As the restrictions on our economy continue, it’s never too late to form good spending and saving habits, particularly at home.
It’s generally easy to get used to a certain standard of living, and even if you consider yourself frugal, there could be ways to avoid waste that haven’t yet occurred to you.
Although many of us make lists in our daily lives, making a shopping list before getting to the supermarket is more important than it may seem.
It’s a common problem to reach the till and realize you’ve overspent on special offers and non-necessities: sticking to a list can easily prevent this.
1. Agree on a Family Budget
Deciding on a budget with a partner or your family is a good idea, as is balancing your monthly budget to allow for heavier spending on some weeks, lighter on others.
2. Shop Independent Markets
When you shop, try to consider using markets and independent local shops as well. It may be more time-consuming and certainly not doable all of the time, but the savings will be noticeable on things like fresh produce and meat and fish.
3. Use House Brands
If you do have to use the big stores, don’t dismiss the own-brands; cheaper items that will be used as ingredients in sauces or stews – not individually – may make little difference in taste.
4. Meal Plan
It also makes sense to plan meals from recipe books and figure out what the most cost effective options will be. Big, one-pot meals like pasta or casseroles generate leftovers and excess veg that might otherwise go off can be stored conveniently in fridge freezers or used for lunches later in the week.
5. Research More Frugal Ideas
While there are whole websites and books now dedicated to leftover ideas, other ways to save money on food, such as growing and freezing your own vegetables, are also worth looking into.
Finally, there are a host of tried-and-tested ways you can better your attitude to household money, from packed lunches, to shopping around for restaurant deals and coupons when you do want to treat yourself. Most of it may sound like common sense, but domestic habits can be costly and definitely merit reviewing now and again, even if you’re a sensible spender in general.