Being a mum can often feel like a juggling act – balancing the books, coordinating after school clubs and play-dates, coming up with healthy meal ideas the kids will eat and keeping house, often on top of working at least part-time and organizing appropriate childcare.
All these things can seem overwhelming at times. Following these handy hints on how to save money can take at least one of the worries away, leaving you with more free time to spend appreciating your children.
Keeping the house clean
Save money on expensive cleaning products by utilizing natural disinfectants such as lemon juice and vinegar. Rubbing half a lemon around the kitchen sink has the same effect as spraying it with anti-bacterial cleaner and at a fraction of the cost. Diluted vinegar makes a great polish for varnished wood, brass and copper fixtures and more.
Food – eating in or dining out
Food is one of the largest expenditures in most households. Make the most of your food budget with some savvy shopping. Plan meals in advance and always make a shopping list – this prevents you from impulse buying when at the supermarket.
If you have a large freezer you could consider bulk buying. It is usually cheaper if you buy food in large quantities. Whenever you make a meal, make four times as much as usual and set three aside in Tupperware to freeze.
Stews and casseroles are perfect for this. Experiment with stores own brand produce – sometimes they are inferior to the branded goods and you may want to avoid them, but in many cases the stores own are made in the very same factory as the branded products and simply packaged differently.
Check out the discount shelves when you go shopping and sites like netvouchercodes.co.uk for money-off offers at leading supermarkets – often items which have several days left before their use by date end up on there, and if they can be frozen even better.
If you fancy a treat and want to eat out, never leave home without checking if there are any restaurant vouchers for the more popular chains.
Use the internet to check out free local attractions for places to take the kids at weekends. Cinema tickets and admission fees can add up, but there are plenty of free museums about and the park costs nothing.
If you fancy going away for the weekend, avoid expensive hotels and instead go camping. Most children far prefer being out of doors anyway and it costs very little.
Grow your own
Growing your own herbs not only saves you money but is a fun activity that the children can get involved in. Purchase a few cheap plastic pots or use old jam jars. Let the kids make labels and take photographs of their young seedlings each day as a progress record.
The first time you make a delicious meal with herbs that they have grown themselves will be a very proud moment.
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