10 WAYS TO CHOP YOUR FAMILY FOOD BILL

Summer is well and truly in full swing as parents try their best to keep children occupied for the long 8-week school holidays.  According to research the average family food shop doubles over the school holidays!    No wonder so many parents feel the pinch during this time.

 

Below are some tips to help you trim your food budget during the summer holidays.

 

Set a Budget

The most effective way of cutting back is to set yourself a budget and stick to it.  It’s very easy to do, take a months’ worth of receipts and calculate what you normally spend on average for food shopping, deduct around 10 – 20%.  That’s your budget set.  If you’re up for the challenge you can reduce your budget even further!

 

 

reducing grocery costs

Make a List

Grocery shopping without a list leads to temptation!  Before you head off, go through your cupboards, fridge, and freezer to see what you already have.  Write down some meal ideas then develop a list of things you currently don’t have.

 

Be Flexible

In addition to making a list, you may find there are offers on within the store.  Be prepared to change your meal plans in order to make the best use of whatever special offers are on.  So, having a few ideas up your sleeve will give you the flexibility to ensure you never miss out on the best deals.

 

Buy reduced items

Some supermarkets have a reduced section.  The items are perfectly fine, the best before is normally the day you are shopping.  Don’t be afraid to have a look, you can either use them that evening or you can freeze them and use later.

 

Use supermarket own brands

For basic foods such as rice, spaghetti, flour, sugar and so on, buy supermarket own brands which are normally cheaper and there is very little difference – if any difference at all – in the taste of these products.

 

Ditch pre-packed

Did you know that loose fruit and vegetables are much cheaper than their pre-packed counter parts?  It is also the same for cheese and often meat.  Check the price per kilo on the shelf at then at the deli counter to ensure you get the best deal.

 

Don’t shop when you are hungry

Shopping on an empty stomach results in buying food that you crave at that moment and often leads to impulse buys and an increase in your overall food bill.  Eat before you shop!

 

Avoid snack packs

Kids love snack packs and parents love them too for the convenience.  Unfortunately, anything in small packages costs more!  To avoid paying more for snack packs buy a small Tupperware box in the pound shop and buy the average size packets of food to keep your grocery costs down.

 

cutting your grocery bill

 

Use coupons and cashback apps

Cashback apps and vouchers are a great way of reducing your overall grocery shopping.  You can get many free items too when shopping with coupons and cashback apps.  Head over to read about the best Cashback apps which you can download now and start saving immediately.

 

Avoid waste

It has been reported that households in the UK binned £13 billion worth of food in 2015, this equates to an average £470 worth of food for every household.  Avoid throwing food away by ensuring you use the ingredients before the go off or use up your ingredients to make a soup or stew which you can freeze for a later date.

 

Happy shopping!

 

Elf x

 

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cut your grocery bill

 

I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

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SMART PHONE APPS THAT CAN HELP YOUR FAMILY SAVE A TON OF MONEY

 

It’s official, UK inflation has hit an all-time high.  What does this mean for your family budget?  Fuel and food prices rising and continuing to rise with the average household having to spend £000’s more on the likes of fuel, food and utility bills.

 

While there is nothing a family can do about the situation that plays out in the economy, it is possible to take steps to reduce the impact on your family budget.

 

Budgeting

As a mum of two teenage boys, I know how difficult it can be setting and sticking to a family budget, but it’s a very useful tool keeping track of your spending – it is a visual aid which you can use to reduce or cut back.

 

While the old-fashioned method of pen and paper is sound, most of us own smartphones which are by our side night and day, so I decided to road-test two free-to-download budgeting apps to see how they work and if they could help track our family spending.

 

Wally App (available on iPhone & Android)

The Wally App is a personal finance app that helps you compare your income and expenditure, it also allows you to set goals and keep track of your spending.  One of my feature features of this app is the option to add a photo of your receipt – that way you know exactly what you purchased, where, when and for how much – it is a real eye-opener seeing all your receipts in one place!  The app is totally free with the additional bonus of being advert free!

