Can we have a 'best money saving tip' thread please?

(516 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 11:38:33

Myself and DH have decided that we really need to have a frugal couple of years to start properly saving some money. I think the MSE website is good but can be a little overwhelming- so much info! What are your best tips for curbing spending?

My tip: meal plan, cook in bulk, freeze individual portions. Lasagne and pasta bake seem to freeze well and are cheap to make.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Sun 07-Jul-13 17:00:27

Minimalist Mommi, my first frugal tip would be avoid Waitrose altogether and get 9 Rocky bars from Lidl if you're near one.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Jul-13 17:40:38

chocs I need to shop at Waitrose as the majority of food we buy is organic and they have the best organic range. The odd non-organic items I buy I try to get as cheap as possible. Just popped into Tesco's this afternoon and saw the chocolate covered digestive biscuits for lunch boxes 18 for £1.09! I wonder what they taste like...next week I will trial them with then DC's and see if they notice any difference or not. I imagine they won't!

Shitsinger Sun 07-Jul-13 18:56:11

Minimalist Have you though about getting a veggie box delivered ?
I also order meat, chicken and cheese with mine and organic eggs.

millimat Sun 07-Jul-13 20:50:30

Minimalist - why organic? They're loads more expensive!

scottishmummy Sun 07-Jul-13 21:45:20

I think veg boxes are over priced and poncy.cheaper to select item yourself
I don't need my items carefully selected,packed and well described for a premium
And organic certainly isn't cheaper,it hasn't place on a thrifty thread

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Jul-13 09:47:18

mill I'm in remission from cancer so I don't want to eat stuff that's been sprayed/grown with chemicals/pesticides.

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Jul-13 09:49:59

scottish I don't think that's fair saying organic doesn't have a place on a thrifty thread. You can still eat organic and be thrifty by the things you choose to buy and the meals you choose to make. For example, choosing frozen organic peas over a bag of fresh organic runner beans. You get twice the weight of peas in comparison to the fresh runner beans. sad Sorry if I'm not welcome here. sad

confusedofengland Mon 08-Jul-13 10:45:06

Minimalist I often find organic food in the reduced to clear section at supermarkets (Tesco, but I'm sure it would apply to to others as well). Is that worth a try for you?

Also, could you try approaching growers directly? Eg, we get a whole lamb each year from a farmer friend for £90 (they butcher it into cuts, too) and we can buy fruit/veggies at our local farm shop. Not only organic, but less food miles, supporting local industry & cheaper too. Or you could even try growing some of your own fruit/veg? Very therapeutic for some (not me, I seem to kill a plant off as soon as I look at it, but it works for others grin)

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Jul-13 10:56:43

Thanks Confusedthanks we're actually vegetarian so we don't need to buy meat. The fruit and veg adds up though! I need to learn when the best days are in our local supermarkets to check reduced items out. I popped out to check Sainsburys and Tesco's just before the shops closed and NOTHING was reduced, maybe because it was a Sunday?

In previous years we grew a lot of our fruit and veg as we had a massive garden, this year we bought a smaller house to keep the mortgage as low as possible and we just have a courtyard now not a garden unfortunately.

Lots of veg can be chopped up, stuck in freezer bags and frozen and then you can use them without defrosting. I have a day a month where I chop like crazy and then don't have to buy most veg again till the following month.

My top top top tip is to use a cash envelope system. We take out our grocery budget at the start of the month and separate it into weekly envelopes. We do the same with 'fun money'. Then when it's gone, it's gone...

Minimallist mommi - you can grow LOTS Of things in containers if that helps?

Scarletohello Mon 08-Jul-13 11:50:05

If you are free at around 3 in the afternoon, that seems to be when you can get a lot of discounted meat. Get some and bung it in the freezer! If you do a roast chicken, simmer up the carcus and you can make a great soup or casserole with it. Or use the leftover meat for a risotto or curry.

Pootles2010 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:13:33

With regards to reduced stuff, just ask them! If you're friendly they won't mind. BTW you are absolutely welcome - I wouldn't normally go to Waitrose, but I bet you spend less than me if you're veggie.

I have another Waitrose tip grin if you get a Waitrose card you can have a free hot drink in their cafe every day! I think thats amazing. Obviously they want you to buy something else/do you shopping there, but you don't have to.

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Jul-13 12:47:33

Olivia thank you for the tip thanks
I seriously need to look into growing in containers for next year as we eat a lot of salad leaves for example so this would be a real saving for me. And we eat courgettes and lots of cucumbers. I need to work this out, I'm probably too late for this year but ready for next year.

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Jul-13 13:09:29

Pootles thank you! I have their Waitrose and the free tea and coffee is amazing! We often grab a take away drink to take around with us while we shop grin

Just popped into town and for anyone that interested I noticed that organic Kidney beans and chick peas are 55p for a tetra pack in Tescos are cheaper than the organic versions in tins in Waitrose which hover around 87p I think. The tins contain about 10 g more but it look like I will be shopping at two places from now on for the items which I buy organic! We eat chick peas and kidney beans weekly grin so I'm pleased.

BornToFolk Mon 08-Jul-13 13:27:21

MinimalistMommi, I do most of my veg growing in containers. This year I've had lots of success with strawberries. I've got one of those nice pots, with mini pots on the side and then a similar style bag (which was much cheaper!) I also do tomatoes in grow bags, and I've done cucumber and courgette in bags too. If you have a Wilkinsons near you, keep an eye on their gardening stuff at the end of the summer when it gets heavily reduced. You can pick up the bags for pennies. Also seeds for next year.

I grow salad in pots on my inside windowsill to keep it safe from slugs etc. Really easy to grow but I don't find I can grow enough to keep up with demand. Still, it does save a bit of money!

I've found the best time to pick up reduced bargains is Saturday afternoon/evening in my big 24 hour Tesco as it's not open all day Sunday.

millimat Mon 08-Jul-13 14:19:31

Antoinette - I freeze virtually everything but have never contemplated freezing fresh veg. Just chop, freeze and then use from frozen? I guess you could buy all reduced veg if its going straight in the freezer?

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Mon 08-Jul-13 14:22:39

minimalist one of my few gardening successes was cucumbers in pots!

millimat yep, reduced is fine! Most things can be frozen raw but mushrooms are better if they're sauted a bit first.

millimat Mon 08-Jul-13 15:21:02

And not defrost before cooking?

Try taking tea / coffee without milk or sugar. Added bonus that it's still drinkable when it's cold (IMO)

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 08-Jul-13 16:07:17

I wouldn't imagine you need to defrost veg, just chuck it in the water/roasting tin.

I remembered another one: never pay for a haircut! Most salons need models for their trainees to practise on. They're supervised every step of the way so it takes a while but it's very unlikely to go horribly wrong and if it does an experienced hairdresser in the salon will fix it.

Nope, no defrosting required.

scottishmummy Mon 08-Jul-13 16:46:41

Minimalist I'm simply pointing out on a thrifty thread that organic isnt thrifty
Organic costs more than regular veg hence i queried its inclusion,on thrift thread
so actually no need for sad sadsadfaces.youve not in any way been made unwelcome

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