5 Ways to save money every month

Living off a single income as a family of 6 has been very challenging at times.  In the beginning we had to quickly make drastic changes to our lifestyle in order to support our family.  In my opinion, it has been totally worth it and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to spend these past 7 years at home raising my kids.

Just like Tesco, every little helps, so here’s 5 ways to save money every month.

1. Have a weekly budget, not a monthly

Setting yourself weekly goals keeps the small budget more attainable.  When you’re working with small figures you can easily blow your months budget on entertainment within the first week.  Breaking down your expenses week by week keeps you more focused and helps make your budget go further.

2. Don’t buy clothes

It’s so easy to buy clothes as a reward, or a monthly treat, but only buy when your clothes have holes and are falling off your body.  I’ve recently been able to buy some new clothes.  I waited till after Christmas when I knew prices would be at their lowest.  I bought things that I didn’t have and really needed like jumpers for winter.  I would have loved to have added in a new pair of boots, a hat and a new scarf, but those were all wants and not needs.  Avoiding going into town altogether is one of the safest ways to not impulse buy and also unsubscribe from all those store emails.  They will only entice you to look at all their gorgeous items on sale giving you that impulse to spend!

3. Always take a bottle of water & coffee when you leave the house

Don’t buy water in town.  You’ll save a fortune by not having to go into that cafe just to get water and then come out with three muffins and juice boxes for the kids, two bottles of water, and a latte and chocolate croissant for mummy. We’ve all done it, so just try avoiding having a reason to go in at all.

4. Set a weekend family spending budget

Ours is currently £30 and that’s for all six of us.  But with that we can all go swimming, or for a walk and buy hot chocolates at the cafe.  We can also go to a soft play or a Saturday morning juniors movie for £1.

5. Meet friends at their home or in a park

If you meet them in town you will end up in that cafe eating croissants, drinking coffee and shoving biscuits and muffins into your kids faces so that you can have a decent chat.  Meet at home for coffee or take a picnic to the park to eliminate unnecessary spending (and overdosing your kids with sugar!).

Why not set yourself the challenge of going a whole month without spending money on anything but food, petrol and bills.  You’ll suddenly realise how often you buy things from a store.  The bargain necklace, those cute shoes from TJ Maxx, the new lipstick from boots and that cute little outfit for baby at Tesco.  Remember that saving now means being able to spend later.  Having a goal to work towards like paying off all your debt by a certain month, or buying a new car or sofa etc. can be great motivation to keep you focused.

What other ways do you save money?  Share your tips in the comments and if you’ve found this helpful then why not share it!

37 Comments
  • ~ Carmen ~
    February 23, 2015

    The bring your own water tip is totally key. I always end up stopping somewhere for a drink & it leads to $12 on random snacks.

    :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 24, 2015

      That’s expensive water! Lol, so easy to overspend inside a shop when you’re hungry or thirsty. Preparation is key. Thanks for sharing. X

  • Leah Sherwood
    February 23, 2015

    Great ideas Jenny! A huge help for us is meal planning. If we plan our meals, including lunch and breakfast, then we will only buy what we need at the super market and avoid impulse food buying from ‘bargains’.
    The weekend budget/entertainment budget is a great idea, will be giving it a try!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 24, 2015

      Yes meal planning is amazing at cutting your food budget. Our shopping is a bit intense as we split our budget between bulk buying at Costco and a tesco shop to keep our food within budget. Love hearing from you Zleah ❤️

  • Catherine Cosenza
    February 23, 2015

    Jenny, This is a great post! You are an amazing Mom and Wife and it shows in your determination to help out in this way! By putting your thrifty tips in action, it affords you the luxury of watching your children grow up without putting added pressure on your husband to make more so you can spend more. Love you Sweet Girl! 😉

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 24, 2015

      It hasn’t always been easy and I’ve certainly had my moments of wishing I could just go out and buy something pretty but our long term goals gave always helped me stay focused on the necessities of our day to day living. We’ve had to make big sacrifices but our family and their future have so worth it! Love you Cathy xx

