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!

wrigglebum Sat 21-Sep-13 06:26:48

For bulk purchases of spices, lentils, chickpeas etc, the Asian supermarkets will be much cheaper than even Aldi etc. Going veggie will be cheaper, but if you fancy meat you can really stretch out mince with lentils and/or some oats. Much healthier too.

ancientbuchanan Fri 20-Sep-13 22:04:30

Sorry about spelling, o. Phone.

ancientbuchanan Fri 20-Sep-13 22:03:14

I am no expert but if you need something like a piece of furniture, consider freecycle. We gained hugely from our street handing on games and clothes between young families, bikes too. Everyone learned on the same old tatty bike that changed hands at decreasing amounts.

I use my slow cooker. Cheaper cuts of meat are fine.

Use tinned tomatoes to cook with, much cheaper and no one will notice.

Two concepts, new to you, and make do and mend , pretty much say a lot of it.

But also, get from the library the book food for free, and see what you can get from it. Also from your library discover the places to go that are free, to give yourselves a break. Develop new interests, preferably ones that are free, or only involve travel, bird watching, walking, cycling, star gazing, architecture and art, lots if art galleries are free or v cheap, bell ringing, choirs, whatever.

Think about saving for a holiday. You can do some stay cations but most people like getting away at some point. Think about what gives you pleasure without being expensive. If you enjoy camping that is an option.

Have a money box for spare change.

Start having an emergency fund. A few pounds set aside a week will make you feel better. And bode that is at the level you can cope with, start a savings account.

A revolutionize your present giving. I have just given my ma a lovely Thai silk kimono from a charity shop.. she is in hospital and it made her day. Cost to me, 5 l.. she doesn't know, it's new to her and she is delighted.

Get to know your neighbours. We share garden produce, herbs, baby for got each other, help out on the plumbing. I gave the streets set if drain pipes, but I get the strong chaps to use them or help me on the roof. Saves s fortune in calling people out.

Turn the heating down, put it on first thing in the morning and then half an hour before you come home st night. Wear a vest ( I know) and sweaters. .
Pull the curtains as soon as it gets dark to keep the warmth in. If your house is draughty, get curtains ( eBay obv or charity shop) to hang over doors and make draught excluders.

Hot water bottles. Make your own covers if you need them.

Go to bed sooner...

stargirl1701 Fri 20-Sep-13 21:16:32

eBay for Polarn O Pyret when you need bigger clothes for your DC.

Don't mean to be pernickety but if you are watching the pennies why would you buy a microwave rice pouch? Just get a bag of rice for a pound that works out about 10p or less per portion.

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 20:59:05

Aldi - so much cheaper than Tesco. For example their microwave rice pouches are 49p, Tesco own brand is 99p.

everydayaschoolday Thu 19-Sep-13 02:39:47

The autum National Childbirth Trust (NCT) sales are approaching. Google NCT for your nearest groups. You do not have to be a member to sell or buy, and I get lots of good quality clothes at bargain prices for the kids. I'm also a seller, and generally make around £80 at each of the spring and autumn sales. It's good if you need to have a clear out of (decent condition) kids clothing, and especially toys for the autumn sale, as people are buying for christmas.

lightningstrikes Tue 17-Sep-13 20:41:19

I have just started batch cooking and freezing with menus from here. It is saving us quite a bit of money and time. Plus I don't have to think about what we are going to eat most of the time as it is just there. I'm totally converted.

BlackberrySeason Tue 17-Sep-13 19:32:15

Not fretfully - phone blush - gratefully!!

BlackberrySeason Tue 17-Sep-13 19:26:39

I am the op but have nc!

Just wanted to share how I am getting on in case it inspires anyone else going through similar.

These have been our biggest savings:

We have switched to making all our own bread, which because of our previous over-use of the lovely but pricey local bakery, is saving us £400 per year! The bread is very tasty too!

Neither of us are buying any more lunches to eat which is saving us £1,000 a year. The packed lunches with homemade bread are lovely and healthier - dh is much slimmer and prefers the packed lunches.

Cancelled Sky - going to terrestrial channels only which saved over £400 per year.

Cancelling gym for us all is saving £1,200 per year.

Switching electrical suppliers is saving £75 per year.

Other savings:

Switched to powder rather than liquitabs
Switched a lot of our regular shopping down to cheaper products.
Eating our way through what we've got tucked away in the freezer
Using library instead of buying books
Only using cheaper petrol stations and planning ahead to make sure we fill up at those!!
Planning all Xmas gifts ahead using Reastie'a fab thread!
When we visit people taking homemade cake or bread rather than a bottle of wine - people have reacted with great enthusiasm to this and I may do biscuits for the next few times.
Collecting up and spending our loose change before breaking into notes
Switching lights off every time when leaving rooms
Bought DS's clothes on eBay.

