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how do you not - ????

(20 Posts)
annielostit Tue 20-Jan-15 11:00:42

How do you lovely people not spend cash on stuff, food etc?
Do you plan, only draw cash out or use debit cards?
I'm trying a serious economy drive this month and wondered how others pay.

Taytocrisps Tue 20-Jan-15 11:28:28

We've a spreadsheet which details our income (two salaries + child benefit) and our expenditure (mortgage and bills - most are paid by direct debit).

Whatever is left after we take into account all our bills (not as much as we'd like smile) is ours to spend on childcare, food, presents, clothes etc. Every two weeks we withdraw the balance and put the childcare money into envelopes (week 1 and week 2 - this can't be touched). Then we do a big food shop to last us two weeks. We hold onto the rest of our money and split it between us. DH has to pay for parking some days at work. Or we may have an unexpected expense e.g. a visit to the G.P. So it's important to have a cash reserve.

Passthecake30 Tue 20-Jan-15 17:34:00

Think before you buy.....anything!

newtonupontheheath Tue 20-Jan-15 17:43:43

Try to identify where your weaknesses are and avoid avoid avoid. For me it is 2 things- big superstore supermarkets (mainly sainsburys near work) and the little shopping parades that have home bargains, b&m, etc. I thought it was "allowed" as I might buy a few bits for the dc, stock up on birthday presents, bargains, etc. But I could easily spend £30-40 a time. Now I don't go, or think about what I need to buy and only buy that or takes dh and dc with me then I have no opportunity to browse!!

annielostit Tue 20-Jan-15 17:45:21

I have been thinking before I buy. I took cash out of bank Monday, enveloped for fuel & Christmas, early some may think but we came out of the last one with NO debt.
I need to menu plan my freezer now.

Clutterbugsmum Tue 20-Jan-15 18:13:26

May sound simple, but don't go shopping unless you need to. When you do your weekly shop buy enough bread and milk for the week. Then freeze what you don't need until later in the week so you don't have to go to the shop for 2 pints of milk and a loaf of bread and then spend £50 on stuff you don't need.

WellTidy Tue 27-Jan-15 15:13:54

I have unsubscribed from loads of email notifications things. So I don't get to hear about new stock, discounts, special prices etc, and I am not tempted to browse and grab a bargain. I know that I don#'t need the things they are telling me about. If I did, I would identify them independently, and seek specific items out.

I have unsubscribed from Gap, Zulily, Achica, Phase Eight, White Stuff, White Company, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Pizza Express, Zizi, Ask etc.

I have also canceleld my amazon prime just before it came up for renewal. So now I have to spend �10 on amazon unless I pay for postage. I hate paying for postage, so I really think about whether I need something. I no longer buy little things (say, a single book) all the time.

Over Christmas and new year, we sat down and wrote down all of our essential fixed spends eg mortgage, utilities, insurance etc. And then we made a list of everything else that we spent money on. And then we made an annual budget for each of these. At the end of the mopnth, I allocate what I have spent against the budget for each of those things eg food, presents,

I write down everything I buy. I had a new KTwo Budget Book which I'd never used. Now I write down everything - cash withdrawals, top up food shops on my way home from work, takeaway coffees even. I look back and see where my money goes. And then I decide what was worth spending money on and what wasn't.

DH finds it easier to take out a set amount of cash at the start of the week, and when its gone, its gone.

jimijack Tue 27-Jan-15 15:33:34

Hard at first but habit now.

I have zero spend days usually work days where I don't take my purse with me.

I meal plan, stick to it.
Eat up the stuff in cupboard,fridge & freezer so one day a week I don't buy anything.

Clothes for me from charity shops once every 2 months, maximum spend £10
Kids stuff only sale things, asda/ tesco, charity shops.

I am tight.
I am very controlled, I often say to myself "no, get it next week" usually forget or it will be gone by next week.

I only shop in Aldi, home bargains, b&m bargains so very cheaply. Average spend on food for 4 of us is £50.

The reason for this is we save up for holidays, we have amazing holidays. Worth it imho

confusedandemployed Tue 27-Jan-15 15:39:52

My meal planning has saved me £££££££££££££s. My biggest weakness was mooching around Tesco. Nowadays it's Aldi or Lidl usually, a list of what we need for the meals over the next few days.

I try for at least 2 NSDs per week, but most days are LSDs - easily less than £10. I only really spend at weekends when I take DD to the play centre with my friend and her DDs, then we have lunch on the way home. Probably about £12 total spend. Then the weekly shop, then maybe a few quid on a little luxury - takeaway, or some wine for Saturday night or, - shock, horror - a few beers in the pub! Very occasionally we will have a BIG DAY / NIGHT OUT which will be expensive, but budgeted for usually.

