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Time is Money – Top tips for Budgeting Both

Living on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean doing without.

Being a savvy shopper takes a little practice sure, but I spend around one hour per week looking for coupons and discount codes at and other similar sites. This is not only very little time, but because I always go shopping armed with a precise list it takes me no time at all.

budgeting money

photo courtesy 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Keeping my house warm and cozy

Our gas and electricity bills seem to take a huge chunk out of our monthly expenditures budget. I spent a little time shopping around for the supplier that would offer us the best deal and came up with First Utility.

Not only were they cheaper than our old supplier, but with a First Utility voucher code we are now expecting a lovely £180 in cash back at the end of the year, which will go into our Christmas fund.

Feeding myself and the family

I steer clear of expensive ready meals and takeaways and instead plan all our family’s meals on a monthly basis. That way I can shop at the cash and carry in bulk and have cut our grocery bill almost in half.

I then cook more than I need and freeze the rest for those days when I’m too tired to cook a meal from scratch.

To give myself more time with the children I always get them involved in the cooking process. Even the younger one can manage to mix up some batter or toss a salad and the eldest knows enough about safety to chop vegetables and stir a sauce.

We all spend a lovely hour or two of quality time together and the children eat everything in front of them full of pride in their own culinary skills.

The Dreaded Xmas shop

Spreading the cost of expensive holidays, particularly Christmas, over the year makes them easier to handle and often saves cash as well – I used to spend a small fortune panic buying last-minute presents the week before Christmas with little or no thought going into whether they were quality gifts or good value for money.

I signed up to our local supermarket’s loyalty scheme and saved up my points all year last year. Come December I was able to do our entire Christmas food and drink shop without spending a penny. I now always get the girls’ stocking fillers in the January sales, as well as all my cards and wrapping paper for the following year at a fraction of the price.

If I spot a bargain over the course of the year that I know a friend or family member would love I snap it up there and then, even if I have to put it away for almost a year.

Not only does this save me a fortune, but in December I have so much more free time than I used to as I’m never frantically dashing round the shops searching for the elusive ‘must-have’ toys.

I Disclose