Any further saving ideas fretfully received of course, but thanks so much to you all again for all the tips so far smile

fossil971 Sun 25-Aug-13 19:48:34

apprenticemum, I wouldn't feel bad. There are (hardcore) people on the Moneysavingexpert website who've made it their life's mission!

I think with the world changing as it is, we will all be having to be a bit more frugal in the future so we might as well get in some practice.

apprenticemum Sun 25-Aug-13 19:28:36

I know it sounds a bit sad but I get quite a sense of satisfaction from not being wasteful and making the pennies stretch. I think it does us all good to get a bit of a wake up call from time to time. It sounds like you have the bit between your teeth, rather than whine about your situation you are doing something positive and for that, I aplaud you.smile

fossil971 Sun 25-Aug-13 18:56:50

We are in this situation unfortunately. Came down to earth with a bump grin. I work but DH's income has gone down by 75%. Great thread!

We reviewed all direct debits and have cancelled or not renewed lovefilm, couple of less-favourite charities, English Heritage, travel insurance etc.

The biggest thing is to make a budget and stick to it. Plan meals and all shopping ahead.

Only shop in Aldi for almost everything. And stick to basic stuff there.

Only go out for cheap outings (more of an issue in the summer)

Claimed all expenses that were backed up and paid in any cheques lurking round the house.

Best thing - take a packed lunch or picnic EVERYWHERE. I must have been spending a fortune in the canteen.

Got a smaller, cheaper car and renegotiated insurance (the loan is on our offset mortgage so we can pay it in small bites)

Take £20 less out of the cashpoint and make it last a week

Sorted online banking on my phone so I can always see my balance - rather sobering when tempted in the shops.

Unsubscribed to all my ebay alerts and marketing emails.
Sorted out some stuff to sell on ebay.
Don't take credit card out of house.

Stopped buying toiletries until I've used everything up and going to hairdresser except cheap trim.

Love your breadmaker - you can get lovely Allinsons flour in Aldi and get an Allinsons tin of yeast from somewhere. The main thing is it cuts down on your top-up shops, which are never for "just" bread. And it's a touch of luxury AND you can do two lovely big pizza bases in it too.

YoungBritishPissArtist Sun 25-Aug-13 18:41:41

Have a look at www.agirlcalledjack.com She had to feed herself and her toddler for £10 a week. The recipes are brilliant! Not sure how big your family is but you could double the recipes where necessary.

SunnyIntervals Sun 25-Aug-13 18:24:50

Thank you smile

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 25-Aug-13 18:23:47

That's brilliant news, well done!

It's not so bad being frugal.

SunnyIntervals Sun 25-Aug-13 16:35:04

I didn't fritter this week - I mean, when I stopped and didn't spend I realise how much I've been wasting before blush

SunnyIntervals Sun 25-Aug-13 16:34:30

Thanks so much for all the further brilliant ideas!

We've had the first 'austerity week' and I've been amazed how much I've been frittering away on coffee, cake and lunches out. Has been hard, but in a way I feel happier with less waste.

We've reduced our spend to a sensible budget each and I'm shopping ahead for gifts for Xmas as otherwise there won't be much going! Managed to do dmil, dsil and DH already. As DS is only 2 and will get loads from others he is only getting one present from us.

apprenticemum Sun 25-Aug-13 15:07:19

Oh, I forgot the most important tip. Do your weekly shop on a Monday. When I used to do it on a Thurs or Fri and tended to make impulse treat purchased because the weekend was coming. By swapping to Monday, you are forced to focus on the full weeks requirements rather than the weekend. If you have to pop to the shop for the odd item at the weekend, you are more likely to keep spending to a minimun as you are doing the big shop the next day. I was flabbergasted how much less I spend.

