Helping you get through tough times

Making ends meet

Living on social welfare can make you feel pretty anti-social. By the end of the week there is often very little left in the pot for cinema trips, coffee with friends or tickets to gigs.

Piggy bank and coinsBut, it’s important to stay connected and active. We’re social creatures and cutting yourself off from things because you’ve no money isn’t good for your wellbeing.

Here are a few simple steps to make what you do have last a little longer.

Weekly grocery shop

Try to do your weekly grocery shop in just one visit to the supermarket. Heading to the shop when your belly starts to rumble is never a good idea.

Cuisine de France products do not make for a healthy dinner. Instead try to plan your meals for the week ahead and buy only what you need. You might even surprise yourself by inventing new dishes by the end of the week.

Good nutrition

Healthy eating is vital to a healthy mind and body

If you are looking for cheap and delicious meals, Jack Monroe’s blog is full of good ideas.

We’re not talking beans and toast here, but hearty pasta dishes, soups and curries. With low-cost ingredients you could invite some friends around for dinner; a great way to catch-up while avoiding café or restaurant prices.

Spice life

Invest in herbs and spices.

Tesco stock the whole range for less than the price of a chocolate bar.

Try to buy one or two a week and in no time you’ll have a collection that will turn cheap ingredients into culinary masterpieces.

Be drink aware

You’ve had a thrifty week and the last thing you want to do is blow all your clever budgeting.

Unfortunately when we have a few drinks our good judgement goes out the window. That large pizza from Dominos should have been your UPC money.

If you do want to have a drink a good idea is to only take out only enough money for one or two. Leave your bankcard at home. You won’t regret it the next day.

Make use of your local library

Most branches have been updated with Wi-Fi and good DVD collections. You could also use it to check out job or education opportunities.

Get on your bike

Spring is in the air and we all need to shake out our limbs after the long winter.

Cycling is a great way to get some exercise and it cuts out pesky bus fares or petrol money. Try asking friends or family members if they have a bicycle they no longer use.

Go outside

We all need to get out of the house and enjoy ourselves. Make sure to keep an eye on free event guides.

Plan ahead and organise with some friends. It’s always good to have something fun to look forward to.

The most important thing is to not be too hard on yourself if your good intentions fail. You need a treat like going to a movie or a nice coffee, even more so it’s important to make the effort to do things you enjoy when out of work.

If you keep the day-to-day costs to a minimum with some of the tips above you might even be able to afford it.

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