I’m a budgeting mum – easy swaps to save loads in 2023 & why shopping in Poundland is not always the best bargain | The Sun

EATING healthier, hitting the gym more and saving cash – just some of the most popular resolutions for the year ahead.

And one person who certainly knows a thing or two about making your money last is budgeting mum, Gemma Bird.

From walking to consuming less meat, here the Fabulous columnist and mum-of-two shares her top tips to bring along in 2023…

Meal prep – the way to go

Long gone are the days when we used to associate meal prep with something only gym bunnies and bodybuilders would do.

According to Gemma – better known to her 321k Instagram followers as Money Mum – bulk cooking has numerous benefits.

Not only will you save time and avoid unnecessary food waste (this costs the average family a whopping £800 every year), but you'll also slash energy bill – cha-ching!

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More of five-a-day

Speaking of cooking and food, the budgeting pro also advised to cut down on your meat consumption where possible.

Instead, try to incorporate more veggies and fruit in your diet as wallet-friendly alternative.

The annual return of Veganuary – the time where people follow a vegan diet for a month – is a great way to give this a go.

No waste

As reported earlier this year, food waste remains a huge issue amongst Britons, who feel they're forced into buying bigger packs than they need.

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However, it's not just food items we chuck away at alarming rates – several household items end up in the bin before they've been used up fully.

Making sure you've squeezed out every bit of the product means saving extra cash, Gemma explained.

Be a savvy shopper

With high-street going berserk with sales, especially after Christmas, it may be tempting to bag everything in your sight.

And whilst it's a good way to get a bargain, the guru recommended to first have a browse online.

More often than not, retailers will offer much better deals for the same product.

Lucinda Fox, online consumer expert at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk added: ''Have a look at different outlets offering the same type of products, both online and in-person.

''This also applies to supermarkets during seasonal events where better promotions can be found by shopping around.''

Lucinda also advised to sign up for any loyalty schemes – this can result in freebies or discounts on your next visit.

''Even if they end up in your junk mail, it’s worth signing up for email subscriptions every time you purchase an item online, as you can be offered exclusive free items or early discounts before they go live to other consumers.''

Get those steps in

We understand – the weather is anything but pleasant and the last thing on your mind is walking to work.

But with rail fares set to rise by a whopping 5.9 per cent and drivers overcharged for fuel, having a brisk morning walk to drop off kids to school and head to the office can save quite a bit of cash.

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Lucinda explained: ''When buying a large purchase item, pay for it on finance or directly by credit card to build up your credit score.

''But only do so if you can realistically manage to fit the payment into the monthly budget.''

Non-branded is just as good

When sharing their top recommendations, both Lucinda and Gemma agreed that non-branded food tastes just as good – but without the hefty price tag.

''These can cost nearly 50% less compared to other products even if there’s a lack of difference in price and quality,'' revealed Lucinda.

''Veggies and meats often taste the same so it’s worth investing in the non-branded versions to cut down on weekly meals.''

Poundland – the best deal?

Over the years, Britons have grown to see Poundland as the home of bargains – but just how good are their deals?

Well, according to Gemma, not everything is at the lowest price in Poundland – items such as toothpaste and shower gels can often be found for a better deal elsewhere.

For those who love cleaning, the mum also recommended to buy their favourite sprays and bleach in other shops.

8 simple own brand swaps to save nearly £15

Here are eight of Gemma’s top Tesco brand swaps to save money on your next shop…

Swap a 460g squeezy bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup costing £2.80 for Tesco's 555g squeezy bottle for 75p – not only are you getting more for your money, you're saving £2.05 too.

Instead of Hellmann's mayonnaise costing £1.99 for 450g squeezy bottle, buy Tesco's own brand for 85p – saving you £1.14.

Persil non bio laundry liquid costs £7.50 for 53 washes, whereas Tesco Non Bio Super Concentrated costs £3.17 for 60 washes – saving a whopping £4.33.

While Warburtons crumpets are 85p per six pack, Tesco's own brand version are 35p – saving 50p.

A pack of 240 Tetley original tea bags cost £3.99, while the same number of Tesco original bags come in at £2.90 – saving £1.09.

Diet Coke costs £1.77 for a two litre bottle. Swap this for a 50p two litre bottle of Tesco Xero Cola, and save £1.27 a time.

Sacla classic basil pesto costs £2.75 for a 190g jar. Replace with Tesco classic pesto for £1.10 – saving £1.65.

Fairy original all in one lemon dishwasher tablets cost £6.75 for 37 tablets, whereas Tesco's all in one version costs £4 for 40, creating a saving of £2.75.

Total saving: £14.78

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