apprenticemum Sun 25-Aug-13 09:55:08

Depending on what time of day you shop, the knock down chiller can be a boon. Around mid morning seems to be best. I always grab the mince and freeze it. When I have a large supply, I then have a megga cook up for the freezer. Try this... Loads of onions Sweat off and put aside, Brown the mince and drain the juices off in a cullinder and put the liquid in the fridge. (Some of the cheaper mince is quite fatty so by chilling, you can get the fat off and return the good stuff later) Return onions and mince to pan, add chopped mushrooms (loads to bulk up) tinned toms (buy cheapest unchopped and chop yourself) garlic bay leaves oregano chilli thyme salt & pep, the mince juice and anything else that comes to hand. I sometimes bung a tin of condensed tomato soup if it looks thin and simmer till it looks rich. If I am feeling extravigant I splash out on sun dried tomatoes and chop them in. This is your base which you divide three ways. The first pot up in 2 person portions for Spag Bol.The second make up into Lasangne which will require a cheesy sausce on the top. The third, add more chilli, Kidney beans, Borlotti beans, and any other tinned beans to bulk it up and you have chilli concarne. Freeze the lot and you have something tasty for whenever the cupboard looks a bit bare. I picked up a massive paella pan for the job from a car boot sale and it works a treat.
Also get yourself a slow cooker (I have 3 for bulk cook ups) Cheaper cuts of meat are tenderised by slow cooking. I also add mince to stews to bulk up the beef and go mad with the veg to make the meat go further. I have to say that my family much prefer my cooking to the prepared supermarket meals and I can customise the ingredients to suit our particular tastes.

Murtette Sat 24-Aug-13 21:54:07

PS what magazine do you read? Annual subscriptions can be a real bargain (red are currently doing 12 issues for £12 if its a gift) and were something I really missed.

Murtette Sat 24-Aug-13 21:52:36

How broke are you? 40% is a huge cut but for some would still mean they have enough for a few "luxuries" whereas for others it would be very much a hand-to-mouth existence. It also depends for how long you think DP will earn this amount - is he likely to go back up to previous salary anytime soon?
When DP lost his job, we immediately reduced the overpayments on our mortgage as, whilst it means we spend more in the long term, it saved us money each month; we kept Sky as its DP who mainly watches it and he was home more than before; I followed the credit crunch and took all the tips from that about using washing powder rather than tablets etc; we reviewed who we gave Xmas and birthday presents from &, after speaking to some of the recipients, cut that back (we were in a stupid cycle with friends where we were each buying the other's DC presents and all the children had too many things anyway); six weeks or so before Xmas & birthdays, I actually sat down & thought about what I/the DC would like/needed &, when asked, allocated something from the list which included (for 3yo DD) hat & gloves, PJs, play doh, colouring stuff & relatives got her annual membership for the local farm.
DP has been back at work for a few months now and whilst a few frivolous items have re-entered our lives, quite a few are gone for good. My bras now come from Sainsburys rather than bravissimo and seem to fit as well if not last quite as long. The majority of DD's clothes now come from S'burys too although this autumn she has a couple of boden & JoJo items too.
I wouldn't bother with growing your own. I have produced 20 pea pods, one courgette and 3 runner beans this year. Luckily, it was supposed to be more about teaching DD about where food comes from rather than us rather than self sufficiency but its been an expensive trial! And I think DD has learned more about the destructive nature of slugs that where food comes from!

IamMummyhearmeROAR Sat 24-Aug-13 08:13:13

Card Factory for cards- 7 for a £1!

Buy loose washing powder( I only buy brands when half price). I then half the recommended dose

Buy Tesco Value dishwasher tabs, then half them!

Start prepping for Christmas now- a small thing in your trolley every week, whether that's cranberry sauce, jelly, or chocolates if you can resist them till the big day!!

Find your library - I catch up on the glossies when I take dds

Sunnyshores Fri 23-Aug-13 20:55:46

You've got an amazing attitude and there are some great tips on here, I'm sure you will make huge savings.

I've got a few ideas, not quite as austere, but probably savings from your previous spending habits.

Outlet centres - GapKids, Clarkes, have great savings. I think Sainsburys have the best quality kids clothes of the supermarkets.

Beauty students at colleges do cheap manicures, massages as part of their training- a fun night out with friends albeit in less than glamorous surroundings! Toni & Guy hair salons have model evenings for freebies.

I buy all greetings cards annually from Phoenix cards online - £1 a card

School friends birthday parties - look out for special 2 for 1 type deals in WHSmiths (books, games) or Boots (girlie smellies) and buy in bulk for the year.

Family presents - buy a crate of wine and split. I tend to make up a hamper of foodie items (could make own jam, chutney etc as suggested earlier). Outlet centres again for Molton Brown, Lush, Crabtree...

School uniform - most schools have a second hand shop, even M&S for the basics are cheaper than the school suppliers.

starfishmummy Fri 23-Aug-13 09:28:26

When doubling up on meals make sure the second part is put away before you dish up. If my Dh spots that there is some more he will decide to have "just a little more" and then there isn't enough left for another meal!!

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