CHRISTMAS can be a very expensive time of year, and for many of us this means money is tight in January too.
Thankfully there are some simple, easy ways to help you get back on the straight and narrow financially, and start saving again.
Here, mum-of-two Maddy Alexander Grout, 38 – who is also CEO of money saving app My VIP Rewards – shares her best tips to ensure your outgoings are minimal in January…
Bag a bargain
Timing is everything, so make sure you stock up on the right items at the right time to get a good bargain.
Maddy says: "Head to the shops on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, because of the stores closing they will need to get rid of anything that is about to go out of date.
"This can include things like bread and meat which can be frozen and used throughout January."
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All through the year, Maddy spends between 80p and £1.50 a portion on each meal she makes, and runs her own money saving TikTok, @maddyaboutmoney, which helps parents with budget tips.
Maddy is also queen of yellow sticker buys, and attributes this savvy spending hack partly for how she personally got out of debt.
She adds: "Batch cook and freeze Christmas leftovers, make soups with leftover veg or pasta sauces.
"Turkey curry is a favourite in our house, or what we like to call bottom of the fridge soup, which is made up of leftovers that are either not cooked or veg we don’t eat from Christmas dinner.
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"If you are not on a diet you can also see what chocolates and treats are being sold off cheap after Christmas.
"Store cupboard items can be a lifesaver if you are on a budget too.
"Even if you buy an extra packet of pasta or some tinned tomato’s every time you shop, handy for when pennies are tight."
However make sure you shop smart, and don't just buy items for the sake of it just because they're cheap in the sale.
Maddy says: "Don’t be tempted by the January sales unless you actually need something.
"Remember even if it’s discounted, if you don’t need it not buying it makes it free."
Ditch the booze
Another way to save money and give your body some respite is to ditch the booze.
Not only will your bank balance thank you, but you can even make some money for charity in the process.
Maddy says: "Cutting out alcohol and having a dry January will save you a ton of money."
Plan ahead with presents
If you have kids' birthdays coming up, start thinking about what you need now, and buy in the sales to ensure you're saving money in the long-run.
Maddy says: "If you have kids, January is a great time to stock up on presents for their friends.
"The sales are great times to pick up a bargain gift."
There are also lots of apps and loyalty card schemes you could sign up to.
Maddy says: "I have recently discovered a cool app called Jisp, which helps you to save in local convenience stores.
"It gives discount vouchers for all sorts of food and drink. I find going to convenience stores really handy if you just want a few bits.
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"If your work has an employee benefit scheme check to see if you can get discounted vouchers for supermarkets, and if you don’t have one have a look at My VIP Rewards.
"You can buy vouchers at a discounted price for the big supermarkets."
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