How to be a thrifty mum without being cheap!

How to be a thrifty mum and not look cheap!

This is a post that’s been at the back of my mind for the past two years. I love nice things – I’ll be the first to admit that but I’m also pretty thrifty – or shall we say ‘clever’ with my money.

I gave up my career two years ago to become a full time mum, which meant giving up my monthly salary and with that my major shopping habit. Before we had kids (and I had my ‘own’ money) I’d think nothing of spending money on expensive beauty products, designer handbags, shoes and clothes. I guess I took it all for granted and enjoyed the freedom that came with being young, free and employed.

These days I don’t have as much disposable income and what I do have has to stretch a lot further – with three little girls. This does not mean I want to go without or that I’m less of a shopper but it does mean that I have to be more careful.

I’m also very time poor now that I have three kids. Those long, lingering shopping days are a thing of the past. None of my girls enjoy shopping (although Poppy is starting to get more interested) and my husband just hates it! As a result, we hardly ever go shopping as a family – and when we do, we’ll have a few tantrums followed by a very fed up husband who just wants to go home.

So what do I do?

Bargain.Buys.1

Here is my guide to being a thrifty mum…

1. I used to hate sale shopping (messy shops, with no order or consistency) but shopping the sales online means you get the bargains without experiencing the horror of the shops. You’ll also get the items in good order – no make-up stains or missing buttons!

My personal favourite sites for sale shopping are –

For me – ZARA, Boden, Top Shop and ASOS

For the kids – NEXT, Marks & Spencer and GAP

For the house – The White Company, John Lewis and Anthropology (I do less shopping for the house these days)

2. When it’s not sale time, I use sites like Bargain Buys for Busy Mums to source out special offers and great deals. These sites are especially good for birthdays and Christmas, as well as other peak shopping times like the run up to going ‘back to school’. They also have discount and free shipping codes – I hate paying for the shipping!

3. I watch YouTube hauls to get fashion and beauty inspirations – also I’m nosy and love seeing what other people have bought. There are so many of these vlogs online and usually they’re from the cheaper shops like H&M, Primark and Boots. These videos have encourage me to venture into these shops and buy the pieces I’ve liked online.

4. Last year I did a blog post for Lidl. They asked me to do my usual weekly shop with them and the result was pretty amazing. Following this, we have regularly shopped at Lidl and have saved so much on our weekly food bill.  The quality is great and I still get my little luxuries thanks to their deluxe ranges.

These are just a few things I do to make my money go a little further. Budgeting is of course another important factor and is something I try to do on a monthly basis – but lets not get too boring. Just have an idea of how much you’ve got to spend each month verses what you need to buy.

Do you have any tips to add?

Disclaimer: This post is in conjunction with BargainBuysForBusyMums.co.uk

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23 Comments

  1. July 9, 2016 / 6:07 am

    I’m the same. I used to spend without thinking about it as I had the money, now I’m self employed it’s all about planning purchases and getting the best value for money

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!! It is all about planning and finding the best value. Thanks Toni xx

  2. July 9, 2016 / 6:54 am

    I got used to budgeting when I was a mature student and the girls were little. Things are not nearly so tight now but I am now trained to thrifty ways ha! So I will be checking the Bargain buys website out xx

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      It’s true, once you train yourself, it’s hard not to be thrifty!! ; )

  3. July 10, 2016 / 11:33 am

    These are some great tips, thanks for sharing xx

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:10 pm

      You’re welcome, it’s always good to be careful with money xx

  4. July 10, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    We just had to comment and say thanks for this piece Heledd – as a community, we all try our best. Our members are who have made it what it today and we were very proud (and humbled!) to have been selected as ‘website of the week’ last week in The Sun! We are always looking for feedback from others, so feel free to say hi! – Jody, Amanda and the BB4BM team.

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      It’s a great site and perfect for any mum wanting to save some money without going without. Thank you xx

  5. July 10, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I think you can get a real sense of achievement when you shop around and know you are getting the best value for things you buy. I was the same when I became a SAHM for 7 years. Even though I wasn’t earning, I felt it was my job to make my husbands salary go as far as it could. With me being thrifty it meant we could still enjoy our holidays. Great post x

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:07 pm

      Exactly!! It’s all about balance and not wasting money. Thank you hon xx

  6. July 11, 2016 / 10:08 am

    Great tips there Heledd I am guilty of hiding from sales but I will have to check out the online sales you mentioned next time xx

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Thank you hon!! Sale shopping online is totally different, believe me xx

  7. July 12, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Great tips Heledd and snap! I also like to have nice things but also love a good bargain. Shopping thrift can be a little more time consuming but definitely pays off! 🙂 xx

    • July 12, 2016 / 3:04 pm

      I totally agree with you Jess. It’s so satisfying when you know you’ve got a good bargain.

  8. July 13, 2016 / 6:24 am

    Oh yes, I am pretty careful with my money but do love treating myself. I always look for voucher codes and try to shop when there are offers on at Gap, Boden, etc. Love Aldi and Lidl! xx

    • July 13, 2016 / 7:25 am

      Ha ha yes voucher codes are a must!! And Gap always have great offers on their emails. Thanks Julia x

  9. July 18, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    Hi Heledd, I’m probably in the minority when I say I really don’t enjoy shopping. I dislike ambling around shops in the hope of finding something I like, but when I do finally find something I usually end up buying several items in different colours (sad, I know).

    Knowing when and where to shop can make a big difference to the amount of money spent. And checking for coupon codes before shopping online can mean some big savings.

    Great tips.

    • July 24, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      I must admit I do that too!! If I find something I like, I’ll buy multiples too. Thank you, that means a lot to me xx

  10. August 2, 2016 / 7:55 am

    I love shopping, it does feel good to get a bargain doesn’t it? For me its about shopping about to get the same standard or quality that I like when I was working full time and then I ma happy x

    • August 4, 2016 / 7:00 pm

      That’s exactly my philosophy!! Thanks hon xx

  11. September 9, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    Love Lidl (and Aldi.) Shopping around is key and I love the online thing – eBay especially.

  12. September 21, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    I always check online before I buy to see if I could get cash back if I buy online 🙂 I’ve gotten a little extra spending money doing this although it is fiddly xXx