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Do you have any money saving tips to share?

(45 Posts)
AprilDHarvey Tue 08-Mar-16 12:07:24

I saw a thread about life hacks the other day and found it really helpful an interesting, I've recently been trying to cut back on how much I spend so I thought I would start a money saving tips thread smile

araiba Tue 08-Mar-16 12:34:54

stop buying stuff

stuff you need- buy the cheap version

AprilDHarvey Tue 08-Mar-16 12:39:13

Haha! grin
The most obvious solution is normally the best.

araiba Tue 08-Mar-16 12:43:05

im glad you didnt take it as sarcasm as that wasnt intended

but it is amazing how much you spend on unnecessary crap throughout a month

i used to spend £15 every work day on stuff- snacks meals drinks etc- totals £300 a month. had breakfast at home, took lunch with me, had the free water and tea / coffee and saved £250 a month or £3000 in a year

ivykaty44 Tue 08-Mar-16 12:43:13


I think the best way to stop spending is to always think - is there an alternative? And organisation

Make your own lunch and take to work, carry water with you.

Look for free outings

Don't use the car, cycle or walk

Coffee stop, go instead to the supermarket and buy nice coffee and take it home, you can get a bag of biscuits for a pound and a whole bag of ground coffee for two pounds, this should last all week.

Supermarket shopping, make your own meals and make double - freeze half for next week, do this each night for a week and next week not only will you have no shopping costs but you won't need to cook either.

Buy cheap loo rolls

Don't buy lots of things in the supermarket you don't really need.

treaclesoda Tue 08-Mar-16 12:45:42

Meal planning saves a fortune. If you always aim to have an actual meal in mind from all the items of food you buy, then you don't end up with a fridge full of stuff that ends up in the bin.

treaclesoda Tue 08-Mar-16 12:46:38

And online supermarket shopping is great because you just buy what you need, you aren't seduced by nice displays as you walk past them.

storminabuttercup Tue 08-Mar-16 12:49:58

I always keep bottled water in the car and take one in my handbag.
Bottle in the shops whilst out will be a pound, I buy 12 for 2 pound.

Not a huge saver but trying to think specific

coffeeisnectar Tue 08-Mar-16 12:50:11

I have started doing the Amazon hamper box thing. I bulk buy washing powder, cleaning products, coffee etc and get it delivered. It's not a huge saving but things like kenco coffee and persil washing powder are slightly cheaper.

I bulk order cat biscuits which are delivered automatically every three months. That's saves me a lot.

Bulk buy meat at the butchers once a month. Split it down into meal portions and freeze.

We have found a wholesale place which sells things either nearly out of date or just out of date. I can buy a 48 box of crisps like hula hoops for £4. Wagon wheels were 8 packs of 6 for £3.

So the rest I get from aldi or lidl. Bread, milk, fruit and veg and dairy products are cheap and cheerful.

I find if I've got enough stuff in the house then I have no need to go to the shops and start randomly buying stuff I don't need.

Kateallison16 Tue 08-Mar-16 12:51:18

Might be able to help a bit OP - me and OH lived on one income for a long time and by the time the bills were paid there wasnt much left. I picked up a few things around that time and devoted a blog to it that become quite popular actually.

Around the home:

1)Make your own anti bac sprays by buying dilutive versions and popping them in an old spray bottle.

2)Instead of kitchen roll, use washable cloths where you can.

3)Stick to own brand cleaning products where possible. Things like drain cleaner can be replaced with cheap 20p coke, white vinegar can be used for so much (window cleaning, washing machine cleaner, deodouriser)

4)Instead of air freshener air out the house and pop a little fabric softener watered down into a spray bottle, and spray around the room.
Doing this ive saved a huge amount of money over the years.

Food wise:

1)Look for products you normally enjoy on offer in the supermarkets and stock up on them.

