MoneyMagpie

Feb 29

12 top money-saving tips for families

Reading Time: 7 mins

Family finances are being stretched more than ever in this day and age. In fact, many families are struggling with growing debt while they battle to keep ahead of inflation. Money-saving methods have become more important than ever. So many families are even finding it hard to meet the most basic of needs at the end of the month.

Is your family in this situation too? Has struggling to make ends meet become a serious problem? If so then our top money-saving tips will help. Read on to find out how you can make big savings on your average family spending.

1. Make your home pay for itself

Your biggest family expenditure is most likely to be your mortgage. So if you’re struggling to keep up with the payments, you need to make your bricks and mortar pay for themselves.

You can earn a helpful profit from your home by following these money-saving tips:

  • Renting out a spare room. If you’re really struggling, then consider this option. If you don’t have a spare room, is there a way to make one? Could your children share a room for a year or two? Or could a study become a bedroom if it’s not being used? You can make up to £4,250 a year without paying tax, or over £7000 from having a lodger. Find out how to rent a room tax-free now.
  • Renting out your garage or driveway. Got an empty garage or a driveway that’s just sitting there unused most of the day? Rent it out if you can, If you live in a popular location (near a major public transport route or close to a city centre) you can make as much as £17,000 a year.
  • One person we spoke too lived in the coastal town of St Annes-on-the-sea which hosted an Open golf event nearby every few years. He, rather cleverly, offered his driveway every time this happened and made several hundred pounds in a week by doing absolutely nothing!

Get started with JustPark.

2. Save on food bills

With inflation and food prices rising, the weekly shop is becoming even more expensive. But don’t worry, we have a few money-saving tips which will help you cut down on your food costs each week.

  • Beat the supermarkets at their own game. If you know all their clever marketing tricks then you’ll be able to spot them when they happen. If you do, then simply avoid them. This will instantly save you money. For example, just because something is featured prominently at the end of an isle, doesn’t mean you need it more.
  • Eat more vegetarian or vegan meals. Making a conscious decision to have one or two veggie meals each week will save you more money than you realise, that’s because meat is generally more expensive. Nobody is suggesting you go completely vegan/vegetarian if you don’t want too, but it is an effective money-saving tip. It will also help you get your 5 a day too.
  • Steer clear of processed foods. After all, they are bad for you and your family. They also cost more than fresh produce. If you struggle to think of dishes that everyone in the family will enjoy then get a bit of help from Sainsburys. We love their family meal planner, it’s great for inspiration and fantastic value for money, it’ll show you how to cook five meals for four people for just £20.
  • Use every last bit of food. Wasting food is essentially throwing your money away. and according to Lovefoodhatewaste.com one third of all the food bought in UK supermarkets ends up in the bin. Not only is this a horrible waste of food, but your hard earned money too. So make sure you use all your leftovers with Lovefoodhatewaste’s great recipe ideas. They’ll make your weekly shop go a lot further. If this isn’t possible then make an effort to buy less if you think it will likely go to waste.

3. Cut your car costs

tips for familiesWith sky-high petrol prices, everyone is looking to save money on fuel any way they can. We’ve got some great money-saving tips for cutting your pump costs here.

But first, don’t forget you can make big savings just by checking you have the best deal on your car insurance. Go to a comparison site like Confused.com and find out now.

Or if you really want to save a significant sum, we’ll tell you all about our favourite car clubs and other alternatives to owning a car. So if yours has become a burden there are other options available.

 

4. Get money makers, money savers and bargains straight to your inbox

If you want the very best money-making and money-saving ideas, deals and bargains sent straight to your inbox for free then look no further than the Moneymagpie weekly newsletter. It costs you nothing but could transform your finances. Sign up FREE here.

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5. Make a budget and stick to it

It sounds boring but a budget is your family’s greatest tool against unnecessary expenditure. Use a budget calculator or sit down and work out what you can, will, can not and will not spend that month/week. Being organised and sticking to budgets is the key to financial freedom.

