DH 40% pay cut - advice for household savings?

(88 Posts)
SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 09:46:29

DH and I were pretty comfortable, but he lost his job and has started another a few weeks ago on a 40% pay cut (eek). Our income is still fine and i would never complain, but we are tied into a large mortgage and I have got I to bad habits of not counting the pennies too well.

Any ideas of ways we can save money that we may not have thought of? We are down to one car and I will give DH lifts to/from work, cancelling the gym, Sky and no more take away coffees or magazines.

Any other ideas gratefully received!

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 09:47:04

Aargh typos - I have got into bad habits blush

gallicgirl Sat 17-Aug-13 09:53:34

Make lunches for work rather than buy sandwiches.
Buy meat when it's reduced at shop then freeze it.

Is your garden big enough for you to grow some fruit and veg?

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 17-Aug-13 09:54:47

You've probably thought of this but switch to supermarket own brands instead of premium brands. Also writing down what you've spent each day helps as then you see where the indulgences are.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 09:57:17

Ooh some very good ideas - thank you, I am clueless really about this.

No, garden is one v tiny patch of lawn!

Bowlersarm Sat 17-Aug-13 09:57:43

Write down everything you spend. It's amazing how much money is wasted - you don't realise in better financial times.

Before you buy anything ask yourself "do I need this?" rather than "do I want this?"

Just two ideas for the moment, check your getting the cheapest deal for utillity bills. try switching to aldi or lidl for food shopping made a big difference in our monthly food bill would even go so far as to say halved it.Thats for 2 adults and 2dc ages 7 and 3. Food quality is excellent and cant taste any difference to any other supermarket.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 10:06:06

We were shopping at waitrose, so that is going to have to go straight away! All great ideas - thank you so much!!

Silverfoxballs Sat 17-Aug-13 10:14:09

Do you have to drive him to work? Is that up to 4 trips a day? How far is it and what kind of journey?

Get rid of anything you don't need via gumtree, eBay etc, consider buying stuff secondhand if you don't. We have taken a drop in income , nowhere near as much as yourself but about 15% due to my crappy health. Because I'm unwell it means we cannot fly at the moment so that was an automatic saving of no three week holiday. Couldn't go to my DH annual shindig so no need for new frock nor shoes nor an annual ball I go to. So mine has kind of readjusted itself.

Get yourself to Aldi or Lil if you can.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 17-Aug-13 10:17:45

Shop at Aldi, especially for washing powders and cleaning stuff.

Join moneysavingexperts energy club, they compare electric tariffs and its less faff than the other comparison sites, then switch suppliers if you can.

Basic energy saving tips such as only boiling as much water as you need or switching lights off when you leave the room or not leaving appliances on standby all add up.

I turn our hot water tanks to 60c, it saves money straightaway. I also put extra jackets on hot water tanks and insulate all the pipes that get hot. I only heat the water for 20 minutes now, I used to leave it on all day.

Could you renegotiate broadband suppliers? Pay upfront for phone line rentals? Ask mobile providers to reduce your package?

Join topcashback for money back on insurance policies, I buy aveda from places like rush.co.uk and get cash back. Basically I check everything I buy online or do click and collect on there and get a couple of hundred a year.

I always use aviva for insurance now because with cashback it's only £200 for dh car and £150 for mine and we both have new cars too so not cheap to insure elsewhere.

I menu plan and freeze veg when it's cheap eg carrots are 39p a kg in aldi, I'll freeze a few kilos now chopped up for soups and stews or cut lengthways for roasting and it gets me through the winter soups etc, same for celery or courgettes, onions I buy in sacks of 5kg and freeze them chopped up, the food processor is busy that day. It saves money but it saves me time too.

I've done par roasted potatoes too, I just chuck them in a hot roasting dish with goose fat (bought off amazon for half what the supermarkets charge) and it finishes off that nights roast dinner with minimal fuss and time. Same for stuffing balls, sausage meat ones or breadcrumb ones, I make a batch, freeze flat and use them as needed.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 17-Aug-13 10:25:41

I've just thought, I don't buy handwash anymore. I buy litres of bubble bath from aldi and decant it into pump dispensers. Much cheaper.