2)Bulk cook food and freeze portions. Not only are these lovely home cooked meals, but you save time and money making them! (spag bol, lasagne, curry, pasta bakes - just a small example of whats good for freezing)

3)Blanch / par boil any left over veggies going out of date, these will be good at a later date in stews, currys or any other meals.

4)Consider baking yourself if you have time OP, cheese scones, flapjacks, rice crispy cakes are just a few things that cost pennies and are great for packed lunches.

* Will get back to you with more in just a mo. Whats going on OP? Saving or hit a tight spot? See if we can help smile

BendydickCuminsnatch Tue 08-Mar-16 12:52:04

Ooooooh I need this thread!

Likely to be my only contribution: reusable nappies!!!

treaclesoda Tue 08-Mar-16 12:53:32

If you have the cash available, pay for things like car insurance in one payment upfront. Saves you being charged extra for paying in installments.

Kateallison16 Tue 08-Mar-16 12:58:55

* continued

When money is tight there are two options really, spend less or earn more.

Little Earnings:

Have you thought about setting up an etsy shop? I have one and earn a few extra bob a month.
Any hobbies you can make a bit of extra cash from?

Avon? Younique? I dont <3 These schemes BUT a few of my friends make a bit of money from them, even just for the odd takeout or treat.

Try being a member of the site bzzagent - every month you end up with free items to review (tresemme hair care sets, veet or nair kits, dolmio meals kits - that kind of thing) VERY little effort and I have got so much cool stuff free.

Tesco Orchard is the same as bzzagent, apart from you get vouchers to get the products in store to review for free.

*Continued (sorry, trying to reply between packing shopping away)

GrumpyMummy123 Tue 08-Mar-16 13:00:08

I'd agree with meal planning. I do an online shop about 2-3 times a fortnight. I have a column on the family calendar for what meals we're having each night. So I can make sure there's a meal planned for each day and easy to take account of if DH is out or anything like that. Also be careful with dates when shopping for perishables like meat - so we tend to have sausages or bacon & pea pasta at the end of the week and fresh chicken at the beginning. When my online shop comes I check the dates against the day that meal is planned for just to be safe. Throwing food away because it's gone out of date is such a big waste and really annoying!

If you really want to save money on food I stumbled across a Facebook group called 'feed yourself for £1 a day'. Luckily not something I need to do, but some great economizing tips.

Also investing a decent leak proof commuter beaker mug thing has saved me loads over the winter! I make a cup of tea before leaving the house then I'm much less tempted to stop for a cuppa 'to warm up' while out. Taking plenty of snacks/fruit for DS and a breakfast bar/ piece of of fruit for me much cheaper than buying out.

Whitney168 Tue 08-Mar-16 13:03:59

Definitely agree with treaclesoda, online shopping saves me a fortune:

- you don't get tempted by all the stuff in store - offers and house/extra bits
- you see the total and if you think it's a bit high you have time to go back and see what you can cut out
- you can go and check in the cupboards what you actually need, instead of buying just in case when in supermarket.

I was spending about £400 a month for two adults, and am now feeding three adults for between £250-300 and eating very well on that.

AprilDHarvey Tue 08-Mar-16 13:04:34

A lot of great suggestions already smile
Taking my own coffee & lunch to university and work, which totals five days out of the week, is the first step I took to save money. It really is shocking how much you spend throughout the day on snacks etc.

Hi Kateallison16! A bit of both really. I want to stop wasting money so much money in general since I'm a bit of an impulse buyer and tend to "treat" myself far too much blush

Whisky2014 Tue 08-Mar-16 13:04:43

I have been doing this.

I switched energy companies saving £383 a year.
Cancelled my cineworld card saving £16.99 a month (never went to cinema!)
Cancelled Experian (£14.99 a month)
Renewed mobile contract from £35 to £29 a month
changed from Tesco to Lidl saving around £40 per big shop
Stopped buying clothes - prob spent £100 a month on that. Really do no tneed clothes.
Sold perfume on Schpock - perfume had only a few sprays used from them and I never used them - got £25.