If you’re armed with accurate knowledge of your family’s incomings and outgoings, you’ll know where you need to save and how to be more economical with your spending.

6. Be clever with your credit cards

tips for familiesIf you have a positive credit score but a few debts to pay off, switch to a 0% credit card. By transferring your balance to another provider you can avoid paying an interest for six months.

Who knows, that may be the time you need to pay it off. When this time elapses, try to move it again and so on. This way you can make a dent in your debt without paying too much interest.

Or, if you pay off your debt each month, get a card that rewards you for spending. Get Avios, points or cashback with credit cards with rewards here.

7. Use loyalty cards

If you’re going to spend money you might as well get something back for it. If you use loyalty cards like the Boots Advantage card, Tesco Clubcard and the Sainsbury’s Nectar card, make sure you get the most out of them. They exist to be used, but so many people don’t bother.

You can do this by remembering to use them every time you shop, and be sure to check their websites for special offers. Often the deals on there will give you more value for your points than if you were to use them in store. Log into your accounts and see what your points can get you.

8. Share and swap with friends and neighbours

tips for familiesGet together with your friends and neighbours to save money. Have a swap shop every now and then. You and your friends could swap clothes, accessories and even unwanted gifts. Share anything that allows you all to save money and help each other.

Also, share lawnmowers, power tools and other big-ticket items with neighbours. Bulk-buy food and household goods and share them out with neighbours so that you all end up paying less. See our article on buying in bulk with your friends to save money.

9. Get as much as you can for free

Use freebie sites (wisely, of course there’s a lot of rubbish to sift through, never use an email address you care about to sign up either, make a new one) for free samples of all kinds of things.

Gumtree is good for freebies. Also, get into mystery shopping for free restaurant visits and supermarket trips. Make sure they are legit, though

If you want to be really adventurous, you can get free holiday (well at least the accommodation part) by swapping your house with someone in another country. Try the website Homeexchange.com for an amazing selection of homes all round the world. If you get the right people, and live in a place people love to visit, this can be a great idea.

10. Shop around to save

It goes without saying that you could save £100s on your insurance, utilities and other bills by using comparison sites like ours. When it comes to food, check sites like Approvedfood.

11. Buy secondhand

tips for families

A great way to save on everything is to buy things secondhand, particularly big-ticket items like cars, furniture and electronics.

Use eBay, Gumtree, your local paper and family forums such as Mumsnet to buy things secondhand. Quite often, items just a few months old can be half price. Even better, get things for free on Freecycle.org.

People in your area are giving good stuff away today including household goods, toys, office equipment and more. Take advantage of local social media groups too, sometimes people will post on community forums giving away items that may be worth a lot of money.

12. Be green

tips for familiesGet into green living and you will definitely save money. Cut down on electricity and your carbon footprint by avoiding the tumble dryer and hanging clothes out to dry instead, using the ‘off’ switch when you’re not using electronic equipment and keeping the lid on pans when you cook. We’ve got loads more green and monet-saving ideas here.

Share your money-saving ideas with other families on our facebook page:


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Joanne
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Joanne

Useful advice.

Kathryn Hamlet
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Kathryn Hamlet

VAT at 23% ??? Not in the UK.

Daisy Dawe
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Daisy Dawe

Since when was VAT 23% ?? I am in the UK.

Faye
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Great tips! Think about renting rooms during the day at vrumi too.

Vania
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Very good post. I am going through some of these issues
as well..

Philip Dales
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Philip Dales

A couple of other things that can help too. Grow your own, Its very cheap and surprisingly easy to do. try getting some seeds, i’ve found that Wilco’s is very cheap although not the first place you may try, garden centres will also have lots. If you don’t think you have the space, most people don’t live that far from some allotments, and they have very cheap to rent. Also consider the bike to work scheme, details of which can be found all over the internet. This is a cheap way of buying a bike through your company if they… Read more »

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