Family life can be so expensive can’t it? It feels as though there is always something that needs paying for. Whether it’s new shoes for the kids, school trips, childcare fees or even just putting food on the table, taking care of the family finances can be a tough job. But there are things you can do to make a real difference to your family’s finances. These 60 tips on frugal living in the UK will help you to live a more thrifty family life.
Frugal living doesn’t need to be extreme in order to make a huge difference to your finances. If you just take one of these 60 ideas, then it will have a positive income on your finances. Frugal living in the UK has come a long way, and it’s no longer seen as something to be looked down upon, but rather something to be celebrated instead. Taking care of your finances these days is nothing to be ashamed of. I know of plenty of other Mums who are more than happy to shout out about how much money they’ve saved by cutting back and making small changes to their lifestyle.
Frugal Living UK: 60 ways to become a more frugal family
1. Shop at the end of the season for next year.
3. Use discount sites such as Everything 5 Pounds. They sell high street brands at £5 per item. You can often find designer items on there too.
4. Use the Amazon discount tool to find discounted products that don’t show up in an ordinary Amazon search.
5. Use voucher code sites to make sure you’re always getting the best deals when you’re shopping online.
6. Shop the yellow sticker section, freeze stuff and incorporate it into your next week’s meals.
7. Meal plan. Sitting down once a week and planning out what you’re going to eat each day makes a real difference to your finances. If you use your meal plan to then write a shopping list, you’ll make sure you’ve got everything in that you need without over-buying.
8. Batch cook. This can save you both time and money. Some frugal families like to bulk cook on a Sunday ready for the week ahead which then saves you time in the week.
9. Cook from scratch. Home cooking is often much cheaper than buying ready-made meals, and it’s much healthier too!
10. Check your council tax band. You can do this on the government website here.
11. Use comparison sites at insurance renewal time. Sites such as confused.com search multiple insurers for you, helping you to find the best deal without spending hours scouring the internet.
12. Bulk buy when you see a good deal. Amazon subscribe and save can be a great way to bulk buy and save on household items.
14. Know your budget. If you don’t know your budget, then you have no idea of how much money you can afford to spend on food, clothes, petrol, savings, or anything else. If your income fluctuates from month to month, then you need to sit down every month and work this out.
15. Walk for short journeys. The number of parents I see dropping their kids to school in the car when they only live round the corner is unbelievable. Short journeys use far more petrol per mile than longer journeys, so save cash and be a more frugal family by walking when you can.
16. Follow thrifty, frugal UK blogs for regular tips and price saving.
17. Join deals and bargains groups on Facebook for daily offers.
18. Share lifts if you can. Some workplaces have car share schemes.
19. Enjoy free or cheap days out in the school holidays. Plan ahead based on the weather forecast.
20. Review your spending regularly. Sit down with your bank statements at least every three months to see where you’ve been overspending. Also keep an eye out for any subscriptions or services you no longer need.
21. Get rid of TV subscriptions. If you’re on a tight budget, then getting rid of Sky TV can save you a fortune. You could try Amazon Prime who offer a free 30 day trial instead.
23. Grow your own.
24. Make do and mend.
25. Drop down a brand. If you usually go for premium brands, then switch down to the supermarket’s own brands. If you’re already buying own brand, then try their budget range. Often, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
26. Switch to a water meter.
27. Pay by direct debit – you will often get a discount for doing so.
28. Take packed lunches out with you.
29. Don’t upgrade your mobile at the end of the contract. If your phone is still in good working order, then you can save a fortune by opting for a sim only deal.
30. Turn off the central heating and wear an extra layer.
31. Research parking charges before you go anywhere, check whether there is free parking available, save money by planning ahead.
32. Take part in the 1p savings challenge.
33. Use Chip to stash money away without noticing it at a high interest rate.
The Chip app is available on both Android and Apple, and if you use my referral code UR8YZU, you’ll start off on 1% interest.
34. Pay extra off your mortgage as and when you can afford to – you will save money in interest in the long run (check terms & conditions to see how much extra you are allowed to pay off without penalties).
35. Buy a refillable drinks container so that you’re not tempted to buy expensive drinks when you’re out and about. You can get great value reusable coffee cups on Amazon these days, as well as
36. Check the cupboards before you meal plan and write your meal plan using what you have in there first.
37. Write a shopping list from your meal plan.
38. Stick to your shopping list when you go shopping, don’t allow the kids to talk you into buying extras!
39. Use loyalty cards and get money/vouchers.
40. Use supermarket petrol stations, they tend to be much cheaper.
41. Check the dates on your food and plan what to eat when so that food doesn’t go to waste.
42. Use Muscle Food for high quality, low cost meat.
43. Use pound shops for everyday essentials. We are so fortunate to have these shops dotted around in most towns, they can be a real help when you’re working towards more frugal living UK.
44. Switch to a budget supermarket such as Aldi or Lidl.
45. Use up old but OK bread by toasting or making bread & butter pudding.
46. Use washable wipes.
47. Use reusable kitchen towels.
48. Go to preloved sales – these are often held in school halls and advertised on social media.
49. Make sure you have an emergency fund so that you never rely on credit when something needs repairing.
50. Remind your children to turn lights off when they leave an empty room (real bug bear of mine). We need to sew the seed for the next generation to promote more frugal living UK.
51. Review your bank statements every few months and make sure you’re not paying for any subscriptions you no longer need.
52. Avoid using the tumble dryer during Spring, Summer and Autumn – hang your clothes out to dry on the line if you can. OK, so we aren’t blessed with year round sunshine here, but even a bit of a breeze can dry off wet clothes. Frugal living UK means taking advantage of the weather whenever you can!
53. Start doing at least one side hustle, you will have more money to put away for emergencies. There is a list of 101 side hustle ideas here.
54. Drink more tap water. It’s cheap and really good for you. Frugal living UK families embrace the fact that we are fortunate enough to be able to drink water straight from the tap here, not every country is lucky! Take advantage of it.
55. Make sure that are claiming everything you are entitled to. Click here to check.
56. If you have an e-reader, take advantage of free ebooks.
57. If you prefer to have real books, use your local library.
58. Use WhatsApp to send messages and make calls for free.
59. Fill a jar with free activity ideas and let the children choose one when they say they’re bored.
60. Join an energy club that automatically checks whether you are on the cheapest deal for your gas and electricity. Check whether your local council offer one (ours do). If not, you can join this one from Money Saving Expert. Money Saving Expert is full of resources for frugal living UK, so it’s worth keeping up to date with their website.
So, there you have it. 60 ways to become a more frugal family UK. Implementing just one or two of these thrifty family ideas WILL make a difference to your family’s finances.
Frugal living UK – pin it for later and try at least one idea to get your family saving money immediately.
As well as living a more frugal lifestyle, I think that everybody should have at least one side hustle. Side hustles are a great way to bring in more money alongside your job, looking after the kids, and everything else you do in your day to day life. Bringing in more money alongside being more frugal means that you will have even more money available to put towards savings, paying of debt, or just having more expendable cash.
My free, 30 day money making challenge provides a huge range of side hustle ideas, as well as access to a fab Facebook group and a password protected area of the website. I’d love to see you there.
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