If you’re feeling the pinch at home, there are plenty of hands-on ways to cut costs.
From home-cooked goodies to doing it yourself around the home, you’d be surprised at the creative ways to save cash.
So check out our list of ideas and discover how the secret to economising could be at your fingertips…
1. Cook up a storm
If your food bill is going through the roof, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and become more of a domestic goddess – or god. Home cooking can be simpler and cheaper than ready-made meals and pricey packets. And, of course, you know exactly what you’re putting in to it.
You don’t have to become a fully-fledged Delia or Nigella to feed your family — just get the hang of the basics, stock your larder with the staples and you’ll soon be causing a stir with your culinary creations.
Get the kids involved too – baking a cake together is great fun and the finished result always tastes twice as good.
2. It’s sew easy
Sewing is such a simple skill, but making or transforming things like bedding, cushions and pillows saves you cash and is lots of fun. Check for classes in your local area — they’re usually cheap and provide new skills and inspiration. Or browse the web for quick and easy beginners’ tutorials.
As you get more skilled, you could move on to bigger tasks and try your hand at things like curtains. Fabric shops often have cheap unwanted or leftover stock too.
3. Get a free facelift
If you’re doing up your house on a budget, don’t fork out a fortune on new furniture or materials. Sign up for Freecycle, which offers free unwanted goods — all you have to do is pick them up and you can create a new look for your home.
A creative way to spruce up your wardrobe is to organise a clothes-swapping party with pals. You can offload all those things hidden in the back of your closet, plus a few of your friends’ offerings are bound to catch your eye. Free makeovers all round – and savings on your clothing budget.
4. Crazy creations
Fancy making your own bookshelves or turning a scarf into a skirt? There are plenty of sites that will teach you clever new tricks with old junk, from threading a string bracelet to building your own shoe racks from recycled tins.
The dazzling ideas will transform your home and wardrobe and, even if you’re usually all fingers and thumbs, can be done easily in less than an hour. A few minutes browsing for ‘DIY crafts’ online provides plenty of stunning (and cheap) creative ideas. Have a go — you’ll surprise yourself!
5. Do It Yourself
You can be creative when it comes to everyday jobs around the home too. If you’ve got a blocked sink or dripping tap, instead of picking up the phone as usual, reach for the laptop.
There are thousands of helpful tutorials on YouTube which can show you how to do everything from changing a plug to insulating a loft. And best of all, they’re free.