I genuinely believe that cutting household expenses can be more powerful than earning extra money.
Sure, having both is great, but when you earn extra money you’re likely to simply upgrade your lifestyle to fit within your means once again, resulting in you working harder for nothing.
Here are some simple ways you can drastically cut your household expenses, with little to no compromise.
Since Asda removed the Price Guarantee back in 2018, wombling hasn’t been quite the same. After all, I used to spend nothing on groceries, clothing, cleaning products and home goods, and instead got it all from Asda for free thanks to the incredible offer they had. No wonder they ended up shutting it down.
However, wombling is still a great way to get loyalty points for a wide range of programes that you can easily turn into free food, drinks, household goods etc.
It allows you to spend time outdoors and removes rubbish from our streets. I simply can’t ever see Wombling as a being a bad thing.
Reduce Your Food Waste
There are two simple and easy ways to reduce the amount of food you’re wasting that in result will mean you’re buying less food, and therefore spending less.
The first is reducing your food waste by using products and materials to enhance the items you have.
I have an entire post on this, discussing the benefits of each individual items so you can find items that are right for your needs.
The second way you can significantly reduce your food waste is by meal planning.
It doesn’t have to be as complex or as difficult as it sounds and can be a great way for you to feed your family healthy meals, plan things accordingly to avoid resorting to takeaways as a last-minute fix.
There are some incredible frugal cookbooks you can use as inspiration too to create fun new meals that are affordable, healthy and tasty.
Buy Cheap Food
One of the easiest ways to drastically cut household expenses is with your food bill, above I’ve discussed how planning, preparation and products can help you expand the life of the items you buy.
However, you’ll still need to buy food so there are two things I recommend in this area that can save you money. The first, is buying cheaper food.
Consider downgrading a brand (from branded to store luxury or store basics if you’re feeling extra drastic), consider shopping elsewhere (i.e. we LOVE Aldi and find it to be around 30% cheaper than Asda / Walmart).
I have a whole host of cheap foods you can buy to enable you to still buy great foods on a small budget.
The flip side of buying cheap food is investing in bulk. You should always be tracking the cost per item, per 100g, 100ml (whatever the measurement) to ensure you’re getting the best value for money.
However, in most cases, you’ll find that buying larger quantities actually costs less per unit.
In which case, we’ll buy in bulk. Now, this won’t work for everything, some items you don’t use enough of for the investment to be worth it, stick to the essentials that you use often. Ideas include;
- Toilet Roll
- Body Wash
- Sanitary Products
Other items won’t be suitable to be bought in bulk due to the use by date. For example, buying large quantities of milk for just the two of us is a completely false economy as we know a lot of it is going to go to waste, and we’ll be unable to store it long term i.e. freeze it.
Finally, something us British tend to struggle with more than our friends over in the States is storage. We have much smaller kitchens in british homes compared to American homes so finding the space to store and organise bulk products can be hard.
Again, solving this issue comes back to the first point in this section which is only investing in bulk for the most heavily used items in your home.
Consider trying to win items you’d otherwise be buying to drastically cut your household expenses. I won £11,000 worth of competition prizes in one year and was able to repurpose a lot of those into gifts for friends and family.
That completely removed the gifts category from our budget for one whole year saving us around £240 – not to mention all the cool other stuff we got from the £11,000 worth of prizes including a holiday, luxury watch and wonderful meals out…
Again, if you’ve got a ‘date night’ budget field, then learning how to enter and win competitions could easily replace that budgeting amount too.
Budget Your Money
Be sure that you’re tracking/budgeting your money to ensure you know exactly where each penny is being spent.
You can’t drastically cut your household expenses if you don’t know where you’re actually spending your money.
Personally, we use YNAB to track our money right now, however, there are loads of different applications and ideas to suit your needs.
Get The Free Samples You’re Entitled To
You can get all different kinds of free samples, some of which you have to be eligible for i.e. pregnant, others are available for anyone – in some cases, you might have to provide feedback on the product to the brand.
Items that are free that aren’t suitable for us. (i.e. baby food – we don’t have a baby) I simply leave in the food bank contribution bins on the way out of the store.
Consider A PPC (NHS Prepayment Certificate)
I have more than 2 prescriptions on a monthly repeat so this instantly saves me upwards of £8 a month, before any additional prescriptions I have to file for any short-term issues.
Cash In Your Loyalty Points
Once you’ve finished wombling, consider using the loyalty points you’ve amassed on the things you’d have otherwise been spending your hard-earned cash on.
I often spend Tesco Clubcard points on meals out etc. as you get three times the return compared to spending it in Tesco itself. An often look at the value of Nectar points to determine what’s best to spend my points on at the time.
Get Cashback Where Ever You Can
That way you’ll be getting money back for a purchase that you’d have been making otherwise.