Small money saving habits...petty even

(375 Posts)
Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:44:56


I was just thinking of some of the small habits i've gotten into from habit and though i'd

I know some of them have probably been mentioned before grin

Always break a dishwasher tab in half
Water down fabric conditioner to get 2 bottles instead of 1
Freeze unwanted bananas for cakes
Chop up apple cores for the birds
Save pumkin seeds for planting
Save envelopes for seeds from old calendars
Use old envelopes for shopping lists if not reused
This one is stingy [embarrassed]...intead of buying a calendar, I just print off monthly from on-line planner. It gets amended anyhow and easier just to put on pinboard
Save old flyers to make paper chains.
Add handful of porridge oats to make crumble go further

DublinDoll Tue 30-Oct-12 11:50:12

Does half a dishwasher tab work as well?
Does anyone use less then the recommended amount of washing powder/liquid?

Not petty - although some of those are not things I'd do anyway iyswim? (I'm too tight to feed birds, I just let the bottom of the garden be overgrown instead wink)

I'll add
Buy decent (persil for me) washing powder and mix it 50/50 with cheapo morrisons own. Clothes still get the smell of persil which I love but not at the same cost.
Same with beans, I mix heinz and morrisons/aldi to get a reasonable taste at half the cost (self confessed baked bean snob me!)
Make my own bread in machine, works out about 35p for a smallish loaf but again we are bread snobs in this house so much better than £1.90 or so every day.
Shop at aldis grin best grocery economy tip ever!

I'm sure I'll think of more. Your calander tip is not tight at all btw - its just sensible imo wink

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:53:35

Ooh, a response grin

1/2 a dishwasher tab works just fine for us. I thought it would be a hassle to break in half, but easy and tbh I have not noticed any difference.

That goes for fabric conditioner too smile

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:54:03

I only use 80mls of powder per wash and a spoon of soda crystals.

Excess just clogs the machine anyway.

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:56:19

Another one...

If my kids have wrecked any books that are beyond saving with tape. I keep them and the pages make good wrap or DIY party bags.

The party bags look nice. There is a tutorial on-line. But basically, you use the pages to wrap a box, leaving the top open. Slide out the box and you have your bag.

I'll try half a dishwasher tablet later on I think...

Also, NEVER buy white bin liners! I use old carrier bags and for the big kitchen bin I use value black bags which are a fraction of the cost.

I used to buy sandwich bags (cheapo ones) but now I clingfilm eveything for packed lunches.

For kids party bags I once bought a pack of paper sweetie bags (pick and mix style ones) from makro. They are still going strong years down the line.

I used to exchange all my old printer cartridges with boots for £1 in advantage points but they've recently stopped this. Staples will give me £1 voucher for each cartridge I return instead now.

Iheartpasties Tue 30-Oct-12 12:06:45

I use hardly any washing liquid. I fill up the lid twice, and the lid is teeny tiny (think - the size of a 10p), sometimes a bit less than that, stuff comes out clean.

When I get near the very end of my conditioner I add water and shake the bottle, it seems to do the job just fine, you could really water it down to begin with and make it go twice as far.

I keep everything in terms of wrapping paper, ribbons, pins, saftey pins. Anything small that I know I can use again. If my clothing has huge annoying bits of ribbon in them - to hang on a hanger, i cut them out, and often keep them. It's amazing what you find in a drawer and use down the line. To decorate a card, or use as a handle on a home made gift bag. Or to repair something. I keep all jiffy bags that come in the post.

Lots of thing have other uses and I hang onto them - as long as its small and then I find myself using it and feeling very thrifty! smile

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:07:53

Spring onions can be chopped and frozen. Also, if the stems are kept in water they will re-grow.

Fresh herbs can be frozen in olive oil in ice-cube trays.

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:10:01

Too true IHeart

One of my children are having a party soon and one of the activities is make your own party hat. All those small craft snippets come in very handy.

Iheartpasties Tue 30-Oct-12 12:10:54

oh - and I have been able to get some nice bits off my local facebook buy/sell/swap site for free smile

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:11:45

MissKeith thanks for the printer cartridge tip. Do you know of the cheapest to get them?

Iheartpasties Tue 30-Oct-12 12:13:31

fresh herbs in olive oil in ice cube tray - wow, that just sounds fab! I think you can freeze bits of lemon in water in a similar way - for drinks.

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:22:40

I have started keeping a price book. If food costs are set to rise even further need to! Its a real eye opener. Esp trying to work out "deals".

Just basic things, cost of meat per kg or weight cost for fruit. The difference for instance between fresh and frozen pizza is shocking.

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:25:42

Butter wrappers kept in the fridge for greasing baking tins.

alemci Tue 30-Oct-12 12:39:14

I think some of these tips are really good. Also the recycling ones are excellent.

I only use half the wash powder i used before. Engineer told me i had been using too much. our water is quite hard.

find frozen herbs very useful and saves buying fresh.

Buddy80 Tue 30-Oct-12 15:14:17

If you are buying school name tags for more than one child. No need to order separate name tags.

Just put one order through with one child's initial at the begining, the surname in the middle and the other child's initial at the end.

That way, you can just buy one set of tags and just tuck and sew the initail end which is not being used.

No Buddy I don't sorry! I am a shop-tart and buy cartridges whenever I see them at a good price. I have an HP at the mo, so fairly statndard and most places stock them.

I loved getting boots points for sending them in for recycling.

Of course, using a refilling service would be cheaper but my mum employer insists I use real ones weirdly. I don't argue anymore but I do shop around and have got 12 to take back to staple this week who apparently will give me £1 for each by way of voucher.

Good tip on the name tags - gutted I bought 300 a few weeks ago which will probably see my dc through til University, grrr!

Butter wrappers - yep, do this.

YY to the pizza thing! Why are fresh pizzas so much more than frozen?! I just defrost anyway and add loads of toppings to bulk them up, the bases on the frozen aldi ones are very generous so can take the extras.

A tip for cars, I only ever put washing up liquid in my windscreen wash bit. My Ex used to say I'd ruin it or it would freeze in winter, but so far neither has happened smile

nananaps Tue 30-Oct-12 16:05:56

I save all of my £2 coins and 50p coins. When get a tenners worth, i bung it into a small savings account.
Last Christmas i had saved £270, this Christmas i have £300, its a fab way of saving for Christmas without missing the coins very much.

Every time i have a spare £1 coin i get one of those stamps from Tesco, i now have £50 towards Christmas food shopping.

meal plan, meal plan, meal plan and make shopping list around this weekly plan. Stick to it rigidly.

Batch cook, make a bigger than usual curry/chilli/shepherds pie and freeze a portion of it. Eat "out of the freezer" once a week, its a free meal!

Disappointedbuyer Tue 30-Oct-12 16:06:28

I have found that Daisy dishwasher powder from Tesco works out cheaper than even the value tablets. It comes in a huge 3kg box. I haven't bought any for ages but last time I was in I noticed the price had gone up a bit, so it might not be as good a deal as it was. I found it was easier to use a bit less powder than it was to chop a dishwasher tablet up.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Oct-12 18:11:36

My last daisy powder lasted me 11 months. I use one dessert spoon per wash, if a cups got a lot of tannin on it I spray it with bleach first.

I've not found it cheaper than tesco daisy on Amazon or Ebay.

FrightRunScream Tue 30-Oct-12 18:17:25

I save the tat from party bags for the DCs Christmas Stockings. They are too young to realise that half has gone missing, only interested in the cake anyway!

FrightRunScream Tue 30-Oct-12 18:23:11

Amazon Prime is brilliant. I don't live or work near any big shops and have small DC, so going to the shops is difficult and Amazon is my friend, so not having to pay for every single delivery is great.

Iheartpasties Tue 30-Oct-12 22:07:08

My mum used to do that thing with the name tags! 'first name-surname-someone else's first name', haha. I had forgotten about that!!

AdoraBell Tue 30-Oct-12 22:13:26

Dublin I use 1/2 the recommended amount of washing powder, still works.

Off to cook now, recycling leftovers grin I'll read through later and see if I can add anything.

cerealqueen Tue 30-Oct-12 22:33:29

I freeze nearly everything, very few things can't be frozen. I'll often google 'can I freeze...' and somebody will have tried it and will say how it freezes and if not so well, any changes to taste or texture.
I keep all wrapping paper, birthday card etc as good for DDs glueing and sticking, as are old magazines (not that I buy them much now, but ones that come with the Sunday newspaper)
Yes to breadmaker.. it will pay for itself and the joy of home baked bread can't be beaten.
Sometimes I will have a cupboard / freezer week, where we must eat up stuff. Eg, I sometimes freeze the sauce from an Indian takeaway as they are always swimming in sauce and make my own curry with it. This might be a step too far, DP does not know I do this!!!!

Buddy80 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:01:32

Just thought of another one...if its a really sunny day I put my bread in the car to rise. Works brilliantly grin

cereal totally see where you are coming from. Me too, I freeze everything. Amazing how just a couple of tablespoons of spag bol can be made into a chilli once everything is added.

Oh I love typing in 'can I freeze...' into google - if only to see the pre-emptive suggestions.

The answer is nearly always yes

<except lasagne made with quorn mince - I shall never forget ye!>

WholeLottaRosie Wed 31-Oct-12 20:15:06

I buy all my wrapping paper in the January sales. Quite often Christmas wrapping paper isn't actually Christmas-themed so stripes/ spots/ stars/ plain metallic can be used all year round and is much cheaper bought this way.

I only ever buy silver wrapping paper. ever. I can't think of a single occasion where it'd look odd... old/young, male/female, wedding/birthday/christening.


The only time people will see a different one is if it's recycled. grin grin

BooyhooRemembering Thu 01-Nov-12 00:54:21

I buy asda bath essentials bath foam, decant into 3 empty liquid hand soap bottles but only fill 2/3 of the way. top each up with water and add a few drops of tea tree oil. one for bathrooom basin, one for bath/shower (use as shower gel and bath foam) and one for kitchen sink. put an elastic band round the plunger part on each dispenser to shorten the length of the pump meaning less comes out for each pump.

Buddy80 Thu 01-Nov-12 07:23:13

You know the ribbon handles from fruit containers? Yep, save those too

marshmallowpies Thu 01-Nov-12 07:52:31

Buddy80 noooo to the name tag thing! My mum did that and I had years of people at school sneering and laughing and saying 'why does your name tag say Smith J instead of J Smith?'

I agree about the bin bag thing, but my DH prefers the white drawstring bags. When I say to him 'black bin liners are so much cheaper!' he says 'but they don't fit the bin properly'.

The long winter nights fly by in our house, I tell you.

Couple of things I do: freeze egg whites in ice cube trays if they are left over (ok probably everyone does that), but I also freeze chilis. I was given a chilli plant but every time it fruited I had to either use the chilis then or waste them...until I read you can freeze them fresh & defrost when you need them.

FrightRunScream Thu 01-Nov-12 18:17:09

I don't get the name tag thing, because you still need as many.

BooyhooRemembering Thu 01-Nov-12 18:49:36

i thought that too fright but maybe it's so they can be unpicked and transferred to younger DC's clothing when older no longer needs uniform? only really useful if your dcs are years apart and wont be in uniforms at the same time though. confused

All our name tapes are just our Surname. Not wasting 4 lots on 4 kids.

starfishmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 18:58:40

I cut/unpick name tags to re-use.
Cut up ds's old vests/old sheets/towels for cleaning cloths.s

Fabric softener, 1 litre of softener put in a 3 litre bottle, a third of a bottle of viniger, couple of drops of essential oil and top up with water. Lasts for months.

poshfrock Thu 01-Nov-12 19:02:23

Nametags are usually cheaper if you buy in bulk. So one pack of one hundred which can be used for 2 kids is cheaper than 2 packs of 50 which can each only be used for one child. And yes I do also unpick and recycle name tapes. It's partly a cost thing but also I tend to give old uniform to charity shops and I don't want some stranger knowing my child's name and what school they go to just by looking in an old jumper.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 01-Nov-12 19:03:52

I have gone from using a shed load of Persil along with Vanish and fabric conditioner in my washing,to about half the amount of Ecover, with washing soda as a stain remover/brightener if needed, and no fabric conditioner. I really can't see it's made any difference to what gets clean and what doesn't.

I now barely iron,so saving on electric.

I sort food scraps between the dog and chooks,and compost.

poshfrock Thu 01-Nov-12 19:05:37

And cereal I do the curry sauce thing too. We're having it tonight.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 01-Nov-12 19:05:50

I make a soft furnishings and air freshener spray with a couple of drops of tea tree and lavender oil in an old spray bottle filled with water.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 01-Nov-12 19:06:52

We also barter with friends - excess eggs for excess tomatoes - that sort of thing.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 01-Nov-12 19:09:58

Booyhoo I'm definitely going to try your pump dispenser thing,specially seeing as so much disappears with the kids giving Barbies and My Little Ponies baths and hairwashes shock

marshmallowpies Thu 01-Nov-12 19:11:49

I do now remember to tell DH not to throw out left over curry so I can have it again the next day...but invariably when trying to cook my own basmati or Thai jasmine rice I end up having to scrub out a pan of burnt rice. So money saving yes, but time & effort saving, no....

reddemonsinthegarden Thu 01-Nov-12 19:13:49

cereal i had never thought of saving the curry sauce! fab idea smile
and the pump dispenser one is good as well...

MrsSalvoMontalbano Thu 01-Nov-12 19:17:06

The long winter nights fly by in our house, I tell you
lol, marshmallow!

Loving these!
Have some old lemons in the kitchen and wil this very night chop 'em up and freeze with water for drinks - brilliant idea!
I buy frozen garlic and use instead of fresh, saves the smelly hands and just as good as fresh.
Name tags, yep, our DC are DC1 Montalbano X and DC2 Montalbano Y.
Re the fabric conditooner - DH suggested we just did not use it. I was horrified - I like my towels soft grin. But then we tried without, and using a tiny quantity of wash powder, and they were fine.
So now we use just a small amount of powder and no softener.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 01-Nov-12 19:17:07

ooh love the brand & basic mixing idea. will try that.
always make soup or pasta sauce from sad veg, never throw away.

ilikesweetpeas Thu 01-Nov-12 21:39:00

Marking place, some great ideas here!

Adversecamber Thu 01-Nov-12 23:30:19

I have a thin permanent marker and just write on DS name instead of name tags doesn't fade

I don't use fabric conditioner at all

I only wipe the counter tops with water, we seem healthy enough, use cleaning spray every couple of weeks but I only ever cut food on a board or plate

I shop on the way home from work so no extra petrol.

I rarely buy anything that needs dry cleaning, I wash inside a pillowcase anything that is supposed to need dry cleaning and hold case ends together with an elastic band. So far no shrinkage or ruined clothes

Adversecamber Thu 01-Nov-12 23:31:34

The dry cleaning clothes washed in a pillowcase, I wash on the woollen setting

VerySmallSqueak Thu 01-Nov-12 23:34:13

I have given up expensive cleaning/antibac sprays.

A bottle of value cream cleaner in the bathroom with a sponge is every bit as good.

I use the library loads - books are so expensive to buy and you can order most things in.They also run free courses.

Buddy80 Fri 02-Nov-12 10:06:24

Very agree about the library. Also, check if you are entitled to which type of library card (I didn't know about this either). I can get a Carers Card (as my son is registered disabled). This means that I don't get charged late fees and can order in items free of charge.

