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Can we have a 'best money saving tip' thread please?

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PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 11:38:33

Myself and DH have decided that we really need to have a frugal couple of years to start properly saving some money. I think the MSE website is good but can be a little overwhelming- so much info! What are your best tips for curbing spending?

My tip: meal plan, cook in bulk, freeze individual portions. Lasagne and pasta bake seem to freeze well and are cheap to make.

Allthingspretty Sun 30-Jun-13 11:49:41

Calculate things on a per 100g or ml basis especially when there is offers on in the supermarket
For toiletries buy when they are on offer anf if possible buy in bulk
Orange wednesdays for the cinema
Cinema snack from the poundsjop and b and m bargains

RoseFlowerFairy Sun 30-Jun-13 12:18:40


ChocsAwayInMyGob Sun 30-Jun-13 12:23:51

I found that doing a meal plan saved about £30 a week. i.e Shepherd's Pie Monday, cook unused mince for a chilli, cook a chicken one night, chicken risotto the next day... everything doubles up and you don't buy non essentials.

SpottyTeacakes Sun 30-Jun-13 12:25:50

I can make a 500g pack of mince last four meals between 2.5 of us (dd is 3) but bulking it out with lentils/beans etc. Dp doesn't feel like he's losing out on the meat and it's cheap and healthy.

dyslexicdespot Sun 30-Jun-13 12:28:38

eBay for clothes, the library for books, iplayers for per-recorded tv shows so you can get rid of the cable bill and your tv license.

Start running instead of going to the gym( if you do, that is).

dyslexicdespot Sun 30-Jun-13 12:29:25

Oh, and only eat meat once or twice a week, or not at all.

PrincessWellington Sun 30-Jun-13 12:29:26

Take a packed lunch with you to work including drinks
Don't buy anything when out for the day - take drinks, snacks etc for family days out.
When you want to buy something, buy it online, put it in the basket but don't click purchase. Come back the next day before buying - avoids impulse purchases.

FinallySaidMama Sun 30-Jun-13 12:31:36

If you need to renew your car insurance/gas supplier/broadband provider etc then find the cheapest through one of the comparison sites, then go to TopCashBack and sign up through them. It seems a bit of a faff but the money to be made is great. I got £70 back for my life insurance, £40 for my Broadband, and £40 for my dual fuel.

All of these I'd researched and made sure I was getting the cheapest deal anyway, so the extra money was just fab!

PrincessWellington Sun 30-Jun-13 12:44:11

Utilise tesco clubcard for their days out. We haven't paid for a day put in two years.

SuburbanCrofter Sun 30-Jun-13 16:36:37

Get a monitor for your electricity, so you can see how much you are using. We were surprised that the lights in some of the rooms were really expensive! We cut our bills by about 20%.

Look on comparison sites for insurance, utilities etc. to check you are paying the lowest price.

Cut down on meat consumption.

Second what others have said about taking packed lunches on days out. Take drinks too, get flasks so they stay cool, or to keep tea and coffee warm. Drinks for a family can come to almost a tenner in service stations etc!

If your children have packed lunches, buy a packed lunch box with compartments, and a cool flask/beaker. You can then buy in bulk and put some in every day, rather than having to get packs of everything - juice boxes, raisin cartons, even packets of crisps can be replaced. Buy clips to close packets and keep things fresh for the next use.

I'll post more when I think of it.

noisytoys Sun 30-Jun-13 16:42:19

Choose a set amount to save and save it at the start of the month and lie with what is left. Don't wait til the end of the month and see what is left because there is never anything left.

PrincessWellington Sun 30-Jun-13 17:48:22

In addition - don't buy individual servings e.g. Fruitshoots, cans of coke. Buy a refillable bottle and use that every day. Fruit shoots are extortionately priced for what is essentially squash

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 17:55:33

Thanks everyone, great tips! Re Aldi, we don't have one near us but we do have a Lidl- anyone know what I should stock up on there? Thinking I should do a once a month Lidl bulk buy.
Re meat, I'm veggie and DH has finally agreed to cut down a bit so that should help.
I'm pretty good at taking packed lunches/snacks but not so good with drinks. Need to invest in some flasks! Love the kids lunchbox idea- any other tips re. school? DS starts in Sept.
Electricity monitor- any recommendations for a certain one? They seem to vary in price a lot.
Finallysaidmama - thanks for the cashback advice- I'd been toying with that idea for a while- you've convinced me!

