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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.

I know its a bit early but put some cash aside for Amazon Black Friday week in November. I saved a fortune last year on my Christmas shopping - cookbook for a fiver, did boxes deals, toys and jewellery all really heavily discounted.

Don't forget to fill in all the.MN surveys and product tests. In the last year I've had £700 of vouchers, cleaning stiff, baby bath stuff and books. Its well worth the 5minutes each one takes smile

Any Veg or fruit which Izmir getting old gets turned into muffins for snacks for Ds- loads cheaper than baby snacks and freeze really well. Don't throw any fruit away, mix with with natural yogurt and freeze for pudding (depending on fruit you might need to add honey) - mashed bananas in particular are great for this.

Sign up to freerecycle and freegle - I've got all sorts from there including brand new boxed buggy for our holiday. Someone on my local one today is advertising some veg from their organic box scheme that they don't like. Last week I gave away enough clothes to see baby from newborn to a year. I love it grin

Izmir?! is

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 07:53:28

Swap expensive and toxic cleaning products for a mix of white vinegar, water and bicarbonate soda.

Make your own marmalade and jams, for your own home and as gifts. Grow your own veg if you have the time and space.

Buy only one store bought Xmas gift per child and one family gift and start to focus on traditions that do not involve spending money I.e baking gingerbread houses, making decorations, singing together and volunteering at a homeless shelter/food bank.

Get in the habit of batch cooking one day a week and always save and eat leftovers.

If you are really hardcore, raise your own rabbits for meat. A local butcher might be willing to slaughter them for you.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Mon 01-Jul-13 08:59:12

Wow, loads more tips, thanks! Kukeslala Personal info: have DS (nearly 4 - having a birthday party soon so party tips are useful!) who starts school in Sept and baby DD (6mo). Renting our home (hence wanting to save- so we can get a deposit together). Both work (DH ft, me PT).
Loving the frozen cake mix, MN surveys (£700!! Who knew?!), cleaning tips.
Please tell me more about microfibre cloths lavender - do you not need any sprays or anything with it?
dyslexicdespot what are the ratios for your cleaning solution? Does it really work as well?
Definitely want to downgrade xmas a bit, plus I like all the 'buy through the year' tips. We made jam one year, may do that again this autumn.
Growing my own veg always seems to cost more than it saves- I don't think I'm very green fingered!
I've signed up to quidco smile, next on the list freecycle!
re. selling stuff, would anyone recommend ebay? Or is it more cost/hassle than it's worth? Car boot may be better...

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:08:02

Hint heavily at Christmas to family members about getting something useful like a Panasonic Breadmaker. We save so much money making our own bread every day and that's even using organic ingredients, if it wasn't organic it would be really cheap. It's great for making pizza dough too which again is cheaper then frozen pizzas and obviously cheaper than take away.

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:11:24

Also decide what your weekly shopping budget is and stick to it, my DH goes around the supermarket with a calculator (discreetly) while I have the shopping list and once we've spent our budget we stop shopping. It's embarrassing blush but it works. I'm hoping this will give good spending habits to our children...

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:12:07

Oh, and we're vegetarian which must be our biggest money saving factor!

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:36:26

I bake twice a week solely for two DC. I've just popped twelve fairy cakes in the oven for their pudding after their evening meal which they will have along with a piece of fruit. I put them in an airtight container and it will last them three nights, two each each evening as the cupcake cases were quite small, and then once they've been finished midweek they will have yogurts for pudding with fruit and then I will bake again Friday ready for weekend so they can have puddings after lunch etc.

By the way, the Tesco Value chocolate covering is about 30p and is melted on top of fairy cakes. One pack will cover at least 24 cakes grin

WipsGlitter Mon 01-Jul-13 09:42:09

The best tip I can give is to actually keep track of what you are spending. I kept a spreadsheet for a year and logged every receipt. It made me see how much I frittered away. I don't keep such a detailed one now but do still keep track of my bank account.

This is after learning the hard way.