Free courses. Childrens Centres also run free courses (sometimes with freebies smile

Allofaflumble Fri 02-Nov-12 18:06:01

Marshmallow Get yourself a microwave rice steamer. They are dead cheap and the rice comes out wonderfully. You rinse your rice as you normally would in the basket thingy. Then boil a kettle and cover the rice an inch above the level with boiling water. Add some cloves and salt or whatever you like and after 10 minutes exactly you have perfect basmati. I usually drain it and then put it in for another minute to dry off.

I don't like american long grain so don't know how well that would come out.

Marking my place, excellent ideas!

Mum2Fergus Fri 02-Nov-12 20:17:06

Ive been making much better use of the freezer of well as reduced stuff from shop, meal some carrots for 10p today, grated along with couple potatoes and half an onion then some coriander and blitz. Dinner with crusty rolls for DP and I tonight, last if it frozen and will do a lunch for me through the week.

cozietoesie Sat 03-Nov-12 09:56:09

A very small thing - but I always make extra rice if I'm cooking it anyway. If you plan your meals, you can work that extra in with curries (takeaways and shop bought curries are always too sloppy for me and a bit of extra rice in the fridge extends them nicely.) Heated up rice (I reckon it to last at least two days in the fridge if re-heated properly) also extends eg a cupasoup nicely to make a reasonable lunch or snack if you're at home. (I also mix cold rice with some mayo, garlic puree and eg cucumber or tomatoes for a quick snack. Yummy.)

Rice can go a little funny if you freeze it - but one thing it's good for is fried rice. The freezing acts to separate the grains so it becomes ideal for that.

BettyBum Mon 05-Nov-12 10:18:26

On a cold day, leave the oven door open after cooking to let all that heat into the house.

ByTheWay1 Mon 05-Nov-12 10:33:29

I like nice cheese, so buy loads of it when it is a BOGOF, grate it (in the magimix - I'm lazy as well as tight) and freeze it in plastic takeaway boxes. Easy to use straight from the freezer then.

Our fridge was working fine, but all the plastic bits - salad drawers/door bottle holders etc were perishing/shattering so I found an online supplier of internal bits for fridges and replaced them for £20.

Freeze candles before you use them - last longer and don't splutter.

Do oven cooking in batches - e.g. stew + lasagne + meatballs then eat one, fridge one, freeze one.

you can make baked beans taste better by adding a knob of butter and some smoked paprika.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 05-Nov-12 13:17:37

agree that frozen grated cheese is your best friend!

anothercuppaplease Mon 05-Nov-12 13:23:19

Oh yes those points from Tesco. It's worth looking into opening a bank account with whichever shop you go to. We go tesco, we have a tesco bank account, get extra points for that too, we save all our points throughout the year and last year we paid for christmas presents, christmas meal AND 36 bottles of wine delivered for free!

We don't use dishwasher tablets, we use the old fashion powder and rince. It works and costs a lot less

But the best money saving tip is to pay your credit card in full every month or don't use a credit card at all. It's amazing how much people pay in interest at the end of each month.

Good thread just getting on it.

But please don't reheat rice!

cerealqueen Mon 05-Nov-12 13:47:36

If you put bagged salad leaves in a tupperware lined with kitchen paper, it will last twice as long
Limp bendy carrots will crispen up if you put them in a bowl of water in the fridge for half an hour
An over ripe banana in the freezer turns into a nice frozen treat

I got all these from a bbc programme on last week!

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 14:13:46

I did say 'properly' SHRIIIEEEK.


anothercuppaplease Mon 05-Nov-12 14:14:17

I thought so too about the rice. I have done a food hygene course and they said that
Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive.

If the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores can grow into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.

The longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that the bacteria or toxins could make the rice unsafe to eat.

Tips on serving rice safely
•Ideally, serve rice as soon as it has been cooked.
•If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour).
•Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.
•When you reheat any rice, always check that the dish is steaming hot all the way through.
•Do not reheat rice more than once.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 14:44:05

Exactly so, another. But safety guidance applies to most types of food. You have to assume that people will do things more or less properly - such as handling raw meats or using dairy food.

I've personally found that rice is quite fine for up to two days in the fridge but then I bring it down to fridge temperatures real fast. I'm happy to concede on the 'one day' limit. (There's always the dog!)

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 05-Nov-12 17:22:02

If you rinse the rice under the cold tap it will be cooled down quickly and then you can store it.

loubielou31 Mon 05-Nov-12 21:37:16

I did this earlier and thought I should tell you all. When cooking stuff on the hob; pasta, rice, veg, that sort of thing, turn the heat off before they've finished cooking and stick a lid on. They'll continue to cook and you'll save a bit of energy.

Mum2Fergus Mon 05-Nov-12 21:48:43

My Mum shared something with me which admittedly Ive still to try, but maybe one if you will know. She was a working Mum and before she left house she would put eg potatoes on with boiled water from kettle then in high until rolling boil. Turned off and lid on just before leaving and the veg would cook away while she was as work. Swears was all cooked by time she got home and just needed a quick reheat! Sound promising?!

milkysmum Mon 05-Nov-12 21:52:39

We have always reheated rice and no one has been ill yet!!!!

MerseyMama Mon 05-Nov-12 21:54:36

Marking place smile

MoomieAndFreddie Tue 06-Nov-12 10:31:18

<watches> (sadly nothing to contribute as am shit with money)

ethelb Tue 06-Nov-12 10:33:18

oh I hate the misunderstanding about rice. Reheating doesn't destroy the toxin, so you don't need to bother checking it is heated through or 'piping hot' as it makes no difference.

Curtsey Tue 06-Nov-12 10:40:49

Make a budget every week and try to stick to it when you're doing your food shop. This doesn't always work for me, sometimes we go over budget, sometimes we're under budget, but I think it all evens out.

Figure out how much you spend on meat during your weekly shop. Then save that amount and only buy meat every second week. If you start doing this now you'll end up with a nice little amount for Christmas. And even if you have a housefull of carnivores they won't notice so long as you batch cook for the freezer when you do have meat.

Christmas food hampers make lovely gifts for e.g. the neighbour who looks after your kids, teachers, the elderly - anyone to whom you want to say thank you. Use any old box or basket and line it with old wrapping paper. Decorate with some (free) holly/ivy from the garden or wood. Start stockpiling nice things now to put in the hampers - Aldi is brilliant for this esp. stuff like shortbread and dark chocolate. If you see a good bottle of wine on special offer that can go in too. At the last minute you can add things like satsumas, chestnuts, pate.

sieglinde Tue 06-Nov-12 10:49:47

Cut open tubes of anything - toothpaste - handcream - with scissors and scrape out remnant.

get free bones from butcher and use for stock, frozen in individual cups

Freeze berries from summer and use all winter

sieglinde Tue 06-Nov-12 10:50:29

Oh, and we still only have the central heating on for an hour a day...

jenduck Tue 06-Nov-12 10:52:29

I freeze anything & everything - the odd dollop of mashed potato, a dribble of leftover gravy, leftover meat, fruit that's starting to go off etc. It can always be used in something else - gravy in a casserole, mash for kids, meat in a pie, fruit to be stewed to have with porridge/rice pudding.

I also freeze bread that has gone 'off' rather than chuck it. I use it to feed the ducks, so we don't have to use up good bread for that.

Am also very particular about turning off appliances when not using them - I figure that it is costing money to display the time on the microwave, or the power light when the shower is kept on, so they all get turned off!

I re-use jiffy bags & stamps that have not been stamped over blush. Not sure if you are meant to do the latter, but I have posted parcels this way over the counter at the post office & have never been told it's not OK!

I take all my old aluminium cans to Tesco's recycling bank (they have electronic ones at larger stores, you get 1 clubcard point for 2 cans, it soon adds up.

RuleBritannia Tue 06-Nov-12 10:55:11

I can't remember the last time I bought kitchen bin bags. I use the multitude of charity bags that are delivered through the letter box.

If you put out the bags with items in them, they are not necessarily collected by charities. They often go to a commercial operation that gives the charities something like £50 per tonne but they sell the items for hundreds lots more and make a profit out of what you donate.

mmmerangue Tue 06-Nov-12 11:00:03

Always break a dishwasher tab in half - Fairyconomy! No dishwasher here!

Water down fabric conditioner to get 2 bottles instead of 1 - Don't need fabric softener at all! Its a lie!

...intead of buying a calendar, I just print off monthly from on-line planner. It gets amended anyhow and easier just to put on pinboard - not cheapskatey, this just saves you buying cheap tat calendars, my dad has done this for years it means he has all meetings etc, on paper should his HTC run out of battery (and he can pencil last minute things in it too).

Have always fried eggs by turning the heat off after flipping, the oil is still hot and the yolk stays runny!

I have a list on the fridge now of everything that's in the freezer as I am really bad for going to the shops and buying junk when actually we have plenty to eat. Cross things off the list as we go through them.

Decide what you like branded and what doesn't matter - I am a 'bread snob' too as you put it but beans taste the same in a 10p can as a Heinz one IMO. I like Tetleys' but buy bulk on offer haven't paid full price for tea in a year.

Don't throw out Jcloths, they come out the washing machine fine 4 or 5 times before they're really done.

Recently discovered a scheme called Save the Change, bloody brilliant, every time you use your card the change off the pound goes into your chosen saving account. I've only had it a few weeks and only done grocery shops in that time but already saved more than a fiver! £10 a month into savings when before it was nothing!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Nov-12 11:03:02

Use tesco daisy dishwasher powder, £4.69 lasts me 11 months.

AudrinaAflame Tue 06-Nov-12 11:24:57

I used to buy sandwich bags for freezing things in etc but these days I always seem to grab too many bags out of the dispensers in the fruit and veg aisle. By the time I have all my overpriced items, Tesco have provided me with all the bags I will need that week...

OP, why do you have to print the online calendar? That's a waste of money. We just have a google calendar for the family, and everyone edits and looks at that one. It's more green for the environment too to not print!

jenduck Tue 06-Nov-12 11:32:47

Just remembered another thing! Clothes very rarely get thrown out here. Adult clothes go from best to everyday best (eg workwear) to everyday casual to garden/decorating clothes or rags. DCs clothes go from DS1 to DS2 & get patched if they get frayed (DS1 has been very pleased with his 'monster jeans' & 'spider jeans' as Daddy makes very good patches grin) Sleepsuits/vests that get holes in become cloths - one 12-18m sleepsuit makes 4 small cloths & 1 large!

And 90% of our clothes are hand-me-downs/secondhand to begin with...

Buddy80 Tue 06-Nov-12 11:46:33

onelittle printing the monthly calendar on the back of printed A4 is easier for myself. It is my google planner like yours but, personally, easier for me to grab a pen

Buddy80 Tue 06-Nov-12 11:58:00

* jenduck* great idea about cloths. Do you bother to hem the cloths? Or just cut from the clothes and use as is?

mmmerangue Tue 06-Nov-12 12:00:57

Just chop them. If something is thready at the edges cut with pinking shears.

I never thought of that as economising my parents did it and I have always done it! Old teatowels are the best.

jenduck Tue 06-Nov-12 12:02:13

Buddy I just cut & use. I do cut off any poppers though, as they annoy me & any buttons go into our button box smile. The cloths may fray fairly quickly, but I'm not too bothered as I've paid nothing for them & there is usually something else on standby!

Don't use a tumble dryer, washing dries well outside even on days like today.

Use half the washing powder, no conditioner.

Hang straight from the washing machine and don't iron (except for work shirts)

The waxy plastic bags inside cereal make really god sandwich bags.

dotty2 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:34:30

We were staying in an apartment recently and they had only provided a couple of DW tablets and I didn't want to buy a whole box, so I just ran it without any powder, and everything came out clean. No pans, admittedly, but cups, plates etc.

chocolateteabag Tue 06-Nov-12 12:45:21

We live in the sticks so some of these may not apply to everyone:

Newspaper shreds in the bottom of your wellies (just enough to cover) are good insulation.
Tea bags can do more than one mug! (3 or 4 if you are my Dad)
Keep all spare buttons and sequins from new clothes for spares and decorating cards etc
Free Food:
In the spring - and wearing gloves - pick young nettles and use as you would spinach. Makes great soup.
Pick blackberries (too late for this year) - keep going back to the same place as picking encourages more to come through. We have a freezer half full of them, fab for crumbles and Jam and they are FREE

Sloe gin, elderberry wine etc are all lovely - but you will still need to spend on alcohol and sugar so not really a saving unless you would drink it anyway.

dotnet Tue 06-Nov-12 12:47:59

ALWAYS get a claim form if your rail journey screws up. The rail companies get compensation from Railtrack if their journeys go wrong; they have plenty of funds to give back to travelling customers who have been delayed. I read the other day that only about ten per cent of their compo ever finds its way back to the customers.
If a journey is a real nightmare (eg I was delayed by two hours in October) - you will get your fare refunded in full. Anything over half an hour's delay and most companies compensate you for part of the ticket price. It's horrible at the time you are being messed about, but it's great later on when you can subsidise your next journey using the compensatory rail voucher from the previous journey which screwed up.
Oh - food - Sainsbury's basic coffee in a bag (47p for 100 grams) is perfectly OK. A massive saving over other brands.
Food for free: Sweet chestnuts from my local cemetery are feeding me well at the moment!

Buddy80 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:49:37

These are great smile

prettybird Tue 06-Nov-12 12:51:16

We only use half a dishwasher tablet (Lidl 2 in 1) too - we're in a soft water area and I'm sure it also helps stop the glasses clouding.

Don't use full measures of washing powder. Only use half a measure of fabric conditioner - and none at all if washing towels.

Re-use sandwich bags (either from the inside of cereal packets or I've used to get fruit or beg) for as long as I can.

Give ds chunks of cheese (wrapped in cling film - which can be re-used) cut from a larger piece for packed lunches.

To give ds his due, he's good at bringing back the empty sandwich bag and cling film.

Leave oven door open after use so that the residual heat warms the room (and the noisy fan turns off quicker)

Also use old envelopes for shopping lists - can also put vouchers etc in to them, so that you've got them easily accessible when you get to the till.

Have a "fat" jar, which I use sometimes instead of olive oil (eg when making shepherd's pie or frying onions), which is kept topped up from frying bacon or cooking anything else fatty.

Haven't bought kitchen bin liners in over 20 years - re-used other plastic bags. Even though I now use jute bags and/or "bags for life", we still seem to acquire enough plastic bags. On the couple of occasions I've run out, I've use a bread plastic bag for any "wet" waste. Most of oour food waste goes in to the compost caddies anyway.

Keep ginger in the freezer and grate it from frozen when required.

Use a plate instead of cling film to cover something that's being microwaved.

dotnet Tue 06-Nov-12 12:51:39

ALWAYS get a claim form if your rail journey screws up. The rail companies get compensation from Railtrack if their journeys go wrong; they have plenty of funds to give back to travelling customers who have been delayed. I read the other day that only about ten per cent of their compo ever finds its way back to the customers.
If a journey is a real nightmare (eg I was delayed by two hours in October) - you will get your fare refunded in full. Anything over half an hour's delay and most companies compensate you for part of the ticket price. It's horrible at the time you are being messed about, but it's great later on when you can subsidise your next journey using the compensatory rail voucher from the previous journey which screwed up.
Oh - food - Sainsbury's basic coffee in a bag (47p for 100 grams) is perfectly OK. A massive saving over other brands.
Food for free: Sweet chestnuts from my local cemetery are feeding me well at the moment!

mollymole Tue 06-Nov-12 12:53:24

use the back of junk mail for photocopies or for children to draw on or make shopping lists, notes etc. Re-use envelopes, buy a huge roll of sticky labels for about £1.00 and stick over 'old address'

Lavenderhoney Tue 06-Nov-12 13:15:27

Never throw out bread. Cut into squares and freeze to use for croutons. You can make them and put in a jar in the fridge, th will last and are great on soup orin salads.