 

Toshl (iPhone & Android)

Toshl Finance is an app that allows you to keep track of where your money goes with an additional feature of being able to set a reminder of when you need to pay bills.  It is very straightforward to use and it is easy to place your spending in to separate categories or setting up new categories.  The easy to use budget calculator shows how much money you have left once you make purchases but an excellent feature is that you can set a goal of what you want to spend, it will then let you see how much you have left – a fantastic visual way of knowing the amount you have left in the bank!  Another clever feature is the ability to set a reminder on the app which will notify you to add your spending – extremely useful for all busy parents.

 

Smart shopping

For some families, grocery bills can be a bank balance strain – especially with teenagers in the house!  Over the past year, I have tested several apps and have saved £000’s on my grocery shop. These smartphone apps could help you stay within your household budget or even reduce your grocery bill with the added benefit of you not having to turn in to an ‘extreme couponer’ to benefit from free grocery items or money off!

 

Put quite simply the following apps give you back money you spend on items that they have listed on their particular app.  The difference between the app as opposed to a coupon is that you need to purchase the product first before getting your money back.  Each app has a different selection of products with some at times offering 100% cashback – making the item free!

 

CheckoutSmart

 

This app allows you to claim cashback on items you’ve bought from some of the major supermarkets and other retailers such as Superdrug or Boots.  Free to download, the offers change or update each week.  The offers can be valid for in-store or online so it’s best to check the terms and conditions for each item.  It is extremely easy to use, you buy the product, when safely at home take a photo of your receipt, upload it via the app and receive the cashback directly to your bank account or Paypal account, although there is a minimum payment withdrawal of £5.

 

Shopmium

Another cashback app which is very straightforward to use, you browse the products on the app, make a purchase, scan the item and upload your receipt in the comfort of your own home.  Payment is normally within 72 hours and is automatically transferred to your bank or Paypal account each claim you make.  A great feature of this app is the option to view the nearest store to you where you can make a purchase, so you should have no problem knowing where to go!  While most of the items are grocery items there are times when they offer a discount on wine or beauty products.

 

If you use my referral link you can claim a box of Cornettos!  Use code KMHECCCP.

 

Have you used any of these apps before or are you going to start using them?  We would love to hear your comments.  Let us know your thoughts and especially let us know how much you save!

 

Happy money saving!

 

Elf x

 

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6 PRACTICAL WAYS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

An important part of financial success of any individual or family is to be able to establish a budget and then learn to live within that budget.   However, it is not that straightforward and when it comes to children it can become difficult if they have never been taught about money nor the fundamental concept in budgeting and economics which is our needs and our wants.

Needs are something you must have for survival.  For example, food and water.  Without food, you would not be able to live.  Wants are something that you would like to have, but it is not necessary, and you could do without it.

Sometimes needs and wants overlap.  For example, cake is a food, but it is not a need, but a want.  In general, you need a basic diet to survive, but that diet does not need to include cake.

Teaching your children these valuable lessons is a skill that will be extremely valuable in later life.

 

Below are some fun ideas to teach your kids about money.

 

  1. Pay for some items in cash

This may seem a little strange but as most transactions are completed online and a lot of purchases are made using debit or credit cards some children have never seen cash!  So, let them see money so they get a sense of income and expenditure.  Also, explain to them how debit cards and credit cards work.

 

  1. Give them a budget

Setting a budge together for your child will help them overall.  Give them pocket money and work together writing down the amount and what they spend it on.  This simple tracking money will be so valuable as they grow older and earn their own salary.

 

  1. Teach them how to earn money

Ask your children to do tasks around the house and let them ‘earn’ their own money.  Also, teach them about selling unwanted toys or books on EBay or at a car boot sale.

 

  1. Making saving money fun

Buy your child a piggy bank and encourage them to save their pennies – let them see how quickly putting money away can add up.  Why not make up a savings chart so they can see the amount of savings grow!

 

  1. Talk about money

It is very important to talk to your children about money, discuss needs and wants as well as the basics of how people earn money and what types of things you pay for in terms of your monthly bills.

 

  1. It’s not all about money

If you are anything like me, you love spending time with your family and sometimes that means going for a walk on the beach or taking photos together or watching a favourite TV programme.  Teach your children that it is not all about money – that doing things together as a family is priceless!

 

Happy teaching!

Elf x

 

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TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

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