Monday, July 22, 2024

The Case Of The Disappearing Dough

One of life’s great mysteries is how I manage to convert my monthly wages into absolutely nothing within the space of 2 weeks and still have pretty much nothing to show for it!

It’s a trick that I have always been pretty good at, but that I’ve really perfected since having Joshua. I may have become much worse at sleeping, tidying, working and avoiding alcohol since becoming a dad but I’ve become loads better at blowing through my wages! Yay.

If you are in the same boat and are looking at ways to avoid being left eating baked beans on toast every day for dinner here’s a few money saving tips on cutting back on costs that we’ve tried recently:

Charity Shops

The only time I would venture into a charity shop in my youth would be to look for a fancy dress outfit if the theme was ‘the 80s’. But recently inspired by my mum I’ve discovered that you can actually pick up loads of decent, dirt cheap toys in some of them! Every week she manages to find something for a pound that we have recently spent £20 on buying from new! With Christmas coming up it’s well worth a look!


I’ve always loved eBay but generally used it to buy loads of crap I didn’t actually need in the middle of the night! And then attempt to resell aforementioned crap upon the realisation that I really didn’t need it!

Now though I’ve found you can actually save a load of money on there by buying things you actually need! Of course there are loads of second hand bargains you can pick up but there are also loads of companies that have shops on eBay to sell off older stock or clearance items or things that have been returned.

I picked up a returned projector on there a year or two ago for £100 cheaper than the shop price – just because it had been opened and returned!

It’s also worth considering things that are listed as ‘collection only’ – previously I would have avoided those as the thought of driving 100 miles and then trying to manhandle a chest of drawers or a tumble dryer into my car wasn’t exactly appealing!

But now you can use Shiply to find a transport company who will pick stuff up for you and deliver it to your door at a pretty reasonable price. They have over 100,000 companies on their books so all you need to do is fill in a quick form to say what you want shifting and from where and you’ll get loads of quotes to choose from. For eBay items you can even pop in the listing number and all the item details will populate themselves! Happy days!

Cashback Websites

I’m sure most people use these now but if you don’t it’s worth checking out the raft of websites that give you money for buying stuff through their site. I use Quidco but there are a few others out there.

Just type in the name of the shop you want to shop at, follow the link and you’ll get a percentage or a fixed amount back in your Quidco account when you buy qualifying stuff from that shop.

Really useful for utility companies too – if you’re thinking of switching gas, electricity or TV provider it’s well worth doing it through a cashback site and making a few quid! At the moment you can get up to £95 for joining Npower or up to £80 with Sky for example!

Changing Grocery Shops

We have always shopped at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s for the past few years as they are the ones closest to us. A few months ago we experimented with changing to Asda and doing shopping online so we could make sure we bought the stuff we needed rather than picking up random things that looked nice!

By changing shop and planning better we easily saved well over £100 a month, which is actually quite a decent whack! And that’s without even trying Aldi or Lidl!

So there are a few little money saving tips we’ve started trying a bit more recently – after all extensions and toddlers are a pretty expensive combination so anything we can do to save a few quid is pretty useful. One day we might even be able to afford to plaster the walls…

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