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Financially, what have you really cut back on recently?

(50 Posts)
Tigerblue Fri 30-Jan-15 10:31:43

Due to expected & unexpected expense, we've had to tighten our spending over the last six months. Just wondering how other people have cut back.

1. I've got our food shop down to £50 per week, from approx. £75. Never thought I could manage on this, but I can by looking out for offers, using different shops and buying items at best prices

2. We are only buying clothes because we really need them - not just because we fancy them

3. Day trips - we are trying to take food & drink with us more and recently have only done things which are free - like forest/woodland walks, pottering around town with our Xmas vouchers. As it gets warmer we'll start cycling to places more and taking our lunch with us.

I'm going to look into our energy bills in the spring, as we moved to a larger house (our expected expense!). I will know exactly what a year's energy use will be then, although I'm certain we won't be paying any more than at our old address.

cozietoesie Fri 30-Jan-15 11:52:19

Energy is the big one for me.

I've spent so many years being extremely frugal that much of the rest is deeply ingrained in me - although the advent of more and more online shopping has helped us to give up the car which has saved a packet and meant we take more exercise.

We try to only use as much energy as we can get away with consistent with maintaining the fabric of the house and managing to actually operate (I work from home.) No wandering around in T shirts during winter in the cozie household. It's a bit depressing in that you don't actually see a sudden flurry of savings but at least I don't have sleepless nights worrying because the figures don't add up.

About the only thing I don't economize on are vet bills. That's our single luxury.

DeanKoontz Fri 30-Jan-15 11:59:26

I realized that if I got off a stop early, it would cost me nearly 3.00 a day less. It's only 10 minutes more to walk.

I also changed my work hours so I work more days, but shorter hours. I now don't have to pay for childcare which saved a further 45.00

cozietoesie Fri 30-Jan-15 12:06:10

Hah! I have nephews who take cars to go their (paid for) gym which is about 20 minutes walk away. I've tried to point out the all-round benefits of just doing more exercise during the course of their day (such as walking) but it doesn't seem to register.

MrsCs Fri 30-Jan-15 12:17:39

I'm generally pretty frugal anyway but I'm trying to eliminate our occasional take away (like once or twice a month) as much as possible. More healthy and cheaper, I made us baked sweet and sour chicken the other day and we are having home made curry tonight.

bobs123 Fri 30-Jan-15 12:23:57

Shop mostly in Aldi

Bought a Freeview plus box instead of having Sky

Basic phone and Broadband package (if DD wants to download TV stuff she can do it when at uni but only on a limited basis at home)

No take-aways - never did those anyway really

Meals out only for special occasions

We're quite happy with this smile

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 30-Jan-15 14:09:19

I've decided to cutback on food, our bill was £30-35 a week a year or so ago and now it's creeping up past £40.

I'm going to switch to lidl to take advantage of the half price weekend offers instead of Aldi.

I've switched the cat to smart price litter.

cozietoesie Fri 30-Jan-15 14:18:31

I have a close LIDL so can use that as well as the online stuff - and I really like the shop. I've never had a truly bad buy from LIDL whereas I have had more than a few from Aldi so while I could walk to the nearest Aldi, LIDL get my custom for a good range of things. (Along with whoever is doing the best deal on something in any given week - I have the supermarket loyalty of a gherkin.)

chanie44 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:01:59

Since starting a family a few years ago, I've cut back on:

Work lunches - I used to bring in linch from home a couple of times a week, but now it's all the time. I treat myself to lunch less than once a month and I don't feel like I'm missing outs

Travel - I've found a commute which is half the price. It's a longer walk, but I have grown to enjoy it.

Skincare - I used to use Liz Earle, but now I use a much cheaper range and stock up when on offer.

lightgreenglass Fri 30-Jan-15 15:13:05

We cut back on phones - got it from £100 to £24 a month.

Renegotiated contract with Virgin Media to shave £15 a month.

Looking into energy but not sure yet as currently with EDF and they haven't announced cutting prices so if they do then they will be same price as competitor and I CBA change energy suppliers.

Remortgaging soon.

Switched from Sainsbury's to Lidl and definitely feel the difference. And meal planning of course. We also eat out far less - and only have takeaways twice a month, before every week.

Trying to bring more meals into work and halving cost of travel. I feel proud of myself this year and don't want to get back to the stage where you go where has all my money gone.

My family think I'm mad as we have the money but I like seeing the savings pot build. I'm always trying to find new ways to cut back...

