Today I have a guest post for you from Hannah Brice from FeastStyleThrive.com all about not letting Mr Sunshine hinder your saving plans. You can also find Hannah on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Over to Hannah…
Autumn and Winter are dreary times of the year. You spend half of your time in big heavy jumpers and cosy slippers and the rest with an umbrella poised firmly above your head. So, when Spring appears, it’s natural to get a little overexcited by the opportunities that better weather brings. But, if you’ve spent the last six months working hard to practise good money saving habits, don’t ruin it. Here’s a helpful guide to stay on track and avoid some easy spending mistakes brought about by Mr Sunshine.
In the winter months, it’s easy to keep food bills low as you can batch cook and freeze lots of stews, soups and other heavy dishes. In warmer weather, however, particularly when the days are longer, the temptation is to switch to fresher ingredients and lighter salad-based meals which are more expensive.
To keep your food costs low, plan your meals so that you eat fresh vegetables or salads on consecutive evenings and avoid ready made salad boxes. It’s far cheaper to buy all of the ingredients individually.
It’s also wise to buy meat and fish portions in frozen form and defrost them on the day to keep costs low.
Going out more
Nicer weather can be enjoyed very easily from the comfort of a pub garden which means that before you know it, you’ve spent money on several rounds of drinks. Pricey.
Don’t worry. Even if they are impromptu drinks, you still have time to seek out vouchers and deals on your phone or on the web first so that you can choose a pub or bar that won’t break the bank.
Or, as an alternative to a bar, invite people over to yours and sit in the garden (if you have one). Get them to bring a bottle each and you supply snacks and it will still be cheaper than going out.
You may even start a trend where your friends return the favour saving you even more money long term!
New summer clothes
As soon as the sun arrives, I want to shed my coat and don some lighter clothing. I open the wardrobe and struggle to remember what I wore before last Autumn began. It’s so easy to think “I have no clothes; I better hit the shops.” But STOP.
Take a moment and think back to last summer. Did you throw away all your clothes in September? Did they all get destroyed in a fire? No. They are still there and they lasted you all of the spring and summer months. Take some time to go through those clothes, reminding yourself of the outfits you wore (and enjoyed wearing) and put your purse down. The shopping trip can wait!
Unplanned days out
The days are longer. It’s actually pleasant outside. Why not go out for the day? Well, because it’s not going to be cheap, that’s why. Particularly not if you have kids.
To avoid a run on your bank balance funding these days out, plan ahead now. Start to pull together a list of places you’d like to visit and then google your heart out for offers, vouchers and tokens that will get you there for a discount. Also don’t forget to check if you have any Tesco vouchers or credit card points that could be put towards days out and attractions.
And free options? As well as picnics in your local park or at the beach, look out for big farm shops in your local area. Many will allow visitors on the farm itself for a small donation – a very cheap alternative to a trip to the zoo and your kids will love it just as much! If you live near London, there are plenty of museums that boast free entry too.
Also, I would recommend investing in a National Trust membership. At only £9.55 for a family per month, you have unlimited access to a wealth of great venues and parks across the country.
So now you’ve read my warning, take precautions now and get ready to have a fab Spring and Summer!