We could all do with saving a few dollars here and there but sometimes it is hard to find where to cut back. Some ways are easier than others so here are 13 easy ways to save money.

Avoid bill shock

Turn off appliances at the power point. Unless they are in use, we always turn off the TV, kettle, toaster, lamps, chargers and other appliances at the power point.

Turn off lights when you aren’t in the room. I’m really bad at this one but have been making more of an effort as it is a good way to save.

Shop around for insurance. We just did a comparison for home insurance at comparethemarket.com.au and have found we could save about $400 a year by switching from our current provider. You can also shop around for electricity, mobile phone and internet providers.

Kitchen savers

Cook the same meal for the whole family. If you are cooking one meal for the adults and then another (or multiple) for the kids then think of the food waste, electricity and not to mention your time. I know it can be difficult cooking something that the whole family will like but a book like Something for Everyone by Louise Fulton Keats has great ideas to get you started.

Buy cheap cuts of meat like chuck steak and cook them up in the slow cooker. You can make really tasty casseroles and pasta sauces and also use up any vegetables from the fridge.

Make breadcrumbs from stale bread. Whenever I buy a nice loaf of bread from the bakery, we never finish it before it goes stale. Cut it up and throw it into the food processor to make breadcrumbs. You can then freeze it in snap lock bags for when you need it. Add parsley and parmesan if you have it for some flavoured breadcrumbs.

If you drink smoothies for breakfast, buy fruit like strawberries and bananas when they are on sale and cut them up to pop in the freezer. This saves money and time in preparation.

Budget entertainment

Join the library. You can join the local library and borrow books for free. Libraries also often have free activities for kids so go once a week and everyone can borrow a new book for the week. These days libraries also offer access to e-books if that is more your thing.

Switch to online magazines. There are so many fabulous online magazines available out there (cough, Kid Magazine, cough). Head to issuu.com and browse the electronic aisles.

Make Friday night movie night at home, cook up some popcorn and have a cheap night in. You’ll save money, can pause if the kids need to go to the toilet and have a lovely family night in.

It’s never too early to start saving

Don’t throw out letters and brochures you get in the mail. If they have a plain back, the kids can use them for drawing. You can also cut them up for collages.

Instead of buying lots of wrapping paper and cards, buy a roll of plain brown or white paper plus some cardboard and have the kids design their own cards and wrapping paper. You can even use newspaper for wrapping paper if you need to!

If you have a local toy library, join up so you can borrow toys rather than buying them. If you don’t have a toy library, set up a toy swap with friends so the kids can all try different toys without the extra expense of buying them.

What’s your top tip for saving money at home?

 

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