Save all glass jars all year, in summer buy a massive tray or two of tomatos at the market depending on your jars and make up chopped tomatoes for here larder. Store somewhere cool, maybe a shelf in the garage if no space indoors. Should see you through winter.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Tue 06-Nov-12 13:20:37

Line dry towels etc in almost any weather but rain. Even on a cold day like this, if there is wind they will get pretty dry. They then just need a little while on the airer, or in the tumble dryer if you want to.

Slow cooker for soups and stews. Not quite as good, but good enough for everyday. Add lentils to everything to bulk out. Red lentils pretty much disappear into the sauce.

Agree with powder rather than dishwasher tablets.

Name tags 0 no need for one child to have their name at the end. Just do Jane John Smith. For John, you fold over the end. For Jane, you do a little pleat. That's what my mum did.

mmmerangue Tue 06-Nov-12 13:37:52

If you get gifts wrapped in lovely expensive paper, unwrap them carefully and reuse. Especially shiny stuff, the sellotape comes off easier. Remember to give it to a different person than who gave you it, just in case wink

Get a window box for the kitchen and plant with herbs you use regularly, rather than buying those fresh pots from supermarket. Taste nicer than dried too.

Keep newspapers. For everything - cutting hair onto (if you cut your kids hair or DP uses clippers like mine does), stuffing in wet wellies to help them dry, surface protection when kids are crafting/painting, papier mache, starting fires if you have a real one (roll into a tube and tie in a knot, leaving the end hanging out under logs also gives an easy way to light the fire), stick under drafty cupboard doors, can line under carpets or in drawers or a million other throwaway uses. Gets one more use out of them before they get recycled.

eBay. I get so many of DS clothes on there, nearly new cos he is just a toddler and they grow so fast. I pass most of it on to my SIL who's son is 9 months younger.

Look at everything in your home with a reduce, reuse, recycle mentality. To me it's not just about the money. Defo taking some other tips from people here!

harrietspy Tue 06-Nov-12 13:48:01

Thank you for starting this thread. I agree re Daisy dishwasher powder: huge savings.

Any advice re cheapest/best way of washing clothes? Is powder the way to go? I've been using a great liquid from Aldi but need to cut costs further if possible.

Buddy80 Tue 06-Nov-12 14:31:52

harriet no problem smile regards to washing clothes ou can make your own washing liquid from household soap, soda crystals and Borax. If you do a search there are loads of recipies out there, if not, let me know and I will add a link.

I tried it myself and it's fab. It does set as a firm jelly, but you can water it down even further. Lasts ages and costs pence to make a litre.

mmmerangue Tue 06-Nov-12 14:34:39

Soda crystals are soooooo cheap.

great for soaking poo stains out of baby clothes.

CheerfulYank Tue 06-Nov-12 14:36:36

Marking my place!

cmarieb Tue 06-Nov-12 14:42:57

buy the 'marmite' sandwich boxes for children's lunch boxes and lots of little snap close pots, no more cling film or foil needed !

littleladyindoors Tue 06-Nov-12 14:43:50

fantastic ideas here! Have an old post it note at work now with them all written on to share with hubby when he finishes watching Skyfall! (on a tues where it was only a £5!!!!)

We invested in a door curtain for our front door last winter- cost us about £20 from Dunhelm and we can actually tell now if we have left it open!! I was shocked by the amount of cold it kept out. Will be getting one for our kitchen too.

I pretty much always shop in Asda, but never forget to get my vouchers from them online, atm even if they aren't cheaper, you still get a £5 off a £40 shop when you spend £40. So I spend £40, get £5 off and still get another voucher for the following week. Also check your reciept- if they overcharge, you get £2.00 as well as a refund. In 4 weeks, we have made £6 from them.

I also take a calculator when I shop- its shocking how much I spend without it, but I focus on what I actually need if have it. Also If I dont take a list I spend so much more- meal planning is the way forward.

I also cut joints of meat in half and freeze half. If I cook the whole lot, we will eat it in one go- and we dont need to. Veg is cheaper to bulk up on, and we get 2 roasts for the price of 1. I third (or fourth or fifth) the frozen things over fresh, We really like BBQ ribs, but fresh are so expensive, and frozen are cheaper and normally better. I also freeze stuff in marinades because it goes into the meat better I think

I use bars of soap, to stop them splitting/drying out I put a bottle cap in the bottom so they are not sitting in a puddle of water, lasts for ages. (Not keen on liquid soap).

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:14:33

Drying out soap bars in the airing cupboard is meant to make them last longer, my mum kept all her soap in the airing cupboard when I was little.

Laundry gloop is on Moneysavingexpert a lot.

higgle Tue 06-Nov-12 15:21:26

Use a eapot even if you use teabags. 1 Tesco Finest Earl Grey teabag makes two bit potfulls and keeps four of us happy through a long breakfast.

higgle Tue 06-Nov-12 15:22:08

oops! "teapot" & "big" my economy lunch has clogged up my keyboard!

prettybird Tue 06-Nov-12 15:50:03

Second the teabags can be used more than once. We keep a ramekin on the kitchen counter just for that purpose wink - although we do mostly drink loose tea done in a teapot (mix of Twinings Earl Gray and Sainsbury's Darjeeling). Even with the loose tea, you can top up at least once (as long as you've used a tea cosie)

hackneybird Tue 06-Nov-12 16:14:47

When we boil potatoes we simmer them with the lid on - uses less energy.

Like many I use half recommended amount of washing powder, and reuse old envelopes etc., supermarket carrier bags instead of buying bin liners.

Do a lot of batch cooking. When we cook meals we usually make enough to have another meal from it.

Loving a lot of the other ideas though! I love the feel and smell of fabric conditioner but I am off to top it up with water right now!

blueshoes Tue 06-Nov-12 16:40:08

I re-use my embroidered name tags.

When my children have outgrown their uniforms, I unpick the threads sewing down the name tags before I donate the uniforms. The name tags are perfectly fine. I then sew them onto the next set of uniforms.

Doesn't save much, but feels good!

harrietspy Tue 06-Nov-12 16:48:49

Thanks for advice re washing powder: will look that up!

I set an alarm to remind me to go round and shut all the curtains to keep the heat in before it gets dark and the temperature drops. (We don't have the heating on if we can avoid it. A cold bedroom is fine with 2 duvets and bedsocks! The kids have electric blankets which are on for an hour or so).

Also I use old comics instead of wrapping paper (I picked up a foot-thick stack from a school fete for 50p). I'm giving my own books as presents - choosing ones which would be right for the recipient - because I just don't have the £ to buy gifts.

I've ditched filter coffee - just too expensive, even though I love it - but if I heat up a little bit of milk in the microwave, the cheapest instant stuff tastes so much better. smile

Does this sound ludicrously worthy? We're completely broke now and facing repossession... Wish I'd learned to live more frugally when times were good!

blue2 Tue 06-Nov-12 16:56:19

I take all the paper from our computer print outs that are no longer needed, tear them in half lengthways and stuff them in a large bulldog clip with the 'white' sides showing.

It sits by the phone ready for messages or shopping lists, but is great for testing times tables and spellings too!

flowerygirl Tue 06-Nov-12 17:23:10

When a handwash runs out, I add a bit of water to the bottle, you'd be amazed how much longer it lasts!

Also, I used to use loads of shampoo, but a double pea sized amount is ample, just make sure your hair is very wet.

Another one is when toothpaste runs out, cut the tube open and you will get a few more teeth cleans out of it!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Nov-12 17:33:50

When you have the oven on put the veg or beans etc in pyrex jugs and cook it in the oven so it saves putting the hob on too. You can do gravy like this too.

Smartprice stuffing and Paxo are virtually indistinguishable (sp due to wine) and DH never noticed we have smartprice.

CotedePablo Tue 06-Nov-12 17:33:58

harrietspy been there, and got the t shirt! Funny thing is, once it happens, it almost feels like a load has been lifted from your shoulders. I do hope things get better for you.

harrietspy Tue 06-Nov-12 17:41:40

Thanks, CotedePablo. Better to be facing up to things, without a doubt. smile

InNeedOfAPennyForTheGuysBrandy Tue 06-Nov-12 18:43:13

Keep the doors shut, I never before realised how much heat you lose out of rooms by not shutting the door.

My grandma cuts dish sponges in half. (considering a pack of loads and loads is only £1 I couldn't be bothered)

left over veg soup can be so lovely and a chicken does 3 meals + a soup.

EdgarAllanPond Tue 06-Nov-12 18:51:17

Get thick curtains if you can (or lining as well as whatever curtain) , close them as much as possible to save on heating. in wonter it often isn't light enough to light the house only from sunlight anyway.

insulate under your bath (bath-bottoms open to floorboards can get very cold)

notapizzaeater Tue 06-Nov-12 19:12:09

I add lentils to any casserole / chills spaghetti Bol etc , what they don't know doesn't hurt. I buy big bottles of Tom purée and freeze it in individual pack sizes. I have a big bag in the freezer of "stew" bits, all the spare dead veg goes in there and gets lobbed into a stew. I also freeze the cauliflower and broccoli stalks to make Broccolli and cauliflower soup - once liquidiseds you can't tell it was just the stalks .....

LIttleMcF Tue 06-Nov-12 19:52:39

Don't watch the Grabbit board on MoneySavingExpert. There is a risk that you'll frequently spend a bloody fortune 'saving' money on four flipping scented candles that we DON'T need.

33goingon64 Tue 06-Nov-12 20:03:35

I make a mental note of which petrol stations tend to have cheaper petrol and fill up there. I don't understand anyone who doesn't do batch cooking and freezing. Write what it is on a label or with magic marker so you don't forget. It's a no-brainer. I freeze anything that's in danger of going out of date. I sometimes recycle gifts, so if I have been given something I don't like or know I won't use I save it and give it to someone else. Has to be the right combo of gift and person or it doesn't work. And don't give it back to the person who gave it to you!!

33goingon64 Tue 06-Nov-12 20:09:33

Not sure if this is mntioned above but dishwasher tablets from Wilkinson work just as well as Finish and cost less than half. I am quite picky about my clothes smelling nice when they come out of the washing machine. Am worried if I use a homemade or watered down liquid they won't smell as nice...

randomness Tue 06-Nov-12 20:12:30

Never make only one lot of pasta, if I'm boiling a load of pasta for my ravenous beasties children I can never manage to judge the amount right anyway, so instead I make loooooaaads extra and keep what's left in a tupperware box in the fridge. Reheat it with boiling water or use microwave to reheat smaller portions.

Cold pasta + pesto + chopped up ham + cubes of cheese is a nice change from sandwiches for their packed lunches.

dementedma Tue 06-Nov-12 20:17:06

Aldi washing powder tabs are fine and I only use one unless washing is really manky.wash at low temps and on quick wash when possible.don't use fabric conditioner.
Aldi Magnum washing up liquid is dirt cheap and lasts for ever. Don't need a dishwasher. Use over ripe bananas in cakes, apples in crumbles. Blitz stale bread into breadcrumbs and freeze. Use as crumble topping (thanks Nigel Slater). Red lentils to bulk out pretty much anything, and all leftover veggies are used for soup.a bit of manky blue cheese gives great taste to a leek and potato liver, chop up and freeze in small portions. Great supplementary pet food if the kids won't eat it and cheaper than the tinned stuff. Use topcashback when buying on line.

ALittleBitOfMagic Tue 06-Nov-12 20:31:23

I've been saving a fortune by getting my shopping delivered . You can see what you have and how much it would be before you commit rather than throwing things in the trolley and discovering you've spend £160 when you get to the till .

This is my kind of thread grin

Which did a test in one of their recent magazines on alternatives to manufacturer ink for Canon, Epson and HP. PM me if you'd like to know which they thought best, I daren't post it on here. (I got £20 off a car seat for taking up a £1 trial).

Use a pressure cooker for cooking meat, veg, soup, everything is cooked much faster so your hob is not on for as long. When cooking different veg, use a steamer, so that only one ring is on.

I've just ordered a curtain rod for our front door, it's soo draughty!
Agree with using soda crystals - nothing better on stains. I've not used fabric conditioner for years either.

I'll remember the tip about the bath - our is about to be replaced.
I also like the one about the "floppy" carrots and harriet, I'll be keeping my eye out for comics - what a great idea!

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 06-Nov-12 20:47:36

Dishwasher powder all the way here. No fiddly tablet wrapping, just pour a tablespoon amount in. Huge tesco daisy box lasts ages.

For washing liquid we use method. Buy the refill packs on offer through ocado, with 20% off when they send it to me. The bottle looks teeny for the price, but you only need 4 squirts.

BoffinMum Tue 06-Nov-12 20:49:59

Every time you are out and about shopping, and notice potential presents between £1 and £5, buy them and squirrel them away, and you can slash the cost of Christmas and birthdays by an astonishing amount, especially if you also buy all your wrapping papers and ribbons in the sale as well as recycling them from other presents when you can.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Tue 06-Nov-12 20:52:44

Edgar - what did you insulate under the bath with?

BoffinMum Tue 06-Nov-12 20:54:04

BTW the danger wth DIY laundry liquid is that it does not contain limescale remover, so if you are in a hard water area your machine will get knackered. You'll need a Calgonite tablet as well as the DIY liquid, so you may as well buy the normal laundry powder, tbh!

CheeryCherry Tue 06-Nov-12 20:58:17

Great thread! For washing windows/glass, use a splash of vinegar on scrunched up newspaper. Works a treat. Packed lunch ideas....instead of boxes of raisins, wrap some in a piece of foil..and reuse the foil. A chunk of cheese instead of those individual portions. Make up a jelly and pour into small tubs, add a bit of fruit to make a few nice cheap pudds. Same with big pots, pour into small tubs for packed lunches.

waitingforgodot Tue 06-Nov-12 20:59:53

marking my place! I do make batches of stuff and just have same thing 2 nights in a row.

bitsofmeworkjustfine Tue 06-Nov-12 21:19:44

Always put the pan lids on when you are cooking. not half open. wedged on. then turn the heat down till its a rolling boil, not manic spitting everywhere, but gently rolling (like when you put the shower head under the bathwater).

saves on condensation too

when i make pancakes, there is usually some pancake mixutre left. i cook it into pancakes and put on a plate. they can be reheated for breakfast the next day, or can be used instead of lasagne sheets (i wouldnt go to the faf of making then specially for the lasgne) but they do make the lasgne nice and light and not at all stodgy.

keep odd socks for puppet making

use babyoil when you are still wet from the shower, it works 10x better than mositurisers and is £1 a bottle.

I buy my meat at the cash and carry. I got 2kg of beef for £9. Okay i have to chop it myself (it comes in one huge big lump), and it takes a bit of time, but i freeze it in 500g portions and stew it from frozen. Lovely.