SacredHeart Tue 27-Jan-15 15:46:21

I plan my shopping list and price it up before going but authorise myself a "treat buy" no more than £2 so I feel like I get to browse and indulge on something that wasn't in the plan.

it sound stupid but it really helps keep my need for impulse purchasing at bay.

GemmaTeller Tue 27-Jan-15 15:47:28

I stopped 'nipping' to tesco on a sunday morning for the papers - I easily spent an extra £20 on stuff we didn't need.

When I went out to work I gave myself a £10 note as that weeks 'spends', and mentally made a game of not breaking into it - I saved the £10 up for christmas.

I stopped taking a purseful of money and/or my bank card out with me.

Its surprising how much money gets wasted on nothing significant.

Hoppinggreen Fri 30-Jan-15 10:24:04

I see to be terrible about buying stuff online that I don't need or really want.
Now I add the items to my shopping bag and go back 24 hours later 90% of the time I discover that I really don't want those new shoes/bag/dress or whatever.
Saved me loads of cash, as has doing the food shop online from a shopping list so I don't get tempted by clothes or books and stuff in the supermarket

Mum4Fergus Fri 30-Jan-15 18:57:25

Meal plan and cash budget for the week - when it's gone, it's gone! Unsubscribe from all marketing emails as you receive them. Take lunch to purse or money.

chanie44 Fri 30-Jan-15 19:37:40

I give myself a small weekly allowance for guilt free spends and when it's gone, it's gone.

I rarely buy newspapers, magazines, coffees, snacks, car parking, anymore.

I write down things I want to buy and plan my purchases, where possible.

Go to town as little as possible when I do go, I try to find free parking and eat before I go.

Main food shop in lidl/aldi. Aisle of crap is tempting, but usually far to random to interest me.

Primadonnagirl Fri 30-Jan-15 19:47:31

I just couldn't go to work with no purse! What if?!

Unescorted Sun 01-Feb-15 09:49:59

6 years ago we decided that we had to pay back all our debt so over the years we have developed a very frugal lifestyle. We didn't start all of these things at once - it would have been too much...

We do a monthly shop paid for by debit card & I pick up milk (cash) from the Waitrose at the station when I am rushing to get my train home (annual season ticket - saves 60% on daily prices).

Freesat TV.... no Sky subscription. Films from the library or the bargin bin at the supermarket - if the film was good, it will still be good a few months later. Books from the library.

We only have one car and walk / cycle wherever possible.

The monthly shop (from Aldi & international supermarkets mainly) includes stocking a sweets and treats cupboard and the kids (and dh) know when that is empty it doesn't get refilled until the next monthly shop. The first few months they ate everything inside a couple of days... now they make it last.

I do a rough meal plan for the month and keep a well stocked store & spice cupboard. The plan has the basic all the time meals and something different for the weekend planned into it. It helps if you can think on your feet and have an encyclopedic knowledge of recipes so if something is out of stock or on special you can do a mental substitute. I would highly reccomend The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit for inspiration for putting new flavours together - very helpful for the end of the months when the meal plan has gone a bit wayward.

We also try to cook seasonally & from scratch because it works out cheaper. I learnt how to make those things that make life nice, but are expensive to buy (most are really easy but difficult to transport / come in a nice packet / have big marketing budget) - totillas, chapatis, sourdough bread, beer, wine, flavoured vinegars & oils, "nice" biscuits, dips, crackers, cheese straws, energy bars, hand cut vegetable crisps.... If something is really cheap it is used to make pickles, sauces, jams ect. So this month is marmalade, chocolate dipped orange peel and sourkraut month. March will be used to salt lemons because there will be loads left in the supermarket after pancake day (usually!) and mango chutney. During the Summer months I make the years worth of strawberry & raspberry jam and tomato sauce. Autumn sees the plums and apples making brown sauce & chutneys. Next years mincemeat was made with the special offer dried fruit. It is all about taking advantage of what is there - we had a bumper crop of blackberries in the hedrows this year so we have blackberry jelly in sauces instead of red current jelly from the supermarket. Put them in nice containers in the cupboard and nobody knows you are as poor as a church mouse.... I get my posh jars & bottles from the recycling bins blush & make my own "craft" beer bottle labels on the printer for when we take them to parties.

All the bills are paid for by DD on the day after payday so we don't rack up bank charges (previously been an achillies heel). We don't have credit cards, but have a regular DD to a sinking fund account to pay for when the boiler breaks or the car needs to be fixed. For any big ticket items we save up for it.

Phones are on capped contracts - �12 / month.

We have stopped buying clothes unless it can't be avoided - school shoes, new uniforms. A friend of mine is a hairdresser so I alter her charity shop bargins in return for haircuts. When clothes are ready for the bin they are deconstructed for the zips, buttons and useable fabric. Even plastic carrier bags can be made into plarn or plabric (iron layers together to make a waterproof fabric) for making shoppers.

