A mum-of-two has revealed how to keep essential items ticking over for longer – and claims it’s saved her up to £60 a month.
Stacey Victoria is a self-proclaimed “savvy saver” who shares her top tips on how to see your money go further – especially for fellow parents.
As the cost of living crisis continues, many people across the UK are searching for ways to make the most out of their common household items in a bid to keep expenditure minimal.
Previously, the 36-year-old revealed how she’s saving up to £200 a month with simple “waste free” hacks, such as reusing old juice cartons for plant pots and toilet roll curtain rail spacers.
Now, the mum-of-two has shared her tips on how to keep essential items ticking over for as long as possible and claims she’s saving up to £60 a month with these frugal hacks.
“We have had to cut back hugely as a family to be able to still try and keep the life we have and enjoy it,” Stacey, from Huddersfield, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“It’s been extremely worrying and I would love to be positive and say it will become easier – but unfortunately, I think it will become harder.
“I feel it’s really important to look at different things and products now we have the cost of living crisis hanging over our heads.
“Now is the time to start reusing what we can in our homes.
“It’s so easy to walk into a shop, pick something up and spend money when you really don’t need to and it’s surprising what is already at home that can be used instead.
“Next minute, money has been spent that could have been saved.
“The average cost of these hacks are next to nothing, and, most times, free.
“It’s all about putting what you already have at home to another use than what it’s actually advertised for.”
Stacey, who shares her expert tips on Instagram, (@home_with_stacey ), used to spend up to £60 a month on extra items she didn’t need.
Now, she’s using her savvy and creative skills to help her family live frugally.
Here’s the mum’s top tips:
UNBREAKABLE PHONE CHARGER
It’s a feeling many of us know all too well when a phone charger breaks and the dreaded battle to find the right position is on.
But Stacey has revealed a quick and easy way to save the pennies whenever this occurs – and claims she’s not bought a new charger in several years.
She said: “Start by removing the spring from a pen and then stretch one end of the spring out a bit so it can fit around the charger cable.
“You might need to use pliers for this, but wind the spring around the cable until it is completely wrapped around.
“Next, take an appropriately sized heat shrink tubing and slip it over the phone charger and spring.
“Use a lighter to heat the shrink tubing, while the charger is unplugged of course, until it conforms to the charger.
“This simple hack will keep the cord from breaking any further – or from breaking in the first place.”
Across the house, many items are used daily and often experience wear and tear, especially in the kitchen, which make them faulty and unusable – but there’s a way to keep items in tip top shape.
The mum said: “Use the bottom of a cup for a knife sharpener, as this works tricks rather than buying one.
“Just run the blade across the bottom of a mug at a 45-degree angle, working from one end of the blade to the tip.
“Next, slide the blade downard in one direction, keeping fingers out of the way as you work and voilà, a fresh and sharp knife.”
Stacey also uses her household hacks to keep her home smelling and looking fresh – with the fridge and freezer her best friends.
She added: “To keep bouquets strong and healthy, store flowers in the fridge overnight, as this will help slow down the process of water loss and keep them looking crisp.
“Once placed in a vase, sprinkle them with cayenne pepper as this doesn’t hurt the plant, but keeps pesky rodents and insects at bay.
“Also, water settling at the bottom can lead to rot, so I cut up old sponges and put them at the base.
“The sponges retain moisture and create necessary air space, they also act as a water reserve, so this works great for keeping potted plants in soil for longer too.
“You can also use the freezer to re-open envelopes if you’ve forgotten to place something inside and it’ll open up like brand new.
“And for those days where you’ve run out of essential food items such as milk, top up an ice tray with some of the liquid and you’ll always have some on standby.”
Stacey believes many frugal hacks come from being willing to get stuck in and tinker around with items yourself.
Now, the mum-of-two is able to fix up her home for next to nothing.
She said: “To make a versatile wood filler for free, grab a paper plate and combine wood glue with sawdust.
“Like other wood fillers, you can stain or finish it, but the colour will likely be different than the surrounding wood.
“But, it’s sandable, paintable and long-lasting – and most importantly, cheap!
“You can also stop wall picture frames from slipping out of place and scratching up the wall by putting small dots of hot glue on the back corners of the frame.
“This not only prevents movement, but also holds the frame away from the wall, preventing any scratches or nicks.”
Before, she used to rack up her monthly spend by buying odd bits here and there, but now, she’s dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling around her home.
She also challenges her 78,000 followers to find items around the house that they’ve reused, so she can get more inspiration on how to live frugally.
Stacey added: “If people set their minds to it, we can all live for less.
“I got the ideas from my imagination and I think lockdown helped me with making use of what I already had and how to expand on cupboard items.
“My children, Emily and Isabelle, are very creative and enjoy finding things we can reuse – we have a bag in our kitchen where we put items that we feel fit the bill.
“Isabelle recently put an empty plant pot in there, painted it pink and now uses it as storage for her hair bobbles.
“I’m now in my third year of trying to live a waste-free life and I’ve always been resourceful, but I think in general more advice is needed on how to do this.
“It can get very complicated and there’s so much that can’t be reused due to materials.
“I think if people had a good think though, they’d be shocked about what they could use and save on their budget.
“It’s really easy and simple once you get in the habit of it.”