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save money as a family

Five ways to save money as a family in 2024

One of the most common topics for New Year resolutions is finances. A New Year feels like a new start, and many of us really want to have a new start financially. Whether it’s building up savings, paying off debts, reducing unnecessary spending, or just to be able to manage from month to month without struggling, most of us have some kind of financial goal for 2024.

But when you have a family it all becomes much more difficult. Even if you are personally able to achieve your financial goal, others in your household may not be as determined, or even realise that anything needs to change.

So to get your finances sorted in 2024 it really needs to be a team effort. Easier said than done, we know! You need to find tangible things that you can all do, and that everyone will be able to understand. 

So to get you started, here are five simple ways to save money as a family in 2024. 


Check every single bill

One very quick way to save money is to make sure that you are paying only for things that you need, and also that you are getting the best deal possible on every bill. So set aside a couple of hours to really get on top of this. It may not be the most exciting two hours of your life but will be well worth it.

Check every recurring payment from your bank account for the last month. For every payment do two simple things:

  • Ask yourself is this something that you still really need or want? Look particularly at subscriptions, memberships and insurances. If not, get in touch with the provider to cancel it as soon as you can. If you do still want it, could you find a cheaper way of doing it? For example, if you pay a gym membership there may be somewhere else that costs less, or if you have a magazine subscription you may be able to get it cheaper online.
  • For major expenses such as energy bills, phone, broadband, TV and various insurances, if you think you are paying too much, start looking for other potential providers. Websites such as Compare the Market, USwitch or Money Supermarket can help you to do this. It is also worth contacting your current provider to let them know you are thinking of switching and see if they can offer you a better deal.


Streamline your food shopping

Food shopping is one of the biggest expenses for most families. But it can be very easy to save money on it by implementing a few simple changes. 

Here are three ideas that may help:

  • Plan your food shopping carefully 

You will definitely spend less money on a food shop if you plan and make a list before you go. Start by planning your meals for the week, making sure you use up as much of what you already have in the fridge, freezer and cupboards as possible. This avoids waste and means you save money by not buying things that you already have.


  • Batch cook

Another great way to save money on food shopping is to make double quantities of every meal, then use one and freeze one. It takes very little extra effort to make a larger quantity of what you are cooking, and usually making twice the quantity doesn’t cost twice as much money.


  • Eat less meat

Many people are now choosing to eat less meat. If you don’t already do this, why not give it a try in 2024? The website Meat Free Mondays provides lots of information about how having at least one plant-based day a week is a fun and easy way to save money and also do something good for the planet.


Think homemade first

Still on the subject of food, try to get into the habit of thinking “homemade first”. A really good way to save money as a family is to take every opportunity to make food rather than buy it ready made. 

Here are three examples:

  • Instead of buying readymade lunch products, use leftovers to make creative lunches, either for home or to take to work or school. The same applies to drinks: take a travel mug of coffee or decant your preferred cold drink from a large bottle or carton into a portable drinks bottle instead of buying takeaway drinks. 
  • Some weekends instead of getting takeaway food, why not have a fun family cooking night? For example, you could make your own pizzas or curries, or stage your own family version of Masterchef or Ready Steady Cook.
  • If you often meet friends for a meal in a pub or restaurant, why not save money by hosting something at home instead? One fun option is to have an old-fashioned “potluck supper”, where everyone brings along a dish of their choice to share with everyone else. You could have an evening of fabulous food for a fraction of the usual cost.


Don’t automatically buy new

If you need to buy something, whether it’s clothing or an item for the home, don’t just automatically head for your usual store or online retailer to buy it new. Instead, consider whether there are any alternative – and most likely cheaper – sources that you could use.

A good place to start is online sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay. Also check out local social media groups, noticeboards and charity shops. You may well be able to find a good quality used version of what you’re looking for and save money on the price you’d pay for new.


Treat yourself for less

When thinking about how to save money, the assumption is that there will be no opportunity for treats. But if you’re savvy, you can still enjoy some treats and pampering, but without the price tag.

Three ways you can do this are:

  • Keep fit for free

There are free alternatives to being in a gym or health club. Many parks and public areas now have outdoor gym equipment that is free to use. Or you could take up walking or have a go at the Couch to 5K running programme.

If you prefer to stay indoors then think of the kind of exercise you would like to do and search Youtube for fitness routines that you like the look of. If you prefer to exercise with others, you could club together with a couple of friends and take turns to host a weekly dance, yoga or pilates session.


  • Friends are there for you

On the subject of friends, another good option is to organise a health and beauty evening at home for you and a few friends. If you have any hair and beauty expertise between several of you, you can trade favours and all end up with treatments from each other at no cost.

If no-one in your group has these skills, it is worth exploring whether you could arrange a visit from someone who can do mobile hair or beauty treatments and share the cost between you.

You can also save money on expensive hair and beauty products by setting up a loan system between you and a couple of friends. Think of it as a library for products. Everyone buys a couple of agreed products then you all let each other borrow them as needed.


  • Look for lower cost hair and beauty treatments

There are also various ways that you can save money on professional hair or beauty treatments. One option is to contact local salons to see if they have any discounts or special offers available, or are looking for people as models for a trainee. 

Another good option is to see if any local colleges run hairdressing or beauty therapy courses. If so, they may well offer selected appointments with students, who will perform fully supervised treatments at very competitive prices. 


We hope that these ideas help you and your family to work together to save money in 2024.

Do check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.