The aldi own brand stuffs all cruelty free too, unlike branded products.

A lot of living more cheaply is working out how to do things more cheaply but with the same results eg I downgraded from liz Earle hot cloth cleanser to boots hot cloth cleanser to bodyshop cleansing milk bought at 40% off (with 20% cashback on top of that) wiped off with a hot muslin. Same results, much cheaper. I bought frozen berries from aldi for my cereal in the morning rather than buying fresh.

christinarossetti Sat 17-Aug-13 10:49:46

Start by looking through recent bank statements together and seeing where your money has been going. Then keep a log of everything you both spend for a week.

That will give you good overview so that you can see where easy savings can be made and decide ajar you want to prioririse.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 11:24:05

Thanks for all the good ideas - I've been through the statements and things that need to be chopped are:

Supermarket treats which are impulse bought eg cream cakes, mini sushi packs, chic bars, multipacks of crisps

Gifts - we spend way too much!

Is it cheaper to make your own bread? I have a bread maker and need to start using it!

Clothes for DS - he is tall and I have always shopped in polarn o pyret and mostly their sales - way too pricey now.

gallicgirl Sat 17-Aug-13 11:33:01

Yes its cheaper to make your own bread and much yummier. You can also make pizza dough for home made pizzas.
How old are children? Supermarket clothes are pretty good.

specialsubject Sat 17-Aug-13 11:47:52

stop buying clothes. I can guarantee that you don't need any! Ditto makeup and expensive toiletries.

are those four car trips a day sensible? Obviously a second car has running costs (Tax, insurance, fixes) but can one of you cope with a £1000 runabout?

lose mobile internet when the contract ends. Go to a £10 simple mobile with calls and texts. Big money saver.

Bowlersarm Sat 17-Aug-13 11:50:48

Have you checked out money saving expert website? Some inspiring ideas and stories on there.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 12:03:02

I've been trying to save on my personal spend since I stopped ft work, so only have a haircut every few months (actually last was in feb blush) and haven't bought any makeup since I got married 5 years ago - still using the stuff I bought for that. Other than maternity clothes and 2 dresses I haven't bought anything since I got pg in 2010.

DS is 2 and has had some tesco things before which were ok.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 12:03:47

I've told DS he only needs 2 suits and 5 shirts and can't buy anything more for a good while.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 12:03:57

DS?? Meant DH

didireallysaythat Sat 17-Aug-13 12:04:58

EBay for bundles of kids clothes
Mysupermarket.co.UK for non aldi shopping
Menu plan so you only buy what you need and can combine food/use leftovers from one day for the next - this way I saved loads. You don't need cupboards full of foods.
Always Google for money off coupons before you buy anything.

MrsWolowitz Sat 17-Aug-13 12:11:45

Work out what you need per week for shopping, fuel, extras. Draw the money out and leave your bank card at home.

Handing over cash is very different to handing over a card. Also, seeing your weekly funds dwindle is an eye- opener!

ShoeWhore Sat 17-Aug-13 12:13:27

When dh was made redundant we had to have a serious review of the finances.

First I looked at all the direct debits and shopped around for deals on utilities etc.

Food shop - I like shopping online as I can see exactly how much I've spent and am strict about keeping to my budget. Good idea on MSE is to try downgrading your shopping eg if you normally buy the branded item, try the own brand version, if normally the own brand, try the basics range etc - some stuff you won't like but there are plenty of products where you'll barely notice the difference.

YY to writing everything down for a bit. You can get budget apps for your phone which are quite handy.

Plan your food a week in advance, this avoids waste as well. Cook around what you have instead of going out and buying a load of ingredients. Eat veggie at least a couple of times a week. We get a local veg box which is cheaper than supermarket veg plus local so low food miles. Ebay everything you no longer need, I love this and look at it more as re homing. Shop for yourself on EBay and In charity shops, boot fairs etc. I rarely buy new clothes and wouldn't even if I was loaded, we are to wasteful as a society as it is.

Even with a tiny garden you can grow veg. We had our best crop of courgettes ever this year and they were grown in pots.

SunnyIntervals Sat 17-Aug-13 14:29:40

Just had a look on eBay for bundles of kids clothes - inspired idea.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now