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With so much focus on bad news we thought we'd try and cheer you up by focusing on the good stuff. See our articles below and we hope to cheer up your day.

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5 ways to cut everyday costs for your family

Family with child around table

With the cost of raising a child increasing even more this year, it is a good idea to try and save as much money as possible on daily basis.

When you have a family - whether big or small - it can often feeling like all you're doing is paying out. However, there are ways you can reduce your outgoings without having to scrimp on fun things.

Here are 5 ways you can cut costs every day, allowing your whole family to enjoy the benefits.

Reward schemes

If you regularly shop in the same supermarket or high street store, you may actually be able to gain money by joining their rewards scheme. Simply signing up for a card can see you receive vouchers or points each time you make a purchase.

These will provide you with money off products you buy a lot or anything in store. Some reward schemes, such as Tesco's Clubcard, allow you to trade in your points for a different kind of voucher that is worth more money. This can save you money on larger purchases, such as those made at Christmas.

Rewards scheme are usually free to sign up for and only require you to swipe a card every time you shop. The only downside is that you'll end up with a purse full of cards, but this can save you a fortune in the long-run.

Buy in bulk

When it comes to things you buy a lot, such as baby wipes and nappies, look out for the best offers and buy in bulk. While it may seem like you are spending a lot of money in one go, in the long run, it will drastically reduce your costs.

Rather than simply buying one thing at a time, hunt for the best deal - this can be done quickly and easily online, especially by using mysupermarket - and stock up. Some stores do offers like buy one get two free on everyday essentials, which sell out fast so you want to get in there early.

If your local shop doesn't have a lot of stock, try ordering online. Not only will this allow you to buy more, it also saves you the trouble of having to transport everything home as it can all be delivered. If you do this, see if there is a minimum spend to allow for free delivery or if you can get reduced delivery by signing up to a loyalty scheme.

When it comes to food shopping, it may also be easier to shop online as you can clearly see all the offers available in your area, with supermarkets like Morrisons telling you before you check out whether something is available on your delivery day or not.

You'll be able to keep an eye on what you're spending, while also being less likely to pop things in your trolley you don't really need. This is a great way to stock up on things like canned goods and other foodstuffs that keep well and can be used to create multiple meals, especially as you don't have to worry about boot space or breaking bags.

Cook ahead

It isn't just buying in bulk that can save you money, cooking in bulk can as well. Certain meals, like curry, chilli and pasta, can be frozen to provide you with homemade ready meals. So long as the meat you use wasn't previously frozen, this can be a great way to make cooking for your family easier as well as help cut costs.

You can often get offers on vegetables or meats that mean it pays to buy more, but this can lead to lots of bits of meals that don't really go together or lots of food going off as you haven't got round to eating it. This means you either have to buy more to create a meal, costing you extra, or you end up essentially throwing money on the bin.

If your local supermarket has a good offer on, make the most of it and cook up a big pan full of one of your family's favourite meals. Once the meal is completely cool, separate it into sealable, freezable containers and date each of them to show when the meal was cooked. Then you can freeze them so they are ready to be defrosted or reheated quickly and easily, saving you time and effort as well as money.

Look out for vouchers

There are now loads of ways that you can get money saving vouchers. As well as in-store leaflets and local or national newspapers, you can also download apps like Voucher Codes or Voucher Cloud, which allow you to download vouchers for a huge variety of places straight to your phone.

The apps update with new offers constantly and allow you to look for vouchers while on the go. This is great if you have to stop for food somewhere or want money off a purchase, especially as you won't have to print anything off.

You can also do regular online searches for vouchers or offers, as many sites and parenting forums regularly post information on money saving offers, while a number of national newspapers regularly include offers for kids' days out or trips away.

Not only can vouchers and deals help you save money on everyday essentials, they can also allow you to do more things with your family that might otherwise have been too expensive.

Be more efficient

One of the biggest expenditures for every family is energy, especially as the cost of gas and electricity seem to be continuously rising. With this in mind, improving the efficiency of your home, even in small ways, can really make a difference to how much you are shelling out each month.

There are a huge number of ways you can make your home more efficient, whether you live in your own property or a rented house. This can help to reduce monthly bills while also making your home more comfortable in the cold weather.

Simple things like swapping light bulbs for energy-efficient varieties, pulling the curtains when it starts to get dark and ensuring lights get turned off when people leave a room can all add up when it comes to savings on your energy bill.

However, you can also make big changes that will produce even more savings. While new double glazing or insulation may seem like a large expenditure, over time you'll be making more than your money back.

You can even pay for the improvements out of the savings you make on your monthly energy bills through the government's Green Deal, which ensures you receive energy-saving measures that suit your home and your family.

All of these tips can soon add up and mean your family has more money for the fun stuff.

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