Sunday, 25 January 2015

Money saving January

January is a money saving month, the start of good intentions to save the pennies, make some cutbacks and de-clutter the house. So far I have been keeping track of our monthly expenditure of groceries, petrol and other household items so that I will have a baseline to challenge myself each month from here on in, hopefully to reduce the amount every time.
Image source: savings Shutterstock

We have been staying home and not going on trips so that we can work on the house, finishing jobs and tidying up. The allotment also needs a good overhaul and that costs nothing but hard graft. Hopefully that will reduce the petrol costs and we will stay local enjoying what is on our doorstep.

Foodwise I will be starting meal plans and looking for inspiration from other blogs such as At Home With Mrs M who hosts Meal Planning Monday. Cooking from scratch in larger portions so some can be frozen will help out as on the days when it has been exhausting, I can defrost a meal rather than ordering take away food. Sorting out the kitchen cupboards will probably reveal hidden ingredients and looking through A Girl Called Jack's recipe pages should inspire some budget meals. I hate to throw food away so if I can use leftovers I will. Too much veg cooked for an evening meal will be soup the next day and no more chucking away over ripe bananas since I discovered banana bread which uses them all up.

I have also revisited eBay and have been collecting items room by room that I think will sell. Labels sell very well and items that are still in original packaging. I have pretty ruthless so far and have found bags that are no longer practical for my lifestyle and high heeled shoes, worn once and never to experience a night our again were just taking up space within the bedroom closet. I do a quick check on eBay to see if any similar have sold and how much for and use that as a guideline. I mostly offer free postage and packaging (include it within the starting bid or buy it now price), use good quality photographs of the item from all angles and make sure the description includes any minor defects. Many of my items attracted interest from out of the UK so I now always offer international parcel delivery and have sent my beloved posh shoes to some far flung places.

So far it has been a nice little cash increase to replace the Christmas overspend and my little house definitely needs some space creating by selling items that are no longer useful to us. My next mission is to go through my 5 year old's toys and see what he no longer plays with. I notice that many eBay sellers put items together in a bundle such as toys, games and children's clothing. Saving any packaging really helps, as long as jiffy bags and bubble wrap are not tatty I keep them in my shed ready to be used again when parcelling up my eBay sales.

I'll report back on my money saving journey next month to keep me focussed. What steps have you taken this January to save money? I'd love to hear of any tips.


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