As food, energy and fuel prices continue to soar, households across the country are under extreme pressure to reduce costs in order to make ends meet.
But where do you even begin to ease the squeeze on the cost of living, particularly if you’re a parent with young children who need money for school meals, school uniforms, and their clothes washing regularly? The task may seem overwhelming but nursery essentials specialist, Hippychick, advises taking several small steps that together will really help to make a big difference.
Need some good ideas? We asked members of the Hippychick team, many of whom are parents, to reveal their top tips for helping to ease the squeeze.
Sarah Sturgess – Customer Service Manager
Lots of school offer swap shops and second hand uniform. It’s a great way to keep costs down. Most has only been worn for a short time and is in excellent condition. Great when they are constantly growing!
Also shopping with someone else. Lots of shops do multi-buys but everyone is limited to space or budget. That way you can share in the offers and make the saving still.
Mike Bird – Sales Executive
Cancel subscriptions you barely use and if you can share them with others (if the provider still lets you). Better still haggle with current providers Sky are really easy to do this with and they now offer a super basic package too.
Hannah Headford – Account Manager
I write out every single outgoing we have and then minus that from our income to see what is left – if we have any left it goes straight into savings or a ‘car fund’ (the car fund is to fix sudden things wrong with the car or new tyres etc as that can be a painful sudden bill!!)
We also turn taps off when brushing our teeth and when we do our washing up we use the dishwasher as much as possible (DON’T RINSE THE DISHES!!) OR fill a bowl of boiling hot water to wash and then rinse the bubbles away with cold water (saves on the gas bill!)
As its been so hot we have turned our temp on our boiler for the taps as low as we can and have turned all heating totally off. We’ve also stopped buying into certain branded foods which does save us about £10 a week! See Ya Heinz!!!
Gilly Young – Finance Manager
It may seem simple but building a proper budget and then sticking to it means you understand where your money is being spent and where you can save. It stops the impulse purchases that we are all guilty of, however build an amount in for a treat too, knowing you only have £x for monthly or weekly ‘treats’ makes you consider each one… do you really need it?
Heloise D’Souza – PR Consultant & Airbnb Owner
Use half the amount of detergent you normally use and we challenge you to notice the difference with the quality of your wash.
Invest in white distilled vinegar and use at rinse stage in place of fabric softener. It works just as well, seems to negate the need for ironing and won’t leave your clothes smelling like fish and chips, we promise.
Use fresh air to dry your laundry. It’s free!
Alex Molyneux – Marketing Manager
Meal plan! Once a week, set yourself a menu for the week ahead so when you go to do your food shop you only buy exactly what you need. This is great for reducing food waste too.
Rose – Dispatch Assistant
Buy frozen fruit & vegetables. They are frozen as soon as they are picked, so it actually preserves freshness, nutrients and helps cut down on waste. Not to mention being a lot cheaper than buying fresh.
Get savvy with coupons is another way I save money. Download the Lidl Plus app and take advantage of the weekly vouchers!
Scott – Deputy Warehouse Manager
Any work the cars need I do myself. Teaching myself how to fix something, rather than going to an expensive mechanic has come in handy quite a few times.
Jeremy – Joint Managing Director
Wear clothes to the max! I don’t replace anything until absolutely necessary, or until someone gifts me something because they can’t stand to see tape around my shoes anymore.
Steve – Warehouse Supervisor
When a renewal comes around, shop around for the best deal! Never settle for the first renewal price you are given.
Lili – Warehouse Assistant
If you’re wanting to get away, hunt for the best deals. If you can be flexible with the dates you ago away, this can massively impact the price. Keep chopping and changing the dates you go to try and find the best price.
Julia – Joint Managing Director
Investing in the postcode lottery.
Eating everything (even if unidentifiable) in our freezer rather than going shopping and growing as many vegetables / edible flowers as I can.
Also avoiding going to the supermarket where I end up buying things I like but don’t need!
Alan – Head of Sales
We have cut down the amount of times we use our local Tesco express or local premier shop as the prices are usually a lot more than the big supermarkets. We have tried to stop ourselves with the impulse buys, ie when we just need bread and milk for example that’s now all we get in the main and we don’t come back with 5 other things that we never intended to buy in the first place.
We have always done our income vs outgoings on an excel spreadsheet as that tells you what’s left over instantly by listing your bills.
I’ve also renegotiated things like my sky tv package and broadband to get better deals and compared car insurance much wider this year which saved £204 straight away. Monthly subscriptions like Mike said, do you really need 4 different movie providers? Just keep the main one you use the most and cancel the rest.
Do you have a top tip you’d like to share? If so, please include it in the comments section below.