Fairydogmother Sun 30-Jun-13 17:57:19

Lurking for tips!

specialsubject Sun 30-Jun-13 18:03:10

stop buying clothes for adults. Only buy when something you regularly wear is worn out.
stop buying books. use the library
stop buying magazines.
cut to one newspaper a week.
cook double, freeze half. If you are throwing away any food except peelings and teabags, stop wasting it and look to your shopping.
no takeaway drinks - if you are thirsty and in a town and forgot your water bottle, go to the supermarket and buy a bottle of water for 30p. Otherwise never buy bottled water.

shop around for car and home insurance at each renewal - takes some hours but should save a lot of money.

SuburbanCrofter Sun 30-Jun-13 18:04:34

This is the sort of lunchbox I mean, OP:

I like to make it look appealing, by putting mixes in the seperate sections - eg. raisins mixed with cashew nuts, or cucumber sticks with diced cheese.

DS also has a Gruffalo water bottle, which I fill with apple juice from a large carton, rather than buying the individual ones. I even make a packet of crisps last two days by emptying half into one of the lunchbox sections, and saving the rest!

Am I starting to sound a bit geeky??

starsandunicorns Sun 30-Jun-13 18:10:47

The meat and veg in lidl are very good. I go every saturday when it opens ( normaly there 5 mins before doors open ) and go straight to the discount section of there meat and always get good deals.

The shower gel is good and the cheese is good 2:50 for 400g

I buy cheese milk and bread and freeze it.

HildaOgden Sun 30-Jun-13 18:18:41

Toiletries and cleaning products are good in Lidl,their bathroom mousse is brilliant.

Make a list....and stick to it.Don't shop when hungry (definitely stops the impulse junk purchases)

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:09

Shop at Aldi. But don't buy the rose toro loco wine. It's all mine.

Yama Sun 30-Jun-13 19:14:13

Ach, everyone else has already suggested my tips.

I shall reiterate a few (just so that you know they work).

*Whatever you are cooking, stick half in the fridge for the next night.
*Packed lunches - we take in lovely salads in old ice cream tubs.
*I split loaves of bread into 3 and freeze 2 portions.
*Same with rolls/pancakes etc.
*We go nowhere without a bag of our own food.

I can't remember the last time I bought clothes. Aldi's Lacura range takes care of my beauty needs.

When ds was born we swapped dd's old clothes with someone on Gumtree. About 6 binbags full.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 19:51:00

Great, will buy that lunchbox! Thanks for the link.
We do the making food in bulk and freezing- definitely have issues with bread though - I either don't buy enough or have too much and have to bin it (I hate waste and try to aim for specialsubject's 'only teabags and peelings'). Like the idea of freezing it in 3rds.
Thanks for the Lidl tips- I thought it would just be good for olive oil and pasta!
I hardly ever buy clothes for me and tend to buy/inherit 2nd hand for the children (DD wears a lot of boy clothes handed down from DS!).
Keep the tips coming, these are great thanks

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 19:55:05

suburban I just bought one for me and one for DS - total of £7.95 inc p+p - bargain!

MunchMunch Sun 30-Jun-13 20:03:02

Quidco/top cash back and Hot UK Deals (HUKD)

Ive had hundreds paid to me just because I go through quidco to buy something, anything! Online instead of going straight to the retailers website, you can also register your cards for instore cash back.

I also don't buy anything without checking HUKD, love it near Christmas for bargains.

GinOnTwoWheels Sun 30-Jun-13 20:15:10

Second all the other tips about using Lidl and Aldi for groceries, and not buying drinks/snacks out or when at work - it is quite easy to spend a significant 3 figure sum on these items alone each year.

Home Bargains/Wilkinsons can be a lot cheaper than supermarkets for cleaning products.

Organise your finances so you don't pay overdraft charges. Make sure you're on the best deal for everything (mortgage/rent, utilities, phones/broadband, insurances etc etc). If you have satellite TV, phone and threaten to cancel to get a discount. Think about the car(s) you have and if you need them. Can you swap for older ones and save the sales proceeds or get smaller/more fuel efficient ones to save on fuel/tax/insurance.

Get a sim only mobile contract and keep your existing phone - these can cost about £10-15 pm instead of £35+ for contracts including the latest smart phone. Over 2 years if this saves £20 pm each, that's almost a grand saved, just for having a slightly older phone!

If you pay for childcare, can you get childcare vouchers.

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