As I said in this post back at the end of December, Christmas can be a very expensive time which means that January is a month spent attempting to recuperate some of the over indulgences of the festive period. During January, the majority of people really look to buckle down and save some money, partly through choice but also because it’s often the longest and hardest month of the year after an early payday in December. However, sometimes spending money can’t be avoided.
January is the cheapest time of the year to book a summer holiday and birthdays carry on happening and if you’re part way through a home renovation, well there’s no stopping that. Despite the constant spending though, money-saving techniques have now made it easier for families to cope with such financial pressures.
Food is undoubtedly one of the biggest costs for any family, with children’s appetites often larger than that of the parents. While many will use vouchers and coupons collected from various sources to make their supermarket shop cheaper, sometimes eating out is unavoidable and although it can seem like unnecessary spending, there are plenty of ways to make it cheaper.
Now, they might not seem like a great way to save money, but if you’re stuck for time then it’s a great way to get the family filled up with a hot, tasty and healthy meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Also, if it’s one of the kid’s birthdays, takeaways can be a special treat that aren’t as expensive as eating out. A lot restaurants offering a takeaway service will often offer at least 10% off their standard prices if you’re happy to go out and collect your order. Alternatively, ordering through an app like Hungryhouse is so convenient as it saves time and confusion, allows you to monitor the progress of your order and let’s you choose between a whole host of local restaurants all offering amazing prices and discounts. *Sneaky tip: Always look for voucher codes before ordering because you could get your cheap meal for even less!
Dining out has long been one of the most popular pastimes in the country offering the perfect way to relax with friends and family. Eating out in January might not seem like the wisest option, but as I said before with birthdays creeping up, sometimes it can’t be avoided – besides, these are great money-saving tips that can be used throughout the year. For anyone heading over the next few weeks, these deals have just been published, for anyone else, here are a few of my top tips:
- Stay away from prime-time dining
For those looking to try a newly opened restaurant or an old favourite, going for a late lunch can be far more cost-effective than in the evening, with many outlets offering early-bird menus for those who eat between 4-7pm.
- Watch what you drink
One of the biggest mark-ups for restaurants is the drinks. Give the alcohol, soda and coffee a miss and substitute them with a glass of tap water instead.
- Ask for a Doggie Bag
Quite often, restaurant portions are much bigger than a portion you’d eat at home (the same applies to takeaways), so asking for a doggie bag is a great way to make an evening out even cheaper. If you can save some of the food and reheat it as a meal the next day too, essentially it’s half the price advertised on the menu.
- Coupons/Reward Points/Loyalty Cards
Many restaurant chains now offer savings, reward programs and loyalty cards. Based on the time of day and number of times you visit, you could earn free meals, whole-table discounts and any number of other deals. If these schemes aren’t really worth your while then consider purchasing a Tastecard, with which you’ll be able to claim 50% off or 2-for-1 in restaurants all over the UK.
*This is a collaborative post*