Skip diving - it is polite to ask, but as it costs per ton to landfill waste most people don't mind. If you have a woodburner - offcuts from timber yards / joiners burn just as well as logs bought in. Some building sites have half used tins of pain etc that will just get binned, but are enough to redo a hall / bathroom.

Kids gifts are usually craft kits made up from cheap sources... print making templates & paints, sewing projects, book making, crochet, knitting, models ... instructions can be found on line & reformatted to make them look as if they are bought - including a barcode if you have people on your gift list that turn their noses up at "handmade". There are also good sources for party bag fodder on line. Adults get a hamper or an Art Photo (husband is a photographer) Gift tags are made from the box of shop tags bought for a fiver from a shop fitter supply store - just have a picture stuck on, or my talented DD does a cartoon of the recipient on them. Wrapping paper is hand printed from a plain roll (same place as the tags).

And as has been said up thread - don't buy impulse / non essential things on the day you see them. Stop & think if you really really need them....

avocadotoast Sun 01-Feb-15 10:06:45

We've started using You Need A Budget software and it is marvellous. I'm really having to say no to myself, which is hard, but you get used to it.

We each take a set amount cash out of the bank each week to use for our bus passes and anything else we might want (drinks in the pub, or if we want to buy the odd lunch at work). DH takes slightly more than me as he's having driving lessons. We take out enough that we don't struggle but not too much that we could be silly with it.

And then everything else gets paid for by card (food, petrol, clothing, haircuts etc) but it gets categorised and logged, and only gets bought if it's needed. We try to work out at the start of the month whether either of us need new clothes or a haircut or whatever so we can factor it into the budget.

We then also have a set amount that gets transferred into savings each month that covers stuff like car repairs, Christmas, birthdays, home insurance etc.

WellTidy Tue 03-Feb-15 09:18:19

Unescorted I take my hat off to you. You are hardcore! Good for you, having a goal and doing everything you can to reach that goal. I am impressed. It wouldn't be attainable for me, as I don't have the dedication, but I will certainly take away parts of your post. We also only have Freeview (the only tiem I have ever wished we had Sky was last week when the new series Fortitude on Sky Atlantic was being advertised with Sarah Lund from The Killing in it, but, as you say, it will still be available and worth watching in a few months' or a year's time).

avocado the You Need budget software is basically what I've been doing. I have headings in my budget book, and I write underneath those headings what I'm buying. Its working for me. I am asking myself every time "Do I need it? Do I already have something similar? When will I use it?" etc.

An update on my previous post for the OP. At the end of January, which was our first month of budgeting, I did a reckoner. DH and I stayed within our budget for all spends, and came way under budget on some areas eg food shop (this is probably because I stocked up enormously for Christmas/new year and we had loads of stuff yet to be eaten), clothes/shoes/accessories (again, we are mid season, so none of us really needed anything new) and going out.

I can see exactly where my money is going. I am aghast at how much I spend on takeaway coffees, or stopping in a coffee shop whilst out shopping to give the DC a break. Too much to mention ahem, �50 in January. So I know now that I will go to my local Waitrose and get a free coffee, which you can still do as long as you buy something, which I always do. And the �80 voucher I've had for Debenhams for two years and can never find anything I want to buy, as they're not accepted online and my local Debehams is tiny, I could spend in the coffee shop. Which I know isn't a brilliant example, but it does mean that I'm not spending cash.

Tigerblue Tue 03-Feb-15 11:28:17

As said before, think before you buy. Do you really need it?

I now set a maximum of £50 per week for food and I do stick to it. Also, over the last six months we've only been buying clothes that are essential (and looking at cheaper options), not because we fancy them or might need another one of something soon. We are trying to do more country walks (free other than petrol) and cycling and taking food, snacks & drinks out with us. Also, DH has been making his own wine and it's not bad, so we can have a bottle of wine still for £2.

Are there cheaper ways of having things you really want or need like heating, telephone, broadband. Set the heating to be on for a few minutes less each day.

We all like to spoil our kids, but they don't need all of it. Our 13 year old dd knows things are tight at the moment and I've noticed if she sees something she likes she's starting to set a limit on what it's worth to her. She's even reminding us that we could be more careful.

annielostit Tue 03-Feb-15 16:46:10

Gosh, there are loads of ideas and things doing since I asked the question. Lots of hard core savers smile
I do basic meal plans, cook from scratch don't buy just for and aren't one for buying at the aisle of treats in the shops.
I have changed & reduced utilities.
We like meat from the butcher, lidl or aldi for store cupboard ingredients.
I am going to religiously write down what I spend daily, as newton said, identify my weaknesses. Its nice food!!! I stopped my shoe fetish and only bought 1 pair since last Easter.

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