A SAVVY mum has slashed her monthly bills by £750 without changing her lifestyle – and is now sharing how she did it.
Emily Harris, 35, has reduced her monthly bills – excluding rent – from £1090 to £340.
Emily, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, is sharing her story to help other people reduce their bills during the cost of living crisis.
The care assistant's top money-saving tips and tricks are yellow sticker shopping, ditching phone contracts, and switching electric providers.
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.
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“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. We now spend £3 per day on electric and £5 on laundry days so no more than £90 to £100 per month.”
Emily found herself in £8000 of debt back in 2017, and decided to switch to her frugal lifestyle.
She started with yellow sticker shopping to reduce her food shopping from £560 per month to £240.
She said: “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.
“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” added the mum of three.
Emily was debt free within two years, and she is now sharing how she did it to help others in the cost of living crisis.
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 favourite shows or for our lifestyles to change.
“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, one, Vinnie, six and Kobie,one, like but for much less.”
Emily also cut back on her clothes shopping, and now avoids high street stores in favour of second hand clobber from 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 New Outgoings
PHONE BILL – £7.50
TV – £34
FOOD SHOPPING – £250
GAS – £45
TOTAL – £336.5
WAXING – £30
NAILS – £70
HAIR – £60
SCHOOL DINNERS – £60
PHONE BILL £60
FOOD SHOP £550
ELECTRIC – £220
GAS – £100
TOTAL – £1090
Now living happily debt free, Emily hopes her tips can help others who were in her position.
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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