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 21:30:35

"BTW the danger wth DIY laundry liquid is that it does not contain limescale remover, so if you are in a hard water area your machine will get knackered. You'll need a Calgonite tablet as well as the DIY liquid, so you may as well buy the normal laundry powder, tbh! "

white vinegar will solve that problem and is a deodoriser it also has anti-bacterial properties.

BoffinMum Tue 06-Nov-12 21:48:12

Booyhoo, that's a good point.

BTW lots of tips on my blog.

Austerity Housekeeping

girliefriend Tue 06-Nov-12 21:50:10

Keep an eye on poundland!! I recently bought a massive bag of pasta and spaggetti in there - £1 each is such a bargin and it tastes the same as any other brand!! I have also bought books in there, gifts, wrapping paper, scented candles as long as what ever you buy you are 100% sure would not be cheaper anywhere else poundstretcher

Buying toiletries from Wilkinsons saves me money.

I take paper that would otherwise be chucked from work and give to my dd as drawing paper, I haven't had to buy her paper ever!!

Morrisons savers bath foam smells lovely and lasts for ages.

Not buying any crap (biscuits, crisps, chocolate) saves me a fortune and is good for my waist line, dd is allowed to choose a treat from the shop on a friday to allay my guilt!!!

theladylovescupcakes Tue 06-Nov-12 21:52:17

Fab thread! I have just got up and shut my living room curtains! Will also definitely look into a curtain for the front door. Our vestibule is freezing and my DS is forever leaving the door open .

ErrorError Tue 06-Nov-12 21:52:26

A few of mine:

- Always squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube (sounds obvious but you'd be surprised at how much the 'manglers' waste!)
- Use plastic carrier bags as small bin liners.
- Use old toothbrushes as polishing tools, or for dusting small crevices.
- Make a vat of soup, eat one portion and freeze the rest (freezer bags take up less space than tupperware.
- Keep old clothes that are unsuitable for charity shops/clothes bank, and either cut up for rags, or if a nice material, can be used in craft-type projects.
- When soap is down to the last sliver, keep it, and when other soaps are down to the last sliver, stick all the slivers together to make a new(ish!) bar.

I'm sure there's more but I'll keep tabs on this thread for other tips!

Bundlejoycosysweet Tue 06-Nov-12 22:08:06

Buy hair clippers. Got mine about ten years ago from Argos for about a tenner. I cut DH's hair (number three on sides and back and number six on top) and it actually looks good! I also cut both my sons hair this way too. Not sure I'll subject DD to a buzz cut when she is older but will defo get my scissors out, saves a fortune!

LapinDeBois Tue 06-Nov-12 22:24:27

Give your children short names. Not only can I fit 'Child1 DeBois Child2 DeBois' on a single name label, it made buying those nice wooden letters for their bedroom doors a bargain grin.

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 22:34:16

WRT the using plastic shopping bags as bin liners- i do most of my grocery/toiletries/cleaning product shopping in asda and every bag without fail has silly round holes in it making it completely useless as a bin liner. why do they do this?

LapinDeBois Tue 06-Nov-12 22:41:15

Booyhoo it's an anti-suffocation measure, I think. But I was going to ask the same question - how does everyone manage to use bin bags as bin liners without getting yuk on their bins? (Actually, I only ever use fabric bags for shopping these days, so I never have a plastic bin bag when I need one anyway.)

Mum2Fergus Tue 06-Nov-12 22:43:22

Second the hair clippers, DP every 4 weeks or so, so good saving there. I'll reuse teabags when using pot, just top up water. Ive stopped using fabric softner, honestly dont muss it. SW tablets Ive swapped Finish for Tesco EveryDay, made no visible difference to end result. Recently bought soda crystals, still experimentung with those but hope to make it only cleaning solution goung forward (got a hhuugge bag in Asda for 99p!). Recycle carrier bags as bin liners. Swapped to Value toilet and kirchen rolls, and now that DS is toilet rained have swapped to value wipes too.

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 22:45:45

bof your blog is great. i love the morning routine post. i have been trying to get myself (it's me that struggles with the mornings) and the dcs into a good morning routine so we are running like clockwork but so far I we are still having that mad morning rush (which made life hard for ds's teacher this morning apparently because when i sent in £1.50 that was requested for a play and £5 for after school club all in coins in the same envelope she couldn't work out how to separate the £1.50 from the other 5 coins hmm). anyway off to have a proper read of your blog now. thanks for the link.

Mum2Fergus Tue 06-Nov-12 22:48:28

I have an ivernight hotel stay once a month fow a work meeting...I bring hime all the tea/coffee/sugar/ hot chocolate sachets. And all the bathroom toileteries find their way into my bag too...shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, soap etc.

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 22:49:09

people who use clippers- how skilled do you have to be to do it? i have clippers and i used to cut ds' hair when he was about 3 but everyone always told me it was too short and i wasn't confident enough to do two different grades so he got the same all over. also what grade would be good for two little boys and wouldn't look too harsh?

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 22:49:47

i'm surrently paying £7 each for their monthly haircuts.

BooyhooRemembering Tue 06-Nov-12 22:50:28


Buy cheap whisky and make your own Baileys for christmas. One cup each of whisky, cream, condensed milk. Add a tsp of instant coffee and vanilla extract; works out about £5 a bottle and tastes much better than Lidl's own brand. Lots more ideas here

multitaskmama Tue 06-Nov-12 22:56:06

My thrifty tips:

1) Use carrier bags instead of bin liners

2) Buy staple groceries from shops like LIDL

3) Stock up good offers eg Birds Eye fish fusion normally 2.99, was 76p in Tesco last week, so bought a batch and froze
Also Youngs frozen pollock was £1 from farmfoods, so bought and froze.
Same for fillet fish finger offers, half price fabric condition from Wilko etc

4) One really FAB tip, when shopping for kids clothes, look for loose theads, any marks, tears and they usually knock off another 20%. I did this in Asda last week, also got £10 off a £60 (already reduced from £120) Guess watch because of a VERY MINOR scratch.

5) Ebay - you can buy almost anything on ebay. Don't worry if a transaction goes wrong due to no fault of your own. Eg. I bought a new Astracast sink on ebay, when fitted, it didn't drain properly, seller refused refund, ebay refunded me, Astracast also sent me a replacement sink, so I was quids in!

6) Check out Moneysavingexpert for upcoming sales and eating out vouchers eg. 50% toys in Sainsbury's so stock up for xmas presents, pizza hut £5 pizza and salad vouchers etc.

7) Always complain if you think are right eg. when I was pregnant, I was asked not to consume my take away sandwich in Waitrose whilst two business men continued to have thei business meeting without buying anything. I complained and received a £25 voucher as an apology.

8) Another complaint, I complained to Walkers about an open packet of crisps in a multipack (took me 30 secs!) and received a £6 Walkers voucher, also for Pampers, a nappy's sticky tab fell off, phoned Pampers, received £5 coupon.

9)Get kids to switch of unused lights, switching off laptops, TVs etc, not keep taps on when brushing teeth, taking more showers than baths etc.

10) Last but not least, saving money by eating restaurant style food. I loved cooking fresh food quickly, daily for my kids, so much so, was borne! You can even cook a three course meal for less than a fiver!

I have negotiated on eveything from buying and selling property, to a few pence off children's slightly faulty clothing to getting parking tickets quashed. Its fun, saves the pennies and sometimes the pounds, and is a great challenge!

These are just a few, I have loads more but Eastenders is on and kids are asleep, so ciaow!

Crikeyblimey Tue 06-Nov-12 23:06:47

I always use carrier bags as bin bags and don't have a gunk in the bin problem.

When using the oven (for non baking) turn it off 10 to 20 mins before the end of the cooking time. The temp hardly goes down and saves loads of energy.

I cut the bott

Crikeyblimey Tue 06-Nov-12 23:10:31

Arse - hit post too soon.

Bottoms off toothpaste tubes - my mum always did this so I've just kind of carried on.

Half the recommended amount of washing powder here too.

Oh and fill your oven if you can. Stew in on one shelf, bung something else in for re-heating / freezing another day. Same lecci = 2 dinners.

Spend a week accounting for EVERY penny you spend to see just where the waste is. It is amazing how those odd 20ps get spent on stuff we have no recollection of.

CotedePablo Tue 06-Nov-12 23:23:04

Speaking of odd 20ps - I have coin jars. In a year I usually save around £250-300 in coppers and 5p, 10p and 20p. And you really don't miss it.

I already do the name tag thing (DS1's name, DS2's name, surname) which is a variant on what my mum did. grin Not sure I'm going to love unpicking and pleating when the time comes, though.

I started shopping at Aldi early this year, after reading the 'no-spend' threads on here. smile I'm still not convinced it saves me that much because I unfailingly buy junk (good quality chocolate, biscuits etc) that I wouldn't have bought in Sainsbury or Waitrose or Tesco. blush I also usually fall for the non-food items there because they're cheeeap. Tis how they make their money. But you can't beat their staple groceries, and the veg is great too.

Already use miniscule amounts of washing powder. Haven't tried breaking (Aldi) dishwasher tabs in half yet.

Will be getting a door curtain, ours is frigid and draughty.

I'm intrigued by insulating under the bath. I never have baths but the water gets cold for DSs' baths very fast in winter. (bathroom is on ground floor and I suspect is over a concrete floor with no insulation, as bathroom used to be a toolshed.) So I just take off the side and bung in some - what? foam? Commercial insulation? Newspaper?

Our electricity has just gone through the roof and I'm at a loss. confused Laptop is on most of the day blush but I NEVER iron. Washing machine could account for a lot of it, and I do use the tumbledrier about 3/4 times a week these days. Plus hairdrier every morning... Does anyone know,off the top of their head, how much it roughly costs to boil the kettle? I usually make sure I only boil as much as I need.

chixinthestix Tue 06-Nov-12 23:41:29

I don't buy carrier bags (in Wales so they cost 5p) and now have a carrier bag free house. I just line the kitchen bin with the council's black bag. I never put food waste in - that goes in the compost or the caddy so it doesn't smell or attract vermin and I haven't bought bin liners for years. Other bins in the house aren't lined but we make sure anything messy goes in the kitchen bin.

Also I don't buy kitchen roll but have a huge stash of cloths for wiping up spills etc. They are all just bits of old sheets, DH's worn out Tshirts etc.

DCs packed lunches go in small plastic boxes so no need for cling film or foil round individual items.

ErrorError Wed 07-Nov-12 01:02:17

I have also tried cutting my own hair and it didn't go so well, so I'd rather save money in other areas and treat myself to a decent haircut about once or twice a year! I've never had a problem with gunk in my plastic bag liners either. I only use them for paper type waste, not kitchen/food gunk.

I also keep coins in jars, but a different jar for each coin value, (saves the hassle of separating them later, as you can't have mixed coins in those little plastic bank bags anyway.)

I use slightly less that the suggested quantity on certain products (washing powder, shampoo, etc)

I measure my porridge or pasta in a cup so I don't make too much. I can tolerate some own brand biscuits so will buy large quantities of cheap 'value' choc chip cookies, but it's obviously cheaper/healthier not to buy any! Only food things I can't compromise on are soups & canned produce. If it's not Heinz, Del Monte or Ambrosia then I can't stomach it.

I also save a fortune on razor blades by not shaving my legs!! grin (Well, it's winter!)

prettybird Wed 07-Nov-12 03:19:40

I cut ds' hair with clippers on a 6 or even 8 and it looks fine. Do need to go round the ears with scissors.

He does however have extremely thick hair so it would probably look good whatever I did with it. smile

BoffinMum Wed 07-Nov-12 07:11:26

Glad you like the blog, Booyhoo

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Wed 07-Nov-12 07:22:54

bof your morning routine has cheered me, DP and DD1 this morning. It is so hilariously unlike ours that we all had to laugh.
cote how do you get your saved coins changed up? Coinstar charges and banks can be very unhelpful about coppers unless 4 yr olds are bringing in their piggy banks (and even then <<bitter>>)

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 07-Nov-12 07:46:35

Reshape, if you get the manual out for your washing machine it will have a table of energy consumption per cycle. For mine it uses more power to do a 30 wash than a 40 one which I have always assumed to be becuase it agitates the washing more to get it clean at a lower temperature.

You can buy energy monitors that you plug into the wall which will tell you how much each appliance costs to run. Normal loft insulation can be wrapped around baths, at least one of the diy stores will be doing it cheap as part of a subsidy by the electric companies due to their "green" commitments.

I ask the bank for change bags and then bag up my change and take it down to the branch. Coppers are taken in bags of £1 and £5 for silver up to 20p. I think 50p's are meant to be £10 per bag. I dont care if they dont like it, I dont like it if they charge us for going overdrawn by a few pounds so they can sod off. grin

CotedePablo Wed 07-Nov-12 08:09:58

IAmShe, I bank with the Bank of Scotland, and at their normal counter they will only take up to five bags at a time. However, the business banking counter is happy to take as much as you can carry, so I assume most banks will be pretty much the same. The most I ever carried in (and I needed help to carry it all!) was £700-odd, and had no problem at all that way. Coinstar's a bit of a rip off IMO, so I don't use that.

Also, like ErrorError I have different jars for different denominations. You can, though, get savings jars/boxes that will sort the coins for you.

mmmerangue Wed 07-Nov-12 08:11:12

Boo, the longer grades are harder to do, but if your son doesn't mind the process just take your time and it should be fine. (my son hates it and cries but at least he sits still) I do about a 5 on top and 2 at the back to make it last as long as possible before subjecting him again! My dad also thinks I do it too short but you know what it's not his kid and if he wants to take him to the hairdresser, pay for it (which he always refused to do for me) and listen to him bawl his eyes out the whole time he'd be more than welcome!

Why would a bank not like to get their change back? Otherwise it just goes poof into thin air surely and costs them money. Or would they rather we count out 2ps at the till? (Yes probably because shops pay for their change!) You have to have an account with the branch, apart from that if they're snotty with you tell them to shove the pennies up their arse, then they'll actually have something to moan about. It's your money that would otherwise be blocking drainsthey should be more appreciative of their customers. I do it every Christmas and they've never moaned at me!

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 08:28:32

ref. washing machines I don't know if anyone else here knows this but if you have a washball it's always better to put yr detergent in it and then IN the machine thus bypassing the messy drawer.It's good 'cos none of the powder or liquid that you use is wasted.

I don't use that smelly chemical detergent I use a washball half full of bicarb and 2 scoops of white vinegar works a treat.I also have a magnetic water softener that goes in.

For smelly bins (I try to train DH not to put ANYTHING smelly in the bin but it doesn't always work hmm grin) so I always line the bin with newspaper before putting in the plastic bin liner it helps with the cleaning.

BTW I 2nd the use of white vinegar for wndows and HOT white vinegar removes scum, black bits round baths, hard water marks on shower curtains and IN baths too it's

sieglinde Wed 07-Nov-12 08:46:25

I haven't been to a hairdresser since 1980. Fact.

Make my own bread; cheaper than posh artisanal and nicer than supermarket. Also

Make my own pizzas - much cheaper than Domino's, and if you make 2 the other can be frozen and reheated. DCs can add choice of toppings.

Use up all leftovers, kept in small airtight plastic boxes; fun to think about how to use bits of ham, bits of lamb and tomatoes in a pasta sauce..

I keep hens. For the price of a bag of seed they provide 6 eggs a day. For a treat I give them own-brand spaghetti'; 40p a tin, and they love it. They also like any food the cats have rejected.

