Save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. That's a very old saying but, goodness is it still relevant today? Small, small things will add up and when things are tight I am constantly thinking of how I can be miserly. I try to take all things I touch and 'shorten them up'. It might not be by much, and one may think it's a waste of time, but try this as a family exercise.

Without them knowing, count how many toilet rolls are used over a week for two or three weeks. Then ask everyone to count how many squares – on average – they use and challenge them to reduce these squares by a quarter each visit. The family target is to use a quarter less each week and that means a quarter more money available which, after a year, will have added up to a tidy wee treat.

Now, partner this up with the toothpaste, the washing powder, the dishwashing liquid, and the hair shampoo and you will end up with a family treat that is not so wee.

I employed a staff of five once, caring for a team of horses at a busy equestrian centre. Naturally, there were a few spills in the feed room. I swept it up one day and measured a cup full. Not much you might say ... but it weighed just over 200 grams. Add that up for a week and it totalled more than a kilo of feed extra I was having to buy!

The staff were lined up and asked what they would like to do if I gave them a $74.80 treat and, as an explanation, one cup of feed was placed beside two full bags of grain – the equivalent of what was being tossed onto the floor each year. The explanation had an impact and, at the end of the year, three hundred and sixty-five cups of feed heaved in the right direction added up to a great Chinese Banquet!