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How can I cut costs?

(45 Posts)
Madratlady Tue 19-Feb-13 11:02:50

My husband and I (no kids yet) are struggling to find ways to cut our costs. Any suggestions for making money go further would be really welcome.
- we rent in an area where all housing is expensive
- lots of debt (mostly his from before we met)
- Car on finance (regretting this a lot)
- we live in a small village so get all our shopping delivered from Tesco
- we don't go out a lot, aren't big drinkers and don't spend much money on non essentials
We both earn good ages but it barely covers our outgoings. Anything unexpected like a car repair or vets bill is a nightmare.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 17-Mar-13 18:00:47

There's a book on amazon called the takeaway secret. It's well reviewed, I heard about it on mse.

After I checked out our local takeaways last environmental health check I decided take aways were not for me really.

Domjolly Sun 17-Mar-13 15:48:45

Instead of having a takeaway try M&S £10 meal deal wich includes wine its more than half the price of a teakeaway

Timeforabiscuit Sat 02-Mar-13 16:44:04

Glad the budget is going well! I found courgettes and sugar snap peas the easiest and most satisfying to grow - you get loads out for the cost and effort you put in.

Madratlady Sat 02-Mar-13 15:46:17

Well we've changed to Asda, this week's shopping cost the same as Tesco did, but we needed a lot of stuff and I could probably have got things a little cheaper by using more quorn/meat substitutes. They also do free 'click and collect' so no more delivery fees smile Next time I'm in town I'll check out ALDI.

I'm going to start looking into things I can plant soon, I like the idea of taking up gardening!

And the new budget is looking great, I also have more opportunities for overtime now I' working for the nursing agency full time, so our income has increased a bit. Only a little but it'll keep us out of the red.

To those who suggest downsizing, we can't/ don't want to for a few reasons:
1) we can't afford the cost of moving right now
2) I don't want to end up struggling for space when we have kids, which will hopefully be very soon. DH is a musician (hobby, not job) so unfortunately we have a lot of band gear to store, so we need either a spare room or garage. Not ideal but I don't see any other option.
3)Our current 3 bed house costs roughly what a 2 bed generally costs round here, we were lucky to find somewhere so cheap, and it's a nice house too.
4) We have lots of pets, we'd be unlikely to find another landlord that was so laid back with a house that we could afford.

InMySpareTime Sat 02-Mar-13 07:48:34

Growing things like beetroot, chilli, shallots, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, runner beans, courgettes, herbs from seed saves a lot of money.
Also, fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, dwarf apple trees, blackberries do well in large pots or raised beds and fruit year after year.

IamMummyhearmeROAR Sat 02-Mar-13 07:34:40

No- from the east of Scotland x

PearlyWhites Fri 01-Mar-13 09:05:20

Yes we call it "the asda" are you from Liverpool Iammummy?

bubbles1231 Thu 21-Feb-13 22:20:05

changed from!!

bubbles1231 Thu 21-Feb-13 22:19:42

we chabge fron shopping at tesco to shopping at aldi and our weekly shop has dropped from £100 to £70 per week. Thats a family of 4 with 2 growing lads. (and the friut & veg is nicer)

forevergreek Thu 21-Feb-13 22:13:22

i would def downsize property if possible. how big is it? (saying that as someone with 2 little ones in a 1 bed, out of choice due to huge savings and a better lifestyle that comes with it)

LadyKooKoo Thu 21-Feb-13 22:05:50

Yep, I get your point smile I just like growing my own stuff. I hate that supermarkets rule the roost and there are no greengrocers within walking distance.

BreadForMyBREADGUN Thu 21-Feb-13 22:04:28

Ok, maybe not a bag, but my point was they're about the cheapest veg you can buy. Grow expensive things smile

LadyKooKoo Thu 21-Feb-13 21:49:43

9p a bag? Where are you buying your carrots?!

BreadForMyBREADGUN Thu 21-Feb-13 21:46:48

Don't plant carrots in hanging baskets - they're about 9p a bag, so growing them doesn't save you any money. Plant things that cost loads in the supermarket

LadyKooKoo Thu 21-Feb-13 21:27:38

They are great. Some of my baskets are about 3 foot across and two foot deep so perfect for things like carrots and parsnips. I line them with moss which helps too.

