Money saving tips: Family of four shocked as they saved £9,000 through 'simple swaps'

SHOP WELL FOR LESS viewers saw Jo Page and Melanie Sykes help Charlotte and Chris Gell kickstart their savings pot so they can can afford a deposit for their own home.

Shop Well for Less helps family make huge savings with simple swaps

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Finding the money for a deposit has not been easy, especially since the Gells, both aged 30, have five-year-old twin girls – Darcy and Scarlett. Their total amount of spending came up to £27,000 which is almost the amount they would need for a deposit. If they take on board all of the swaps that the Shop Well For Less team suggested, the Gells could save just under £9,000 towards owning their own home, something Charlotte described as a “dream”.

After the premature birth of her twins, Charlotte had a lot of anxiety and used to go out to the shops late at night to alleviate stress.

She said: “I knew something was wrong, I knew it wasn’t right.

“As soon as Chris got back I needed to go to shops and get out to think about something other than being a mum.”

“I limit how much I go to the shops now, but I do sometimes bulk.”

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money saving tips

Money saving tips: The Gell Family were able to save a lot of money through swaps (Image: BBC)

Jo wanted to find a way to kick this expensive habit but still let Charlotte have her time away to shop when she needs to.

Ms Gell buys a new car every two years at around £5,000, however, Mel advised a swap from the family’s ideal seven-seater car, to a normal family vehicle.

This could save £480, which would almost be a thousand pounds savings over the two years in which each car is kept.

With twins, the Gells often buy two of everything to ensure there are no fights between their girls, however, this can quickly add up in costs.


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In fact, it was found in total they have spent £3,500 on toys alone.

By swapping toys out for cheaper alternatives, the Gells found they could save a substantial sum.

They even found the most expensive toys were not even the best quality, and much preferred other options.

Another way to kick Charlotte’s spending habits, Jo and Melanie advised she should stay busy.

money saving shop well for less

Money saving tips: Charlotte used shopping as a form of therap (Image: BBC)

Charlotte buys a lot of candles, so making them at home by herself could save her money also.

She said: “This could definitely be something I could do by myself at home.”

Jo and Mel found 64 dresses in Ms Gel’s wardrobes totalling a staggering £7,000, but were able to make switches to an equally stylish but cost-cutting wardrobe.

Shopping from a second-hand store is also a good way for Britons to save money.

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This was the case when the family found they could swap their more expensive sofas to cheaper alternatives which still looked good and accommodated them.

At these stores, Charlotte found out she could buy cheaper clothes, as well as making switches.

While the family did reject some swaps, the programme clearly showed the amount people will be able to save by making “simple swaps”.

The Gells now feel optimistic about their prospects of securing their own home in the future.

Roy Walsh

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