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Saving Money On Your Energy Bills

To cut down, potentially saving hundreds on your yearly energy bills is easy to do. There are a few easy ways to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to and also earning cashback from your energy supplier.

I’m never a loyal customer, every year when our fixed term is up, I check to see whether the rate we’re on is still the best rate and if it’s not then we leave!

Switching your energy providers has now been made much easier than it used to be thanks to the internet. There are a few websites around that compare energy prices and then switch them there for you or you can go direct to the energy company. The switching sites show you how much you will be saving a year and sometimes it’s hundreds! I use different comparison websites (they sometimes show different rates) to see which of those give the best deal. Once I’ve found the cheapest suppliers, I go direct to them to see if they have any special deals by cutting out the middle man. Usually I use the comparison websites to find the cheapest supplier THEN go onto a cashback website like Quidco or Topcashback and click through them to the supplier. By using a cashback site and going direct to the supplier, you know you’ve already found the cheapest energy company and you earn cashback on top of that!

Being loyal to your energy supplier does you less favours than if you switch every year. I think loyalty should be rewarded but unfortunately it isn’t, so use it to your advantage by switching to a cheaper company every year and earning cashback on top of that!

Paying by direct debit is also another way to save a little extra on your bills. Direct debit tends to be a favoured form of payment by companies so they encourage you to use or switch to direct debit by reducing your bills slightly. Direct debit is also handy to know exactly what your outgoings will be each month. The downside to paying by direct debit is that sometimes you over pay, you are the one that has to figure out if you’re using less energy than you’re paying for the company won’t necessarily let you know you’re overpaying. It can also take time to get any money back that you’re owed because of this.

My main advice to save money on your energy bills is to take the time each year to make sure you’re getting the best deal and if not then switch! When you’ve found a cheaper energy company, check whether you can get any cashback by switching and save even more money!

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My Favourite Apps

There are certain apps I use daily, many times a day and apps I use once or twice a week but couldn’t live without. A few of these apps may even become a big part of your life if they’re not already.

Sleepysounds

This app for us was sent from heaven! It’s a white noise app that can play for as long as you want it to without any limits. We used this with both of our children and still use it now for our daughter. The noise is so strong that if you put it by the door it muffles sounds from around the house. We also used it at any time either of them became restless, we popped on the white noise (heavy rain) in the room and they calmed down instantly. It plays different types of white noise plus lullabies. It’s such an easy app to use I would really recommend it to anyone!

Baby Day Book

I only discovered this app with my daughter but wish I had found it with my son. I’m sure I’m not the only parent that worries whether their baby is drinking enough milk and sleeping too little or much. Once I downloaded this I could really see the exact amount of milk she has drunk or the amount of time she had been breastfed, plus how much she had slept in a 24 hour period. It also shows you many of each of these have occurred. When I had convinced myself our baby just wasn’t drinking enough, it turns out she was! There are lots of other things you can input about your child too and you can add multiple children so its such a handy app to have.

PhotoGrid_1433943676914Spotify

D you and your children love music? We love music, so I pop on what we fancy listening to and use it while we eat, do housework or to have a dance with the kids. It’s also a great pick-me-up if you’re having a bad day or there is a toddler tantrum on the loose. (I use the free version)

Topcashback

Whenever we need to order something we ALWAYS order through this. It may only be a couple of pounds that you get back from your shop but that’s better in your pocket than anyone else’s. It also has a section that gives you cashback on certain things from just taking a picture of your receipt and uploading it sometimes the item ends up being FREE! It’s so easy to use for whatever you use it for, as a money saver I use this weekly.

Shopitize

My favourite shopping app! This app is solely for receipt uploads. It updates weekly and gives you new products that you can earn cashback on when you buy it. Sometimes with this app the items are also FREE. A little trick that I do is use the following app to compare prices of the item so I spend less and sometimes even get more cashback than I spend. You can only withdraw your earnings once you hit £5 but that’s really easy to achieve.