Wood ash is good garden fertiliser/compost ingredient.

We cancelled all TV subscriptions, and now don't have TV but only bargain DVDs from Oxfam shop.

mmmerangue Wed 07-Nov-12 09:29:37

Something my parents used to do in thier freezing single-glazed house - Tape bubblewrap over the windows in winter. They don't any more as they got double glazing and another logburner, but it took the house from baltic to bearable.

dotnet Wed 07-Nov-12 09:30:53

Nobody's mentioned 'rent a room'. That is a BIG 'saving' - you can take in a lodger for a spare room in your house and get an income up to £4,200 a year I think it is, non taxable. That could solve quite serious money problems, so might be really helpful if you're living on the edge, financially.

'Teach', even if you're not a teacher? You might be able to find someone looking for English conversation practice on Gumtree or one of those other sites; that could bring in a bit of money and might be fun as well.

Because budgeting is so important if you're hard up, it can be a good idea to open specially designated accounts and save little bits in them whenever you can. And the big expense of a TV licence... you can buy stamps towards the cost as and when. you have the cash to spare.

jenduck Wed 07-Nov-12 09:40:59

I am so going to try making my own Baileys grin. Then maybe ice cream with that, yummy!

Have cat on my lap right now which had reminded me of another thing I do. Any bits of fat or skin trimmed off of our meat or fish goes to him as do any leftovers I can't freeze. He loves it & it saves waste.

BoffinMum Wed 07-Nov-12 09:48:26

IamShe - it is not always like that in this house, I can tell you! wink

Corygal Wed 07-Nov-12 09:55:45

Toiletries and house cleaners: make a list and poundshop it not Boots or Superdrug. You'd be amazed - I get the same brands sometimes to boot.

Don't waste the saved tenner on haribo bags - but do buy gardening things eg compost, bulbs, hanging baskets and feed.

As to decorating - if you have knackered teeny furniture, or crap wooden bits in the garden, use Farrow and Ball samples to produce a new oh so Notting Hill vibe in your haime. A sample pot goes a long way. The worse you paint, the better it looks. Takes 10 minutes, costs 3 quid.

I did this and immediately an interiors editor demanded to photograph my tiny, concrete balcony. But don't do it with cheap paint, only the high pigment levels in the posh stuff make it work. Do the painting in the bath so you don't have to clean up.

CelticPromise Wed 07-Nov-12 10:02:39

I use half the amount, if that, of washing powder and conditioner.

I never buy sandwich bags, I reuse bread bags or bags I've put loose fruit in from the shop ( never tie a knot in them!)

I stew old fruit and freeze it for DS.

I save all bits of ribbon etc for my sister who is a crafter.

I buy nearly all my meat and fish reduced.

BoffinMum Wed 07-Nov-12 10:02:42

Co-op pharmacy is sometimes amazing for toiletry bargains.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:18:13

i'm an ex bank teller and i loved getting in bags of coin. especially if it wasn't a full bag and i had to count it. i'm a geek. if your bags are full the cashier should just weigh them and wont take any longer than doing a paper transaction so nothing for them to get arsey about.

£1 bags for coppers
£5 bags for 5p and 10p
£10 bags for 20p and 50p
£20 bags for £1 and £2


BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:22:33

and BTW when local businesses bring in their lodgements they can contain several hundred or even over a thousand pounds in coin and it all has to be weighed. if the bank staff have no problem doing that then they certainly should have no problem doing a few bags for a personal customer. and most banks should be licking customers arses ATM to try and gain much needed brownie points. (i'm with ulster bank, they're in serious brownie point debt right now grin)

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:24:46

thanks mmmerangue ds1 is due a cut so i might attempt that this evening.

jenduck Wed 07-Nov-12 10:27:01

my biggish natwest has a machine like a coinstar, where you can pay in any amount if coins, but it doesn't charge you like coinstar does.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 10:27:13

Someone mentioned blocked drains I was hearing on the radio how DISGUSTING are so called 'flushable' baby wipes;they block the drains and mixed with fat down there look like icebergs apparently shock. Best not to use them or at least put in a paper bag and in the bin. For (delicate subject spoiler)yr bum use normal loo paper with moisturiser on it it works for L.Os too. i

CelticPromise Wed 07-Nov-12 10:31:39

Oh yes I hardly ever buy baby wipes. Flannel and water. If I do have wipesI wash them and reuse.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:36:54


i buy those wet flushable toilet wipes from asda and the flushable toilet cleaning wipes too. i thought they broke down like toilet roll. i was actually going to stop buying them as they add a good bit to the shopping total each week, especially with a toddler who has accidents. definitely going to stop buying them now after hearing that. thanks.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 10:54:09

Yes BooyIt's annoying that the manuf. aren't MADE to say that they don't break down they just stick there shock .We've got a sceptic tank 'cos we live in the country so we don't
use them.

Someone upthread asked about kettles.Well I heard that allowing an electric kettle to go to a rolling boil just once costs the amount it costs to light a whole 3 bed house in one night. I ALWAYS switch mine off just before it comes to the boil. Coffee tastes better when not boiled anyway. You just have to remember to be there!!

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:57:52

my kettle has stopped clicking off when it boils so it will just keep boiling til theres no water left in it so i have to stand by it every time now and i always click off as soon as i hear the first bubbles.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 10:59:36

also, does anyone have any recomendations for energy efficient and cheap to buy night lights? my dcs both insist on having their bedroom lights on all night and when i turn them off after they've fallen asleep they will wake and turn them on again so they are on practically all night.

Prarieflower Wed 07-Nov-12 11:02:18

Savers chocolate-break up a bar and put into squishy black over ripe banana cake,I make 2 or 3 choc/banana cakes a week.Fills up lunch boxes and kids eat it(due to the choc).

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Wed 07-Nov-12 11:06:07

Re coins: thanks all. I will investigate my local banks.
Remembered one I heard recently. Boil kettle in the morning and pour the water into a thermos. It will then keep warm enough for a few hours to make coffee with. I suppose also you could re-boil the hot water if you wanted tea as that way less energy would be needed.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 11:09:55

I suppose one of the green catalogues will have them but they probably won't be cheap to buy although cheaper to run IFYSWIM. I can't do links but Green People are good for that type of thing or just google them.

PurtyDarnFine Wed 07-Nov-12 11:13:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Boohoo my ds has an 'uncle miltons moon in my room' here which ive had to replace the batteries 2 times in 12 months it's stays on for 30 minutes then turns off ( also has a remote so they can switch it on a second time if they havent fallen asleep)

Or dd has a sun jar here which is solar powered. Obv no running costs but you do have to remember to put it in charge and there are some days when there just isn't enough light to power it.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 11:21:08

thanks stacey!

JustFabulous Wed 07-Nov-12 11:22:19

Instead of clingfilm I buy small boxes and reuse them over and over again.

I buy reusable pieces instead of throwaway baking paper.

Buddy80 I don't see how the name tag tip save you money as you will still be using the same amount of tags.

I save £10 a week by direct debit. I have been doing it for years and it always pays for Christmas. I don't miss the £10 but would miss the £100's if I had to pay for Christmas out of my normal housekeeping.

Mspontipine Wed 07-Nov-12 11:22:40

Mum2Fergus are you Ross from Friends?? grin

see from 2.36

Mspontipine Wed 07-Nov-12 11:23:54

and 4.23!!

Mspontipine Wed 07-Nov-12 11:25:47

or a bit earlier - doh!! just watch it all it's so funny grin

Buddy80 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:32:32

Just re: name tags, it saves you money by not having to order too many. Amount of people who have bought for each child and still left with loads by the time they leave school smile

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 11:51:14

I just thought of another not nec. money saving but your energy saving! if you use a bucket to wash yr kitchen floor, don't bother just use yr spray ANY SURFACE cleaner; I make my own with (you guessed it grin) white vinegar and hot water and spray the floor in sections leave for 3 to 4 mins. then using yr dampened (not dripping) mop just mop each area.
I rinse my mop in the sink or the bucket but you if you use the sink you don't need to continually renew the water in the bucket.

SufferingLampreys Wed 07-Nov-12 11:57:46

Sorry if this link has been posted. Haven't read all as have to go pick up ds

can you freeze this?

caughtintheact Wed 07-Nov-12 12:03:00

where do all you white vinegar users buy it from?

caughtintheact Wed 07-Nov-12 12:03:45

and does it not make your house smell like a chippy? wink

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 12:14:55

i buy mine from asda as we have nowhere nearby that does it in bulk. and no the house doesn't smell like a chippy, the smell evaporates or disappears somehow. i have 2 brilliant books 1 from arm and hammer with all the uses of baking soda (bicarb) and another with 1001 uses of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar. i must dig them out and start using vinegar and bicarb again. saves so much money!

JustFabulous Wed 07-Nov-12 12:25:31

I won't have loads left when the school days are over OP as I have lots of kids and lots and lots of uniform items. Plus lots of school years to go...

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 12:27:22

Every supermkt. sells white vinegar caughtin I sometimes add a drop or two of lavender essential oil (the cheapest place to buy it is Boots) to my vinegar spray and or the washing machine. Not always though 'cos as Booy says the smell goes quickly grin.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 07-Nov-12 12:29:34

That's how I clean floors ppeat! Well, occasionally...

cozietoesie Wed 07-Nov-12 12:32:05

Now this is going to sound daft - but if you're nipping in to the supermarket for something (yes I know 'nipping in' is to be avoided, but....) always use a basket and not a trolley. Even if you're tired. It's amazing how the ease of pushing a trolley round can make you fill up with more goods than you really need. A basket keeps you alert, especially when it starts getting heavy.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 12:36:26

Rarely I'm lucky in that the downstairs of the house is all quite dark tiles that don't show the dirt at all!! I have to remind myself to wash them grin they're cold though!

littleladyindoors Wed 07-Nov-12 12:52:55

Im thirding the cut the boys hair thing. I only have a DH, and it can cost £8 every 4 weeks or so because he hates being scruffy. We recently bought a cutter from Boots (got my points) and we have used it twice so far. I am new to it, and he fortunately is happy with a no 2 all over, but I am getting quite good. Vidal Sassoon eat your heart out!
Ours came with the combs, and ear combs too so you can get a neat cut round the ear. (came with scissors and comb and all sorts) cost us £14.99. So it has already paid for itself. Hub is happy cos now he can have it cut whenever he wants, rather than having to wait for a day off or until we have cash. He moans like buggery is a dream when I do it, but he soon gets over it. I do make him strip off thought before I do it, and in our living room (with wooden floors) then he goes straight in the shower. Then it just sweeps up.
I am also interested in this insulating the bath thing. I have been known (after a nice bath bomb) to resuse the water in my cistern to flush the loo-smells nice.

amazingmumof6 Wed 07-Nov-12 12:54:14

I buy frozen raspberries, cheaper than fresh and they get mushy anyway...
After defrosting the fruit I save the juice and mix it with lots of icing sugar to form a thick paste, then use it to decorate cupcakes, muffins or tray bakes - colour looks lovely and it tastes gorgeous!
I keep leftover mix in the fridge,it lasts for weeks!
Same with frozen blueberries.

I use a permanent marker for school clothes, shoes, bags and write our surname only. I only use name tags if there's no obvious place to write or it won't show (on dark colours).

I soak the empty but dirty bin & lid or dirty plastic boxes in the kids' bath water (AFTER they finished having a bath, I'm not a monster!), then scrub and rinse everything including bath, still saving loads of water...

I also use the bathwater to soak off very muddy clothes, before washing.

Hubby packs kids lunches in takeaway boxes, better than bags or clingfilm, plus they have a "plate" to eat from.

I save up the oval shaped paper bits from tissue boxes (the bit you take out to get the tissues) and use them for shopping lists.

Socks - I tend to buy packs of 5 identical pairs, so if one goes missing and then another brakes you can match them up again.
To save time I put all clean socks in the sock box and get the kids to pair up and put away what they can about twice a week - it saves my time! If they don't do it, they have to rummage in a hurry as I refuse to deal with socks for 8 people!!!!

I also cut away the foot part of socks, the remaining tubes are great for: keeping cold compress on arms & legs, quick hairband, wrap ice packs in, keep in shopping bag and pull on glass jars to stop them from breaking, etc

Any left over bread goes on a tray in the warm oven - I use the residual heat after cooking to dry them out, then make breadcrumbs.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 12:57:48

That's not daft cozytosie that's brilliant 'cos the supermkts make their profits from people filling up their wheelies with stuff they don't really need!!

FaintlyMacabre Wed 07-Nov-12 12:57:56

Crushed cornflakes/rice crispies make great coatings for homemade fishfingers/chicken nuggets etc. Inspired by my 4 year old I've started saving all the bits at the bottom of the bags in the freezer so I'm not crushing up perfectly good cereal.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 13:03:24

amazingmum you must have VERY strong arms from all that washing out of the bath. grin You could use my hot vinegar idea for the bath!!

Cailleach Wed 07-Nov-12 13:23:53

My favourite sort of thread: 'cos I'm as tight as a gnat's chuff, me!

I buy almost everything from charity shops and car boot sales; clothes, kitchen stuff, furniture, the lot. My new dining room curtains are Laura Ashley, really thick and very good quality - lined AND insulated. They cost me £4 (and about half an hours worth of alterations on the sewing machine.) Seriously, find a local car boot - you would not believe what people are almost giving away. My bread machine is a Kenwood, had never really been used and it cost me £4..!

Our living room suite cost £75 from a charity shop - it was immaculate and people often ask us where we got it. XD

The living room also has M&S chenille throws over the sofas (£1, car boot) and Laura Ashley prints on the walls (£2 each, naice frames included!) There are wooden hand-turned lamps that cost me a quid each in a PDSA charity shop (OK I had to rewire them but the lamp holders and wires / plugs cost less than £3 from Wilkos.)

All my furniture is from junk shops, more or less: it's all art deco or art nouveau stuff which I've stripped of old dark varnish, it's much better quality than chipboard crap and will always look good.

My double bed is a white wrought iron one I got off ebay for £60...delivered!

I made wool duvets for us out of old blankets from charity shops after reading about them being better for allergy sufferers (I have rhinitis.) They cost £75 each if you buy them in a shop - or about a fiver each if you buy old wool blankets from charity shops and sew a cotton cover to them.

But my major money saving tip is: be practical. I can wallpaper and paint, strip wood, tile floors and walls, do carpentry and minor plumbing stuff, put up curtain rails and blinds, rewire and add in new plugs and lights and do about a million other DIY jobs. The money this saves you is phenomenal.

I recently converted our cellar into a storeroom myself - it was very dry and was just wasted space before, as there was just a dirty brick floor and crumbling paint everywhere which made storing things in it impractical. So I dry lined the walls, damp-proofed the floor, added better lighting, laid a new concrete floor, laid new lino and painted: total cost of materials about £500, result, one large, usable storage room.

Yes, all on me own! <proud>

Then I did the same in the outhouse: lined the walls, added a shelf made of an offcut of worktop and stuck the washer and dryer in there.

Also, get a sewing machine and learn to alter stuff. I can do clothes as well as basic stuff like curtains, and it means you can always adapt your bargains to fit.

Now...don't get me started on batch cooking...!

amazingmumof6 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:28:22

ppeatfruit I wish! do try the raspberry icing though it's divine!

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 13:31:14

Blimey cailleach That's incredible grin Congratulations!!

