Tell me your best money saving tips please!(150 Posts)
DH is going down to a 4 day week soon, it's intentional as he works over 50 hours and is finding it too much, but it does obviously mean we'll have less coming in than before. On paper we should easily be able to afford it, but we don't seem to have much spare cash
and nothing in savings though I don't know where it all goes tbh. We don't spend loads on going out and don't have sky so no obvious savings to be made there. I've already thought we need to cancel experian, switch phone away from BT and drink less . What are your best and easy money saving tips so cutting back doesn't come at the expense of a worse quality of life for the DCs? They're 5, 22 months and 5 months if that's relevant.
Jumble Sales - children grow out of clothes so fast and I would rather buy good quality second hand rather than cheap awful quality.
Last weekend I bought DD a lovely pair of jodphurs at a Jumble - 50p, googled the brand when I got home would have been £35 new, washed them and they are spot on. Also got a lovely Mini Boden cardigan - 20p is lovely. Got DS some body armour skins for playing Rugby in - 20p again would have been £30 approx.
Jumper on heating off!
I take out cash at the beginning of the week and only use that. That money covers fuel, food and bits n pieces.
save £100 per month towards MOT / various insurances. If you pay for stuff DD you often end up paying more.
do online banking and get into the habit of checking regularly. if you simply withdraw one load of cash each week you can see exactly how much money is left.
Don't use fancy and expensive cleaning products. soap and water, biacarb etc do the job just as well.
buy second hand where possible.
Biggest difference ever is meal planning. Use the 3 for £10 meat deals that most supermarkets have. Those mumsnet myths about a £3 chicken feeding a family of four for two to three meals are actually true!
Shop online so you don't get tempted by 'bargains' you don't need, or loads of veg and salad that rots down into liquid in the fridge. Only buy fruit and veg on your meal plan as they can be very expensive unless you have a market nearby. Rotate online orders between Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado, as they will all keep sending you vouchers to woo you back. Also different places are good for different things, so you can stock up on meat at Sainsbury or Waitrose and on basics at Tesco.
Most weeks I can feed a family of three hungry males, me and four animals for £80. That includes household cleaning and laundry products and toiletries, all of which I buy in bulk only when on offer.
I have been trying to save money for about 18 months since realising I lived off my credit cards for week 4 of each month. I have:
- taken packed lunches to work (humous and pitta bread is cheap and easy)
- bought a 2nd hand dulce gusto coffee machine for the office for £20 (split with colleagues) and now buy pods so what was £1.50 a coffee is now 27p
- set up secret Santa's with both sides of the family so buy 2 x £20 gifts instead of about 10 x £20 gifts (still buy for kids and partner though)
- Meal plan! And self scan at supermarkets.
- Quit smoking
- Quit any weekday drinking (unless going out for a special occasion) - glass of wine a night soon adds up.
- look put for vouchers on groupon, Amazon local etc for things I would do anyway - half term this week and 2 days out with kids which were paid for on vouchers last month and month before.
- Sell stuff on local FB selling group and put the cash from sales into a Christmas savings pot
- set up a "each donate £5/10 to charity in November" in the office in lieu of Christmas cards/birthday gifts - we make a nice display of it so we can see who we have helped
- switched energy providers and also got insulation done free with BG
- check my finances thoroughly every 6 months and cancel DD's and subscriptions for unused things
- Rescued a dog! Oddly saves money as kids happy to go for a walk at weekends if pooch is with us which is free. And he is small and eats very little.
- asked credit cards to reduce interest rates stating I felt it was getting out of control - they stopped spending on the cards (suited me fine) and reduced my rate to 7%, 3.95% and 0%.
Compare the price per kg for chicken fillets in the butcher with tesco.....
You will be massively surprised!!!
And the butcher tastes better and since I see him chopping them off the chicken and selling I know they haven't been pumped up with yuck!
Pretty, I agree with you. I think going to the butcher's has saved me loads of money over the years, especially, as I can specify the exact quantity of meat I need. The quality is also superior I find: the meat is unlikely to be off, or go off as quickly as in some supermarkets.
Butchers meat - seriously.
I always thought it was much more expensive, was buying the meat deals at Tesco 3 for £10 etc...went to the butchers the other week and got
500g stewing steak
2 big chicken breasts
2 big pork chops
at BoffinMum's cable tie tip!
Card factory is brilliant, but never let your dh write Christmas cards after half a bottle of port because he will leave the price tags on them.
Not money saving exactly but we spend a lot on petrol commuting to work and are always short the last week of the most the month. We don't have a credit card or cheque book, so we take out what money is left in our account apart from £1 and use that money for food. Then we go to Asda and use the card payment pump to fill up the cars. As long as the pump sees your account is in credit then you can put in as a much as you want. We try and time it so that the petrol payment doesn't then come out until our pay has gone in. Its robbing peter to pay Paul but it means we can get to work!
Thanks for all of the great tips, I'll definitely be trying some of them. I've already joined cashco and got £2 cash back on Jamie's money saving meals book and a couple of others I was buying as Christmas presents anyway
The Card Factory often sells 10 birthday cards for £1, they are doing it at the moment in fact. They are fairly good quality ones, a mix of boy/girl/man/woman/plain. I intend to stock up with £5 worth, which will give me most of the cards I need for 6 months & will only cost as much as 2 or 3 'posh' ones
Two cable ties are very helpful for lashing your DH to the trolley in Aldi, otherwise he will veer towards the allegedly useful man gadgets in the central aisle. The cable ties mean you can regain control of the budget.
