Budget Cuts

Want to reduce your yearly expenditure, whilst retaining or improving your quality of life? 
I started this blog as I wanted to prove that it is possible to thrive, not just survive on one salary.  Obviously less income, means less spending and therefore some budget cuts are necessary.  Those budget cuts however are the key to unleashing your creative side, as very often homemade items are far cheaper and healthier than shop bought products. 
I have managed to slash my yearly budget by a little under £3000 and have provided a summary of estimated savings below (all savings are specific to my young family of 4): 

Item Then Now Estimated yearly savings  Links to more info on the blog
Holidays Accommodation paid for  I have signed up to a house swapping website, so accommodation is free (no need to worries about price hikes during school holidays) £750.00 Coming soon…
Presents Shop bought when needed Homemade/ planned for and bought in sales / in bulk £450.00 Coming soon…
Poultry I was buying an organic chicken every week  Now buying an organic chicken every 3-4 weeks and making it last longer £505.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/?p=763
Tumble dryer I was using the tumble dryer 4 times a week Now I’m using the tumble dryer once every couple of weeks £290.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/?p=765
Vegetables/ herbal tea I was buying lettuce, herbs, herbal teas, garlic, horseradish, spring onions (all organic) Homegrown,herbs, rocket, pak choi, horseradish, garlic, chives (great replacement for spring onions) £270.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/uncategorized/dont-buy-tea-grow-your-own/
Babywipes I was using 1-2 packets a week Now using sparingly (approx 1 packet every 3 weeks) £150.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/?p=765
Cereal bars and biscuits I was buying expensive organic cereal bars for the kids and 2-3 packets of biscuits a week Homemade £145.00 Coming soon…
Greetings cards Shop bought (I calculated the number of people I routinely send birthday and greeting cards to and averaged a cost of around £2 a card) Homemade (I did the same as on the left, but averaged a cost of around 20p a card) £95.00 Coming soon…
Fruit I was buying 2 punnets of berries a week in the summer months Homegrown, raspberries, blackberries, plums, apples, strawberries and blueberries. £80.00 Coming soon…
Liquid soap Ecover Homemade liquid handsoap £55.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/uncategorized/make-soap-at-home/
Sandwich and freezer storage bags I was using approx 3 a day Using approx 1 a week. £50.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/?p=765
Cleaning products I was buying various shop bought cleaners such as kitchen, bathroom, window, antibacterial, dust removal and limescale removal cleaners. I also bought bleach, floor wipes and stain removers. I am using e-cloths and water, lemon juice, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.  £35.00 http://ecothriftyliving.com/wp3/uncategorized/rip-my-chemical-crammed-cleaning/

http://ecothriftyliving.blogspot.com/2011/07/cleaning-product-conundrum.html

http://ecothriftyliving.blogspot.com/2011/08/cleaning-product-conundrum-part-2.html

Total savings: £2,875.00

Item

Those are some of the potential savings so far.  I have lots more ideas for making savings and for making money from home, which I will continue to blog about.  There is more to come!
I would love to know how much you could save with the substitutions above (and am always open to more eco-conscious money saving ideas), so please post your comments and feedback below.

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