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September is here and our money-saving steps up a gear

(349 Posts)
economymode Sat 01-Sep-12 11:01:12

Starting us off for September. Newbies and old hands welcome!

DoingItForMyself Sun 02-Sep-12 11:14:46

Wow thanks Fluffy - no excuses now! I'm on a mission.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 02-Sep-12 11:43:52

As you can tell I don't have kids to attend to!

KarlMarxTheSpot Sun 02-Sep-12 12:42:28

Sorry I posted earlier but I've now namechanged smile

My pledge for September is to take my lunch to work every day. It's only 2 days (3rd is at home and I'll eat from the store cupboard) but every little helps right grin

economymode Sun 02-Sep-12 12:59:52

Thanks for all those links, fluffy!

Badvoc, nice to see you back. Sorry you've had a rubbish couple of months, money-wise. Fingers crossed that September is better for you.

I have had some good news! For those of you who aren't aware, someone drove into my car, leaving it needing a new wing. I thought whoever it was would never fess up. BUT, there was a note through the door this morning from next door but one, saying that they reversed into it at 4am last Saturday while leaving for holidays. They, fairly enough, didn't want to wake us so put a note through when they got back. Now I'm in the peculiarly awkward situation of asking for money from people down the road (she did say she'd pay for damage...)...

Badvoc Sun 02-Sep-12 13:03:54

The aldi mayo is gorgeous.
I also used asda own brand oats and condensed milk for my flapjacks and can't tell the difference at all!
Am going down a brand In all things next week...I am notoriously fussy but I honestly can't tell the difference...
Spent a bit today at church as there was a charity cake sale...the kids had made them.
Now have no money from the £100 left this week(my sil owes me £5 though)
Will have to take £10 from next week!!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 02-Sep-12 13:25:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoerWarKids Sun 02-Sep-12 14:19:25

This week, I had no spend days on Wed, Fri and Sat! If I can resist going out to buy chocolate, today will be too smile

Things I've started doing to economise;

Going down one brand, I've never bought branded stuff like Heinz anyway, but now I'm going from regular Sainsbury's down to Basics, IYSWIM. If something's really horrid I won't buy it again but I'm trying everything to give it a chance.

Walking instead of the bus (no car. This means I have to get up earlier sad but I need to get my arse in gear as I'll lose weight, which is much needed

Make my own lunch instead of buying it out

Buying bread reduced instead of full price. I only use bread for toast so this makes total sense to buy it when it's 19p instead of 99p and stick it on the freezer.

I've realised the key to being frugal and managing money is forward planning and organisation. I'm the most disorganised person ever blush so I'm really trying to remedy this.

Badvoc do you have a recipe for the flapjacks with condensed milk? They sound amazing!

BoerWarKids Sun 02-Sep-12 14:26:53

Fluffycouldland77 thanks for all those links, I'm a total newb to all this money saving, will have a good read later smile

Bubbless Sun 02-Sep-12 14:28:26

new here [hides]

i think were pretty good (?) with the 'saving money' sitch, but i know my DP is useless and uses my MN account to read stuff, HI!! so he could do with the help!

however, what is this top cash back thing? is it a scam? how does it work..?

CremeEggThief Sun 02-Sep-12 16:40:46

Welcome to all the newbies smile.

Spent about £30 in town today, on bus fares, lunch in Cafe Rouge for DS and I (Their kids' menu for £6.25 is worth a look for a special treat. It covers main, dessert and a drink. There are at least 5 choices and the portion sizes are decent enough.), some Sudafed and S.T.s, an iced lemonade from Costa and some water. I also bought DS a Lego alarm clock as one of his birthday presents. It was £16.65, down from £25, in Boots.

So, that was our treat. Back to frugality for the rest of the week!

eslteacher Sun 02-Sep-12 17:51:37

Hi, my first post here. I've started to get worried about my finances: I have had numerous problems with my car this year and every time opted to get it repaired thinking "oh well at least then it will be fixed and I probably won't have to spend on it again for a while" only for it to then have another problem the next month or so. Has set me back a lot but now have invested so much into it I can't bear the thought of having to buy a new one! Also as I live in mainland Europe now, a lot of my money ends up going on airfares/Eurostar back to the UK to see friends/family. I can see a lot of "big" costs coming up in the next few months (MOT equivalent, tax payments, weddings, insurance payments, travel costs, subscriptions for activities etc) so I am really going to need to watch the everyday spending so that I don't start going into the red every month as I did last month.

