Wednesday, 19 September 2012

My top 5 tips to save money without scrimping!

As you may have guessed by now, I love up-cycling, charity shops and generally finding a good bargain. The savings you can make with simple changes and thrifty decisions is amazing. Thinking about these things encourages me to think more creatively about what I already own and how I spend. I aim to be a good steward of my money and the following tips are some of the ways I try and watch my pennies.......I don't see them as rules rather ideas and sometimes even challenges.

My 5 simple top tips for saving money and being thrifty :
1) Be prepared to up-cycle furniture you already own. I often find with even minimal effort you can transform furniture and furnishings and give them a new lease of life. For example try updating a tired sofa by recovering your cushion covers or adding a coordinating throw. A quick lick of paint can transform a piece of furniture; consider adding a panel of patterned wallpaper or decoupage detail. Changing handles on a chest of drawers or recovering chairs can also make a huge differences 

2) If you shop for your children's clothes in charity shops why not plan ahead and buy things when you see them; get an under-bed storage box or similar and stock pile your finds, buy when you find a bargain even if it won't fit the child for several months/years! However be sure to check back regularly so you don't forget what sizes you have in stock! Buying in advance will mean you are prepared and don't find yourself suddenly needing clothes and having to buy new. You can often find bulk bags of clothes on gumtree, free-cycle at car boots and from ebay, these can be a real bargain. I think I have saved loads on Martha's clothes by doing this. 

3) Christmas and Birthday presents can be so expensive so don't be afraid to buy in advance when you see things in sales. You often spend so much more when you buy in a hurry. Have a present and card drawer so you won't be caught out and not have enough time to find a bargain. The January sales are the best time to buy Christmas cards, decorations and crackers. I would also recommend planning ahead and making presents. There are lots of great books out there with fantastic homemade gift ideas. I always love receiving homemade gifts like sweet treats, preserves, jewellery and homewares.  

4) It sounds obvious but before you buy compare the price. The internet has made this really easy for us to do, a simple search will usually give you an idea of what you should be paying. There also specific money saving and price comparioson Apps to help. The variation of prices for the same product can be huge so make sure you have checked! 

5) I am no money expert but I have been living off a fairly tight budget for a number of years. I hate budgeting but have found it really helpful to have a separate account for 'spending money'. Once the account is empty that's it, no more coffees out or impulsive purchases till the next month.....

SO in summary...... shop second hand, make use of what you already have, try making presents, check the price, buy in advance and set a budget! Simple! 


  1. Great tips Em! I started my Christmas present making last month, although really need to start even earlier! My favourite tip is to make a shopping list of things you are hoping to find via a charity shop so that you can take it with you whenever you are out and about. That way, if you're just popping into one on an off chance, you can consult your list and keep to the list, rather than getting carried away and buying things you dont need!


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