1. Check your benefits and claim all those that correspond to you:
It’s all too easy to overlook the range of benefits available to you for which you may be eligible, as time-at-home constraints may increase as you adjust to your new role as a parent or manage your family unit. A good website to check out is called EntitledTo, this will give you a form to fill out to see what you can claim.
Other useful sites out there include childcare voucher schemes, healthy start vouchers which give you £3 per child each week to redeem for fresh milk, fruit and vegetables and the £190 Money4Mum2be government grant available for you to spend on what you want.
2. Make your own cleaning products straight from the pantry.
White vinegar Dissolves: dirt, soap suds, hard water deposits
Cleans everything from floors to countertops, gentle enough for hard floors and the odor disappears when it dries so your home doesn’t smell like salad.
Cleaning Solution: Mix in a spray bottle
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup of water
undiluted white vinegar
- Ideal for hard water and slag.
- Scrub the inside of the toilet bowl
- Mildly abrasive and a natural deodorant.
- Ideal for dirty bathtubs: sprinkle a little on a damp sponge.
- Ideal for removing food deposits from the sink.
Furniture Polish Recipe: Mix in a Spray Bottle
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
The lemon removes dirt, and the oil will give the wood a nice shine.
3. Budget and plan your weekly shopping, love your leftovers and control portions
- Use a weekly planner or make your own to stay on top of your shopping and meal list
- BOGOF doesn’t necessarily mean it will save you money; only buy these items if you know you will use them. Remember: a bargain is only a bargain if you really need it!
- A website called LoveFoodHateWaste is a perfect resource for finding some great leftover recipes and a serving calculator.
- Organize your kitchen cabinets with storage jars so you can see what you’re running out of
- Buy seasonal and loose fruits and vegetables: Make sure you don’t buy too many, unless your family is a fruit fanatic, as they will rot and have to be thrown away.
4. The working mom’s packed lunch
There is a new trend in town and it is known as Al’ Desko. Yes, you got it, eating a packed lunch at your desk. Goodbye soggy ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches and ‘hello’ hummus and roasted vegetable omelet!
Plan your packed lunches around dinner leftovers and stock up on pantry staples.
5. Earn money with old mobile phones
Trading in your old, unused phones can earn you some extra cash while clearing out your pile of electronics.
Check out the following companies:
There is also a charity called Stepping Stones Nigeria that helps abandoned children. You can send in your old phones as an alternative way to donate.
6. Join a toy library to reduce the cost of new toys
Why spend a fortune on new toys when you can join a toy library, meet other parents in the group and take a coffee break while your little one plays?
Google your local toy library, it really is a great way to make friends and you can borrow toys for as little as £0.50p for 2-4 weeks.
7. Bookworm? Trade your books – don’t buy
If you’re not a library member and have a full bookstore at home, then why not trade in your unwanted books online for ones you haven’t read?
They are free to join:
- Read itTrade it
- title dealer
- swap shop
8. Cancel memberships and subscriptions you don’t use
Do you go to the gym every week, do you watch all the channels in the sky, are you really using all your minutes on your mobile rate? Review your direct debits and monthly expenses and get rid of anything you’re not getting maximum use of.
You can freeze memberships if you’re reluctant to cancel altogether and consider combining your mobile phone, home phone, and internet into one cheaper package.
9. Give up unhealthy clothes and change them for an occasional treat
Any sassy clothes you need an excuse to get rid of? Smoker? Junk food / takeaway food / ready meals? Maybe it’s the bottle of wine in the evening with a meal. The credit crunch is motivating people to get their finances in order, use this challenging time to get your health and finances in order. Quitting smoking will save you money each week that you could afford a little treat for yourself or your kids, like a fortnightly movie outing (don’t forget to bring your own sweets and drinks) or how about a relaxing massage for yourself. once a month
10. One mummy’s trash is another mummy’s treasure.
Do you have a big cleanup and throw away things that could be useful to someone else? So why not sell it online or get a toss at a boot sale and sell off any unwanted items? Think of all the things you could spend that extra money on.