When money is tight I find one of the simplest ways to reduce our budget is to look at our spending at the supermarket. I have written about how to save on groceries before and today I am sharing more ways to reduce your food costs.

To see my other posts on ways to save click here.

When trying to cut your food costs soft drink is one of the things to take off your grocery list.

Stop buying soft drink

I’m not a huge fan of fizzy drink, but my Husband is and I do like to have some on hand to offer to guests. However when I am trying to lower our spending this is one of the things I cut first from our grocery list as it’s definitely not something we really need.

Switch to home brand products where you can

If I was only shopping and cooking for myself, there’s a good chance I would buy home brand everything. My Husband can be incredibly fussy about the things he will and won’t eat so I know this one can be tricky. My suggestion is to give home brand products a go, work out the ones you can live with and go from there. I find essentials such as oats, flour and sugar are a great place to start.

Compare the unit prices of items when shopping.  Most supermarkets now conveniently put on the price tag, you just need to look closely.

Check the unit price

Sometimes I look at the price of something compared to other products around it and think, ‘Wow! That’s a bargain!’. But when I stop and compare the unit prices (which most supermarkets now conveniently put on the price tag, you just need to look closely) I realise I’m paying more in the end. Be careful not to fall into this trap.

Only buy what your family will eat

It’s easy to convince myself buying something that’s half price is a great idea because I’m saving money, but if no-one will actually eat it I’m just wasting money. Sure it’s great to try new things, but when money is tight I stick to things I know my family will eat, and save more adventurous meals for less frugal weeks, that way it’s not such a huge issue if everyone hates it.

Adding lentils added to bolognese or a curry, is an easy, cheap way to bulk out a meal and make it stretch a little further and help cut your food costs.

Go meatless

This is another work in progress in my house. My husband is not a fan of anything vegetarian (that he knows of) but a can of lentils added to bolognese or a curry, is an easy, cheap way to bulk out a meal and make it stretch a little further. If like me you have a picky eater trying adding in small amounts to begin with and increasing it over time.  What my husband doesn’t know won’t kill him. Unless he’s reading this, in which case, I’m sorry baby.

So there are 5 more ways to reduce your food costs. I’d love to hear your tips for saving money at the supermarket in the comments below.

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I have written about using Swagbucks to make extra money previously but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start with these types of thing. In this post I share how to use Swagbucks to get the most out of it.

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is an awesome site that offers rewards for doing simple activities online, some of which you probably already do. In exchange for doing these activities, you receive “points” that are referred to as Swagbucks (SB). You can then exchange these SB for your choice of reward.

How to Sign Up

Signing up to Swagbucks is super easy. Just pop over to the their website and enter your details.

Ways to Earn Swagbucks

There are a number of different ways to earn SB and a lot of them are things you probably do already when online.

  1. Complete the TO DO LIST daily for to do list bonus SB.
  2. Answer the DAILY POLL.
  3. SEARCH – Use the Swagbucks search bar when looking things up online for a random chance to earn SB a few times throughout the day. Don’t search too quickly though, you will get a message to slowdown and you won’t earn any SB through searching again for the day.
  4. WATCH videos from a variety of playlists each day.
  5. DISCOVER offers a number of ways to earn Swagbucks. The Radium offer videos are my favourite.
  6. ANSWER questions and complete surveys.
  7. Keep your eye out for the daily SWAGCODE posted on the Swagbucks Facebook page.
  8. PLAY can earn you up to 10SB per day by playing a number of fun games.
  9. WATCH videos on the Swagbucks apps. Again this is limited to 10SB per day, though there is occasionally the chance for bonus SB.
  10. There are also an ANSWER APPS that offers SB in return for completing surveys.
  11. Install the SWAG BUTTON to be notified of any bonuses and cashbacks available when shopping online.
  12. SWAGIQ is a daily trivia quiz that offers you the chance to win 1000SB on weekdays. To play you need to download the SWAGIQ app.
  13. Meeting your DAILY GOAL for 7 days straight, will earn you a bonus 25SB.. If you reach it for 14 days you receive 100 bonus SB, and 21 days provides 200 SB. If you achieve your daily goal everyday of the month you will receive an extra 300 SB. These bonuses are paid at the start of the following month.
  14. REFER a friend to Swagbucks and receive a bonus 300SB.

Bonus Swagbucks

You can also earn extra SB during different promotions Swagbucks run sporadically.

  1. iSPY Search offers 4 chances to find a Swagbucks code on Twitter on the last Wednesday of the month.
  2. SWAGO is Swagbucks version of Bingo and usually happens once or twice a month.
  3. TEAM CHALLENGES offer bonus SB to all participates who contribute a certain amount of points to their team during the challenge. The amount you receive varies depending on the position of your team.
  4. COLLECTOR BILLS help celebrate certain holidays or special occasions. They are themed bills that are awarded via search wins. If you collect an entire set, you receive a bonus amount of SB.

Cash Out your Swagbucks for Rewards.

Turning your Swagbucks into rewards is super easy. Click on “Redeem your SB” on the Swagbucks homepage and then choose your preferred gift card. My favourite option is the PayPal gift cards because I can spend it anywhere. Once you’ve selected your reward, verify your account and details, and that’s it. Your reward will be on its way. It is that simple.

So there you have how to use Swagbucks to get the most out of it. If you’re not already signed up, click here to join and start putting cash back in your wallet with Swagbucks and if you have any questions leave them below.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start making money online. This post shares how to use Swagbucks to get the most out of it.


I know some people aren’t huge fans of Valentine’s Day, but I quite like it. A day dedicated to love filled with chocolate and hearts? Yes please! In the past we have had years I just couldn’t stretch the budget to include presents so I’ve had to be a little creative. I thought today I would share some of my favourite budget friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

For more budget friendly ideas click here.

Cook their favourite meal

I think most people enjoy a good home cooked meal, but when you know someone has cooked something just for you I feel like that makes it that little bit more special. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just whatever you know they will enjoy. There’s a good chance we’ll be having lasagna this Valentine’s Day.

Lasagna on a white plate

A list of things you love about them

My son loves treasure hunts and hide and seek, so a few years ago I wrote little notes of things I love about him on brightly coloured post-it notes and hid them around our living room. He had an awesome time finding them all and loved reading all the wonderful things about himself. Afterwards I stapled them together to make a little book of love for him to keep.

Bake them something

Who doesn’t love freshly baked cookies or muffins? That says love to me like nothing else. Similarly to cooking their favourite meal, bonus points if you make their baked good of choice!

Vanilla cupcakes with pink icing and love heart sprinkles

A book of coupons

The key to this one is only making vouchers for things you can deliver on. There is no point in promising someone a 10 minute foot rub if you hate feet. You will only regret it later. Some better ideas might be an uninterrupted bath, a date night, an afternoon nap, or the last piece of cake. Whatever your significant other would appreciate that you are happy to bestow. If you haven’t had time to organise anything, even just an I.O.U or two for the other options on this list would be a great idea.

Yourself, wrapped in a bow

Simple, yet effective!

So there you have some of my favourite budget friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas.  How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? I’d love to hear in the comments.