  • Kate Bellingham
    February 24, 2015

    This is great! We also have a weekend budget of £10-£15 which is good as it means we can do something fun as a family. I also take out water although as I drink so much I think I need to start taking out two 🙂 xxx

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 24, 2015

      Yes with all that walking you do Kate I’m not surprised you get thirsty! xx

  • Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom
    February 27, 2015

    I never heard of doing a weekly budget, but it makes total sense! And for me, #2 would say “Don’t buy food.” It’s so tempting to stop and get an ice cream cone, a soft pretzel, a small curly fries….even when I’m not really hungry. I am occasionally tempted to by clothes when I don’t really need them, but the fact that I have 3 young kids means that I don’t actually get shopping very much so that kind of helps eliminate that problem! 🙂

    Great tips!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Food was my biggest budget before kids as I would hardly ever eat at home. But now that I’m a mum I hardly ever eat out and I prepare all our food at home. I had to start staying home a lot more to stick within our budget as going out for any reason always led to spending money. I started inviting friends round to my house to keep my petrol budget low and stop the additional spending on food and drinks. Hope you were encouraged today Lydia. Thanks for sharing. x

  • Jennie @ Little Girl Designs
    February 27, 2015

    I so agree that taking water and a snack with you when you go out to do errands is so important. That has saved me from buying something for myself or my daughter so many times. When I was single, I used to spend so much money on picking up quick little snacks and bottled water here and there! Wish I knew then what I knew now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      I was so the same Jennie – I could easily spend over £20 a day at Starbucks and not even blink, but then suddenly when that’s half of your weekly budget for food you have to start making some serious changes – like making your own coffee!

  • Victoria Virgo
    February 27, 2015

    It is so important to set yourself a budget, however big or small your family is. It is far too easy to spend a ridiculous amount of money without even realising it. 🙂

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      You’re absolutely right Victoria. Money can literally fly out the window. We have to be intentional with our money and tell it where to go like Dave Ramsay says. Thanks for sharing.

  • Judith
    February 27, 2015

    Clothes definitely used to be my weakness! It’s ungodly how much they cost when they first come off the runway! Now I always wait until they’re on super sale/clearance.

  • Ashley
    February 27, 2015

    Love these tips. I’ve been trying to save up money but I”m terrible at sticking to a budget. (And I’m a shopaholic!). I’ve been doing much better with not buying clothes though since the New Year…I have to work on getting RID of some instead. Tip #1 is right up my alley…I love breaking things down into smaller goals. I think the monthly budget thing is hard because I’ll spend most of it in the first few weeks and then have to go over in order to continue feeding myself!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Ashely, I’m so with you on this. It took me a year in the beginning of motherhood to stick within our budget and change my spending habits. My husband was very patient with me but there is no worse feeling than knowing you’ve spent all the money and there’s nothing you can do about it! Working together as a team really helps keep you focused and encouraging one another without blaming so your marriage stays strong through challenging financial times. Thanks so much for encouraging me with your comment. xx

  • Devon
    February 27, 2015

    Great tips! personally haven’t bought clothes in a very long time. Kids come first and they are constantly growing!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Yep – kids will sure do that to you. I went five years without buying underwear, tough choice, but so necessary. I recently spent my Christmas money on some new clothes as I’ve ditched the baby weight and needed a completely new size. But that’s it for the year now, so it’s all about making them last!

  • Vanessa @Smart Little Cookie
    February 27, 2015

    These are great tips! Number 1 is a true gem! I had never taken it into consideration but you are absolutely right. I noticed that when I go grocery shopping weekly with a set budget I spend less than when I go bi-weekly. It just makes sense that if I set weekly budgets instead of monthly, I can probably save whole lot. Thanks for this!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Vanessa, you’re so welcome! So excited to hear this was helpful to you. A weekly budget makes all the difference to me and my husband had to be very patient with me to break it all down into bite size numbers. But we end up at the store every week for a jug of milk or bread so I wasn’t adding any extra work to shop weekly rather than bi-weekly. Thanks so much for the encouragement. xx

  • Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.
    February 27, 2015

    These are such great tips! Breaking down spending and gas money into weekly amounts vs monthly has really helped keep spending under control and to maybe plan to save for a bigger family treat at the end of the month instead of spending it all at once in the first week and feeling like we can’t do anything special for the rest of the month 🙂

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Meaghan, I’m terrible with numbers so I just couldn’t keep track of the monthly budget. I would also see a £100 for entertainment for the month and think – let’s go to Disneyland! And then sure enough – we spend the rest of month doing nothing and feeling terrible. Keeping a weekly budget helps me so much with knowing how much we really have to spend in all our categories. So glad you found this helpful, thanks for sharing! x

  • Kelly
    February 27, 2015

    There are some great tips here– bring coffee/water, that is en excellent idea. I should dust off my reusable water bottle for sure, that would get me to drink more water too, which is also a plus!!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      We all have water bottles lying around but we only seem to remember to use them for sporting events or trips to Disneyland! I always used to take water for the kids but realized that I get more thirsty than they do so I needed to bring my own. I also LOVE tea and coffee and love a store bought one even more, but taking one with me whenever I leave the house has saved me so much. Thanks for sharing Kelly. x

  • Jeanne Grunert
    February 27, 2015

    Great tips! My husband and are I trying to save more money, and I confess, I’m one of those impulse shoppers. We made a “no clothes shopping rule” for the first 3 months of this year and I am amazed at how many times a week I’m tempted to buy something. You’ve offered great tips that are sure to help people. Glad I found you through the FB LtB group!

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      Great job for setting yourself a challenge Jeanne. I love a challenge, but I love to win a prize even more! Avoiding malls and getting rid of subscription emails from stores really helped me to stop the shopping. So glad you were encouraged and found this post helpful! Thanks for sharing. xx

  • Nicole W
    February 27, 2015

    These are some great tips! Meal planning I find is a great one, especially when you are on the go all the time with a little one.

    • Jenny Cupido
      February 27, 2015

      You’re so right Nicole, meal planning is a perfect way to stay on budget with food spending. My mum always taught me to have 4 nice meals with 3 cheap meals like soup or pasta/rice to keep the food bill down. Thanks for sharing. xx

  • Kristin
    February 28, 2015

    Great tips! #3 is one that always tries to suck me in.

    Another idea is to go to free days at museums and historic landmarks. Most museums have a free day once a month, usually on a Saturday. Then plan your weekend around it. My youngest is now a professional artist, and those monthly visits to the local art museum helped fuel her passion.

    • Jenny Cupido
      March 1, 2015

      What a brilliant idea Kristin. We have the National Trust here and it’s all the old english manor houses and they’re beautiful grounds. We pay a yearly membership and it’s fantastic value for money for the whole family. How great that your daughter was inspired through your days out to get into Art. Thanks for sharing. x

  • Angie Nelson
    February 28, 2015

    Baby steps! I love the idea of working with a weekly budget as opposed to trying to tackle an entire month.

    • Jenny Cupido
      March 1, 2015

      So much easier for me to keep on top of our finances with bit size figures. Simple math makes me happy! Thanks for sharing. x

  • michelle james
    March 2, 2015

    I love the weekly budget idea as opposed to the monthly. I have not tried budgeting this way but the monthly always seems to fail me. I already do many of the others. Thanks!

    • Jenny Cupido
      March 2, 2015

      Thanks Michelle. So glad you found this post helpful. C

  • Kama
    March 2, 2015

    Great tips! And easy to apply! I’ve also started following the cash-in-my-wallet rule, meaning, I budget a certain amount of cash for my spending each week and put it in my wallet. If it runs out, no more spending, if I have money left over at the end of the week, that goes toward the following week as a “bonus”.

    • Jenny Cupido
      March 2, 2015

      I’m loving that idea! I really want to go for a cash only month but we would have to take money our weekly to not hurt our cash low and it’s always been too much hassle. How have you coped if you run out of cash to soon?? Thanks for sharing

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