Savvy mum slashes monthly bills by £750 by making tactical swaps

Emily has made some simple swaps (Picture: Mercury Press)

A mum-of-three has made some simple swaps to reduce her monthly bills – excluding rent – from £1,090 to £340.

Emily Harris mainly did this through yellow sticker shopping, ditching phone contracts and switching electricity providers. 

The 35-year-old is now sharing her story in a bid to help others with the current cost of living crisis.

Emily explains that her electric and gas bill used to be £220 per month because she was ‘care-free’ and would keep the TV and lights on at night.

With two of her kids (Picture: Mercury Press)

She says: ‘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 dramatically increased.

‘I switched energy providers and asked for a metre so I can monitor how much we are spending.’

Now, her family spend £3 per day on electricity and £5 on laundry days – which amounts to around £90-£100 per month.

She initially started cutting costs when she found herself in £8,000 debt in 2017. This was when she started opting for yellow stickers to reduce her food shops from £560 per month to £240.

Emily continues: ‘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.’

She now opts for reduced stickers (Picture: Mercury Press)

While Emily stresses that it’s not easy feeding a family of five on a strict budget, she says it is doable.

She adds: ‘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.’

She pays £340 on all her bills (Picture: Mercury Press)

Emily previously spent £160 every month for Sky TV and a landline, but now pays £34 for an Amazon Fire Stick.

She also ditched her house phone and swapped it for a sim-only card deal for £7.50 per month.

Emily said: ‘I didn’t want the kids to miss out on their favourite 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 Honour 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 programmes my kids Laci-Lou (10), Vinnie (six) and Kobie (one) like – but for much less.’

She also buys second hand clothes using apps, such as Vinted, to save extra cash.

Emily is now debt-free and hopes her tricks can help others struggling at the moment.

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 learnt 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.’

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