Mum slashes family bills by £750 without changing her lifestyle

A savvy mum has managed to slash her monthly bills by £750 – without changing her lifestyle. Emily Harris, 35, has reduced her monthly bills – excluding rent – from £1090 to £340.

The care assistant has done it by yellow sticker shopping, ditting phone contracts and switching electric providers. Emily, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, is sharing her story to help other people reduce their bills during the cost of living crisis.

The mum-of-three said: “My electric and gas bill used to be £220 per month because I was care free and would keep the TV and lights on at night. My bills were sky high because I was completely oblivious to how much energy and gas I was using until I needed to make some changes to my outgoings.

“Thankfully, I started being mindful before the cost of living increased. I switched energy providers and asked for a meter so I can monitor how much we are spending.

“We now spend £3 per day on electric and £5 on laundry days so no more than £90 to £100 per month.”

Initially, Emily began cutting costs when she found herself in £8000 debt in 2017. She started with yellow sticker shopping to reduce her food shopping from £560 per month to £240.



Emily managed to get debt-free in just two years (Image: MERCURY PRESS)

She adds: “I used to put my nose up at the reduced section but now I am completely hooked. I plan my meals around yellow sticker meats which are stored in the freezer until used.

“On a Sunday morning, I can get meat for as little as 80p for the Co-Op. The earlier you go to Tesco the better and Aldi’s reduced isn’t the best but I do my tin shopping there as they are cheap.

“I used to spend £140 per week on food but now I spend £60 to feed my family of five. It’s not east feeding a big family on a small budget but it is doable.

“I’ve found pasta dishes are most cost effective and can make a tortellini dish with minced meat for as little as £3.90. Once a month, I use anything left on the shelves and in the freezer to make meals for a week to make sure we have zero waste.”

Within two years, Emily was debt free and now she is sharing her top tips to help others. Emily used to pay £160 per month for Sky TV and a landline but now she pays £34 for an Amazon Fire Stick.

She also ditched the house phone and swapped to a sim only card deal for £7.50 per month. Emily said: “I didn’t want the kids to miss out on their favorite shows or for our lifestyles to change finding more ways to save money such as cash back apps.

“I used to spend £40 per month on my phone bill but now I pay less than £10 as I purchased an Honor 10 phone for £130.

“As nobody used the landline, I got rid of that too and replaced Sky TV for a Fire Stick, now I can get all of the programs my kids Laci-Lou, one, Vinnie, six and Kobie, one, like but for much less.”

Emily has stopped buying from high street stores and started buying second hand clobber using the app Vinted. She said: “I would much rather give an individual £10 rather than a big brand.

“I also sell my clothes on the app which is handy. I’ve also stopped going to salons for beauty treatments such as nails and waxes.

“Instead, I paint my own nails and I purchased a wax machine for £30.”

Emily’s money saving ways meant she was able to clear £8000 worth of debt in two years. She now happily lives debt free and hopes her tips can help others.

She adds: “Everything I do now revolves around cutting the cost. All of my ways have definitely helped during these difficult times.

“Keeping my freezer well stocked with reduced meat has been a saver with the lack of food in stores recently. I have learned how to fill our stomachs on a budget and I’m even savvy when it comes to activities with the kids.

“I always go to small local businesses like farms or sign up to attractions newsletters to get a percentage off the first trip.”

OUTGOINGS NOW

PHONE BILL – £7.50

TV – £34

FOOD SHOPPING – £250

GAS – £45

TOTAL – £336.5

OUTGOINGS BEFORE

WAXING – £30

NAILS – £70

HAIR – £60

SCHOOL DINNERS – £60

PHONE BILL £60

FOOD SHOP £550

ELECTRIC – £220

GAS – £100

TOTAL – £1090