It’s the age-old thing isn’t it, wanting to experience, see and do all the things but not having a job that pays for you to do everything on your list? Oh and don’t even think about trying to save at the same time as having a life. No that’s definitely not possible. Don’t be crazy! I’m not sure they will ever be a time where I’m comfortable with money and don’t have to think about bigger purchases. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scrimping and saving every month but there are definitely times where I wish that I could book another holiday or not have to justify buying the more expensive of two coats on ASOS. In the hope that one day I’ll be able to do that I’ve been trying to focus on simple ways to save money. Things that don’t feel hard or like I’m depriving myself but that allow me to slowly save for something I want – be it a holiday, a small treat or that lovely coat online.
So as we’re a couple of months into a new year and I’ve been doing this simple things for a while now I thought I’d share them with you, just in case you’re in the need for them too. And if you have some of your own simple ways to save money, that really work, please do share them with me. I’d be forever grateful.
Simple ways to save money
Reducing those shop bought coffees.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, last summer it would not have been unusual for me to buy two coffees a day, especially on a work day. One on the way to work and one when I hit that mid-afternoon slump. As you can imagine that adds up quite quickly if you’re averaging £2.50 a coffee and doing that every day (goodbye £100 a month!). So I’ve been trying to make coffee at home most mornings and switching that mid-afternoon coffee for a peppermint tea from the office supplies instead. And yes, sometimes I do slip up. But generally I’m spending £50 less a month on coffee and that’s definitely a good thing!
No impulse buys.
This has been a harder nut to crack than the coffee one, as I’m the queen of a last-minute ASOS order, or a mini splurge in Oliver Bonas. But I’ve been trying. And it’s certainly helped that when I have done this impulse buys, like the £100 ASOS order from mid-January, it’s not actually been that successful. And I’ve ended up sending most things back straightaway. I think in the last order I only kept the New Balance trainers, which I needed and knew would fit as they’re the same size as my old ones. But other than that everything went back.
Enjoying the simple things.
This philosophy has been key to our 2018 so far, as Lau discussed over here. It’s all about being kinder to ourselves and taking time to enjoy the simple things. Like baking or spending the afternoon reading or taking the dog for a walk. This means that we’re less inclined to head out on a shopping trip on a Saturday or book expensive meals out. Granted it helps that the weather is dreadful right now, and I’m sure things will change when adventures can happen in the sun. But it’s definitely been a money-saving philosophy so far this year!
Making breakfast and lunch at home 80% of the time.
It’s an obvious one I know, but it has to be on the list as it really works! If I buy breakfast and lunch during a work day it comes to around £7.50. And that’s just for a pot of porridge and a sandwich and crisps from Pret, so not exactly a huge extravagant feast. But if I make it at home I can have peanut butter overnight oats with a banana fro breakfast. And then yummy leftovers, like last week’s pulled pork and rice or chicken wraps, for lunch for no extra money. Granted I had to buy the ingredients in my weekly shop. But you can get a whole bag of porridge oats, a pint of milk, yogurt and peanut butter and a bunch of bananas for less than the cost of two breakfast porridge pots from Leon and the ingredients will be enough for at least ten breakfasts. So it’s a no brainer surely!
Reshopping my wardrobe.
Full disclaimer I really need to do this one again, as it’s been a few months since I put this one into practice, but I promise you reshopping your wardrobe really works. It’s so simple too! Just get out all your clothes, a section at a time, and try everything on again. Yes you’ll find items that don’t fit or you don’t like anymore, but I guarantee you’ll also find items you’d forgotten about or that can be worn with different items than you previously thought. Last time I did this I rediscovered two jumpers and a dress that can be worn on its own or as a layer with a plethora of tshirts and jumpers. It was a revelation!
My book buying ban.
I’ve written about my book buying ban recently, and it’s not ridiculous to say that this has saved me at least £40 this year so far. It’s been good to shop my bookcase, visit the library and use Netgalley properly this year. and I’ve read some brilliant books as a result. So definitely worth keeping it up.
Use up all your leftovers.
By this I don’t just mean as lunches during the week, I mean using every part of all your food. So don’t throw away day old bread, those black bananas or the leftover pasta sauce. Use it for the next night’s meal or freeze it. We’ve done that recently and used bananas for banana bread, made breadcrumbs with our day old bread and added the pasta sauce to chilli. We’ve also made an effort to make stuff from scratch – so no buying pasta sauce or passatta and making our own pizzas rather that falling down the Domino’s hole as per usual. I’s crazy how much you can do with random bits of food. Go on try it, you’ll surprise yourself I’m sure!
So there you go, some simple ways to save money. Tell me, do you do any of these already or are there any top tips you can send my way?