I’m trying not to get swept away in the Black Friday thing, although I have checked my list of things I would be buying anyway to see if there is a deal I don’t feel will be available another time. I have a longer post all about how to manage shopping, deals and impulse buying here if you’d like to read it x This post contains some affiliate links, which allow us to pay for the site and donate to charity as well.
What I did think might be helpful are 5 Fast Fixes to everyday savings, changing habits and routines that will keep you saving long after Black Friday deals are forgotten…
- Energy Bills – we use a company called Switchcraft to check our energy bills are the lowest they can be. You sign up and they find some deals, and once you have done that once you never had to do it again, they just find some deals to offer you at the end of each contract. They have the big suppliers available but also lots of great, green small suppliers. We are currently with Green Energy and have saved over £200 with that move. If you use this link and end up going with Switchcraft they will give us a small fee 50% of which we then donate to Charity: Water.
- Food Waste – I talk a LOT about meal planning and purposeful food shopping to avoid waste so I won’t mention that again here! What I would encourage you to do is think about sourcing other people’s food waste for free – to supplement your food bills. There are a number of Apps you can try to see what’s big in your area, we use OLIO and have had lots of lovely freebies on there, we also like Too Good To Go, another app that works with big industries like the hotel and pub chains offering their excess food for collection at bargain prices e.g. fill a box for £3.50 with breakfast leftovers at Ibis hotels (pastries etc). If you are happy with foods being close or just over their best before dates you can use Approved Foods, we get a small commission from them if you sign up using this link. The average family wastes £470 of food every year!
- Christmas Budget – Our Christmas Planner will be out next week, as well as our new Low Waste Christmas book… make sure you have a budget for gifts that is realistic to your current financial situation. Your budget also needs to include food, entertainment, trips and all the things you forget about but always do like the price of stamps. If you don’t have the money to cover your ‘wish list’ then the list needs changing not the budget! Our planner can help with this, but its worth pondering in advance. We find it easier to save a bit every month to make our Christmas Budget, then we know what we will have in advance and can plan accordingly. We have a post on FREE gifts for kids (yes, really) that might be useful, and one full of beautiful gifts for less than £5.
- Buy second hand – quite often we need something and our modern habits and the ease of shopping means we automatically just buy a new one. For long term changes and savings you need to work on that mindset and get into a place where your first idea is find it free or second hand, you may even have a repair café or local handyperson that could fix it? When we stop just buying new out of convenience and habit we will save money and the planet.
- Biggest Cost Check – you need to discover what your biggest outgoing is, for many families will be their home either in rent or mortgage payments. It’s worth taking the time every year to two to check what you are paying and if that is still the best option for you. It may be that financial markets are moving very quickly and while it’s important that our home is secure, it’s also important we feel confident that it’s affordable. You might be able to change the rate you pay, the length of your mortgage or make overpayments to reduce the total repayment. When renting it may be possible to negotiate if you are exemplary tenants or have been in the property a long time, perhaps the rent increase could be limited to an agreed percentage, or a maintenance job could be completed. Remember your home needs to be as energy efficient as possible to save resources as well as money, so making your own draft excluder or keeping the freezer full are all small tasks we can complete throughout the year.
As we rush towards such a busy few weeks, I hope we can all take time to enjoy the moments we spend so much time, energy and money on creating! And if you ‘do’ Black Friday, may all your bargains be real xx