Last Updated on February 26, 2023 by Melissa S.
As the weather gets warmer and life slowly starts to return to some sort of normality, many of us are looking forward to the activities that we have missed over the last 12 months. However, there are certain things I have managed to reduce my spending – or cut down on completely – that I won’t be going back to.
The most significant of these for me is working out at home. I never thought I would consistently stick to doing home workouts on Youtube, however I have managed to keep up exercising at home 3-4 times a week, plus walks. This will save me £35 a month on a gym membership, but if I do fancy going for a swim or a gym session, I can pay for these sessions individually. If I end up spending more than my £35 then I can obviously consider rejoining, so it will be good to have the choice.
This got me thinking of the areas other people might have noticed a saving in over lockdown. As a result, I asked some of the UK Money Bloggers for the money saving lockdown habits that they will be taking forward.
Si from Financial Expert has saved on hairdressing:
“I’ll honestly be staying away from the barbers! Over the last 12 months my other half has invested in haircutting accessories and has really knocked it out of the park! No more £20 barber trips for me!”
While the sisters from Joleisa have saved money on home improvements:
“For us, we’ve tackled so many DIY projects at home that we feel like proper DIYers. We have saved hundreds by doing these jobs ourselves and having fun family times in the process: making a pantry, renovating the downstairs loo, and also painting our kitchen cupboards.”
Low Cost Family Time
With so much time spent at home, and so many places being closed, it’s no surprise that many of us have found low cost family activities we will continue.
“For me, I have definitely learned that we can have plenty of family fun for free. Pre lockdown I would spend a fortune keeping the children entertained at the weekends, but they love nothing more than a games night with us, or a cuddle on the sofa with a movie. It’s actually brought us together as a family so I will definitely be doing it a lot more.”
Ashleigh from Quiz Questions even developed her own website as a result!
“I intend to save money on nights out to the pub and day trips. We have enjoyed doing family quizzes so much, it has inspired me to create a website for others to enjoy them for free. It helps my kids to learn whilst having fun. Going forward after lockdown nights in will definitely be something I intend to keep up, not just with the kids but with friends too as a cheap alternative to nights out.”
Claire from Stapo’s Thrifty Life Hacks intends to continue walking:
We have really enjoyed walking throughout lockdown and we get out for a decent walk at least once a week. We invested in some hiking gear about six months ago, so after lockdown, we are aiming to continue with the walks. We’re just hoping to explore further afield!
Avalyn from Discount Days Out is another walking fan:
“Over lockdown we have found so many new walks in our local area, it’s actually embarrassing that we hadn’t made use of them before! Definitely one to continue as it ticks all the boxes for free, zero cost family fun!”
Working From Home
So many of us have benefitted from reduced travel and childcare costs due to working from home.
Emma from BeeMoneySavvy says:
“I’m hoping that more employers will embrace working from home. I’ve saved £100’s in petrol/train tickets during lockdown by being able to work from home and I’ve already had conversations with my line manager about carrying on working remotely when the restrictions are lifted.”
Tolu from Value Speaks adds:
“I hope to work from home more and save on travel. If I do go in, I will be travelling off peak and starting late. This will give close to 50% saving on my return ticket. Additionally, due to this change in working hours, we will be able to save on our childcare, as we will have less need for the breakfast and after school clubs.”
“Working from home has saved me a small fortune on any commute I would have normally done with the extra expenses around it.
I always took a packed lunch so I have saved thousands of pounds on that alone for many years.
Pubs and restaurants being shut for so long, at £5 a pint in Edinburgh and no trips abroad is the big one for me.
Batch cooking and freezing using reduced to clear food is the one habit that will always stay with me. Having ready prepared frozen home cooked food dated for rotation is a great way to save money and eat well for less.
Walking more to the local convenience stores around the Asian and Arabic quarters in Edinburgh opens up a whole new world of different foods and ingredients to make different dishes.”
Saving on Groceries
It’s true, I know of many people whose grocery spending has increased due to the amount of time at home, but it doesn’t have to be that way, as these money bloggers prove:
Dan at The Financial Wilderness embraced batch cooking:
“We started batch cooking a lot more, and it’s something we’ve noticed has been a happy combination of cheaper, time saving, and healthier! Definitely something we’re intending to keep up post lockdown as having a freezer full of stuff is really helpful after a long day at the office.”
Collette from CashBackCollette saved on lunchtime meal deals:
“I’ve saved money by working from home and having time to make lunches at home with stuff we already have in our fridge and cupboards, rather than rushing out the door and buying meal deals most days. Adding up how much I actually spent each month has shocked me! I’m going to try and keep this up once lockdown lifts.”
“I have got into using the Olio app to get free food during lock down. I love it because it saves me money and prevents food waste. Great for those of us on a tight budget who want to live more sustainably.”
Nick from Pounds And Sense will be shopping less:
“I have been going shopping less often and find I am saving a surprising amount by doing this. For one thing, there are fewer opportunities for me to make unnecessary impulse buys. It also forces me to plan meals ahead better, so I make optimum use of what I have in stock. This saves me money and reduces waste too.”
Martyna from Money Saving Girl agrees:
“My new habits to stay are meal planning for at least 2 weeks and then buying groceries every 2 weeks (online or offline) as it saves loads of time. I will also continue bulk buying as it saves money long time in spite of the initial ‘bigger’ price. During Lockdown I also started growing more herbs and veggies – I love this new hobby of mine as its easy and satisfying, and probably cheaper in the long run too.”
Better Habits that Cost More
A couple of the money bloggers also shared about their lockdown habits that are costing more, where the benefits outweigh the extra cost:
“I’ve actually started a new habit as a result of lockdown that is costing me MORE money.
I now shop at our local butchers and greengrocers which are in the centre of town. I have to walk into town from a nearby carpark and lug my shopping back as well as still doing the rest of my supermarket shopping.
The benefit? I am supporting local businesses hit hard by lockdown restrictions. I am grateful that all my money saving ways over many years mean I can spend a little more right now to help others.”
“I’ve spent so many years saving money and not spending due to debt/low income. Now, being forced to stay in and not even be able to go out for a “free” day out, or browse shops even to window shop, I will probably increase my (budget-allocated) spending. I’ve got so fed up with feeling like I’ve been going without for so long I actually miss spending money. I realise this is an emotional response but I also think we need to have allocated funds (purposeful funds — not reckless spending) for fun stuff/pleasure.”
Do you have any money saving lockdown habits that you will continue? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.