Tightening our belts

2014 will be all about tightening our belts, literally I hope as well as financially.

Its not that we need to save money really but I feel that we are very wasteful and spend money on things we don’t need. I want to spend the year buying second hand items, meal planning and living as frugally as we can whilst still living a fantastic life. I will be on the look out for discount codes, super scrimping tips and free activities to keep us have fun.

I also want to lose weight so will be following the slimming world plan and listening to my slim pod. I will be giving my fat clothes to charity and hopefully replacing them as cheaply as possible with smaller second hand items. I will be searching for the cheapest place to buy my fruit and vegetables, cooking what is in season and finding a great cheap source for lean meats.

As a way to start off I will be looking at renewing our Merlin Passes in the January sale saving us a small fortune on our days out throughout the year especially with Elizabeth’s free carers pass, meaning that for our family of four it will only cost £279 for the year of adventures. I know it seems extravagant but when you work out the daily costs for all the fun we had last year it was such a fantastic saving that I just have to do it again. One change this year will be to take our own food with us on every day out. A quick easy to throw together picnic could save us a fortune in food when out and about. I am also contemplating placing a bag full of long life snacks in the boot for all those occasions that sneak up on us that enable the girls to make us spend money.

We will also be setting and sticking with a budget for each weeks spending to include food and diesel (but not business travel). I am setting a budget of £50. We don’t need to use our car that much around Manchester and maybe by restricting the amount of diesel we can have it might get us walking the school run more often.

With shelves and fridges full of food I am hoping we wont be spending much of our budget this week and I will write up a slimming world friendly meal plan
this weekend to get me back on track.

For now we are off to the cinema to watch Frozen, I have my kids go free vouchers in my purse and a bag full of sweets, chocolate and snacks left over from Christmas and some bottles of water to keep us hydrated. Starting as we mean to go on!

Do you have any money saving tips or frugal meal ideas?