I know it's been said, but it really is worth checking you are on good deals for insurance, utilities etc. I got £10 off BT just by ringing them up, and my house insurance was up for renewal this month. I thought it was getting a bit pricy, at over £50 per month, so I looked on confused.com, had a shock, and I've just changed to another insurer for £19 a month. The insurer I was leaving couldn't give me anything better than about £35.
Thanks marriedinwhiteisback and Fluffycloudland77 I will see if I can buy thermal lining then
Tesco's Value Fruit and Fibre is bloody good. I can't distinguish it from the brand stuff which is £2 more expensive.
If you can stand the hassle you could change your current account to the Santander 123 current account and get their credit card - cashback given on retailers, supermarkets and petrol. Also on your utility bills and council tax! DH and I 'make' approx. £15 per month!
Also discount voucher sites, online cashback sites, groupon, kgb deals, wowcher have some bargains. But you do have to be careful and read the small print carefully.
DH discovered he likes Tesco value chocolate. Their value cereal, tinned tomatoes and frozen veg are fine too.
Why do I always see the crap discounts in Waitrose? ie. 30p off mince for £3.99 and it expires the same day?
What's crap about that?
Sounds like a bargain hunters dream!!
Why do I always see the crap discounts in Waitrose? ie. 30p off mince for £3.99 and it expires the same day? I have one near my work so tend to go in at 5ish.
Lots of fantastic ideas - have skimmed read so might have missed somethings
Anyway -first - I agree you need to find out where you are spending the extra money ...writing it down might help -but I found I often forgot etc so my advice is
Sort out a budget - taking into account yearly bills etc and a bit extra for emergencies if you can
Work out how much you need to/can spend on essentials - food etc -a week and get it in cash... don't use a card! I found it harder to hand over cash and you just can't overspend (in fact if you are like me you will spend less - worried you'll be at he checkout and not have enough).
Then any money left over - even a few pence - put to one side - that is your treat money!! Save it up until you have a certain amount - say £50 - bank 10-20% as savings and the rest is to reward yourself/children...you can even put some of it into a pot for a big thing like a holiday etc
Also if you want something not on the 'usuals' list - work it out as an hourly wage and think that is 2 hrs work - or 10 hrs work - is it worth it? Do I really need it?
Agree - about being careful running appliances overnight - and lots of people don't actually have cheaper electricity at night - only people with two meters..they are a fire hazard and you shouldn't leave them unattended (actually know of a family whose dishwasher 'finished light' caused a house fire in the night - no one hurt, but left with nothing but their night clothes)
Echo the ironing in one go - (although I don't really iron anymore !) - sort cool to hot and then turn it up as you go along -if you are super organised and your iron doesn't spit water when off - you can iron a couple of things as the iron cools down.
(but don't be like me - get bored, sit down for a min leaving iron on - and spend 10 mins+ looking at it thinking really must stand up and get on with that!)
Costco (or C&C if you can get a card -you can get day passes sometimes ) can be good for some things - but be careful - they tend to be branded stuff - often you can get home/discount brand stuff cheaper in supermarkets. (And in the C&C prices on shelves don't include VAT)
Loft insulation etc - talk to places like Energy Saving Trust - you might be able to get measures like that done for free ...even if you aren't on any benefits ...they will also give you lots of advice! I have thermal lined curtains over my dodgy Double glazing and a door curtain. Close your curtains at dusk - open in daytime if at all sunny - but if really cold and miserable I don't open bedroom curtains all day. (I close curtains in summer to stop rooms getting too hot on really hot days too)
I got a rotamate rotary airer cover - it was £15 delivered and I think it is fantastic -but their site has been down for a few months now -there are other companies but they are a lot more money - not sure if it would be worth it ...but I literally stick my washing out at anytime - even at night sometimes ...if it is damp & miserable it won't dry completely - but it does take a lot out -much less time in the tumble...
Cleaning products -check out frugal living site...
I use eco friendly and buy in bulk from a food coop -used to use health food shops - you need storage - it means they cost about the same as non-eco stuff ...but also I don't buy cleaning sprays etc.
I buy washing powder, fabric conditioner and washing up liquid (at the moment making my own dishwasher powder cos of supply issues but normally buy it) and mulitpurpose cleaner. And washing soda, bicarb and white vinegar (actually I got 5L of 80% acetic acid -dilute 1:20 to make same strength as vinegar).
I rarely use anything but water, washing up liquid and microfibre cloth.
I damp dust. Bicarb is fantastic at shifting grease, vinegar at cleaning toilets/limescale.
A 2L bottle of bleach will last me a year+. I only use it if say someone has had an upset tummy (v. rare).
Finally - my favourite!!!! - most vacuum cleaners actually use a lot of energy - they have high wattage motors ... (true also of lawnmowers, strimmers etc) so to save money and save the environment I don't vacuum more than once a week .....or so ...purely for energy conservation of course
You can buy roman blinds with thermal linings though, I'm getting them in every room.
I don't think it would work even if you had them made from scratch that way - the fleece as well as the lining and fabric would make them too bulky to fold neatly when the cords were pulled. To put it on afterwards would be impossible I think because you wouldn't be able to insert the cords at all and just backing what you have wouldn't work.
Love this thread Does anyone know if you can interline roman blinds with fleece?
I have just bought my first ReLIKE bundle - £15 incl delivery for 11 items, so £1.36 per item and DD's winter wardrobe is sorted! Brilliant system
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