I love the ideas I've already seen on this thread for keeping existing "branded" packaging and just topping it up with value when it gets empty! My DP can be a bit fussy about certain value products, but I think it would be great to test out whether he can really taste the difference or if it's just snobbery with this method! Will definitely start trying that out.

Other than that, my aims for this month are:

- To take a packed lunch to work every day, instead of just when I can be arsed
- To buy no clothes/shoes/accessories/make-up/cosmetics. I don't think there is anything I will really need this month, except maybe more shower gel and shampoo. And I may also make an exception if I see a bargainous pair of knee high boots, as my old ones fell apart and I will need some for this winter. But absolutely nothing else, no matter how tempting.
- If I go out with friends, to only drink wine (v cheap here) and not cocktails (which I always get swept along into doing because everyone else drinks them and they are delicious)
- If I end up booking another trip to go to the UK, to book onto the coach instead of by easyjet. The coach is horrible and takes 10 hours but costs peanuts, and if I do the journey overnight I don't have to lose out on too much time with friends/family while I'm there.

Will be checking in regularly to keep myself motivated and keep reading everyone else's progress and fantastic moneysaving tips!

eslteacher Sun 02-Sep-12 17:57:07

Meant to say, so far this September:

1st: 6 euros on some chocolates for a birthday present. Came out of joint grocery account though, which is different to my personal account. Even so, I should have planned in advance and got cheaper chocolates, but we left it until the last minute so fewer options...
2nd: NSD! (hope I have got the terminology right)

I also bought a sh*tload of meat at the end of last month (again with joint grocery account) because a supermarket had a special offer on large volumes. So the freezer is absolutely stuffed with frozen meats of all kind, and I am aiming to have money left over in the grocery account at the end of the month by just using all this frozen meat for our main meals.

Talking of, does anyone have any good and thrifty recipes for pork chops and chicken thighs? I don't usually cook those things a lot so my repertoire is limited...but I'm going to need to get creative!

economymode Sun 02-Sep-12 18:36:51

I think I'm the only one with a husband/partner who really doesn't care whether he's eating branded products or not.

Welcome, riverboat. I'm afraid I'm no use for meaty recipes as I'm vegetarian, but if you have a slow cooker then I'm sure you could do something there.

BonkeyMollocks Sun 02-Sep-12 18:41:32

Thanks Fluffy those links are great!

I have spent £1.90 today on eggs.
Took ds out on his bike so that was a spend free morning.

Going to plan the weekly shop tonight and try and get well within budget!

eslteacher Sun 02-Sep-12 18:49:31

No slow cooker unfortunately. I've read so many recipes round here involving slow cookers that I'm starting to think I could do with one, but at the same time I really don't want to shell out on one in the next couple of months.

I do have a pressure cooker, but I am scared of it. My MIL showed me how to use it as she is a big fan of pressure cookers and is convinced that I waste too much time cooking "normally" over the hob/in the oven. But she then terrified me by telling me how her own mother scalded her face with one by taking the lid off incorrectly! So I am too scared to use it, even though apparently it would save me loads of time...

Good luck for your weekly shop Bonkey.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sun 02-Sep-12 18:54:30

Hello, lurking for ideas as income changing drastically soon and we need to rein in our overspending. Love the idea of the no spend days! Going to read he old threads for ideas.

RabbitsMakeBrownEggs Sun 02-Sep-12 18:55:35

Hello sexy savers, I am jumping in and marking my place.

I am too scared to look at my bank balance and grimly holding on by the skin of my teeth to keeping things going at home. Am currently in week twenty of waiting for my DLA to come through, so you can imagine that I am starting to really feel the impact of all those extra things for coping with my shite health.

This week I really have to post a parcel, as I have been promising a lady for a while and just struggling with health and now money. sad

I have got to:

find cheap or no cost clothing for the kids - both have grown out of their trousers, DD can't do up her jeans, so I am making do with my elastic band trick right now, she thinks it's cool. DS is alright while I can put shorts on him, it's just that his trousers are also short, so need the next size up.

sort out school dinners - once they start school I can stop buying as much in, I'll be fine with cereal, toast and an occasional hot meal, unlike the bottomless pits both my children are, so I have planned on massive savings on food when they both get school dinners.

get DD school shoes - I have a £12 Clarks voucher, so I can get part of the costs towards it. I think DS's shoes still fit him from last term, he had to have his replaced after two terms, so going to try and stretch them out another term to spread costs. Other than that, they got school uniform when I made use of a £100 M+S voucher through Quidco and Sky (also waiting for £100 cashback and used the £30 for first years cost Sky from kids summer holidays fund), and through my darling friend who has a husband who works for Asda (thus discount).

