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your top tips for money-saving and a more frugal life..

(490 Posts)
amigoingmadhere Sun 19-Aug-12 09:07:12

Right - having until now led a relatively good lifestyle, am about to be single with 3 young dcs and very little money (not going to go into background here as it's depressing and will only get me down on this sunny morning).

Rather than sit here terrified, I would like to gather the collective wisdom of MN to see how I can immediately live a more frugal life and preserve any little money we have for a house and the dcs' future.

So, here's what I can think of to start with:

- get a new Boots card (old one is connected to my stbxh's email account)
- get Tesco clubcard
- get Nectar card
- always scour the internet etc. for vouchers / codes etc. (do this anyway but in a more random way)
- only ever buy presents in sales
- when moving house, try to get as much as possible from charity shops / freecycle etc.
- use library more
- see if Surestart still exists (a while since I used their services)
- start looking for any local free/cheap gym / sports facilities

There must be more that I'm not thinking of.. would be grateful for your ideas! - shopping / cooking / kids' activities / house furnishing etc.
I'm starting afresh on a new and wonderful life.. but it's going to be hard.

thanks smile

MugwumpJism Sun 21-May-17 12:01:39

Bump because I luffs this thread

lilacclery Tue 24-Nov-15 14:57:13

Manopaws grin at poo when out and about, that's taking things to the extreme

Manopaws Sun 15-Nov-15 21:56:28

Get a log burner. And collect scrap wood wherever you find it

Led lighting maybe look at turning all lighting into 12v and run off batteries and solar panels.

Buy a caravan kettle low wattage and small.

Poo when out and about

PurpleCrazyHorse Sat 07-Nov-15 13:05:09

Sorry not read 20 pages, but our frugal thing has been buying a chest freezer for our garage. We're already freezing more leftovers, buying larger more economical joints of meat etc. I freeze milk, bread, crumpets, so there's always something to make lunch from. It'll pay for itself in about a year especially as I bought an A* rated one to minimise the electric it uses. Obviously you need to have the money to buy it, but it it has been one of our best purchases.

kafkesque Fri 16-Oct-15 17:50:00

I read this book recently, which confirmed a lot of what I knew and made me a great deal happier about my frugal ways.

"Happy Money" "offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles—from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others—to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action.

Along the way, Dunn and Norton explore fascinating research that reveals that luxury cars often provide no more pleasure than economy models, that commercials can actually enhance the enjoyment of watching television, and that residents of many cities frequently miss out on inexpensive pleasures in their hometowns. By the end of this “lively and engaging book” (Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness), you’ll be asking yourself one simple question every time you reach for your wallet: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?"

kafkesque Wed 14-Oct-15 12:12:34

I'd love a spreadsheet too please.

For me, being frugal is about knowing where to shop and being flexible.
I am sticking to Aldi/Lidl/B&M

Charity shops, Carboot, Ebay,

Supermarket Diesal

This covers most things. Am I missing anything?

mugglelady Sat 19-Sep-15 11:06:32

The spreadsheet sounds like a great idea - definitely something I would use smile

AnotherShirtRuined Fri 18-Sep-15 18:34:02

I would also love a spreadsheet! I love all the creative tips on money-saving that can be found on here, and a spreadsheet of them all is a great idea <another spreadsheet geek>

Picolette Sun 06-Sep-15 08:55:44

PorcupineNecktie I'd definitely be interested!!! I'm a spreadsheet geek too smile
If u let me know if u put it together, would be great!

PorcupineNecktie Sat 05-Sep-15 17:06:42

I've just read through this whole thread and it was absolutely brilliant.

If I were to make a Google doc spreadsheet of the tips etc. would people be interested? (I might have already done this... I'm a spreadsheet geek...) otherwise all too easy to forget to look at it!

Another couple of things I don't recall seeing on the thread (apologies if they're here already, I've been reading for hours!)

- If you have the time and the inclination, blogging can be a great way to get free samples. I write a book blog and get a lot of free books before they come out - the kids' ones do for dcs and adult ones get recycled as gifts, as they're new when they come to me! Lots of opportunities for all different products though, there are several companies out there that'll update you when they have things to review.