Buddy80 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:32:59

Great post cailleach

love car boots and the bargains are incredible. There is Freecycle too. My dining table and chairs, king bed base, clothes, suite...all from there.

Ah, if only I had been like this when I was 25 sad

Buddy80 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:34:44

Are you self-taught with the DIY cailleach ?

somebloke123 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:51:51


Very impressed! How did you pick up your DIY skills? Did anyone teach you or was it a matter of rolling up your sleeved and getting stuck in?

TeaDr1nker Wed 07-Nov-12 13:56:51

I've read some of this thread and just wanted to add that Staples are really expensive for ink cartridges and you can only redeem one voucher per cartridge (I tried giving them 5 vouchers only to be told no) I find Amazon much much cheaper for Lexmark and HP cartridges Inc P&P

cornflakegirl Wed 07-Nov-12 13:59:10

Booyhoo - we have this night light - cheap, and claims to be low energy, and actually really bright

I use clippers on DH and DS1, but I tried a grade 8 clipper on DS2 and he looked really shorn. Think his hair is much thinner than DS1's.

whiskeytangofoxtrot Wed 07-Nov-12 14:00:36

Would love to get you started on batch cooking cailleach
Your post was great
How did you learn to alter clothes?

SufferingLampreys Wed 07-Nov-12 14:03:15

I use a comb and scissors on my boys. Never had any training but think I do a good job. No one has ever commented negatively

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 14:04:51

cailleach means witch in Irish. i'm thinking she brews up some sort of DIY spell in her cauldron. i'm right, aren't I Cailleach? wink

but yes, how did you learn? my dad is very talented at all things DIY and is a tiler and previously a joiner and site labourer but there's no way he'd have the patience to teach me so i just ask him to do things for me as he'd be very offended if i asked someone else to show me how.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 14:08:44

thanks cornflakegirl i think that has to be the winner. very good price!

ds1's hair is really thick (like mine) so hopefully it wont look too bad. another question, his hair hasn't been cut since the end of september and is quite long and floppy now, would i need to cut it with scissors first (scary) or would it be ok just to use the clippers with a high grade?

Cailleach Wed 07-Nov-12 14:26:20

Actually it really means "old hag" which is why I picked it as my tag, but it did get used as a word for witch sometimes as well. ;)

No cauldrons here either: I really am a shite cook, generally 'tis The Bloke that cooks round ours (he can't do yorky puds though - so I do 'em!) But I do insist that all his cooking is done in bloody big pots and saved in recycled chinese takeaway cartons ( the plastic ones) then frozen. Saves us loads of time that way.

I'm self taught with the DIY, but my mum was the practical one in our house when I was growing up so I guess I get it from her. My parents only call in builders / plumbers for the big jobs - my mum handles almost everything else. She fitted their kitchen, laid their wooden floors...tiled the bathrooms...etc etc. All the power tools in the garage are actually hers - not my dads!

Same in our house: I have table saws, drills, tile cutters, chisels, jigsaws, fretsaws, the lot down in the cellar but they aren't The Blokes - they're mine!

My mum taught me and my sister to use a sewing machine - she used to make our clothes when we were small (that was more common then I think) and we were allowed to help out. I remember shopping for patterns and fabric with her as a child...

My sister is an amazing knitter and makes fabulous things like lacy mohair shawls that look like they cost a mint from some swanky boutique. My gran taught us both to knit and crochet, but unlike my sis I don't really have the patience for it.

I wonder how many kids learn this stuff from Mum and Gran today? Mind you , today we have Youtube and about a million crafting blogs to show us how, I guess.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 14:32:53

that'll teach me to let my son teach me Irish! grin

another tip i learnt on MSE and try to do is to have No Spend Days. days where i dont spend any money. so you could decide to have 20 NSDs a months which gives you about 10 days in the month where you have to do all your spending and means you think more about what routes you need to travel to get everything you need and how to do it most efficiently. i have mad mondays my grocery day as i take ds1 to scouts on monday night, nip over to asda, get petrol, then back over to get ds1. the scout hall is really near to asda so it's not adding much to my journey and as i rarely use the car anyway it saves me having to make a car journey just to get the shopping in.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 14:33:54

made mondays. although i do have mad mondays too! grin

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Wed 07-Nov-12 14:34:09

Nightlights: my two youngest have those heart shaped wall lights from Ikea with an Eco bulb in which have lasted ages.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 14:36:35

oh and regularly check in/amongst your dcs toys. i found £4 in my son's push along block trolley today whilst tidying. might be a better idea not to let them near your purse in the first place though wink

prettybird Wed 07-Nov-12 14:41:11

When I cut ds' hair for the first time after 11 months (July through to the beginning of June shock), I hacked at cut it roughly first with scissors just to get the worst of the length out of it, before going over it with a No 6 or 8.

What he hadn't known was that he was going to be given a role in the P7 Leavers' Assembly the following week as a zombie, even though he was only P6, purely because of his longer hair. As it was, one of the P6 girls, who was actually leaving, got the part, which was probably more appropriate.

captainmummy Wed 07-Nov-12 15:17:07

Re washing - I never use fabric conditioner. And it should NEVER be used on towels - it affects the absorbancy of them.

My own tip is - when you wash a batch of towels dont use washing powder,but wash on a hot wash. This clears out any residue, and that will wash the towels perfectly well - which don't really get 'dirty' as such anyway.

I'm llucky with my dses, they all have really curly hair, so it doesn't really matter how I hack it clipper it, it always looks the same!

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Wed 07-Nov-12 15:25:05

When the stick deodorant has worn down to the plastic and won't glide over the skin any more. I dig out the last bits with my nails and spread it on - extends its life for nearly a week! Mostly because I am angry at the total swiz of selling a 100ml product of which only 75ml is easily usable.

GunpowderCJandPlot Wed 07-Nov-12 15:29:37

I am marking my place because I need this thread. I don't have any particularly stunning tips hmm but I am frantically making notes of all yours grin

captainmummy Wed 07-Nov-12 15:31:14

Mulledwine -I have a butter knife on my dressing table (dunno why) but it is ideal for this - just a scraping of solid anti-p and smear it under your armpits...

VikingLady Wed 07-Nov-12 15:56:13

Wow, I am not alone! I have masses of tubs of varying sizes in the cupboard fr leftovers, and there is really very little that cannot be frozen. I even freeze wine now as I can only have a little bit at a time (bf), and you can scoop it out like sorbet and cook with it from frozen. And weaning means it is even worth saving the odd spoonful scraped off DH's plate after dinner - it's a baby portion! 10 tiny tubs for a pound from the pound shop.

Excess tomatoes - cut in half, dust with garlic powder if you have any (got a massive bag from the asian supermarket) and dry on the radiators, in the airing cupboard, on window sills.... Any spare space. They dry very quickly, especially cherry toms, and you can use them in bread, stews, or as a snack. They have so much more flavour than shop-bought ones.

Cash and carry for toilet paper, kitchen roll and anything else that doesn't go off. Last time we got a 10kg bag of cat food, decanted some into a tub to use and resealed the bag with a bin bag. It lasted us for months.

I sell on things we don't need any more on ebay, and leave the money in my papal account for birthdays and Christmas. Our local butcher is now taking paypal so we can even get our turkey this way!

VikingLady Wed 07-Nov-12 15:57:59

I can't find the recipe for home made washing liquid - could someone link it please? Thank you grin

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 16:01:38

viking if you google 'laundry gloop' you should get loads of results and then just play about with quantities/ingredients til you find something you are happy with.

PurtyDarnFine Wed 07-Nov-12 16:05:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 16:12:36

ok i've had a look at a few youtube tutorials and convinced myself i can do it. ds is not so convinced grin

TiredofZombies Wed 07-Nov-12 16:15:51

I bought the smallest piece of root ginger I could find when i needed it for something I wanted to cook. The rest got chopped up finely and put into a jar of white whine vinegar. Much cheaper than buying Very Lazy Ginger!

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 16:32:14

or you could plant yr left over ginger root;keep in a warm sunny place and you get a pretty fern like plant for nothing!!

prettybird Wed 07-Nov-12 16:35:52

Dh has reminded me that he was once told after he started cutting his hair with the guard off by accident that the difference between a good cut and a bad cut is two weeks grin

in that particular case it was about 4 weeks wink

Buddy80 Wed 07-Nov-12 16:50:33

Banana skins can be used to polish shoes. I've tried it and they do a good job.

BooyhooRemembering Wed 07-Nov-12 17:08:35

my dad says that too pretty bird. it's true for men and boys with short hair anyway grin

Bloodybridget Wed 07-Nov-12 17:40:28

Apols if someone else has said this - I open top of juice cartons when "empty", there's always a good tablespoon left.

Allofaflumble Wed 07-Nov-12 18:22:07

I bought a 10kg bag of basmati rice from Lidls months and months ago, still only used half of it. Very good quality too. Think it was about £10.99.

It is probably cheaper in an Asian shop but that would require a special trip which means petrol.

sieglinde Wed 07-Nov-12 18:42:00

Polish shops! As in, run by Poles. Fabulous sausages, bacon ribs, jams etc for prices lower than Lidl. And VERY CHEAP vodka. my family now like sauerkraut. a giant jar is less than a pound.

Asian supermarkets for grains and spices.

I don't shave legs because my legs don't have any hair on them. Weird but true. Also only shave armpits in summer.

Buy bread flour from mill, 16 kilos for well under 20 quid; delivery is free. If you then make a sourdough starter yeast is free. So only cost is the flour, and salt, and energy.

happybubblebrain Wed 07-Nov-12 19:01:48

I second the Polish shops, I've just discovered how cheap they are.

Having friends who are bargain hunters really helps, as we all tip each other off on sales and reductions. We all have the Boots 75% sale date in our diary every year as we stock up on birthday presents for the year.

My friend and I had a gift bag that went back and fourth for about 3 years, it eventually got recycled into something else.

Buddy80 Wed 07-Nov-12 19:42:37

ooh Happy when is the sale date? Please smile

mmmerangue Wed 07-Nov-12 19:47:34

If you open the top of juice cartons for that last dribble, wash them out, cut off the top (with the plastic bit) cut down an inch in each corner to make flaps, and fill with fruit etc. for freezing. Again one more use before recycling!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 07-Nov-12 21:05:17

i do something that im allmost embarrised to share but fuck it i will.

every month with out fail i spend 1 week where i place exactly what i would recive if i were on income support into a very basic bank account and i have a sepperate handbag with a purse in it that only contains the debit card to that account all my other cards every single one gets locked in a safe along with any cash in my possesion.

i basicly deduct £25 for power £5 water £4 tv license £15 for phone/net/tv and a few other things and deduct those from the basic income support figures and do not transfer the deducted money across.

i base these figures soley on what a friend of mine who lives in a fairly normal 3 bed house pays shes restricted to prepay meters and other things that bump up costs for her.

obviously i already have these bills and they are paid but i deduct the amounts to make it so its not all disposable money if that makes sense.

the rules are, during that week that is the only money i will access unless its a work related emergency cost.

i am not allowed to stock up on anything food wise in the weeks before nor will i intentionally buy large items or have big shopping sprees to make having limited funds that week easyer

i can not borrow anything.

everything me or the children need during that week gets delt with from that money (unless its a proper disability related cost like a carers bill or that sort of thing).

it saves me lots of money and tends to stop me being extravigant in my daily life and place more value on how priviliged i am.

there is a fair bit more to it than just that ive always done it my grand dad made me many moons ago for lots of different reasons, he also threw in lots of curve balls like deducting for bank charges and bizare made up sanctions or would pretend clamp my car. i know its nothing at all like really being skint but it gives you a huge amount of respect for others and saves lots of money.

Yamyoid Wed 07-Nov-12 21:07:33

Booey This night light is good, although they seem to have put the price up, sure it was about £3.75 when I bought it envy.

I use leftover water from drinks or in the washing up bowl for the plants.

Have recently started freezing things like herbs, breadcrumbs (for stuffing) and lemon (for drinks) after reading it on here.

Bread pudding from leftover stale bread.

Spices and dried food from the market.

Just discovered sainsburys value fresh coffee - it's fine.

I'm lucky enough to have a brilliant and cheap green grocers nearby. Eg one pepper is 30p, whereas it's about 75p in the supermarket.

Make milkshake from berries and bananas on the turn.

ppeatfruit Wed 07-Nov-12 21:34:43

I mix all the leftover tea, coffee and grounds, juices in cartons ,wine and milk in bottles etc. with some water to make very lovely food for my plants indoor and out; you don't need to buy expensive plant food at all. We have kept an amazing swiss cheese type plant alive and kicking for many years on just that. smile

Also slugs and snails HATE coffee grounds so I put them round my fave plants outside.

catnipkitty Wed 07-Nov-12 21:52:44

Fab thread, thanks.
Shop at Lidl - food, toiletries, cleaning stuff, clothes, shoes, craft stuff all really cheap.
I don't buy any expensive 'snack' foods for the kids lunch boxes like fruit Strings, Kellogs cereal bars - they are shockingly bad value for money.
Bread maker used every day for bread and often pizza dough.
Shop at boot sales and charity shops - haven't bought any new clothes for myself for years.
Heating on low 16 or 17 (everyone makes sarcastic comments about how cold our house is!) and wrap up in thick socks and fleeces.
Solar panels to heat water - even work on a cloudy day!
Agree with closing curtains and keeping doors shut.
Use a dehumidifier to help dry washing rather than tumble dryer.
Try not to use car and if I do do several journeys combined. Cycle to work even in the rain!
Never do expensive days out with kids like Legoland etc. Just can't afford it.
Holidays always camping in Britain.
Never impulse buy!

comethasmybrokentelly Wed 07-Nov-12 22:31:17

Sock pixie, that's fab !

aufaniae Wed 07-Nov-12 22:49:41

"That way, you can just buy one set of tags and just tuck and sew the initail end which is not being used."

Ooh, that's cunning!

Mum2Fergus Wed 07-Nov-12 23:08:25

How much is basic rate income support?

happybubblebrain Wed 07-Nov-12 23:11:17

Buddy80 - the Boots sale almost always starts on a Wednesday morning. It's usually the third Wednesday in January, but it could possibly be the second Wednesday. I hope Boots don't read this and change it now.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 07-Nov-12 23:17:43

mum2 When I was on IS it was £110 a fortnight.

Mum2Fergus Wed 07-Nov-12 23:21:56

Jeezy peeps! Id no idea, fortunately have never had to claim benefits. Great idea though, think Id struggle...currently have £100pw for DP, DS who is 3 and myself which pays for everything except household/car bills and expenses.

ErrorError Thu 08-Nov-12 00:59:12

I have a few money saving beauty tips too (which may already be common knowledge!)

When lipstick is down to the flat, instead of chucking out, apply with a lip brush or finger instead. Same idea for stick foundation/concealer.

If you have an eyeshadow that's crushed, empty into a small pot (that has a lid) and blend with a bit of vaseline, instant cream eyeshadow.

I make my own face mask using 2 egg whites and a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt. Mix together, apply and leave on face for a few minutes then rinse with warm water & moisturise. There's some really good recipes for egg yolk hair treatments too, so none of the egg is wasted!

Talc works great instead of expensive dry shampoo, absorbs grease, but rub into roots well or it'll look like a Halloween wig!

One I've not tried yet but will be, is using 'no more tears' baby shampoo as make-up remover (especially good for eye make-up for obvious reasons!)