Heyheyheygoodbye Tue 08-Mar-16 13:04:51

Meal plan
Batch cook
Costco and Amazon for bulk purchases
Pound shops for cleaning stuff etc
Walk away from impulse purchases and give yourself a cooling off period first
Cook more than one thing at once when the oven is on
Turn off lights!!
Take own snacks to cinema
Never buy lunch out of the house unless actually going to a cafe or restaurant - pack up sandwiches otherwise
Buy regular purchases in bulk when on half price

BarbaraofSeville Tue 08-Mar-16 13:04:56

Always look for a discount code when buying online and use Quidco or Topcashback.

Always look online for a voucher if eating in chain restaurants or going to attractions like Legoland etc.

Grocery shopping in Aldi or Lidl, or if you can't get to either of them, or want to shop online, buy as many things as possible on 3 for 2/BOGOF etc.

There's loads of non perishable things that you never need to pay full price for if you just get what is on offer or stock up on your favourite brand when on offer. Things like:

Toilet roll
Tea bags, coffee
Ketchup, mayo, brown sauce etc
Frozen pizza
Tinned tomatoes and baked beans
Washing powder and cleaning products
etc etc

Think about how much you are spending when eating out or just office lunches. Coffee on the way in, Pret lunch etc can add up to an enormous sum if you do it daily. You can literally save hundreds a month by taking in lunch and not buying so much coffee.

If you have a kindle, enter any books you like on and buy when the price drops. I rarely pay more than a pound or two, including new and main stream books, because there are so many offers.

Don't buy magazines - total waste of money. If you have a tablet, join your library and read them electronically for free using the Zinio app.

Don't waste food. Have 'use up' soup once a week or chop and freeze - frozen veg is fine for soup, chilli, bolognaise etc.

LineyReborn Tue 08-Mar-16 13:09:53

When I was truly skint one year, I would put £20 in a jar and that was my food shop money for the week. When it was gone it was gone. (For me and two young DCs about 13 years ago.)

After a year I had got the household budget back on track and yes yes yes to meal planning.

Also I am a big believer now in switching providers of insurance, banking, utilities etc online.

Floralnomad Tue 08-Mar-16 13:12:45

The best way to stop being an impulse shopper is to deal in cash and never take a card out with you . Leave an emergency £10 in the car and only take out the amount of cash you should need that day . Check your bank regularly and put any odd bits into a savings account .

LovelyBranches Tue 08-Mar-16 13:14:03

I use quidco. I've recently switched my phone, broadband and tv. My bill had crept up to £50 a month. I used quidco to take out a new deal and got £180 back. My new contract will now cost £16 a month.

Change gas and electricity suppliers often if you can. Try and always be with the cheapest.

Go through your direct debits with a fine tooth comb. Do you need everything you pay for.

Declutter your house, not only will it be nicer to live in, you can sell things on ebay or gumtree.

Take in a lodger if you can.

Rent out your garage/driveway etc if you can.

Don't kid yourself- don't bulk buy things if you wont get around to using them. For example, It's not a bargain to buy reams of fabric for clothes you never get around to making.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 08-Mar-16 13:19:32

My first tip is to keep a budget and record everything you spend. Information is power.

Sign up to Money Saving Expert weekly email.

Shopping around for the bills (gas, electric, phone, insurance etc and considering a water meter) is time well spent for saving hundreds.

Also double-check your direct debits and that you're happy with everything you're spending.

I had to do all of this out of necessity last year and it practically became a hobby.

londonrach Tue 08-Mar-16 13:21:53

Buy with cash only! Take a certain amount if money out of the bank per week and that is the money you have for the week. Meal plan on food. When the money is gone thats it till next week. You be surprised how little you spend if its in cash only.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Tue 08-Mar-16 13:34:38

Bulk buy essential items like toiletries/cleaning products and have a store cupboard for them. I worked out I save 1k annually! I stock up on clothes twice a year at the sales and buy out of season things to save. I bought some garden furniture in November and got it with 60% off.

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