- I like to buy cheap stuff and then put it into non-cheap-looking containers, e.g. buy a nice glass soap/shampoo dispenser and then fill it with tesco 40p shampoo. Guests never know the difference!

siblingrevelryagain Sun 14-Jun-15 08:43:24

Don't buy buttermilk for bread/cakes. Add 2tbsp lemon juice or vinegar to 200ml milk, leave for 5-10 mins. This can then be used whenever you need buttermilk in a recipe (like the fab bread recipe below):

Soda bread:

3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1tsp salt
1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix dry ingredients well in a bowl, add buttermilk and bring together to form a dough. Shape into a domed round and make a cross on the top with a knife.

Bake at gas 7 for 30-35 mins.

Makes a beautiful soda bread for eating with soups/casseroles. Can also be sliced for sandwiches.

spababe Mon 08-Jun-15 18:01:28

Sorry if this has already been said but a great frugal activity is geocaching. Suits children from primary school age to teenagers and gets you all out and about. Need a smartphone for the GPS though. Instructional videos on the geocaching website.

lilacclery Sun 07-Jun-15 20:53:36

zook I've gone one step further. I buy a litre of cheap bath foam & I refill the soap dispenser with that.

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 07-Jun-15 12:57:10

Mostly cake that's a brilliant tip I'm researching knocking my bill down and my work phone is on orange. I am on it!

Zook Thu 04-Jun-15 06:37:26

I know this is a somewhat outdated thread but it came up on a search and I could easily spend hours reading them all through, I can't wait to get started!

Here's my two pence worth - buy a foaming handwash (kids love it too!) and when it's finished just decant normal liquid hand soap into the old dispenser (about a 1/4 full) then top up with water. It does exactly the same job and foams nicely. I wait for the nice creamy handwashes to go on offer and use them (though bog standard liquid soap works just as well) getting 4 times as much for my money :-)

MostlyCake Wed 03-Jul-13 13:15:39

Also, if you work for a reasonably sized company you might be able to persuade them to start a discount scheme where employees can get cash back or discounts e.g. or

MostlyCake Wed 03-Jul-13 13:12:32

If you are changing your mobile check if your company uses the mobile network supplier for company phones - i know Vodafone do it (as i just got my mum a new contract) and you get a discount if your company is there. You can also add (I think) 4 other people. You do need your employee number but you should be able to get this easily from HR or payroll.

Sorry, can't remember the discount but it's worth asking about!

gracehurley1990 Sun 12-May-13 20:26:26 emails you when products you choose from online retailers drop in price. Its free to use. I dont buy anything until it goes into sale smile

milk Sat 04-May-13 12:11:08

I go on the Quidco "no brainers" section smile I got £4 for joining smile

maigwa Thu 25-Apr-13 14:39:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Twinkletoes91 Mon 14-Jan-13 22:48:40

Marking place smile

Virgil Wed 02-Jan-13 13:29:35

If you shop in tesco make sure you keep your receipt and go onto the price promise website after your shop. They price check and give you a voucher for the difference if your shop would have been cheaper elsewhere.

Molepom Wed 02-Jan-13 11:23:17

Can I add a weird one?

If you can turn the temperature off on your washing machine for a white wash then do so. They are still clean but for some reason whites do come out brighter. (found this out when my old machine decided to play up a bit at a time) saves a little on electric but also on any bleaching agents you use ie, vanish etc.

crackcrackcrak Wed 19-Sep-12 11:31:21

My house is freezing. There will be no heating until I've been to b&q later. Hear me roar!
Had a great haul on eBay of winter clothes for dd. I had hand me downs until she was 3 but she's out of them now and realised I have to actually buy all her clothes - meh! She now has a pile of gap and Boden clothes 2nd hand :-)

Virgin telly box is broken sob that's it - it's going.

Mse email this week had cheaper landline deal for 7.99 going to see of I can get that too grin

theancientmarinator Wed 19-Sep-12 11:08:19

<hangs head in shame> my own two are off with normal sandwiches today.

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