send back a perfume I had an allergic reaction too - getting a refund and products as an apology, this will be my special treat this month as it's my thirtieth birthday.

take photographs and start trying to sell my pile of stuff - it's been collecting for a while, and now I would quite like the space (and money). I need this towards Christmas for the kids, so here's hoping I can cope financially and put it away, and not spend it on day to day crap.

fill out a few forms for grants - have someone from the reablement team helping me to fill out forms and sort out my finances (lets see if they can do better). If I can get a grant towards furniture and stuff to help with my disabilities, then I may be a little bit better off for a while, they are also trying to sort out my council banding to a higher band, and to help with the DLA getting sorted.

go to all three consultant's appointments - triple threat match this month, seeing my rheumatologist, urologist and psychologist, will try to ensure I get them on-side with reports for the DLA and also in helping me to get a bit fitter so I can maybe get out and work a bit. By October I should be all OLOGIST outed.

So hopefully if I can do all that and not spend anything unnecessary (keep me in line folks!) I can start October a little less frazzled and poor.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 02-Sep-12 19:08:15

I think modern pressure cookers are ok though, they ought to be the amount they cost.

£21 in aldi for the weekly shop, £2.39 for the cat food. I just need some pork and cheap curry sauce and thats it for the food shop. I walked around with a calculator again which really helps.

There is a lot of new people here all of a sudden, is something going on I dont know about? or is it because christmas is coming up?

BonkeyMollocks Sun 02-Sep-12 19:13:03

Anyone shop at Lidl?
Going to try it tomorrow I think, anything that I need to avoid?

Fluffy I think Christmas coming up is probably the reason. Suddenly Sep hits and everyone thinks 'shit its only 3 months to go!' grin

RabbitsMakeBrownEggs Sun 02-Sep-12 19:14:38

Summer holidays have us all on our knees, lol. School uniform costs probably have everyone worrying about money. I've dipped in and out before, but this time I really mean it.

SilkInsideAChestnutShell Sun 02-Sep-12 19:26:49

Hello - I was on the Aug thread a bit, but namechanged (h oll er).

I've also decided to have a limit of £100 per week for food, toiletries, cleaning stuff, nappies, everything household! Should be plenty, but thought even having a set figure would be better than aimless spending. Plan is to do the weekly shop, and then withdraw the rest in cash for top up shops. I stupidly did the weekly shop at Sainsbury's though...

Will be completing monthly spreadsheet when DH gets home (fun fun fun). And have lots of ebay listings finishing tonight <crosses fingers>. It's not looking hopeful that I'll make much...

Main aim is to sell pushchair for more than the double one cost. We bought the double one last weekend in the Boots sale - 20% off, £50 worth of advantage card points (make up xmas presents) and £20ish back through Quidco. So that was kind of frugal. And I got my winter boots reheeled rather than buying new ones. Boooooring!

eslteacher Sun 02-Sep-12 19:27:14

I went into Lidl for the first time in years last month (when my finance worries started to mount!)

I don't know if the products they have in Lidl here are the same as in Lidl in the UK. But the massive tubs of yoghurt were delicious, and the cold meats and various tinned stuff I bought were fine too. The only thing I bought that wasn't at all good was sliced gouda cheese (bought in an effort to motivate myself into taking packed lunches to work). The cheese was all dry and hard round the edges of every slice, had to cut quite a bit off. Don't know if it was a one-off or not.

FrillyMilly Sun 02-Sep-12 19:29:44

Hello im a newbie!

I've been good today. Only spent £1 on porridge oats which will last ages. I spend about £70 a week on shopping for 4 of us, one in nappies and on formula. I don't think I could get it down further until he stops having formula. We have quite a bit of credit card debt that we are working on. This month is first back from mat leave so I have been paid for my bank holidays. Managed to get £800 paid off credit cards! Next month is a bit tough as we are renewing our tenancy for £120, renewing my at insurance so £80 deposit and we are down £240 from repairs on a house we rent out. All comes at once!

economymode Sun 02-Sep-12 19:40:48

Rabbits, there's a great thread over in Chat at the moment - kind of like a MN freecycle. Might be worth asking if anyone has any clothes/shoes for your kids.

economymode Sun 02-Sep-12 19:42:12

Oh, and Frilly, we used to bulk buy formula from Amazon when our son drank it. It worked out a few pounds cheaper. He drank Hipp Organic stuff but it's worth seeing if they have whatever you usually buy if it's not Hipp.

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