Value shampoo is about 48p in Tesco (it used to be 18p, until about six months ago ) hmm
It works perfectly well and actually is quite gentle on your hair. And it is just going to get washed away, anyway.

My washing machine broke about two years ago and does not heat the water. We now wash everything in cold water. Only a couple of stains have been impossible to remove, but I suspect hey would have been impossible anyway.

Soup is my friend for all little bits and bobs of food.

I buy all birthday cards in a great big lump from Oxfam. They are 99p each, have a good selection, AND I am doing my bit for a charity. I can't believe that some cards are £2.50 in Supermarkets

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 08-Nov-12 07:37:30

You should see the clintons cards, £5 plus each.

No wonder it's not as busy as it was in there.

AGeeksWife Thu 08-Nov-12 07:41:54

Not sure if this has been said before but with regard to saving small coins, you can now use these in the self service checkout, just chuck them in the coins bit and pay for whatever you've bought.

Also while Poundland is good for some things, be careful. Recently I went for around 5 things, luckily I checked Superdrug which was next door and every single thing was cheaper in Superdrug!

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:39:30

AGeeksWife too true re: Poundland. It's normally great but, for example, I was able to buy 300 cotton ear buds in Wilkinsons for 30p instead of 100 for £1

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:41:11

Which follows on to my next tip smile... Do check the baby toiletries isle in supermarkets, things are often cheaper than the same in the main toiletries isle.

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:42:04

Happy thanks for that, will def check that out smile

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:43:51

For cards I either get the kids to make their own or buy a mixed box from eBay. Works out ,£2.00 for about 100. Plus postage of a couple of quid, but even still the cards I have got have been lovely.

SkeletonButterfly Thu 08-Nov-12 08:45:33

Marking place - these are some great ideas! grin

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 09:11:12

I know smile so glad I started this thread. If anything it's also remotivated me to keep on being frugal. X

sieglinde Thu 08-Nov-12 10:19:56

Does everyone know about Nisbets? It's a restaurant supply firm that sells everything - glassware, china, linen, clothes, appliances - at much lower prices than anywhere High Street, and with a better range.

SufferingLampreys Thu 08-Nov-12 10:24:22

Ooh bookmarked

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 11:33:43

Another habit of mine is to ask, ask, ask. smile

For instance, I asked the local school if they had any desks for sale. Turns out they were getting rid of a load for free and I was welcome to collect.

I asked my local childrens Centre if they ever lent out equipment for parties over the weekend. I needed a couple of small tables and chairs for my sons party. Although no one had ever asked, they were only too happy that it was going to get used. I made a donation of a couple of £'s and it was a win win.

Ragwort Thu 08-Nov-12 11:36:11

mmmerangue - what is 'save the change' - never heard of it before but what a good idea. How do you set it up?

Some great ideas on here, I always go to training salons to get my hair cut, or sometimes you can be a model in your local hairdresser. I've never had a disaster (but I am not at all vain grin).

TiredofZombies Thu 08-Nov-12 11:47:15

Ppeat I had no idea I could grow the ginger root, might have to give that a go - but it means I'll have to go and buy more ginger as I still have a jar full!

I always water down fruit juice. When I first tried it I thought it might be horrid, like when you make squash too weak, but it's not! Apple juice works especially well, in fact I sometimes find it a bit harsh if I don't dilute it. You can make it pretty much half and half and it's still good.

Oh, and I'm on the vinegar bandwagon here too, but am new to it. Have always had problems with the dogs' beds smelling even when they are fresh out of the washing machine, but this week I washed with detergent (half the amount, as always) and filled up the softener compartment with white vinegar. The beds smell like they've never even been near a dog, it is AMAZING. I've been telling everyone about it, I'm so sad thrilled!

FarrowAndBollock Thu 08-Nov-12 12:05:33

Marshmallow you don't even need the rice steamer as suggested. For perfect rice, put in twice the amount of water to rice (in volume - so one cup rice for two cups water). Microwave in BIG bowl for a while (I find a couple of small cups of rice takes 13 mins) = perfect rice

ppeatfruit Thu 08-Nov-12 12:18:41

grinTiredof Another idea for yr.plants is collect rainwater (if you can of course) its a win win 'cos it means you don't use the possibly metered mains water and its much better for the plants.

It's interesting about smells; we use those microfibre cloths which are expensive to buy BUT you can use them dry or with a little vinegar for computers,windows ,cars ,T.V.s etc., they last forever, wash beautifully (it has to be a boil wash with vinegar and bicarb) and as you say it totally neutralises the smell

TiredofZombies Thu 08-Nov-12 12:27:43

We do have a waterbutt outside, and my indoor plants only get watered with dishwater smile

I just thought of something else which may or may not be of interest, I only started doing this this week: DP puts the hot water on when he gets up, it's on for an hour, so when he goes to work I run the kitchen sink full of hot water, as if I was going to wash up. Then whatever pots I use through the morning I can wash up immediately, without running any extra hot water. It's surprising, I did it at 8.30 this morning and it's only just now getting a bit too cold to use. It's maybe not a huge money saver, but if I didn't do this I'd just put the pots next to the sink, and then end up with a load of pots to do later.

TiredofZombies Thu 08-Nov-12 12:34:51

Ooh, another one, I'm on a roll now! Save seeds from your flowers if you can. I haven't bought nasturtiums in years, their seeds are huge and easy to spot (they look a bit like brains). Other flowers have much smaller seeds, but generally you'll find them if you break apart the flower head, once the flower is dead. Sometimes they come up a bit different to the original flowers, if they are a hybrid or fancy type.

ppeatfruit Thu 08-Nov-12 12:48:43

tiredof I always soak my pots, if they need it of course, and it doesn't have to be in hot water.

I'm lucky 'cos we live 50% in mid west fr. and everything just grows unless they're nasturtiums though.I think our earth is too sandy or limey and doesn't hold enough water for them when we're away.

Daisydaydream Thu 08-Nov-12 12:51:15

I always go to Card Factory for greetings cards, you can get 10 for a pound! Nice design general birthday ones with coloured envelopes, keep in the drawer for all possibilities, esp kids birthdays. You have to go in when there is not a big card buying 'event' coming up though (eg Xmas, Easter, Mothers Day) as they pack away the cheapo ones to make room for the new seasonal stock.

A bit of table salt mixed into my normal cleanser makes a better face scrub than anything I've ever bought.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 08-Nov-12 13:40:04

If one washing up glove gets a hole in it (mine always go on the left thumb wether they are marigolds or smartprice) keep the good one and make up pairs when you have a few. They can be turned inside out too.

BeauNeidel Thu 08-Nov-12 13:41:16

I'm going to try a lot of these. Most of them are things I have read before but still haven't done blush

I saw something on Pinterest the other day which isn't really money saving, but is definitely space and time saving!

It was a tray with named coasters on it, every person in the house has a glass and you use that one for drinks. Sounds silly, but at the end of the day, generally between the 5 of us normally here, there are about 12 glasses and a couple of mugs which take ages to wash and then all the space in the rack. I guess this way you know to just rinse the one you have been using (if you want milk after juice I guess) and there is no, 'ugh, he drank from my glass!' style whinges.

I always make ends of bread into breadcrumbs then freeze. Brilliant idea, courtesy of 11 YO DSS would you believe! I'd always thought they would freeze into a solid ball but they don't.

Also, make sure to take meat out of the plastic packet and then freeze each chicken leg/steak/whatever separately. Handy for getting just stuff out for the kids or whoever's going to be in for dinner.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 13:42:57

Oh, that's reminded me! Fluffy's gloves trick can also be used with tights. When you get a hole/ladder in a leg, cut the leg off and keep, wait until you have another similar pair, and wear both at once. Extra advantage, it makes them into light control tights because there are two waistbands.

Do make sure the tights are the same colour and gloss/mattness though, or you'll look like you got halfway through a fake tan.

Cailleach Thu 08-Nov-12 14:46:46

Thought of another one today: I always stick leftover stale bread in the blender, turn it into breadcrumbs, add dried onions and sage, and then bag and freeze it.

Voila! Home-made stuffing. When you want to use it, defrost it, add butter and water then prepare as usual.

harrietspy Thu 08-Nov-12 14:57:31

Not really a frugality tip, but I suspect there are some on here like me who are desperate for funds.

Just been offered £75 from 2 sell-your-books sites, where you enter ISBN and they tell you what they'll buy them for. I won't recommend them till I have banked the money, but happy to share details with anyone who's interested. Mainly text/academic books. Seems a better bet than listing on Amazon along with 40 copies of same book.

On birthday cards, I now have no shame. I cut the backs off cards I've received and write on the back of the front. If you get what I meansmile

littleladyindoors Thu 08-Nov-12 15:33:20

Harriet Id be interested, Ive got a lot of law textbooks only useful for doorstops I dont need anymore, do they pay for the postage of them too (some are pretty epic tomes) We have a local second hand bookshop otherwise, but id like to see what I can get for them- anything is better than nothing right!

Buddy80 Thu 08-Nov-12 15:56:40

me too, please. I have law books to sell

harrietspy Thu 08-Nov-12 17:51:52

Littlelady, yes postage is free. The two sites I used were and Definitely worth copying and pasting the isbn into more than one site - you can also try abebooks as well. Good luck!

AlwaysReadyForABlether Thu 08-Nov-12 18:31:37

This thread is inspiring! I did something today that I've been meaning to do for ages. I got my BT bill a couple of weeks ago and it was £78 in credit. So I phoned them and asked to get that back - I don't mind having a little bit of credit but I could really use that money. So make sure you check your bills and get back any credit balances.

mmmerangue Thu 08-Nov-12 19:50:40

ragwort It's a brilliant scheme, I think most banks do it, I just went into my branch got a 5 minute meeting and he set it up to pay into my ISA (I bank with BOS). Say you spend £15.57 in the shop and pay with your bank card, the other 43p will go into your savings. So you barely even notice but its constantly paying in (at least for me I use my card a fair bit!)

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 08-Nov-12 20:06:48

Nationwide don't offer save the change sad (at least as far as I can tell from google).

ivykaty44 Thu 08-Nov-12 22:25:05

I don't buy fabric conditioner, firstly to save money and secondly as someone on mn wrote that it is not good for either your machine or your clothes I think.

I have a week each month eating from the cubboards and not the supermarket - we make do and it works.

I half the amount of powder suggested for clothes washing and it works.

I use my washing line for drying clothes, boring but it is free and I am still drying on the line in November. I used to have a tumble dryer and it cost one pound per load of washing. The tumble dryer gave up the ghost and I have saved about 3 pounds per week wink which over a year is 150 of my electric bill

boogiewoogie Thu 08-Nov-12 23:20:28

Can I join in? I do some of the above already.

Train the dcs to open presents carefully to save the wrapping paper and to keep it in crisp condition for future presents (no pun intended).
Ditto saving ribbons for crafts.

If you have fruit trees or have access to them, make jam during the harvest. We still have some of last year's batch of damson jam even after giving some away as presents.

Save old newspaper. They have multiple uses. We use them to put muddy boots on in the porch, scrunch and wipe windows sprayed with vinegar to get them sparkling, stick some in wet trainers to dry them quicker, protect tables when painting etc.

Save old toothbrushes for cleaning taps, difficult to reach corners, shoes. I also used some to do some stencil spray painting the other day with dd.

Bought a big bunch of coriander for just the one recipe? Save the rest by chopping it up and freezing it.

Laddered your tights? Cut off the toe bit and roll it up into a doughnut like you would for a sock bun and use it instead of a scrunchie. It's stronger than a normal hair bobble and particularly ideal if your hair is long enough to get in the way but too short for hair elastic to hold in place.

Don't use curling tongs! Use the rag curl method for tight curls or sock curl for loose curls. I used an old cut up t shirt to rag curl my hair for a 40s style hair do and it worked very well, stayed in place all day. It needs a bit of practice to not look like Shirley Temple though.

Use old mugs that have leaks as containers for random bits. My poor Denby breakfast mug had a leak but I couldn't bear to throw it out. It now holds random hair things.

Reuse old envelopes for children's dinner money, forms etc. Make your own cards and cover the writing of old envelopes with coloured paper. I sometimes do hearts or butterflies as the label.

whatchagonna Fri 09-Nov-12 01:20:13

Love this thread smile

Couple to add (if they're not already here):

1) Add oats to meat stews etc (eg shepherd's pie) to thicken it out.

2) Turn off all lights as you leave the room: our house is always in darkness other than the room we're currently in (DD's nightlight excepted).

3) Buy tinned veg - often cheaper than fresh and just as good.

4) Reusable nappies rather than disposable. Initial outlay is a bit, but then they're way cheaper and better for the environment.

5) If DD doesn't finish a meal she gets it for the next one smile Same goes for DH (although this rarely happens!)

6) Don't eat meat/eat it very sparingly. Healthier for you too.

7) Get a nectar card. Before you buy anything online, go via the nectar website: a lot of sites give you nectar points for doing it this way (including ebay!).

8) Organise babysitting swaps rather than paying for a sitter.

9) Omelettes are a great way of using up small amounts of left-over veg etc.

10) Walk, don't drive. Saves a lot of money and much better for you.

11) If you want magazines, get a subscription (or get one as a present). You can save a lot.

And I have a question.

What's the cheapest way to remove make-up? Cotton-wool or wipes (although I'm loathe to use these since they seem bad for the environment)? And if cotton-wool, is it best to get balls or just the big rectangle of the stuff? Petty but bugs me every time I restock!

Ditto razors - is it more economical to use disposable or reusable?

Buddy80 Fri 09-Nov-12 04:08:41

whatchagonna there are a couple of natural make-up removers, but the best one seems to be olive oil. The rest listed are: milk, yoghurt.

Here is a link for making homemade makeup remover: Makeup Remover you could use fleece wipes and just chuck in the wash.

Hope this helps smile

Buddy80 Fri 09-Nov-12 04:13:00

Slightly off-topic...does anyone know if there are any charities which accept the foil milk bottle tops?

Or any uses for them? smile

LapinDeBois Fri 09-Nov-12 07:11:10

Two more. Use last year's Christmas cards to make tags (DS thought this was the most exciting thing he'd ever done hmm). I then just wrap Christmas presents in brown paper and a nice tag. And the second one is Ecloths. Expensive to buy, but they clean glass and shiny surfaces like magic, without any cleaning product at all, just water.

redgate Fri 09-Nov-12 08:19:52

B&Q do classes on how to do DIY stuff, like putting shelves up, changing washers etc. It costs about £10, but they gave us a 10% off everything card that lasted a few months, and reckon I have saved loads not having to get the plumber round smile

redgate Fri 09-Nov-12 08:22:00

Frozen sliced sweet peppers are great, about £1 for a big bag. A bit too soggy when defrosted to go in salads, but ideal for cooking with

jenduck Fri 09-Nov-12 09:20:33

Another tip is to go to the MoneySavingExpert website & sign up for Martin Lewis' weekly email. It is packed each week with money tips. In the past I have gleaned all sorts of information such as when energy prices will go up, where to buy reduced price postage stamps & also grabbed freebies such as a full-sized shampoo & conditioner from Boots & free fish & chips from BHS when you buy a hot drink (both deals now expired but this email tells you about them in time)


Buddy80 Fri 09-Nov-12 09:38:00

I save my veg peelings (apart from potatoes) in a container in the freezer. When I want to make chicken stock, I use the peelings in with the chicken.

ppeatfruit Fri 09-Nov-12 09:39:55

Whatchagonna The problem with tinned veg. is that (apart from the often high salt content) the tins HAVE to be bought to the boil for a quite a while which kills any of the healthy enzymes; so apart from the fibre in them they're not as healthy as frozen veg. and esp. freshly bought veg from the farmer's markets. Which you CAN buy cheaply if you look carefully.

littleladyindoors Fri 09-Nov-12 10:37:16

Thanks Harriet- v helpful- now to persuade hubby to get them from the loft- I think money is a good persuasion!
And if they pay postage, thats even better!!!

comethasmybrokentelly Fri 09-Nov-12 13:20:48

ppeatfruit, why do you say tinned veg have to be boiled for a while?
I never boil them , just heat em and eat em

ppeatfruit Fri 09-Nov-12 13:23:35

No I mean they ARE boiled by the manufacturers grin

comethasmybrokentelly Fri 09-Nov-12 13:36:41

gah! must switch brain on confused

whatchagonna Fri 09-Nov-12 14:17:27

Wow ppeatfruit - never knew that. Thank you!

janek Fri 09-Nov-12 15:21:58

buddy80 there's a box in our local library for tin foil, milk bottle tops etc. when i was a child they were for guidedogs for the blind, i presume they still are, you could try googling.

