I want next year to be my most frugal yet.(90 Posts)
So I've decided that I want to save as much money as possible next year in order to pay of debt & become more self sufficient.
Right now I meal plan, sell things at car boots, we don't drink or smoke, I walk pretty much every where but a car is essential for school runs etc.
I was thinking of starting the year by bulk buying the essentials for the first 6 months possibly the full year depending on what the item is.
Can anyone help? Give tips, what should I buy in bulk if anything at all? Or anything else you can think of.
Google my three favourite blogs to inspire you:
Mortgage free in three
A girl called Jack
Build up a stock cupboard using approved foods (mortgage free in three does this) to really get your weekly food bill down.
Start writing out how many kWh you use per day on electric in a diary to encourage you to cut down.
Try and get someone to give you a breadmaker for Xmas if you don't already have one...preferably a Panasonic LoL
You will save a lot of cash making your own bread.
Oh, and have as many meat free days as you can as this will be much cheaper...
When stocking up on essentials, obviously wait til they are in a great offer. Mysupermarket.co.uk will help you determine good sale prices.
You can often find genuine manufacturers coupons on eBay ( avoid photocopies as these are fraudulent.) I got £30 worth of £5 off Andrex and used them when an 18 roll pack was £6.
Also if you have the time, look at your local discount stores- home bargains, pound world and pound land. But only when you know a good sale price. Sometimes items (like body wash) are cheaper in supermarket offer.
Check out the old style board on Moneysavingexpert.com. All the boards there are great but it would take years to catch up!
Also, on the main site he has a money makeover thing - takes a full day or two but involves checking you are on best rates for electric/gas/bank accounts etc.
Last month I bought a big sack of potatoes from a farm - £3.50. My goodness they have kept us feeed all month and I still have about 2 weeks worth. Jackets, roasts, mash etc. Asmall bag that does about 2 meals from Tescos cost about £1:50. Yes they have cluttered my kitchen but I have found it so useful an money saving.
I'd recommend keeping a diary of your spends... It'll help you spot good and bad patterns, and assess which bulk buys really help, and which turn out to not be as helpful as you'd thought.
Toilet rolls are an obvious candidate for bulk buying, as long as you have space to store them, because you know they're going to be needed, and you aren't likely to go off a particular brand. Be careful bulk buying sun cream, however good the offers at this time of year... You will go to stash it away, and find you've done he same thing every year since 1996, and you've got more than you can use before the stuff goes off. Same with any foodstuff: check the use-by, and be honest about how much you're going to want to use before it expires!
Start the year (or now) with a day sorting out your energy suppliers, mobile phone, home phone, broadband, home and contents insurance, car insurance, life insurance, current and savings accounts, to get the very best deals. It's mind numbingly dull, but once done you could be saving £100 a month without feeling any difference at all.
Ask for a home energy monitor for Christmas, and spend some time with it working out where your leccy is going, and therefore where you can make savings (if your microwave has a clock on it, switch the bloody thing off at the plug!)
Make friends with your freezer and batch cook also stock up on frozen veg and meat that way you'll always have a meal
Save club card points and nectar rewards then use them to do your Christmas shop
Go through your cleaning products and find out which you actually use and which you just keep buying
I'm going to get a small diary and keep a note of my spends and electricity/gas every day I think - good ideas here!
I just joined Nectar adpoints, you get paid to watch ads (you have to click a little box a few times per ad so they know you're watching), think nectar points are worth 0.5p per point (I have over 2000 = £10 odd there to use). It's an easy way to make some money, it's not much but every little helps, I just need to remember to click through them when I shop online and I'd probably have loads more!
some really good tips there, thanks.
I only have a small freezer at the min and was thinking of investing in a large chest freezer. So I can stick pile & batch cook. Just invested in a slow cooker! I have the energy meter so already seen a huge difference between that an my very old cooker
I've been tracking my spending for a few months & think it's pretty much under controll but I intend to be very hardcore next year.... I love a good challenge
I've saved up some points so I'll use those for Christmas & start a new in January.
Going to try & grow veg in a little plot out back any tips there would be fab.
Ooh Hippy would love to join you!! I've got all our utilities switched and reduced to best deals I could find...only one left is my mobile at £15, I can change that come Dec.
I withdraw £50 cash ow and that's my budget, when its gone, it's gone!
I've started a journal on the Mortgage Free in Three site, Elaine is a real inspiration
What sort of things are best bulk bought?!
Groupon! They currently have toilet rolls on sale in bulk.135 £32. I got 2 lorslots so shouldn't have to buy any for nearly a year. Just waiting for kitchen towels to be on there so I can bulk buy them too.
Whilst pregnant, mat leave rapidly approaching, I bought 3 huge boxes of fairy washing powder & conditioner from a cash & carry.
Was enough for 12 months. Still got a box left.
Chest freezer yes, defo. Buy cheap bread & freeze. Batch cook & freeze.
