Start here

The image shows somebody standing on pavement. The pink paint on there says: ‘start here’. The image has a green border.

Welcome! I’m Claire, a mother of one, living in Greater Manchester. I’ve created this Start Here page to help you to navigate around Stapo’s thrifty life hacks, which has been created to help those that want to save money, make money and get through life with a smile on their face.

I truly believe that money and happiness are interlinked. Cash doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does buy you choice and having money reduces stress. We all go through difficult periods and if you’re struggling with debt, savings, or with life as a new mum, then I’m here to offer you some help to get through the day.

I write from personal experience. I’ve been in debt, I’ve suffered with anxiety and I’m a mother. I also know that each of those things come with a particular set of challenges, so I try to help those who are feeling overwhelmed with tips and hacks to get through the rough days. I consider my readers to be my friends, so imagine me chatting to you over a cuppa (or a glass of red wine) as you read the articles here. My overall intention is that this blog shows you that you’re not alone and that you can make changes that will make a difference to your life and your finances.

Now that I’ve explained what this website is all about, I’d like to give you a speedy tour, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.


Money is at the heart of Stapo’s thrifty life hacks.

If you’re looking to save cash, then these posts should help you:

How to save money and live better

Monzo and IFTTT: the easy way to save money

Choosing the best loyalty schemes on the highstreet

SIM only vs contract phone: is the saving worth it?

How to save money on OTC medicine

But if you’d like to make some extra cash then these articles are for you:

Free money: easy ways to snap up extra cash

Prolific: the surveys site you need to sign up to

How to get paid to write

The best cashback website: free money for all

Shoppix: the receipt app you need to download


If you’re expecting a baby, then firstly, congratulations! If you’re looking for helpful information about what you need to do to prepare for your new arrival, then you’ve come to the right place. Start off with this article about 5 of the best second-hand buys, or this guide to working out your maternity leave budget. I’ve also created a handy list of labour bag additions and a summary of items you should pack if you’re booked in for an induction.

Once your baby has arrived, there’s a good chance you’ll be wondering what on earth happened. If you’re looking for some useful articles to read whilst you’re doing the night feed, then I’d recommend:

How to save money on maternity leave

Arthur, mummy and the double electric breast pump

Utilising your baby box and avoiding landfill

Fill your baby keepsake box: 10 simple ideas

Three travel cot hacks that will save you money

Solo parenting: how to survive two weeks on your own


If you’re interested in clothes that are affordable and last, then check out mog + bug my favourite custom-made kids’ clothing company, my article on Snag (that produce the best tights in the world), or my piece on snapping up affordable hiking gear. If they don’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps my article on fast fashion will!


When it comes to making and saving money, there’s a lot we can tweak within the kitchen. Some of my favourite foodie hacks can be found here:

Is Shopmium worth it?

Slow cooker dump bags: family cooking made easy

HGEM mystery dining: is it worth signing up?

Food to freeze: 10 extra things you should have in your freezer


Sometimes we need a bit of general life inspo. You’ll find it here:

How to ensure you’re happy at home

How to find monthly goal ideas that will work for you

The frog and the scorpion and the lessons this fable teaches us

Create your emergency calm box with things you already have

How to make a vision board that really works

Coping with redundancy: what to do when you lose your job


There’s also some stuff for those that are wanting to make some home improvements. I have a Zoflora guide for those that hate cleaning and an article to ensure you’re working from home productively.


If travel is your jam, you’re not alone, me too! If you’re looking for a quirky travel hack, you’re keen to read some solo travel tips, or you just want to wanderlust from your sofa, then this is the section for you.


If you’re planning a wedding, then start your journey on the site with an article about cheap wedding invitations. If you’ve had to postpone your wedding, like we did (thank you, coronavirus), then I’ve explained how you can spend your would-be wedding day.

Seasonal content

Of course, some hacks are only applicable at particular times of the year. So I have seasonal sections covering Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas and New Year.

Not a hack

When I started Stapo’s thrifty life hacks, I vowed to share the good, the bad and the ugly. So if you want to read about the things that haven’t quite worked out for me, then check out these articles:

No risk matched betting and the reasons I don’t think it exists

Yellow reduced stickers: the reasons why I don’t actively seek Whoopsies out

10 thrifty living tips to avoid

Reasons why jam making is not for me

I hope this has given you a taste of what you’ll find Stapo’s thrifty life hacks.

If you want to find out more about me personally, then click on my About Me page. If you’re wondering about my professional background, then check out my Work With Me page and my writing portfolio.

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