According to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, every family throws away one bag of food for every three they buy, costing £400 a year. But help is at hand. The Women's Institute has just launched the Love Food Champion's Project with great ideas for how to be less wastefu;. Their suggestions include: freezing leftovers, learning about portion control and sorting out the store cupboard. To save money on food bills and reduce waste, visit www.thewi.org.uk/foodwaste
Give the gift of time to your children. Going to the park, or teaching them a new skill is far better than any toy: visit a museum, pack a picnic, take a country walk or go on a seaside trip. Set aside one Sunday a month to do something together as a family.
One way to cut costs is to try camping; after the initial outlay, the equipment will last for years. Or you could try house-swapping: just decide where you want to go and find out if a householder in the area wants to see your part of the World. Visit www.homebase-hols.com
This is the place to give stuff away for free, and put up a 'wanted' notice for something you might want
Jumble sales and Car Boot Fairs
The place to head for the cheapest bargains. Look out for events in your local newspaperopr on your library noticeboard
Loop Kids (www.loopkids.co.uk)
A treasure trove of gorgeous things for babies and children at a fraction of their original cost.
Nappy Valley (www.nappyvalley.co.uk)
Buy and sell prams, pushchairs, baby and children's clothes, toys, playroom furniture and bicycles
NCT Nearly New Sales (www.nct.org.uk/home)
Sales are held in local branches and are an excellent source for babby clothes and equipment
eBay is the most well known - but make sure the item you are bidding for is used bot from an online store
Uniform 2 (www.uniform2.com)
Second-hand school uniforms, books and musical instruments