Planning your budget can take a bit of time, but it’s a great way to manage your money better, keep control of your finances and identify where you might be able to save some money.

When completing your budget it is important you include everything you spend. Don’t forget occasional outgoings such as hairdresser trips or school shoes.

Using an online budgeting tool makes it easier to remember all of your outgoings.

Water saving tips

Without realising it we can waste water in our everyday activities, but a few simple changes can have a huge impact, helping to reduce water usage. Check out these simple tips:

• Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. This can save up to 6 litres of water.
• Always fully fill you washing machine or dishwasher – this will cut out on loads in between.
• When washing the dishes, ensure you put the plug in rather that leave the tap running.
• Take a shower instead of a bath – the average shower only uses 30 litres of water, so this will save you a massive 50 litres of water on average.
• When filling the kettle only use as much water as you need to save on wastage.
• United Utilities provide free water saving products here.

Grocery shopping and recipe tips 

Food shopping can be one of the largest outgoings for families. But by introducing some small changes you can still eat well for less and save ££’s. Check out these savvy tips to help you make the most of your money.

• Write a shopping list – draw up a weekly meal plan using up ingredients you already have and make a shopping list of any missing items.
• Freeze any unused food using food storage bags or boxes.
• Save leftovers, why not have them for lunch the next day.
• Try frozen fruit and veg. They come pre-chopped and ready to use, and are just as good for you.
• Trial cheaper brands. There’s not always much difference between value and premium ranges. Give it a go and let your taste buds be the judge.
• Bulk food cooking can not only save you time, but also money.
• Fresh fruit last longer without the packaging – pre-prepare and freeze fruit and veg for a fantastic pre-made smooth or casserole mix.
• Store food correctly – invest in storage containers to help keep your food fresher for longer.

Tasty recipes on a budget

• Cheap doesn’t have to mean less tasty. Check out Change4Life’s meal mixer and the NHS healthy recipes section for some inspiration.
• The cheapest way to buy chicken is to buy it whole chicken as you’ll get two breasts, two thighs, drumsticks and wings, plus a carcass for making stock.
• Use your slow cooker – cheaper meat cuts can still taste fantastic if cooked right.
• Make your own sauces, dressings, and seasonings to cut costs.
• Designate one night of the week for using up leftovers in your fridge.
• Have a good stock of seasoning for tasty recipes.

Other help and support…

The Trussell Trust is working to stop UK hunger and poverty. Their network of foodbanks provides emergency food and support to people in crisis. You can find more information here.

As always, please contact our friendly team for advice and support. We can help you check if you’re on the correct energy/ water tariff, or if you are in debt we can help you negotiate repayments.

Useful websites