Summer can sometimes appear to be about nothing but spending. There are holidays to think of, events to host and attend, and kids to entertain
But there are ways to save cash that might surprise you, and we’ve rounded up the best of these easy bargains.
From stain removal to vegetable preservation, and claiming back on your council tax, these tips and tricks will boost your piggy bank until autumn.
Save those shirts
If you’re trying to figure out how to get deodorant stains out of clothes, just have a look around your home – it’s possible that you already own some of these stain-busting products.
According to Persil, you have a few options. Soak the stain in white vinegar for about an hour and brush the deodorant stain with an old, clean toothbrush and pop the garment in the washing machine with a biological detergent.
Alternatively, make a paste out of three parts bicarbonate of soda to one-partwater, rub onto the stain, and allow to sit for a couple of hours then wash in a hot water cycle.
Or crush three or four aspirin tablets and make a paste using the same steps above. But bear in mind that this method should only be used for white clothing.
When I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired, I’m vulnerable to poor-decision making – and that can lead not only to emotional eating, but also impulse shopping.
So, if you are a bit like me, before you buy something, ask yourself if you’re HALT (hungry, angry, lonely or tired). If you are any of these four things, take a moment of pause and ask yourself why you want to make a purchase. You may surprise yourself, and save a few pennies, too. It worked for me.
Leaf it alone
Keep lettuce fresh for up to a month with this simple storage hack. Place a few pieces of lettuce in a mason jar, fill the jar with water and submerge the lettuce.
Just make sure that you change the water every few days or place a piece of kitchen roll on top of the jar before you screw on the lid as it’ll help absorb the moisture and give you a bit of extra time.
BBQ like a boss
We’ve all been there – the sun’s shining and the food is ready for the barbecue, and suddenly you realise you’re out of gas or don’t have enough left in the tank to feed your guests.
The quickest and easiest way to get a feel for the propane level is to pour warm water over your tank and run your hand along the side. As you reach the level of propane in your tank, the temperature will turn cool to the touch.
Admittedly this method won’t give you a precise reading, but it will allow you to estimate how close you are to needing a tank exchange – and save your garden party from going hungry.
Three’s your lucky number
I have a weakness for buying clothes. But after seeing @sistersguidetostyle post on Instagram, I feel like I’ve been hit by a lightning bolt. They posted about the three-outfit rule which makes a potential fashion purchase a worthwhile investment.
This means that whenever you add something new to your wardrobe, even if it’s secondhand, you must be able to include it in three separate outfits, using what is already in your closet.
Mix and match it with what you already own. And if you can’t? Well… don’t buy it.
This has worked for me so many times.
Claim back your Council Tax
Households are being urged to check if they are one of the 862,000 due a refund of overpaid council tax, with a MoneySavingExpert.com investigation showing residents in England, Scotland and Wales could claim back a total of just over £150million.
One of the main reasons why households may be owed cash from their council, is when a householder has moved out of the area but had already paid the bill upfront.
In most cases, council tax is paid in advance (including for those who pay monthly) and, if you fail to close your account or don’t pay by direct debit, the council may struggle to refund you automatically if you’ve moved. This means many accounts are closed in credit.
Call, email or live chat with your council to ask if you’re due a refund. Some councils may offer a simple online council tax refund form to complete, though
you’ll be asked to provide eligibility evidence for any backdated claims.
Affordable food for kids this summer
If you’re out and about with the kids and looking for an affordable meal – or perhaps you’re struggling to feed your children due to the lack of free school meals during the holidays – check out Asda.
The supermarket giant will sell hot and cold children’s meals for just £1, as well as continuing to give away free Ella’s Kitchen baby food pouches, as part of its attempts to tackle holiday hunger. The new offer will be available from July 25 to coincide with the six-week holidays.
Summer sales will save on school uniform
With the summer holidays right around the corner, now is the time to start stocking up on your child’s school uniform, while the sales are on.
Kids grow at a rapid rate, and when you include PE kits as well costs can seriously add up. Research by the Children’s Society from 2020 showed the average spent on school uniform per year was £337 for each secondary child and £315 for primary. Current sales include Marks & Spencer’s and Aldi.
Cut the cost of cool driving
What to cut your fuel costs? Then use a little-known button in your car to reduce your petrol/diesel consumption. The air recirculation button works by using the cool air you get from your AC when you first turn it on.
It helps your car get as cool as possible after you’ve turned your air conditioning off, by keeping the cold air trapped inside.
The idea is that by switching on your air recirculation button, and turning off the AC after a few minutes, you’ll use less fuel compared to keeping the air conditioning on constantly.
The air recirculation button has an image of a car with an arrow inside it, so have a peak when you climb in. You’ll thank me later.
If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.
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