The Meanie Mummy

My penny-wise tips to saving money…..

Saving money is easy if you’re the tight-fisted, parsimonious type of parent that I am. Of course, I blame my own mother who was raised during the 2nd World War and then raised her own family through the hard times of the 60s and thrifty 70s. She could never rid herself of the ‘mend and make do’ obligation. I suspect that all the offspring of wartime generations have had the same compulsion instilled in us too. We can’t relegate anything to the bin until we extracted every possibility of repair, recycling, or reusing usefulness out of it.

We were always enthusiastic collectors of tokens even though it took us years of patient saving to have enough Green Shield stamps or Robinson ‘Golly’ Tokens to save up for anything really useful that was free. We’d also enter every competition going as the thrill  of maybe winning was irresistible…

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from!

Can you tell?

In fact the easiest way NOT to part with money is to be careful about the places we take the kids. I’ve become very clever at avoiding places with expensive gift shops and cafés that I know will entice me to part with money…We’ve do a lot of going out as a family for walks, spend sunny days on beaches, take picnics or go out to the same places regularly where’ve I’ve invested in an annual pass.

I caution my children to think how much they want/need/desire something before they ask to buy something. “Can you live without it?” “Might you regret spending so much money now when you are saving up for something else?” “How will you feel if you lose it or it gets broken?” It works generally pretty well. Often just looking at stuff in shops is all they need to satisfy their curiosity and desire. We’re consummate browsers, or ‘we’re just looking’, window shoppers.

I never buy clothes (which admittedly are my treat) at full price but look for sales and bargains. My sister is even better than I and loves to trawl through charity shops trails for some amazing clothes. I’ve also a tendency to wear clothes ‘to death until they part’.

Food is never thrown away unless it is completely inedible, then if possible I’ll compost it and it’ll improve the soil for the veggies that I’ll grow at home. Generally there is always a dish that will absorb food that is on the turn with a bit of imaginative cooking – stocks and sauces – and the freezer is for preserving fruit and surplus (not for frozen pizzas) to be used in the wintertime.

All my child allowance I’ve kept in a separate account. It has become my ‘saving for a rainy day scheme’. If I can manage not to spend it within my weekly budget, then I’ve effectively put it to one side for a holiday, or a nest egg for their future.

My meanness hasn’t left us wanting as a family, it has taught us to do without things really we don’t need to have and appreciate little treats as something as something special. It’s an old-fashioned notion, that money doesn’t buy love…however, love I’ve a limitless free supply. I dish out my affection at regular intervals, it even goes well-received in lieu of absent pocket-money sometimes.

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