Madratlady Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:46

FamiliesShareGerms I agree about not being completely hair shirted. We don't eat out or get takeaways at the moment, but we go out and have 2 or 3 drinks each a couple of times a month (soft drinks for me anyways, I don't really drink). I will try cutting down on meat though, I like trying new recipes so it will be a good challenge to cook 'meat free'.

LadyKooKoo I never thought about growing stuff like carrots in hanging baskets <skips of to the garden centre>

LadyKooKoo Thu 21-Feb-13 21:14:14

If your garden turns into a swamp then have hanging baskets - I grow everything in them. Tomatoes. Green beans. Parsnips. Carrots. Strawberries. Blueberries. You name it, I have probably grown it!

BreadForMyBREADGUN Thu 21-Feb-13 20:22:06

Obviously 'regime' is meant to say 'rehome'

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 21-Feb-13 20:17:51

I think OP's user name is a good indication of her view of her pets!

I'm with you OP on pets being part of the family, and FWIW have never found pet insurance to be much good (the excess still needs paying every time, and the amount of pre-existing conditions and other get out clauses means the premiums cost more than saving for a rainy day)

Don't be a label / supermarket snob.

Cut out meat for at least 3-4 meals.

Cut down alcohol consumption.

Don't be completely hair shirted, or you will end up splurging to treat yourself and spend more than a monthly take away, for example

Measure out things like washing powder rather than just slopping it in

BreadForMyBREADGUN Thu 21-Feb-13 20:09:00

Special - you can't actually be seriously suggesting that the op regime her pets, or not give them medical care if they need it? Really? shock

Madratlady Thu 21-Feb-13 19:32:58

Special I have to disagree with you about not taking the rats to the vets. Whilst I have to draw the line somewhere about how far I would go to treat an elderly rodent, I believe that they should still have as much right to treatment as the cats and rabbits. I love them and would never leave them ill without treatment. It's a necessary part of pet ownership, and something that I feel very strongly about.

Timeforabiscuit We have sold some things, and would sell anything else we didn't ant or use, but can't sell everything! I want to try growing some veg, but the back garden turns into a swamp whenever it rains. May try some pots of veg though.

Timeforabiscuit Thu 21-Feb-13 17:46:59

* sorry supermarket of choice is Aldi

Timeforabiscuit Thu 21-Feb-13 17:46:28

I'd third changing your supermarket - family of four for everything including toiletries down to £75 per week very comfortably with four cut meat meals.

I did a shop in Asda and nearly had a heart attack.

Other than that does he have any other assets? DVD's, Games/game consoles, watches/jewellery - music magpie for CD collections.

What about phone contracts, utility bills, tv packages, internet, phonebill?

Do you have a large back garden where you could grow your own cheap veg - green beans/courgettes?

specialsubject Thu 21-Feb-13 17:28:35

cheers for the response. I assume if the rats get sick you won't be going to a vet! Cats are the main thing, a friend had hers die on her today a few days AFTER the very expensive operation.

hope you can get rid of the car soon. Good luck!

Madratlady Thu 21-Feb-13 10:53:58

I didn't know about MySupermarket and MyUtility before so thanks for that!

SpecialSubject These are debts that his ex fiancee ran up in his name years ago. It's in a payment plan which now only has a few months left on it. Unfortunately he is bad at budgeting which he admits. That is why I deal with all our finances now and he runs any expenditure past me first. He suggested this system and it works.

Our pets are family members. They will not be rehomed. I'm insuring the cats and rabbits but the rats can't be insured.

As for the car, that was my mistake when I graduated and passed my driving test. Very bad idea, I see that now. I think I may be able to give the car back in a few months and get a cheap second hand car.

Charlesroi When I said things would be OK when the debts were paid off, I meant that then we could start to save. We both have good incomes, unfortunately our outgoings are currently quite large, when we're not paying big chunks of debt any more we'll have a lot more money!

<sigh> Roll on September when we'll be debt free and I'll be much less stressed!

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