9 ways to make your family's budget go further

Last modified on Tuesday 28 February 2023

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Families are always looking for ways to save. Here we round up simple ways to make those pennies go further.

We know providing for a family doesn't come cheap – especially during a cost of living crisis. There's the food, the nappies, the clothes, the games, the cots and bedding … the list goes on.

According to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics , the average family spends £481.50 a week to cover living expenses. But with prices rising, other research has found the UK's poorest families have £40 LESS spare cash a month than they did a year ago.

So finding ways to live well on a budget, without having to compromise on quality, is a must. We've put together some tips on how to get the best bang for your buck …

1. Meal plan

Meal planning doesn't have to be a faff. In fact, planning meals for the week ahead means spending less time trying to throw something together last minute.

Plus, when you know exactly what’s on the menu, you're less likely to pick up items while shopping just for the sake of it.

Budget-friendly supermarket Aldi takes family meal times into consideration by having Super Weekly Offers and a Super 6 fruit and veg, where different items are discounted every week. You won't have to think too hard about what to cook when it’s on a great offer!

Aldi also has lots of tasty recipes to choose from, giving you meal inspiration for the whole family. To get you started, check out our budget meal planner .

2. Make smart swaps

It's all too easy to get comfortable with a particular brand and product, but just like with your gas and electric, it's good to look around for the best deals and value for money.

Parents and grandparents especially might feel like they should go for the best-known brands, but often the cheaper ones are just as good.

For example, you could try swapping your regular nappies and baby wipes with the Mamia range from Aldi.

As well as helpful tips about weaning, food, self-care and pregnancy planning on the Mamia page , Aldi also has a selection of top-quality nappies, wipes and nappy sacks, all in in various sizes.

The nappies come in sizes 1-7+, so however old your baby is, now's a great time to make the change.

They're much cheaper too: you could save up to £250 on baby supplies, including nappies, by switching to Aldi Mamia.

Your little ones won’t be able to tell the difference, and neither will you thanks to the quality of Aldi’s award-winning range. The only thing that will feel the change is your bank account!

Check out more from Aldi’s Mamia range here .

3. Batch cook

Once you start batch cooking food, feeding the family will never be the same.

It's an easy way to save some extra pounds because it means you get the most meals out of your ingredients as possible.

Whip up some recipes and keep them in the fridge or freezer, then simply take them out to defrost and heat up when you're ready to eat. You'll be so grateful you’ve got a meal ready to go after a busy day.

Find some budget-busting batch cook recipes here .

4. Follow the 50-20-30 rule

Aim to spend 50% of your income on living costs and essentials, 20% of your income on savings and 30% of it on other spending.

Obviously, your family might not always be able to stick to that ratio – you never know when your baby will go through a spontaneous growth spurt – but it's a steady financial divide to aim for.

5. Shop the offers

Who doesn't love a special offer?

It's a good idea to know when shops are having discount events or when they've got special offers on, so you can get your family favourites at a better price.

But also, regularly checking what's on offer can introduce you to new products that are just as good, or even better than your old favourites!

Aldi holds events every Sunday and Thursday, where top-quality Specialbuys go on sale. They include everything from outdoor play to homeware, kitchenware to clothes.

Keep an eye out for brilliant savings in store or online and follow Aldi on Instagram for updates on when the 2023 Baby and Toddler events are taking place.

Find more Specialbuys sales here .

6. Do things for free

Keeping the family entertained doesn't always have to cost an arm and a leg.

Instead of going to the cinema, why not stream a film you haven't watched before at home? Set up a movie room of your own by snuggling under blankets, drawing the curtains and snacking on popcorn.

Discover free activities taking place local to you here .

7. Make a list of essentials

Non-negotiable family essentials should be at the top of the list – things like nappies and baby wipes that you know you'll need.

Then list other things in order of importance, like a high chair or dummies.

You'll be able to see everything you NEED to save money for soon and get rid of anything you realise you could do without.

With what's left on the list, mark next to them which things could be swapped for a cheaper alternative.

8. Keep track of spending

We know, we know – when you spend money you probably want to pretend it never happened.

However, keeping track of your spending by logging what you bought and how much it cost every day will help you clearly see when you spent a lot and why, and the price differences between shops.

9. DIY

Before buying or doing something, think 'can I do this myself?'

Perhaps the family could grow their own vegetables or you could dye your own hair?

Choosing to do just one thing yourselves rather than paying someone else to do it will make a long-term difference to the monthly budget.

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