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I need a very cheap April! What can I do?

(73 Posts)
Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 08:02:31

So, 2013 has been a it of a disaster so far wrt clearing debts!
£250 for a school trip for ds.
We have had to have a new conservatory roof and new back windows for the house due to leaking (£5k in total)
Both dc have needed new clothes and although I got them from e bay it's still a money I have had to find.
I had managed to get my agreed overdraft down to £250 (from £800!) but then a horrid dose of flu, having to buy meds and not keeping an eye on things has meant going overdrawn and bank charges sad
Next month, I should have £300 for food/petrol/misc etc.
I also have 2 family birthdays, although I think my nephew wants money so £20 in a card should do.
I don't think I can do this sad
We eat a lots of fruit and veg and its so expensive!
I buy own brand products mostly.
So taking off petrol and birthdays I reckon I will have £250 for 4 weeks.
I am not the sort of person that can meals from dust and hairspray so please dont suggest making my own lentils smile
Dh and dc take packed lunches to work/school.
Is it better to shop each day for what you really need rather than a large supermarket shop?
I live in a village so tend to do an online shop once a week.
There is a local co op where I could shop each day as necessary...
Any tips?
I really want to get this sorted out this month as we have summer hols, birthdays and a family wedding coming up!...
Thanks x

ScillyCow Sat 16-Mar-13 08:04:59

This week I saved £50 off the weekly shop by switching from Sainsburys to Lidl.
Did all the shopping except meat, fish and milk at Lidl, then got those things from Sainsbos. Shopping for the week was £78 compared to £130 normally.

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 08:08:17

Hmmm...we have an aldi in the next town...

nicewatch Sat 16-Mar-13 08:09:53

Cutting down on expenditure is one solution - extra income is another.

Pretty much anyone should be able to lay their hands on a couple of hundred pounds by ebaying their old stuff. Clear photos taken in full sun if possible, meticulous description of the item (esp faults, and make sure you use the spellchecker and don't use textspeak), tracked postage and you're good to go.

You'd be amazed at what sells. Last month I sold three half-used bottles of old perfume for 70 quid.

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 08:15:06

Yes, we had a big clear out on e bay last year.
I do have a couple,of,things I could sell, I guess.

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Mar-13 08:18:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thingymajigs Sat 16-Mar-13 08:20:41

Yes I agree about eBay, people will buy anything. I had some big expenses this month so I ebayed some dvd's and a guitar and made £130. It really helped me this month.
Switching to Aldi will help and only buy what you need. The biggest thing you can do is to meal plan. See what food you already have first and when you've exhausted your freezer/cupboards options then you can write down a shopping list for some more planned meals.

bamboostalks Sat 16-Mar-13 08:24:24

Some nice kitchen kit that you don't use ie coffee maker, mixer, blender. These sell pretty well in vgc and you don't miss them that's for sure!

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 08:36:52

Well, I usually do a pasta meal once a week, pizza once a week (treat), oven chips with something once a week, rice once a week, then the rest if the time I do potatoes, veg, meat...
I will make sure I have a cupboard full of soup, pasta, rice, flour etc
Will check out e's zero insertion fees this weekend!

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 08:38:00's the topping up that messes me up I think...the popping in for milk and bread and spending £20!

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Mar-13 08:45:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 09:11:46

I think I am just really bad at budgeting smile
I will sort out a proper meal plan.
And go to aldi.

41notTrendy Sat 16-Mar-13 09:17:48

Aldi is great for saving. And the quality is IMO, as good as, if not better than sains/Tesco etc.
Plan every meal, including snacks.
Eat vegetarian meals more often, meat is expensive. Eat more pasta. Polenta is a good substitute for potatoes, great griddled. Even got ds to enjoy it this week.
Sell CDs?
Take out how much cash you have budgeted for the week, don't use your credit card, and when it's gone that's it!

PassTheTwiglets Sat 16-Mar-13 09:27:59

Frozen/tinned fruit & veg is so much cheaper than fresh. Some of it is rank (frozen broccoli - bleurgh!) but some is fine (and frozen often more nutrients than fresh, of course). I've just got DS into tinned peaches - he was costing me a fortune in fresh ones but a tin is about 40p! Of course they aren't as nice but when cash is tight...

