cancelled my TV license and never looked back! The TV license fee was £12.00 plus £20.00 for the TV package I had – that is £30.00 per month savings. Read below for a really great deal I got for my home phone, broadband, gas, and electricity. I’m also giving you a tip on how to get an even bigger discount!
Talking about utilities is never going to be the most exciting conversation, but let me tell you a little secret… You can still make good savings by shopping around. There are plenty of comparison websites you can use to compare prices! Don’t forget that there are other companies that do not advertise on those sites. Often, because they save on advertising, they are able to offer really good deals.
Having One Bill For All Your Utilities
I have moved all my utilities to the same provider. They are a utility provider and savings club, so the more utilities you bundle together, the bigger the savings you will get. I’m saving £45.00 a month.
That is not all, because I moved all my utilities and took a £10.00 mobile SIM card too, I qualified for an additional 10% discount on Gas and Free energy-saving LED lightbulbs.
Free LED Energy Saving Lightbulbs
That’s right, they came to my home and replaced all lightbulbs with the latest generation LEDs. I have 30 lightbulbs in the house, had no idea I had so many! They will also replace any that stop working, I just need to call. That is over £300.00 savings on the bulbs alone and an additional £45.00 a month. Have a look here to see what savings you can make and add that to your monthly savings.
I have been with them for over a year now. The service has been brilliant and what’s best is that, this makes it so much easier to manage my finances, I have 1 direct debit coming out of my account instead of 4 and one bill for all my utilities!
How To Get The Best Savings
Now, another bit of juicy information… They are offering the best Mobile phone tariff on the market at the moment, that is £20.00 pm with everything unlimited (calls + messages + data) and if you take additional sim cards, those will be reduced to £10 with the same unlimited allowance. This saved me £30 across 4 sim cards I had previously and another great way to save money each month.
It is on a rolling contract and you can keep your phone or get a phone from them at a monthly cost too. Have a look here and play around with the different price plans to really see what savings each plan gives you.
Don’t forget to compare with what you were paying before and make your selections like for like so you get a real idea on how much you are saving each month.
Just Like A Meal Deal
For example, even if you don’t need a SIM card, start with the plan that includes one and select the £10.00 SIM card available, that will give you a much lower price for your Gas and Electricity, your savings will be greater and will cover the £10.00 you are spending on the SIM card. It works a bit like a meal deal, you don’t want the drink but you take it to get the deal! Try it out here.
I hope you have found this post helpful, and have been able to use some of these ideas to save money each month for you and your family!
You can read more about saving money here: How To Start Saving Money Today
I love hearing from you and what you are doing to make a saving, let me know in the comments below.
Keep enjoying the simple things!