The one time that someone described me as ‘savvy’ will always stick in my mind. I’m not sure why, but I guess it’s because I think of it as a huge compliment. Everyone wants to be savvy, right? Being ‘savvy’ can cover a range of areas; you can be money savvy, ideas savvy, creatively savvy… so just about anything! Following up from this little title which made me just a tiny bit happy, I wanted to put together some advice on how I believe you can focus on becoming quite a savvy person too. I have focused the tips on myself and my lifestyle, but I hope they can be adapted to suit yourself and how you may wish to make little amendments to be much more of a handy, smart and thrifty person!
1. Those pennies make the pounds…
It’s an old fashioned saying, that if you watch the pennies, you’ll see the pounds. An old-school tactic, but one that works. I keep a glass jar on my shelf in my bedroom, hidden behind a photo frame, and every day when I get home from work I pop in anything less than 50 pence pieces that are in my purse. Any 20p’s, 10p’s, 5p’s and pennies are just seen as scraps to me anyway, so keeping them mounting up in a penny pot is an awesome way of saying a little money aside. Every now and again at the end of the month when I’m feeling rather low on money, it’s fine to dip into this for parking fee’s or little vending machine treats – those essentials where you need a little change!
2. Swap your carbs with your veggies
Being savvy isn’t just about saving, it’s about all aspects of life, including being diet and health savvy. This tip is taking inspiration from my friend, who swaps her noodles and spaghetti for ‘courgetti’ – using a spiraliser to replace carbohydrates with courgette that is shaped into noddles or pasta. A couple of my friends also blend cauliflour with a little butter and milk to make a creamy mash potato with no carbs, and I am yet to try make cauliflour crust pizza (it’s on my 2015 list of things to learn!). So cut down on carbs and up your vegetable intake without it ruining the taste of your meals by investing in a spiraliser, such as this one from Amazon, and learn other ways to swap your carbs for fresh veggies instead. Easy and cheap!
3. Use Vouchercodes whenever you can
Again, this isn’t something new, but something simple that when used right, can make you a super-savvy person. I always use voucher code websites such as Vouchersky, where you can get up to 15% off fashion products at Vouchersky. It’s so handy to check these type of websites out before you indulge in a spot of online shopping, as you can usually always manage to save yourself a little amount extra by visiting the retailers through these sites or using the exclusive codes they provide. Have a little look at what fashion deals they are currently running, I noticed a Gandy’s Flip Flops offer which is quite useful with going into the Spring, as well as High Street favourite Miss Selfridge. Make sure you always explore these options before your spending spree.
4. Use problem-focused products and stick to them
Ever find yourself cluttered up with different varieties of haircare products, styling creams, cosmetics? Usually because you have become swept up with instore or online offers and sales, but then end up with product overload and some just never get used. A year or so later, you throw away a 3/4 full bottle of clumpy mascara that never got used. I tend to focus on the problem or ‘need’ so to speak, invest in large size products which cater for this, and stick with them. That way, I’m not forever spending on items I have got carried away with, and I can ensure that the products I use are the ones I actually need for everyday use. Take for example, I have very fine, limp hair. It needs a good quality volumising shampoo and conditioner, but as my hair isn’t unruly, I don’t need an overly expensive brand to keep it in check. I stock up on Phil Smith Big It Up Volume Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner, which can cost around £2 each from Sainsbury’s as they are often reduced. Winner!
5. Make homemade food
Now this is being really health, diet and money savvy all in one. All those shop bought comfort foods can actually be made at home for a fraction of the price and with much more health benefits. Take for example, I have a huge love for pizza. An excessive love some would say. But the shop bought frozen versions contain so many bad ingredients, making the fat content ridiculous, and making pizza be seen as a really unhealthy food. So don’t even get me started on the Dominos and Pizza Hut kind. I recently had the most amazing goats cheese and beetroot pizza at Revolution, which inspired me to start making my own. Make a pizza base really easy with wholewheat flour (or try the cauliflower option!), use a little tomato purée and fresh tomatoes crushed for the base, pop on a spreading of goats cheese, chop up fresh beetroot and place around the pizza, and sprinkle with herbs, spinach leaves and rocket. It is the tastiest yet healthiest pizza possible, and if you make it big enough, you can have it in third and serve with a salad, which will mean you get three dinner’s out of it. Hooray!
6. Switch regular caffeinated drinks for flavoured teas
Take a break from your regular strong coffee’s or milky latte’s by adding some flavoured green tea’s to your drinking habits. Latte’s are very fatty, and strong coffee’s can give you a caffeine slump if too many drinks are consumed. The clippers range of pure green tea and flavoured green tea’s promote a whole range of benefits, with some of the flavours promoting radiance, clarity, and ‘kick-start’ (that one sounds interesting). Green tea also has the effect of filling you up, so you feel less hungry, and it also speeds up the metabolism. The Clippers range come in some lovely flavours; I’ve been drinking the Pear & Honey and Jasmine Decaffeinated versions every day this week and can’t get enough of them. I’ve been sharing out my Lime and Ginger flavour too with work colleagues, which has gone down a treat. Check out the range here and try replacing your morning coffee, for a healthier start to the day.
7. Switch on your business brain.
You do have one… honest. There is a passion in everyone and if played correctly, you can turn a passion into a business, or even just a hobby if you don’t really want to go into business mode. But a passion that you are really good at can bring in extra money, and you will really give it your all if you love it that much. Think of the things you get excited for; yoga? piano playing? drawing? crafts? make-up? Try offering your passion as a side-service. Set up a blog to promote yourself and your hobby. Just start off small, but your dreams and passions could eventually becoming a career and life. I’m in the middle of starting this, by changing whatemmadid.com to become a ‘blogtique’ – a one stop blog and online boutique destination. You can see the work in progress here, and it will be launching officially in April!