Farm foods do frozen veg £1 per bag, chicken fillets, 3 big bags for £10, about 6 weeks worth for our house. (4of us).
Slow cooker, any veg left in fridge at the end of the week, Chuck into slow cooker make soup. Freeze.
I buy meat very little. One week I buy bacon, following week pork chops, following week mince .....
Never throw anything away. Spuds left in the pan boxed up & frozen.
Shop at Aldi, cook from scratch where possible.
How about laundry gloop? littlecottagecomforts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/some-handy-hints-little-bit-of-thrift.html I find its good for coloureds, but not whites.
We use sainsburys smart price tea too, it's only 27p for 80 and dh never noticed when we changed. I bulk buy 15 boxes at a time, sometimes it goes up to 35p but it usually comes back down. Not that supermarkets act as a cartel or anything
I buy a lot of the basics items from Sainsburys. Most of them are quite good.
I've cut back from using a pack of mince to 1/2 pack of mince for certain meals - spag bol, chili, lasagne. Nobody has noticed at all, which means the mince goes twice as far as before.
Definitely check out the OS (old style) board on moneysavingexpert. Really good ideas there.
I always keep something that's easy to toss into the oven at the last minute in the freezer - like frozen pizza or frozen veg and fish, basically stuff that can be cooked from frozen. It's when I'm too tired to deal with supper that I tend to cave in and spend money on a takeaway - but if I have quick and easy stuff to throw in the oven, I'm less likely to spend the extra on takeaway.
Moneysavingexperts mortgage free wannabe forum is good. One woman was repaying £30 here & whatever was in her current account at the end of the month so she wasn't tempted to spend it. She made inroads into her mortgage.
I'm just piping up to say thanks for the tips. I want to be frugal but splurge now and then. I do take out a weekly allowance in case and limit myself to that. I often have something left over at the end of the week. This thread has made me think. I'm thinking of taking out less and if it's still unspent at the end of the month I can put it toward the mortgage!
Look at your spending - write everything down and categorise it all. Then look at the biggest thing you can change and work it down. The money you save per category should immediately go somewhere, not just float about the kitty. So if you knock 3.87 off your monthly insurance premium, add it to your monthly credit card payment or put it straight in savings.
What really helped me for grocery spending was taking one regular item at a time, getting to know its price and looking at ways to reduce the cost - either by buying elsewhere, substituting for different brand/package size or stretching it out.
Sounds mad, but we used to do 5 packed lunches a week and would buy a pack of 6 choc biscuit type things or multipack of crisps. We used five of them in the packed lunch then someone would snack on number 6 as it was laying about the kitchen. I started to hide this bonus sixth item, then every 6 weeks we would have a week without buying any and could either save the money for a breadmaker etc. or invest it in storecupboard staples. Once the big ticket spends are sorted out, I believe it is these small economies which add up to make the difference. Tightwad Gazette woman talks about rolling forward these incremental savings into a saving snowball. Of course, it would have been cheaper not to buy these prepackaged snacks in the first place - but that was my starting point.
For bulk items, I keep an Amazon wishlist with my target price as the comment - the prices fluctuate and occasionally I score a good deal on a tray of tinned tomatoes or toilet roll etc. Look for giant sacks of spuds and carrots from grocers/farm shops. But most deals come round again soon enough, so I tend not to stockpile too much these days.
Good luck - I really enjoy the feeling of control and generally freedom from The Man that being frugal gives me, but I have much more to do.
mum2fergus hop on board, the more the merrier! that's great mortgage free is such an inspiration. We're trying to save for a plot so I can build my dream Eco house currently renting a very old house.... no where near Eco.
Triggle great idea, takeaway is so tempting especially at the weekend.
Love laundry gloop, that idea makes me very
I live in NI so no Aldi at all or Sainsburys (where we live) & Groupon offers are amaze, almost bought that loo roll offer one night when I was up feeding the baby. Decided to wait, read the small print the next day & they charge £24 delivery to here!! That mad me sad lol
Souperb, I love your chocolate biscuit plan... It does sound trivial, but at stuff adds up. Maybe every couple of months or so, I'll have a week where I try to make do without shopping. It means I have to get creative with whatever's in the cupboards and freezer. We end up with pasta bakes made with non-matching pasta shapes, Toad in the hole made with the end of a bag of flour and frozen veggie burgers instead of sausages, and assorted-vegetable soup served with the naan bread from the back of the freezer... All a bit random, but it makes us laugh, and it's a real bonus those months when it's 5 weeks between pay days! Usually have to top up with a box of eggs and a couple of pints if milk, but it's amazing how far you can get.
Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves...
I try to watch the portions on things - if we have a huge pan of lasagne, sometimes we'll eat more than we should. So I dish out appropriate portions that we'll be eating and then cover up the rest and let it cool to put in freezer. That way it doesn't get eaten when we don't really need to IYSWIM.
I buy the basics bread at Sainsburys, about 6 loaves at a time, and they go in the freezer until we're ready to take a loaf out to use.
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