Saving: My Top Tips

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After a conversation with Aisling and another read through of Caitríona’s wonderful book (my review here) I decided to share some of my tips for saving money and stretching it where needs be.
Between everything lately I’ve been flat out broke. We’re moving at the moment, I had to get new tyres for my car, put my back out costing me a fortune in chiropractor bills & had to borrow money to get a new laptop as mine might as well have kicked the bucket when we had the lovely hot weather.
It’s not the only time I’ve been broke, let’s be honest we all dread the week (perhaps more) before payday and you’re living on leftovers and cheese sandwiches hoping you can keep the shopping under €20 for two people for a week!
 
 

First of all, you know it – BUDGET

– I cannot stress this enough, write it down or type it up. Know how much you have coming in and going out each week/month/year. Then you won’t be so surprised when it comes out or better still you won’t go overdrawn/have to put it on a credit card that will cost you even more money!
 
If budgeting doesn’t work for you, sometimes it doesn’t for me – I’ll get to two more extreme measures in a bit.
 

SAVINGS ACCOUNT

– Set up a standing order/direct debit that comes directly out of your pay/bank account on payday. You’ll never see the money and before you know it you’ll have a lovely little pile for a rainy day or for whatever you’re saving for. I would say hide under your mattress, but unless you’re like my OH and forget it’s there – you’ll spend it.

 

BULK BUYING – This works particularly well with batch cooking. 

E.g Lidl have carrots & celery for 39c this week (lets not go into the ethics), that screams soup to me or stock as well as every day meals. Do you have pasta regularly (more than once a week) – then you can get up to 5kg bags & it works out far cheaper, plus again – pasta bakes go a long way between lunches & dinners!
Berries are a huge expense as we drink smoothies quite a bit, so when they’re on offer we buy as many as we can afford – taking in the cost for other weeks too, get them home, wash and freeze them. It saves on water for ice too for smoothies – win win!
 

BATCH COOKING

– now you might not have the cooking skills for this, but have a little google, you’d be surprised how easy it is to make a batch of shepard pies that can be frozen and popped into the oven. It doesn’t take that much longer to cook a larger amount.

If you’re using the oven for shepard pies, make something else for the oven too! It saves on electricity – think of an oven baking 12 cakes that has room for 36 – that extra space is costing money!
 

KNOWING WHAT YOU HAVE

– this goes for everything!
From food to toiletries to beauty products! You wouldn’t get petrol for the car if you have just under a full tank!
 Before you go shopping, have a look at what you have in your beauty cabinet or your food cupboards. Not only does this mean you’ll be more effective with your shop – not buying unnecessary things but you’ll get stuff you need & try out new stuff
From a beauty blogging perspective this is tough. The way I see it – I have 6 Urban Decay eyeshadow pallettes (none of the Naked collection sadly) but why on earth would I go buy eyeshadow when I have enough to do nearly any sort of look for any colour of outfit?!
 

DON’T SACRIFICE ALTOGETHER

– if you restrict yourself so much you’re bound to fall off onto a shopping spree. I allow myself one thing a month – whether I set a monetary limit e.g. €20 or I’ve been dying to try a new food product – or even something as simple as knowing a Boots 3for2 offer is coming up and I can repurchase one thing and treat myself to the other two. 
 
SAVOUR – For makeup I use a budget friendly foundation but contouring/finishing with my favourite powder so both products last longer but I don’t feel like I’m totally broke.
 
Now for my extreme measures – not to be taken lightly. Should none of these collectively work for you – please consider the following –

RELINQUISH CONTROL

– so you have the savings account/budget but find yourself dipping in to it all the time? This is tough but it will work. Give your savings book/debit card to someone you trust and ask them not to return it. Am I crazy? No. It works.
 

THE MOTIVATOR

– Plan your budget work out how much you need to live off – e.g. transport, food, misc. cutting out all those bought coffees, extra spending, I’m talking the minimal essentials – take that money out of your account and then hand your card over. This makes it more manageable because you know if you go spend it that money is gone and however barren your month looked before it’s definitely worse now. 
 
I know this has been a bit of a ramble so if you’ve made it this far, congratulations and I hope you’ve found something useful in here. Have you any saving tips I might have missed? 
 
Have a great weekend everyone!
Nickki