A resourceful mother of seven has opened up about her budget-friendly approach to family finances, claiming she’s managed to save a substantial £2,000 per year.
Tess Giddings, who cares for Jacob (17), Savannah (15), Amiah (13), Zion (11), Nevaeh (eight), and twins Hezekiah and Levi (six), hails from Bournemouth. Her ingenious tips for managing her household costs previously drew attention, particularly her ability to keep the weekly food expenses to a mere £160.
However, when the cost of living crisis hit, the 35-year-old found it challenging to maintain her frugal habits, despite her large family actively participating in money-saving efforts.
Now, Tess has graciously shared her latest super saver strategies, asserting that these simple “hacks” have helped her trim around £2,000 off her annual expenditures.
“The cost of living crisis has impacted virtually everyone I know, including those who are well-off,” Tess revealed to NeedToKnow.co.uk. “I don’t believe anyone has escaped its effects. For us, it has meant tightening our belts and cutting costs wherever possible. We’ve eliminated non-essentials and have become more vigilant about our finances. It hasn’t been easy, but so far, we’ve managed to stay out of debt. Life has become more challenging; there’s no extra money for leisure activities. But my motto has always been: If we don’t have it, we don’t spend it.”
In addition to her previously shared advice, Tess offered some additional money-saving tips:
Food Savings: To combat the ever-increasing cost of groceries, Tess recommends using apps like “Too Good To Go,” which offer bags and bundles of surplus food from local supermarkets at deeply discounted prices. She highlights that it’s possible to acquire groceries worth up to £25 for as little as £3. Tess also suggests making use of slow cookers to create meals in large batches, which can be frozen and consumed later, effectively reducing food waste. When shopping online, she recommends searching for items and selecting the “lowest price first” option. Additionally, she advises shoppers to discover the times when local supermarkets discount their products and take advantage of these hours to find substantial bargains.
Bulk Buying & Couponing: Tess believes that general household expenses can be substantially reduced by purchasing items in bulk from online retailers, taking advantage of discount codes that are often offered when buying in large quantities. Additionally, she is an avid user of coupons and has saved significant amounts by applying them to her purchases.
Make Do and Mend: Tess encourages families to explore free or low-cost activities, such as nature walks and picnics, to enjoy quality time together without breaking the bank. She advises packing food and drinks for outings to avoid expensive catering costs. Tess also praises loyalty programs like Tesco Clubcard, which offer savings and points for various leisure activities, restaurants, and family outings.
She emphasizes the importance of living within one’s means, underlining that overspending can lead to financial difficulties. Tess also mentions her reliance on second-hand items acquired from platforms like Vinted and Facebook Marketplace, where she has found exceptional deals on various items, including bedroom furniture and bicycles for her children.
Furthermore, Tess believes in involving her children in the budgeting process, teaching them valuable financial lessons from a young age. Her children contribute to the family’s financial well-being by earning pocket money through age-appropriate chores around the house, instilling in them the importance of budgeting and saving money.
Despite facing a tripling of their energy bill over the past two years, Tess and her family have managed to save £200 simply by switching to a pay-as-you-go energy plan. As winter approaches, she plans to share additional tips to help others navigate the financial challenges of the season.
In conclusion, Tess’s resourceful approach to managing her family’s finances is a testament to her determination and creativity in the face of rising costs and financial challenges.