My Supermarket

Some people say 1 of the reasons I use this is strange so here is my ‘strange reason’ for using this, when I write a shopping list it’s hard to do it all in order of where things are in the store because we always add to it so, when I’m doing a shopping list I write it all down as normal then use this app which automatically organises your shopping into sections such as dairy, fruit and veg, household etc. So that just makes my shopping life a little bit easier. The main reason I use this app is to compare the prices of everything I buy so I know where is best to get our shopping or if its worth visiting 2 different supermarkets because of the amount we save. You can also set up price alerts on things you buy regularly like nappies, wipes, washing powder and it’ll let you know when the price has been reduced and where is cheapest to buy it from. It’s so useful as a parent to have to keep our shopping bill as low as possible.

Clicksnap

This is the same as Shopitize and is a Quidco app. I like to use both apps to upload receipts and earn cashbacks on things I buy because they both have different things to earn cashback on. When you use Shopitize, Clicksnap AND Topcashback you have such a variety of things you can earn cashback on.

Baby Sleep Site

This app is great when your baby or toddler gets up at different times. It gives you a rough guideline to when there naps and bedtime should be, so if they get a bit grizzly around this time you know it might be nap time! It has other handy tips as well all to do with baby sleep. We don’t get much sleep with our 7 month old so I was always using the tips but I’ve just accepted it as it is now.

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Easy Moneysaving Tips

Do a weekly meal planner!

For every day of the week decide what you are going to have for breakfast lunch and dinner even snacks! This can drastically cut down on your food bill because you are only buying what you need covering every meal. Once we started doing this after having our children we saved HUNDREDS. When the kids get older it’s also a fun way to include them into what everyone wants to eat that week.

Make a shopping list

I keep a notepad handy in the kitchen so when any of us notice we are low on something we just pop it onto the list, this is great so you’re less likely to run out of something. Making a shopping list and STICKING TO IT (which can be hard) helps stop you from buying anything unnecessary and spending your money when you could be saving it. Use your meal planner to determine the groceries you need for the week, along with anything you run out of.

It’s on offer but is it really? and do you need it?

Supermarkets are known for doubling the price of something then halving it just so they are able to say it’s ‘half price’ we all get caught up in these ‘deals’. The best thing you can do here is research what other stores are charging for the same product that way you know if it IS a deal or if it’s cheaper elsewhere. I use an app called ‘my supermarket’ to compare prices of EVERYTHING I buy. When you see a great offer it’s easy to impulse buy as your brain naturally thinks WOW I need this at this price, but do you really need it? Leave it until the end of your shop, that way you have plenty of time to reason with yourself.

Bulk buy things you use regularly

Things like nappies, wipes, soap, washing powder etc. When they’re on offer get as much as you can. The amount you pay for your bulk buys will pay off in the long run and will also save you tripping out more regularly to get these things. This also goes for bulk packs, buying a large box of wipes not only lasts you longer but also works out cheaper than buying individual packs. If you’re worried about storing all this (we sometimes use our loft) have a look on pinterest for some really clever and thrifty ways to create more storage.

CLEARANCE

Oh I do love a clearance especially when it’s FOOD. Every morning supermarkets reduce all of their food that has a use by date of that day. This food is still all perfectly edible and a lot you can freeze to use another day. The best time to get the clearance food is after 7pm, by this time they’ve reached the lowest price they will go (24 hour supermarkets reduce again at 9 or 10pm) some things like bread you can get for 5p!  When companies decide to re-brand their packaging then stores offer HUGE discounts on these products, so always keep an eye out for these must have deals.

Batch cook your meals

When planning your evening meal, as long as it doesn’t have yoghurt or other un-freezable ingredients, then double-up on the amount you cook. You can freeze half in a container and eat the other half that evening. Doing this for a week then means for another week you don’t have to buy anything for your evening meal, or even cook that week! It’s also so handy to have freezer portions in case you’re ever at a loose end.

Remember your vouchers

Check your newspapers, magazines and post for any vouchers you can use to take money off your food bill. If you shop online then scour the internet for any voucher codes you can use or any cashback you can receive from cashback sites.

Supermarket value range

Downgrading your brands can save so much money. I’ve had a look into the differences and ingredients wise there is only the slightest differences if any at all. A lot of the time the value range use a lot less salt and sugar which is a bonus!