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

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

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.

curryeater Wed 03-Jul-13 09:58:20

I don't get the saving shrapnel thing. If you kept it in your purse, and spent it on milk and bread or whatever, the equivalent money you did not take out of the cashpoint would be sitting in the bank earning (admittedly nugatory) interest. Surely this is only a good tip if you would otherwise have thrown it away - and who would do that?*

*DP. He seriously thinks shrapnel is not money. He doesn't literally throw it away, but he leaves it around in exactly the same manner that he leaves lying around everything else he considers to be rubbish and expects me to throw away. I scoop it up and spend it.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 03-Jul-13 09:58:20

I buy boxes of notecards from the Works for 1.99 BOGOf. You end up getting 2 packs of nice cards with envelopes for a pound each. I use them as Thank you cards, party invites, birthday cards and sympathy cards. They come in themed packs with say, balloons, flowers, cupcakes, etc.

SonShines Wed 03-Jul-13 10:04:16

I haven't read through so may be repeating...

- At the fish counter in supermarkets skinless fish costs more than fish with skin on.... if you want it skinless ask the fishmonger to take it off - no extra charge!

- Use old muslins for spills instead of kitchen roll. Flannels instead of wipes.

- Websites like TablePouncer give 50% of total cost of a meal out - great for special occasions. You have to book on the day, or just a day in advance though.

I do have to say though that although supermarkets are the most competitive, they are cornering the market, and soon there will be no independent shops...the more we use these independent shops now the more chance they will stick around. It's terrifying what the likes of Monsanto and Tesco are doing, and if we keep giving them our money they will soon have the monopoly and we'll have no choice but to pay what they ask. Independent shops aren't always more expensive, and shopping in them has more of a reward than just saving a few pennies.

siblingrevelry Wed 03-Jul-13 10:06:11

Shopping at Poundland is a great idea, but it's very easy to rack up £50 just chucking stuff in a basket (the same happens in IKEA kitchen dept - everything seems to be 50p but before you know it you've spent £200!), so keep mental check as you go round, then do a 'sense check' before the till and take out the stuff you don't really need.

Also, be aware that pound shops aren't always the cheapest option for everything. For example, I buy paracetamol tablets from Tesco at 19p a packet, whereas they're 3 for £1 at poundland. Likewise, baby food/snacks, handwahs/shower gel etc are often better purchased when on offer in supermarkets (a bag of organix crisps is 86p in supermarkets, £1 in pound shops).

Could list loads of examples - suffice to say it pays to exercise caution and shop around.

AudrinaAdare Wed 03-Jul-13 10:13:16

curryeater I used to put all my coppers into the charity pots at the shops but some people literally do throw them away. There's a corner shop in the middle of a very deprived estate near me and the outside is littered with what DD calls, "lucky pennies" confused

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Wed 03-Jul-13 10:21:56

OK, I have a money saving and weight loss tip! Weigh out the recommended amount of cereal to see how much you're meant to have- I did it and it looked tiny. I'd got into the habit of filling my bowl (sometimes twice blush) and was getting through 1-2 boxes a week blush. It now takes ages to finish a box of cereal, plus it helped me lose all the baby weight grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:25:51

sib I agree aout PoundLand, also sometimes packet sizes are made smaller too. I think good deals can be found there and it's also good to have a root around on the shelf. Last week I was looking to buy a pack of Terry's Chocolate Orange bars and Packs of four were near the counter and packs of three were on the shelf with the rest of the chocolate... hmm

MinimalistMommi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:28:18

Agree with Plate is what we do! I always weigh all our cereal and have taught my eight year old how to do it too otherwise extra will almost always be tipped out.

I sometimes also weigh cheese if I know it needs to stretch to a specific number of meals in a week that will need cheese so I make sure I don't run out.

MinimalistMommi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:32:28

Also write down all your meals that you and your family like, work out the typical cost of each one and then you know which are the cheaper meals so you can work them into your weekly meal plan. I know Lentil and Tomato soup is cheap with homemade bread so we have that most weeks. It costs a little over a £1.00 for a family of four and that's organic ingredients too.

MinimalistMommi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:33:06

£1.00 is just for the Lentil and Tomato soup not the bread.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Wed 03-Jul-13 10:45:47

That sounds nice minimalist - don't suppose you could give us your recipe?

KvassInTheNight Wed 03-Jul-13 11:39:05

Most cinemas have Saturday morning showings of kids films for £1 a ticket. We go to the O2 every Saturday taking our own snacks, it's a fun trip out -especially in winter.

Buy stuff in advance- Christmas decs in January etc.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 03-Jul-13 11:54:03

All shrapnel in our house goes in the change jar. It has a counter on the lid so the kids love putting it in. Last time I emptied it there was 26 quid in there!

amazingmumof6 Wed 03-Jul-13 12:36:55

reading with interest.

confusedofengland Wed 03-Jul-13 13:08:23

We put all our £2 coins in a money tin that you can't open without a tin opener! Must be at least £100 in there so far, but hopefully we won't open it until it's full & there'll be at least 3 times that! We don't miss it, as it just goes straight in there, whereas if I had £2 in my purse, I'd probably spend it.

Also have today hidden the ham & cheese intended for sandwiches in the salad drawer of the fridge & left yellow-label pork pies visible. Living with my dparents for the time being & my Ddad always wants a meaty snack when he gets in from work (despite dinner being about 10 minutes away hmm), and will polish off stuff for sandwiches given half the chance, which means I'm constantly having to restock (am buying all groceries while we're here as they won't accept housekeeping money).

silverten Wed 03-Jul-13 13:08:38

Christmas crackers are cheapest in the weeks after! Just don't store them in the loft!

amazingmumof6 Wed 03-Jul-13 13:17:24

DH does the fireworks at our kids' school, he buys the lot waaaay cheaper in the summer, typically in July - August

LaGuardia Wed 03-Jul-13 13:42:30

Get a second job.

HorseyGirl1 Wed 03-Jul-13 14:06:59

Love these type threads - always get ideas here.
Three things we do.

cut kitchen washing up sponges in half. Won't notice the difference and they will last twice as long.

cut end off tube of toothpaste. You will get a few more days out of it which is handy at the end of the month

Keep a bottle of cordial at your desk in work and bring a glass. No need to buy a drink at lunchtime.

MostlyCake Wed 03-Jul-13 14:11:49

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!

MostlyCake Wed 03-Jul-13 14:12:03

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

redrubyshoes Wed 03-Jul-13 16:31:51

If I fill up with Tescos petrol I get 50 miles per tank less than if I use BP or any other petrol station.

Has anyone else noticed this? My DH and I clocked our mileage and it did work out the same for both of us.

Tescos petrol seems to be used up more quickly. If you drive a lot then check it out and prove us wrong please.

piratecat Wed 03-Jul-13 16:44:25

i have definitely notice this with tesco petrol.

I was talking to someone who said a few yrs back the very same lorry used to fill up both the Tesco and the Esso near him, so not sure how thay would work.

Unless they have changed their suppliers.

OliviaYouCannotBSeriousMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Jul-13 18:02:22


Fluffycloudland77 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:03:56

Dh says the same about morrisons v sainsburys. Annoyingly he is right.

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