Parenting

Money-saving mum shares biggest thrifty tips from NEVER paying full-price for clothes to slashing food bill in half


THERE’S no denying that December is an expensive time of year.

But add a pandemic into the mix with all the Christmas present shopping and it’s hardly surprising that so many of us are feeling the pinch this festive season.

The mum-of-two has almost 40,000 followers on Instagram

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The mum-of-two has almost 40,000 followers on InstagramCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

Well if you’re dreading the thought of looking at your bank balance come January, then you might want to take a leaf out of this thrifty mum’s book.

Savvy mum-of-two Maria, from Essex, has shared her top budget-friendly tips on the Instagram account This Mum Saves Money – and revealed how she NEVER pays full-price for clothing.

Smart clothes shopping

In December 2018, Maria challenged herself to only buy new clothes from charity shops – and she was so successful, she’s kept it up all this year too.

Maria's outfit would have cost £116 full-price - but she bagged it for a tenner

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Maria’s outfit would have cost £116 full-price – but she bagged it for a tennerCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

Earlier this year, Maria revealed how she managed to bag an outfit worth £116 for just a tenner.

Posting a photo of her effortlessly chic pretty top and jeans combo, the mum wrote: “New outfit head to toe charity shop purchases..total cost £10 exactly!”

While the Tommy Hilfiger wedge heels would have ordinarily set her back £80, Maria bought them for just over £5.

What’s more, she also bagged a brand new pair of New Look jeggings for £1.50 while her Dorothy Perkins polka dot top was only £3.

Maria bagged these £30 M&S boots for just £9 on eBay

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Maria bagged these £30 M&S boots for just £9 on eBayCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

After visiting one of her favourite shops Farleigh Hospice, Maria spent another £10 on a whole new outfit to wear on Christmas Day – consisting of a £1 tartan skirt, £3 red turtleneck knit and £6 suede boots from Sketchers.

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She wrote: “I have good branded, good quality clothing. Not only have I saved clothing going to landfill, helping the environment. But I’ve supported charities buying from them. And saved heaps of money!”

And rather than shoving old clothes to the back of the wardrobe like the rest of us, Maria puts her kids’ hand-me-downs up for sale eBay – and has bagged some real bargains through it too.

In October, she wrote: “I don’t just sell my kids outgrown belongings on eBay…I sourced these brand new M&S gorgeous leather boots for my little girl with a tag price £30. My eBay winning auction price just of just £9!”

Maria has shopped exclusively from charity shops for the past two years

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Maria has shopped exclusively from charity shops for the past two yearsCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

Maria’s Charity Shop Tips:

  1. Go regularly to keep tabs on new stock
  2. Talk to staff – they might have want you want in the stockroom
  3. Take your time browsing – you might miss a bargain if you’re rushing
  4. Don’t be afraid to look in the men’s section – sometimes women’s clothes get put there too
  5. Check the item for damage – and know you can easily replace a missing button or small hole

 

Slash food bill in half

Unsurprisingly, Maria is pretty savvy when it comes to her food shopping too.

The mum uses money-saving apps such as Shopmium UK, Checkout Smart and GreenJinn to get cash back on her monthly shop.

Maria uses cashback sites on her food shop

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Maria uses cashback sites on her food shopCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

Recommending her 39,000 followers take a look at the Checkout Smart App, Maria wrote: “They offer big savings and often freebie groceries.

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“You buy in-store, upload the receipt and claim the saving back via Paypal.

“BUT they also have a min payout of £5 and also payouts under £20, they charge a five per cent fee. Over £20 it’s free to withdraw.”

The website shows customers which items are currently on sale in a range of supermarkets – including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

Maria gets items in her food shop for less than half price using CheckoutSmart - although you have to spend more than £20 to avoid fees

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Maria gets items in her food shop for less than half price using CheckoutSmart – although you have to spend more than £20 to avoid fees

The discounts which are available to shop are at least a third off while others are better than half price.

Thrifty Storage Hack

Thanks to Stacey Solomon, we’ve become obsessed with creating storage solutions in every cupboard in our home.

Maria keeps crisps in old fruit containers

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Maria keeps crisps in old fruit containersCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram
She has repurposed these plastic boxes to store her kids' art supplies

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She has repurposed these plastic boxes to store her kids’ art suppliesCredit: thismumsavesmoney/Instagram

But Maria has proved you don’t need to order any pricey plastic boxes to keep your cupboards neat and tidy.

Instead, she uses old fruit containers and laundry capsule boxes to store her children’s snacks and art supplies.

“It didn’t cost me a penny, I re-used, I recycled,” she wrote. “The space is now well organised, I can easily see every product at a quick glance to write a shopping list. No more over buying!”

For more parenting hacks, this pregnant mum-of-8 showed off £900 food haul to feed her family for a month & reveals she’s serving frozen lasagne on Xmas.

And this mum’s ‘life-saving’ parenting hack shows how to stop toddlers choking on common items including grapes.

Plus mums have found the perfect way to wrap dozens of presents without the back ache from sitting on the floor & it’s genius.

Shopper reveals Amazon discount hacks to help save cash





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