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1. Pre-cut fruit and vegetables
Because why pay double the price if you don’t have to? Large packs or loose fruit/vegetables often means better value and less plastic waste. I know these packs do serve a much-needed purpose for the elderly/disabled who can’t chop their own veg.
If chopping veg really drives you crazy, it might be worth investing in a multi-functional food processor that can slice or dice those carrots in minutes. I’ve had my eye on this Ninja Food Processor for a while, but this Vonchef model slices, grates and shreds. You can also whizz up your own smoothies and soups, my current favourite use is to make homemade gravy, yum!
Estimated Savings: £££?
2. Express Postage
They say patience is a virtue. I would much rather wait a few extra days for the free / standard postage than pay an extra for quicker shipping!
Estimated Savings: £££?
3. Bottled Water
I recently spent a few months working in a large supermarket chain in the UK and I was shocked to see exactly how much bottled water left the shelves on a daily basis. It’s a myth that bottled water is cleaner, and in fact, tap water has been found to be cleaner. Bottled water is less regulated and much, much more expensive.
On the subject of portable drinks, I also take my Kleen Kanteen insulated cup out and about with a hot drink, it keeps my cup of tea super hot for hours!
Estimated saving: £221 (At 85p a bottle, bought weekdays over a year)
4. ATM Fees
I absolutely hate those ATM machines that charge you for withdrawing cash, Id much rather spend a small amount on something we need and ask for cashback or find a free ATM.
Estimated saving: £1.50 per transaction
5. A TV Licence
In the last 5 years, I think we have watched children in need once, the new year’s fireworks once and the news once (When we did have a licence, I’m not condoning breaking the law!) We haven’t had a TV licence for 2 years now and I’ve not missed it at all. We tend to watch on-demand TV and that doesn’t require a licence.
Estimated saving: £150 per year
6. Kitchen Roll
We haven’t used kitchen roll for around 10 years. We were at a point it was a luxury and we simply couldn’t afford it. Old habits are hard to break, a relative bought us some recently when shopping while we were all ill, and we really struggled to use it! Instead, we use reusable dishcloths to wipe up spills and clean surfaces and have a huge pile of tea towels to dry.
Estimated saving: £52 per year (Based on 1 roll a week at £1)
7. Fabric Conditioner
We stopped purchasing fabric conditioner a few years ago, instead, we use white vinegar as a fabric conditioner. We simply add a capful to each wash, and 2 capfuls to towels. Our clothes come out soft, but unscented. Fabric softener can agitate sensitive skin and can be harmful to the environment – so not using it has many eco-friendly benefits as well as cutting on costs.
We purchase white vinegar in bulk as we also use for cleaning – bringing me onto my next point:
8. Specific cleaning products for everything.
Stainless steel cleaning, bathroom cleaner, shower cleaner, floor cleaner, antibacterial cleaner? The list is endless, and you can save loads by avoiding all the marketing strategies! We use white vinegar infused with citrus or a diluted disinfectant in a reusable spray bottle for 90% of our cleaning. Bicarbonate of soda made into a paste with water is a brilliant abrasive too – and is a fraction of the cost. Vinegar is brilliant at removing limescale if you live in a hard water area as we do. We soak our showerheads periodically in a jug of white vinegar and it leaves them sparkling!
I’m really not sure why people buy Ice, but as my recent stint in a supermarket showed me, they really do! You don’t even need an ice cube tray to get started, water will freeze in anything! All it takes is a little planning and you will always have ice in the freezer when you need it!
10. Eating out frequently
As a family of six, eating out is incredibly expensive, at almost 10x the cost, sometimes more! It’s hard to avoid when things don’t go to plan, which is why it’s a good idea to have a freezer meal on stand by for those days that quite go as expected – to save the temptations to eat out. It may not be the healthiest, but I guarantee that freezer pizza and bag of frozen chips that cost around £2-£3 will save you over £30 if things go crazy! I think eating out intentionally is absolutely fine for special occasions, but eating out ‘just because’ can have a massive impact on your finances
There you have it! My list of 10 things I refuse to spend money on. What’s on your list?