Saving money can be as simple as BOGOFS and library books. Alison Brace advises how to be frugal
If you've been looking at your bank balance and wondering how you are going to save for your summer holidays, then it's time to look at your housekeeping skills.In this era of use-and-chuck, being a good manager of all things household has become as unfashionable as a supermarket plastic bag.
OK, so it's no fun being a miser and there's nothing terribly attractive about drying teabags in the airing cupboard, either. But there are some simple cost-cutting measures you could take without losing face with the neighbours.
Take a few minutes to look where you could save money in your own home, and you could find a few pennies start adding up to pounds. Here, with help from www.moneysavingexpert.com and research over the years by the Good Housekeeping Institute, as well as a few of the Wealthy Teacher's own family hand-me-downs, are some tips to make you richer by summer.
In the kitchen
* Put leftover wine in ice trays to use in casseroles and sauces.
* Make double quantities and freeze half.
* Use old butter wrappers to line cake tins.
* Make lollies using squash and water.
* Use pulses instead of meat for pasta sauce.
* Make meat go further in casseroles by adding pearl barley and root vegetables.
* Use old ice-cream tubs instead of expensive food storage boxes.
* Serve the best wine first - nobody notices the quality of the second bottle.
* Get quantities right: 50g of rice per person, 75g of pasta or 350g of potatoes.
In the supermarket
* Buy staples such as baked beans and washing up liquid in bulk from stores such as Aldi and Lidl.
* Plan meals for the week.
* Shop online to keep within a fixed budget - and avoid impulse purchases.
* Input your shopping list at www.mysupermarket.co.uk to show which store is cheapest for your shop.
* When it comes to things you use a lot of, buy BOGOFS, that's buy one get one free.
* Visit supermarkets at tea-time when prices are reduced.
* Visit www.moneysavingexpert.comreductions to find out tips from supermarket staff on getting reductions.
* Buy plain yoghurt and flavour with honey or jam.
In the garden
* Grow plants from seed.
* Swap plant cuttings with friends.
* Set up a compost heap to make free fertiliser from grass cuttings, teabags, eggshells, fruit and vegetable peelings.
* Use yoghurt pots for seed trays.
* Use plastic drinks bottles cut in two to make impromptu cloches to protect plants.
* Buy a water butt to save on water bills and avoid hosepipe bans.
* Use old lolly sticks for plant labels.
* Use old tights as garden ties.
* Keep pump-action bottles and use as plant misters.
* Buy children's clothes and play equipment secondhand. Even better check out www.freecycle.co.uk for items people are giving away for free.
* Order uniform nametapes with one child's initial before the surname and one after. Snip off one initial depending on which child the tape is for.
* On days out, head for the beach or countryside to avoid gift shops.
* Take picnics on day trips. Choose supermarket own-label crisps and snacks.
* Buy a family railcard.
* Save supermarket vouchers and check out days-out deals for families.
* Visit free museums and parks.
* Borrow books from the library.
* Use multi-purpose cleaner for floors, walls, kitchen and bathroom.
* Only use the washing machine when you have a full load.
* Use cut-up old shirts for cleaning cloths instead of kitchen roll or bought cloths.
* Cut your cleaner's hours by getting her to just vacuum the house and clean the bathrooms.
* Use coin-operated dry clean machines