For veg it's usually better to buy frozen - minerals and vitamins remain present, and no waste.

comethasmybrokentelly Fri 09-Nov-12 16:30:37

Google are canned veg good for you. Lots of differing views!

JustFabulous Fri 09-Nov-12 18:54:57

Dish water on plants? Do plants like soapy water ? confused

LapinDeBois Fri 09-Nov-12 21:57:13

I'm sure I read somewhere that plants actually quite like soapy water, as long as its not TOO soapy.

ppeatfruit Sat 10-Nov-12 07:58:46

Yes lapin I agree; when there's a draught in the summer and all my collected rainwater has run out I always put my washing up water on the garden and in my plant pots; I've never had any problems at all with them.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:59:08

When you do the food shop add it up as you go round on a calculator, it stops impulse purchases.

sieglinde Sat 10-Nov-12 10:30:34

You can motivate dcs to join in if they see that turning off lights is MONEY. Give them notebook and let them work out how much they save.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-Nov-12 12:01:32

I wish that worked with husbands....He only leaves the expensive lights on too.

I took some of the lightbulbs out <stabby>.

sieglinde Sat 10-Nov-12 13:53:23

Fluffy, you could try it grin. Show him how many pints leaving a light on will buy.

LapinDeBois Sat 10-Nov-12 14:02:23

I showed DS1 (aged 5) the way the little wheel on the electricity meter goes round when you turn appliances on. He is now obsessed grin.

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:12

that reminds me, i dont know where my meter is. must go and look for it. do all houses have one? (only moved in june)

another tip that i'm crap at is not taking your purse with you everytime you leave the house. i got into the habit of taking my purse everywhere incase i remember i need to buy something and then of course i go into shops just to see if there's anything i need (I always need chocolate apparently hmm). now i'm trying to only bring my purse with me on mondays (shopping day) to save all those random spends.

DesertHippy Sat 10-Nov-12 19:12:49

One tip I haven't seen mentioned yet and really useful with three boys and a DH in our house is when you put the new toilet roll on the holder give it a little squeeze so the cardboard tube is an oval shape. That way when little fingers pull at it, instead of reams flying off, they get the right amount.

bluecarrot Sat 10-Nov-12 20:43:34

Old cardboard box + cheapo tin foil + glue = radiator booster (reflects heat back away from wall when placed down back of radiator)

line curtains with fleece blankets (ikea do really cheap fleece blankets, but charity shops are another good source)

if you have a summer and winter duvet, use the summer one as a mattress topper.

thermals, thick woolly socks, fleeces all worn in the house (thermostat set to 14-16c between 5am-8pm)

go to bed earlier - i go at 8.30/9 (obv not to sleep that early!)

close curtains before it gets dark

install draught excluders - patchwork old clothes/ sleeves from old clothes stuffed with other old clothes and sewn (or closed with elastic bands)

warm dilute juice is great to warm up kids (or adults) after being outside (robinsons summer fruits is our favourite)

hmm...can you tell I like to be warm?!

Ones I want to use more this year

slowcooker - cheaper cuts of meat can be used, can make large quantities (well, ours is really too big for the 2 of us!) for freezing,

make more food from scratch - i used to be good, but then became quite unwell and energy levels fell. Getting back on track but its hard work. Im just taking it a day at a time.

Showtime Sun 11-Nov-12 00:07:18

Wearing a hat in winter keeps body heat in- mine are worn indoors and in bed when really cold, as well as bedsocks.

harrietspy Sun 11-Nov-12 10:39:51

I just did my usual tesco shop. If you're buying things like tinned chickpeas (we're trying to eat less meat) make sure you look in the 'world foods' section - they are 4 for £1.00 there instead of £0.69 EACH in the 'tinned pulses and beans' section. Same with tinned tomatoes!

I've also decided to try swapping in some tinned fruit (instead of fresh) and the cheapest comes in syrup. I'll see how it is if I just wash the syrup off... or relax and let my children imbibe a bit of sugar!

Thank you again for this thread.

harrietspy Sun 11-Nov-12 10:50:55

Forgot to say, this was online. Yes, I pay £3.50 for delivery but I always used to pay way more than that by not checking all the prices or on a couple of impulse buys. Also don't assume that the Everyday Value stuff is always the cheapest. (And you can go through your trolley to bring the price down if you have to).

nannynick Sun 11-Nov-12 16:59:48

Not money saving as such but more getting value for money out of gym membership. I'm just heading off for a class but I will follow that with sitting in the spa pool & steam room, having a shower using the supplied shampoo and conditioner, using the supplied towel of course, using the hair dryer, I take my toothbrush so will also brush teeth there. I'm paying a monthly fee, so I may as well get the most out of it, I go every day, sometimes more than once a day - as toddler is £5 a month for unlimited swimming.
So if you have membership to things, subscriptions to things, then make sure you get the most out of it.

Buddy80 Sun 11-Nov-12 17:29:09

harrietspy thanks for the tip on chick peas.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 17:53:40

Asian supermarkets are meant to be really cheap but we dont have any local to us.

Be worth it for a big stock up though.

ThickCut Sun 11-Nov-12 18:07:03

Never listening to you stingy lot again. On the advice of this thread, I stopped using fabric conditioner. Now my clothes and mine and ds's hair full of static angry

Buddy80 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:08:38

ah, did you tumble dry them? [ smile]

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:21:04

I use fab soft but I dont tumble.

Tumble dryers packed in anyway.

ThickCut Sun 11-Nov-12 18:22:43

Yes, tumble dried them blush

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:41:39

If you live in a really hard water area I think you need it, when we go somewhere with soft water I dont bother with it and the clothes seem fine to me.

You can use cheapo smartprice vinegar too but my sheets need fab soft.

nannynick Sun 11-Nov-12 20:57:21

jJust made coffee using hot water kept in a flask from when kettle boiled an hour ago. Great tip, thanks.

I live in a hard water area and I use one washing tablet instead of 2 and add 1/2 a water softening tablet (the waitrose own brand one breaks quite easily and disolves well I find).

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Mon 12-Nov-12 09:59:07

Does anyone have a brilliant solution for making my boots more water resistant? They have a rubber sole which leaches any moisture off the pavement and into the boot so it doesn't even need to be raining for me to have wet feet and they can't be re-soled. Have googled waterproof insoles to no avail. Plastic bags inside?

TiredofZombies Mon 12-Nov-12 12:38:21

IAmShe Can you get hold of some liquid latex? Maybe if you can coat the sole in it, and a little way up the side, it might help. (They used to sell it in a craft shop near me, for people to make their own plaster cast moulds, so it might be with looking in a craft shop if there is one near you.)

I thought of another money saving habit - I try to use my laptop from the battery when possible, and only plug it into the mains when it's running low.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Mon 12-Nov-12 13:01:35

Worth a try. Thanks

Mum2Fergus Mon 12-Nov-12 14:01:10

I plug in my laptop/mobile phone in to charge in the office. Use the office shredder for disposal of personal papers too so never had to invest in one for the house.

RarelyUnreasonable Mon 12-Nov-12 16:57:12

Unsubscribe from online alerts from shops. When you get a flash sale announcement it can be tempting to look for what you 'need'. Better not to get the tempting email in the first place, and just look for discount codes when you genuinely need something.

Mum2Fergus Mon 12-Nov-12 20:16:18

Good one rarely, Ive started doing this...unsubscribing when they land in inbox smile

cozietoesie Mon 12-Nov-12 21:14:10

I'm sure this has been mentioned upthread but - don't buy any more newspapers. Use the free online versions and news channels. I've saved any amount of money since I started using on-line versions, I'm arguably better informed and I still get plenty newspaper for domestic chores from the free ones that come round or are (neglected in piles) at the local library or supermarket. Friends and family are also only too happy to offload old newsprint on to me if needed.

MerseyMama Mon 12-Nov-12 21:45:10


TiredofZombies Tue 13-Nov-12 20:27:27

About discount codes... where do you find them? Whenever I've googled anything like that I just come up with sites that look like they will bombard me with masses of spam, so I haven't bothered.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 13-Nov-12 20:30:01

You have to go through all those sites and half the links you click on are expired links. It's mind numbingly tedious.

I tend to stick with quidco and topcashback now.

CelticPromise Tue 13-Nov-12 20:40:22

Here's another for water meter users/water savers. I have a jug by my sink for waste water like the end of glasses of water, DS's water bottle from preschool, other stuff that would normally go down the sink.. I use the water for cut flowers or to water plants.

Another one is to fill a jug and put it in the fridge instead of running the water until it's cold.

Showtime Tue 13-Nov-12 23:42:20

I fill kettle with cool water while running it hot enough for dishes, then use it to rinse cutlery container, dish-cloth, bowl etc when finishing.

RarelyUnreasonable Thu 15-Nov-12 12:08:55

Has saynoto0870 been mentioned? Doesn't always work and the site isn't that clear, but you can sometimes get the landline number for 0844, 0870, etc.

PurtyDarnFine Thu 15-Nov-12 15:40:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LapinDeBois Thu 15-Nov-12 22:18:17

God yes to Mooncups. I'm gutted that I only discovered them just before I started using Mirena, so now I don't have any periods anyway.

Buddy80 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:55:40

Also, re-usable pads. Easy to wash. Started using them 6-months ago and really impressed.

Ragwort Fri 16-Nov-12 10:19:42

At least you save on sanitary protection once you have reached the menopause (something to be grateful for grin).

ontheedgeofwhatever Fri 16-Nov-12 12:28:06

I thought of this thread this morning. I had some left over rice still in the pan so instead of throwing it out I added milk, sugar and a bit of cinnamon and DD will now be having rice pudding with a spoon full of jam tonight. Very petty in terms of money saving grin --

PurtyDarnFine Tue 20-Nov-12 11:53:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buddy80 Wed 21-Nov-12 13:55:55

Thank you smile. It's easy to do and saves a few quid. That's why I started this thread x

PurtyDarnFine Wed 21-Nov-12 16:59:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PurtyDarnFine Wed 21-Nov-12 16:59:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cerealqueen Wed 21-Nov-12 23:08:00

Yes purty, I do that with my hair dye too. I sometimes just do an even smaller mix doubling the mixture as suggested for a strand test to do the first resistant greys that come through. I only use a full box 1 or 2x year for a full head to refresh the whole colour.

storynanny Sat 15-Dec-12 21:23:50

If I'm making large spaghetti Bol or lasagne to last for 2 days, I only buy smallest jar of sauce, empty it out into meat, add about water to the empty jar, put the lid back on, give it a good shake and add it to the recipe. Gives you loads more sauce and doesn't seem to be too runny.

RandomMess Sun 16-Dec-12 19:37:27

IamSheWhoMust - sugru - it's silicone

MushroomSoup Sat 29-Dec-12 22:41:53

Oooh! Really interested in the hair dye thing. I have very short hair but need to touch up every 3 weeks or so. I'm always shock about how much I have to throw away. How do you save it?
By only mixing up half?

Bikemam Wed 08-May-13 12:16:09

I use 999 inks on line. They are fab, good ink and fast delivery. Far cheaper than in shop. The web site is Wendy to follow so easy togetright ink for your machine.

meddie Wed 08-May-13 18:10:56

as long as you mix the dye and developer in a seperate bowl and use the right ratios of one to the other you can get away with only using a part of the kit.
EG the kit I got here has 72ml creme and 48ml developer so if I just want to use half I would mix 36mls of creme with 24mls of developer. Saving the other half for a touch up later down the line.
If I want to use a third I would use 24mls of creme and 16mls of developer.

meddie Wed 08-May-13 18:11:26

You can use any old oral syringes you have to measure.

Buddy80 Fri 10-May-13 15:47:02

Nice to see this thread has come back smile

I notice my roots round my forehead mostly and the last time I dyed, I used a small glass ramekin, and mixed the dye and developer with a cotton bud.

I then used a cotton bud to apply just round my hairline and up my parting - I reckon I used less than 1/8th of each bottle, and 2 weeks later it still looks OK. Also, much much less harsh on your hair, as you are only dying the new roots.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 12-May-13 12:39:31

Razors - Boots sell holders for the old-fashioned "switch blade" razors very cheaply and then the blades are far cheaper to replace than venus razors/disposables (£2.50 for 10 blades) plus all you are throwing away is a small piece of metal instead of huge plasticy things!
razor handle:

Deodorant - Lush sell one (aromaco) which is essentially like solid stick deodorant without the stupid plastic packaging, so you can use 100% of the product you purchase.

hooper02 Sun 12-May-13 19:36:33

when shampoo, conditioner,washing up liquid etc appears to be empty, stand them upside down, the thick liquid drains to the bottom(the lid) and you can often get a few more uses out. I also hide last toilet roll in pack so that we don't end up having to buy expensive brands from corner shop when people use the last of it and don't tell me

katspaw Sun 12-May-13 21:37:23

An "unseen cost" that bothers me is that little red light on your extension lead:

20mA @ 240V x 24hrs x 365days x 12p/kwh = £5/annum

I have also bought a Belkin remote control extension lead that switches up to 7 appliances at once.

Acknowledged that the remote control device consumes some power in itself but it is easy to use (rather than scrambling round the back of the telly) and, in my case, switches off 5 AV devices all at once.

KitWillDoodle Mon 13-May-13 16:40:33

My son is potty training now, but when I used to do the shopping, kept seeing the Sainsburys own brand el cheapo nappies for like £1.41 for 20 and wondering if they'd be any good. Eventually chucked a pack in the trolley and I swear I wish I'd started using them earlier, absolutely fine. Not the best for a bigger mess and no good overnight, but if we were just staying in or not going far I'd use them to replace the more expensive nappies during the day and they were perfectly alright, saved me a fortune, as I said, only wish I started doing it earlier.

KitWillDoodle Wed 15-May-13 09:45:17

Double thumbs up for cutting the dishwasher tablet in half, tried it yesterday, washed just as well as a full tablet, delighted, thank you!

katspaw Wed 15-May-13 20:25:31

This cutting up the dishwater tab lark, what do you do with the ball?

Buddy80 Thu 16-May-13 07:05:28

It is just for the solid dishwasher tabs x