‘I refuse to spend money on anything but food and bills – the kids hate it but I save hundreds per month’

Savvy mum tackles ‘low-spend’ January, saving £300 by prioritizing essentials. Overcame £40,000 debt with frugal habits, embraces money challenges, and shares tips with 53K TikTok followers.
the savvy mum with her children, who is sharing tips on how to save money by not spending money on anything except for food and bills.
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A savvy mum has revealed how she is doing a ‘low-spend’ month to save cash this January – but her children hate her frugal ways.

Maddy Alexander-Grout, 40, found herself in £40,000 worth of debt by the age of 23 after a spending addiction gripped her life.

READ MORE: ‘I’m a professional organiser and mum-of-three – these are my secret hacks to save £100 a month and reduce clutter’

the savvy mum who is sharing tips on how to save money by not spending money on anything except for food and bills.
Maddy Alexander-Grout. (Picture: Jam Press)

By living on just £15 a week for food for three years, the mum-of-two became obsessed with being frugal and swears by yellow sticker buys, charity shopping, and savvy saving hacks – all of which enabled her to pay off her debts in just five years.

This January, Maddy, who is mum to eight-year-old Ben and four-year-old Harriet, will only be buying essentials – with bills and food shopping taking priority when it comes to her monthly outgoings.

By doing this, she estimates she will save £300 this month – despite the thrifty method making her children rather grumpy.

“If it’s not essential then it’s not being bought,” Maddy, who shares her tips, tricks, and money-saving hacks with her 53,000 TikTok followers, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.

the savvy mum who is sharing tips on how to save money by not spending money on anything except for food and bills.
Maddy Alexander-Grout. (Picture: Jam Press)

“I am going to be saving the money I would have spent instead.

“The kids are grumpy as hell about it!

“They are not used to doing the things we would usually do like getting a McDonald’s or doing soft play, which they really enjoy doing.

“They like the occasional McDonald’s, and I have told them it’s not happening.

“I have also told them if they want it badly enough, they can spend their own money on it.

“It’s helping to teach them the value of money and also helping them to be more grateful for the things we buy them.”

The essentials are food, bills, and childcare, as well as her children’s regular activities like football.

But nothing else makes the cut, with Maddy being brutal about what she can and can’t justify – and saving the money she would have otherwise spent.

She said: “For example, I will put the money I would have spent getting my lashes done in a pot.

“If the kids ask me for a Mcdonald’s, I will put that money in a pot.

“It gives me a really good head start for the year.

“I lived on £15 a week for food for about three years whilst I paid off the debts.

“I became obsessed with yellow sticker and charity shopping and I paid my debts off in full within five years.”

To curb impulse spending, the mum is also taking on two cash-chopping challenges – penny and pound saving – where she aims to save just over £1,000 in a year.

Maddy and husband James, 42, aim to stash just £1 a day away.

the savvy mum with her husband, who is sharing tips on how to save money by not spending money on anything except for food and bills.
Maddy with her husband James. (Picture: Jam Press)

She said: “This is the simplest. Over the course of the year, you’ll save £365.

“[The 1p challenge] starts with you saving 1p on day one and then it increasing by 1p each day.

“So, on the last day (day 365), you’ll save £3.65 – saving £668 [in total].”

The savvy mum says her husband is supportive of her creative ways to save their family money and says her friends are understanding too – even going so far as to treat the mum to coffee’s out so she doesn’t miss out on socialising.

She also estimates that the family will save £300 by avoiding soft play and days out – opting instead for play dates at home.

Maddy added: “I am way too generous with the kid’s days out, and sometimes it’s just easier to do a soft play trip – but we are sticking to it!

“Instead we’ll do lots of walks, trips to the park, and the skate park as well.

the savvy mum with her children, who is sharing tips on how to save money by not spending money on anything except for food and bills.
Maddy Alexander-Grout and her two children Ben and Harriet. (Picture: Jam Press)

“They both got second-hand scooters for Christmas so they love scooting around the skate park.”

Maddy has also created her own money app ‘Mad about Money’ to help with the accountability of her spending and aims to help others with their money struggles.

She added: “If you are struggling with money don’t bury your head in the sand, I did it for too long.

“Facing up to your money issues is the only way you can start to fix them.”

READ MORE: Mum slashes festive budget by £1,200 – asking family to PAY for their dinner and ‘bulk buying toilet rolls’ for gifts

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