TVTonight Mon 01-Jul-13 09:45:54

Don't forget about the saving side of things. As someone up thread said get rid of your debt ASAP, including mortgage overpayments. This is where the really big differences happen; I assume neither of you sm

TVTonight Mon 01-Jul-13 09:46:26

Sorry that was smoke and drink only modestly

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 09:52:47

For a day to day cleaning spray in a spray bottle I use a solution of about 50% water to 50% vinegar and just a few sprinkles of bicarb.Bicarb foams a lot when you add it to vinegar so make sure you don't put the lid on the container before it has settled. It works really well for cleaning.

When cleaning very greasy bath tubes or getting off limescale, mix a paste of bicarb, water and vinegar, let it sit for a while, and then scrub.

I think it works just as well as store bought products, and it is so much better for the health of your family.

I agree that growing your own veg can be an expensive pain. The things I tend to grow are herbs, such as rosemary and bay leaves. Very easy to care for and so expensive to buy.

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:53:53

I also plan exactly what we are going to eat each week so there is no wastage and by the end of the week we have a truly empty fridge. I plan what Dc will be eating for packed lunches, puddings, breakfast and also what me and DH will eat and I plan for snacks. Sounds a bit over the top I know, but if I don't do it this way I get sting by top up shops which is extra money being spent, here and there and everywhere grin

We also religiously take our own packed lunches and drinks out on days out. In the summer I look out for things like Jammy Dodgers for 57 p a pack to take with sandwiches and fruit for picnics. There's enough in a pack for a family of four to have two each wink at Christmas time if we are given any Christmas money we always get National Trust family card, beautiful days out which have cost us only petrol to get there.

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 10:00:17

I think salad leaves are worth growing but only really if you have a greenhouse as they're more protected in there from getting munched by something other than you. grin Next year I plan on buying one of those shelf things covered in thick plastic purely to grow salad leaves in. If you sow seeds once a week you should have salad throughout the summer.

dyslexicdespot Mon 01-Jul-13 10:01:49

An other tip would be to ask anyone that lived through the second world war (or any other war) for advice.

You would never catch my grandparents wasting anything. Socks where darned, clothes mended when torn, and made into quilts when they could no longer be mended.

On the subject of National Trust, I read on here that you can join through the Scottish NT and pay monthly. For £5.75 a month I get family membership so we get our moneys worth by taking s picnic.

I'm lucky that I live near a great NT property with loads to do for Ds so I go every week - it has a playground, soft play, discovery centre etc. Parking is £6 for non members so I'm saving £18 a month by being a member. Obviously only a good tip if you live near NT properties.

mommi I have one if those and I'm already overrun with spinach and rocket!

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 10:09:06

Really English that is so exciting! I bet it's yum! What size greenhouse thingy did you buy? I need to choose one grin
Any tips?!

MinimalistMommi Mon 01-Jul-13 10:10:43

Also English I'm very jealous of your NT property with soft play angry we are near three NT properties and none have soft play...well when I say 'near' I mean between 30 and 45 mins drive.

Iwantmybed Mon 01-Jul-13 10:20:04

Get a milkman delivery. Stops the trips to shop for milk and then £30 later you've spent on stuff you don't need. I also do internet shopping into the basket then switch off the computer.

cleoowen Mon 01-Jul-13 10:22:38

I get next size up of baby clothes when they are in the sale. Use tesco vochures,to but things, got chopping board and bang sleep sack recently.

Always,look for offers on eating out.

CerealMom Mon 01-Jul-13 10:29:21

Look in your cupboards to see what you actually need to buy.

I've just done a huge sort of toiletries. I am so ashamed of how much stuff I had bought and some of it had 'gone off' - what a waste.

kiwigirl42 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:43:13

always, alway, always get a new quote for car insurance every year - don't let it just renew. I saved over £200 this morning by spending 10 minutes on the internet on a comparison site.

ratbagcatbag Mon 01-Jul-13 10:46:39

Use Facebook local selling pages rather than ebay. I made over £100 one Friday night listing my DSS toys before Christmas (most boxed) no fees and people collect from your house too. smile

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