Entering into a cost of living crisis can be a very scary and concerning period, especially if you are already struggling financially. So, we are here to introduce different ways to save money in the cost of living crisis, from your food bill to saving electricity and a few other tips and tricks. If you are in serious financial trouble and are struggling to repay your debts, the following tips may not be enough, so make sure that you seek financial advice and potentially apply for an IVA to take control.
However, if you’re trying to be precautious or you just need to make some changes due to the increases, then the tips below could help you out!
Your Food Bill
Plan Out Your Meals
Our first tip to help you save money in the cost of living crisis is to plan out your meals. Sit down at the end of the week, look at what you have on each day and then plan what you and your family will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, write out a list of what you need to take to the supermarket, then make sure you stick to it when you get there. This will help you to avoid spending on what you don’t need to, as it can be so easy to walk around and just pick up random bits and pieces that you really don’t need. It will also help you to avoid food waste, as you will only be buying what you know you will eat! This will only take you around half an hour each week to plan and write your list, but it will help you to be so organised throughout the week, saving time and money.
Frozen Fruit and Veg
Another good tip to help save money is to buy frozen fruit and veg rather than fresh. Frozen choices are just as healthy in terms of the nutrition, but you get so much more for your money and it is much more convenient. You can keep your freezer stocked up and just use what you need when you need it. Again, if you have a change of plans and you don’t end up eating a planned meal, the veg won’t go to waste.
Gone are the days when you just had a bog standard bag of mixed veg, but you can get everything from sweet potato to butternut squash, honey glazed parsnips, roast potatoes, green beans, mini corn on the cob, mushrooms, mediterranean veg mix, peppers and everything in between! You may want some fresh veg throughout the week, but this is such a great way to save money and save food waste.
We also love frozen fruit, as although you might not eat it as you would an apple or some grapes, it is so diverse. If you’re having porridge, rather than topping with fresh berries you can heat some frozen berries with a bit of water and a teaspoon of sugar for such a delicious topper. You could throw some frozen mango into a blender with half a banana, some yoghurt and water for a quick, easy and refreshing smoothie. The options are endless really, and having frozen fruit in the freezer is ideal for when you want a quick, nutritious snack.
Swap To Own Brands
One of the best pieces of advice we can give when it comes to saving money in the cost of living crisis is to swap to supermarket own brands. This goes for food, toiletries, cleaning, etc. The amount of money you can save when you buy supermarket own products is incredible really. For example, in one supermarket, their own tin of baked beans is 27p, with a popular branded version being £1.40. There may be some items where you really don’t want to get anything but the brand, but we urge you to try options, as if you can save up to £1 on multiple different items in your food shop, it will really add up each week. Plus, so many supermarkets are coming out with incredible alternatives! There are also many supermarkets coming out with essentials type ranges, with core products being available at really low prices. Things like tinned goods, frozen foods, fresh fruit and veg and cleaning products are all available for less, and the supermarkets are competing with each other to offer the best prices, so have a look around to see how cheap you can get things. So, go out of your comfort zone and you may just surprise yourself.
Our first tip to help you save energy is to batch cook! When you’re doing your food plan, incorporate recipes where you can batch cook. Things like soup, curries, spaghetti Bolognese, chilli, fajitas, pulled pork, rice dishes and tagines can all easily be cooked in big batches, then frozen. You are only having to use a significant amount of energy once to make perhaps 10 portions of food, then you can freeze it and defrost on the day you want to eat it, before simply reheating in the microwave. You may use 30 minutes of electricity or gas to create that meal, but that is so much better than spending 30 minutes on just one or two portions. This is also really helpful for days that you know are going to be busy. Maybe you have something on after work or the kids have a club to go to, rather than being tempted to get a takeaway and spend more money, you know you’ve got a delicious and nutritious meal waiting for you at home.
Get A Heated Blanket
Another thing you can do to cut down on energy costs is to get a heated blanket. Heated blankets can cost as little as £20 and cost less than 5p an hour to run. This is an extremely economical solution, as in the winter when it gets really cold, it is so much more affordable to do this than heating the whole house through the central heating, when really you only need some warmth in the bed. Say for the three coldest months of the year, you use the heated blanket each night for 5 hours. This will cost around 25p per night, £1.75 per week, £7 per month or £21 for the full three months. Add the initial £20 cost and you’re looking at £41 for three months of comfortable warmth. You may not even need to use it this often either. You can then set your heating to come on an hour before you wake up so the house is nice and warm before you head off to work, saving a huge amount of electricity whilst ensuring you can keep yourself warm.