Re. oven chips - cheaper to make your own!

Re. packed lunches - could you put in cheaper items? I was putting Organix cereal bars (£2 for 6!) etc. in every day and then I realised that a pack of, eg. hot cross buns is so much cheaper.

chimchar Sat 16-Mar-13 09:30:27

aldi is great for fruit and veg....

YourHandInMyHand Sat 16-Mar-13 09:31:09

Def see what you can stick on ebay. I really need to do this too. Local facebook selling pages are also good I've found.

Other cheap meals to have once a week:
- Soup and crusty bread (I buy those part baked rolls)
- Something on toast (scrambled eggs, beans, spaghetti, etc)
- Egg noodles, mixed stir fry bag (frozen usually cheaper), soy sauce and 5 spice.

When I am skint the first thing I do is write a full list of every bit of food in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. I then write them all into meals in the order they need using up. I'm always surprised when I do this and can usually do at least a week just buying fruit, milk, bread, etc.

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Mar-13 09:31:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeachActiviaMinge Sat 16-Mar-13 09:34:19

We eat a lots of fruit and veg and its so expensive!

Frozen fruit and veg and tinned fruit. Markets at closing time or just say "I've got 10 to spend what can you do for me?"

Feed 4 for 100 a month
A girl called Jack she feeds 2 for 10 a week lovely healthy recipes.
7 a week menu ideas

Hit the supermarkets at about 3-30pm on a Sunday for the mark downs.

bigkidsdidit Sat 16-Mar-13 09:34:40

agree frozen veg is great. IME frozen green beans, peas, sweetcorn, mashed potato and mashed swede are all very good. I just buy fresh onions, garlic, and broccoli really. Fresh fruit or canned, as long as it's canned in juice not syrup it's fnie.

Proper meal planning saves loads. We go to LIDL and spend 50 a week (but there is only me, DH and a 2yo). Plan omelettes and salad one night, baked potatoes one night, make soup...

Try to have 2 or 3 no spend days every week if poss.

I'm off to sell my old perfume on ebay now!

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 09:35:06

I do buy frozen peas and sweetcorn, but frozen carrot and broccoli are pretty bad IMHO.
We do,like soup so can do that.
Freezer and cupboards looking a bit bare ATM as I haven't been shopping due to having flu sad
Had forgotten those!

armagh Sat 16-Mar-13 09:36:51

Badvoc why is frozen brocolli bad?

McGilly Sat 16-Mar-13 10:35:02

Aldi. eBay. Then eBay again. You'll get cash and de-cluttered.

PassTheTwiglets Sat 16-Mar-13 10:39:12

frozen broccoli just goes soggy, I find...

applepudding Sat 16-Mar-13 11:17:31

Definitely go to Aldi. Make a list of all the storecupboard essentials you will need - I do the majority of my weekly shop there and find its good for fresh veg, fruit, meat, tins, things like pasta, rice, bread, cereal, cleaning equipment, and they do free range eggs and chicken a lot cheaper than other supermarkets too. I wouldn't fancy any of their ready meals/frozen meals TBH but I don't tend to eat that kind of food, and it normally works out more expensive any way. Oh, except the pizzas, I always buy 3 pack margarita pizzas so I've got something to feed DS friends on! Packs of frozen fish are good too. I started shopping in Aldi about 18 months ago when we had a new one built near us, at the time my Sainsbury's shop was coming in at £100+ each week, and I do it for about £75 at Aldi, but you could do it a lot cheaper than that, if you do more rice, pasta base meals than meat.

If you find that you are popping out to the local shop for a milk and bread top up and coming back with £20 worth of stuff, just take £5 with you and no cards! Also I sometimes send DS as the 50p for the bar of chocolate he gets for going for me is less than I would spend on other bits I find that I fancy need!

Badvoc Sat 16-Mar-13 12:08:38

I find that frozen carrot and broccoli just turn to mush..could be the way I cook them of course!
Have put some stuff on e bay.
Already bits for the dc for Easter. Oh Blimey, it's mils b day next week!

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