Ememem84 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:33:25

Everything. We are saving for a deposit/furniture/legal fees etc for our 2017 house.

Travel - walk to work (40 minute walk) to save on parking
Lunches - take a pack up pretty much every day, only buy a sandwich as a treat.
Food - we have set a budget for £150 a month for food.

and have cancelled all unnecessary direct debits/spending.

annielostit Fri 30-Jan-15 16:01:59

You are all so strict. I'm right shite at this money reduction thing. Must try harder.
I have incouraged my oh not to renew his season ticket £140/mth
got gym on 0% card so pay no monthly fee £25 less
check utilities when necessary.£200 /year saving.
Got to sort the daily food thing out!!!!

Buddy80 Fri 30-Jan-15 17:45:12

Those "little trips" to the supermarket, they really stack up, looking at my bank statements!

Online shopping, "oh, I will just order this...". Makes a difference if I actually have to go and get it myself smile or really thinking if something else we have will do.

Got rid of a car.

More veg meals.

CremeEggThief Fri 30-Jan-15 21:03:27

I can't cut back much more, as I am veggie and on a tight budget anyway, but this month:
I cancelled Sky and swapped to Plusnet, which will save £33.50 a month.
I got rid of an unnecessary direct debit of £9.95 per month.
I've swapped my electricity and gas to different tariffs, which according to their projections, will save £30 a month, therefore taking my combined utilities bill to £60 per month.
I've got my shopping budget down to between £40 and £50 a week, instead of £50 to £60. Cutting out my weekly bottle of wine as part of Dry January has helped.

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 30-Jan-15 21:17:12

Moved to cheaper area,
Switched to Aldi and properly checking what I have in before buying a weeks shop rather than over estimating what I need and doing a monthly shop like I used to.
Watching the electric and gas for the first time properly, the mild winter has helped.
Buying alot less meals and drinks out, staying in more, no new clothes for me, taking ds to local places turning down invites to tourist attraction type places.
Gone from piling up cc debt to making really good over payments on them.

mandy214 Fri 30-Jan-15 21:25:08

Really trying to stick to meal plan and taking lunch into work.

H & I have both changed car insurers (I have stopped commuting by car) which has reduced mine by £300 per year and H's by £200.

Went into my bank branch this week and noticed they have a new account with an interest free overdraft. Switched current account to it - saving £25-£30 a month on overdraft charges.

Went on Martin Lewis' website with energy club - switched from EDF to Sainsburys, says we will save £180 per year.

Just got broadband and phone to sort out - here's hoping we get a deal for that too.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 30-Jan-15 21:30:39

I have bought NOTHING in January. At all.

2 lots of food shopping plus using the cupboards and freezer.

No clothes, no magazines, no sneaky coffees and bars of chocolate.

A whole month of virtuosity - has never happened for me before

<polishes halo>

trilbydoll Fri 30-Jan-15 21:35:59

I never thought switching energy supplier would save that much or be worth the hassle. Inspired by this month's Which magazine, I had a quick look and realised we could save over £300 a year! So we are going to give it a go, that's an extra holiday.

The Which subscription is in theory an unnecessary luxury, but it does keep paying for itself.

Longdistance Fri 30-Jan-15 21:46:13

Meal planning has helped majorly.

Turning down the heating, and switching off lights after dh

We've cut down on our weekends away. We used to go on loads, like every month we would go away somewhere nice. That's saved us loads.

We don't go out as much as we used to either.

We swapped local Chinese/ Indian for a supermarket takeaway bags.

OhOneOhTwoOhThree Fri 30-Jan-15 21:52:02

Not a single coffee/snack/cake bought this month smile

Dry January = half the usual amount of wine (DH has stayed wet)

Packed lunches everyday

Online shop to only buy what we need, not what we fancy


Nextwednesday Fri 30-Jan-15 21:57:37

Changed energy providers, save £11 pm = £132 pa
Cut £30pm from Sky bill
Cancelled two direct debits for charities
Shopped in Aldi from time to time probably saving £25 on a weekly shop
Set a monthly budget for things like clothes and makeup/toiletries
Cut down on nights out
Driven instead of taking taxis and drinking saving £50 a time
Just generally being more conscious about spending money out and about

myron Fri 30-Jan-15 22:15:26

Dry January here as well.
Managed to remember to buy a certain tabloid newspaper x 2 just for the £5 off £40 spend for Aldi and so I could use it for consecutive weeks.
Only went out once for a family meal which was for a joint celebratory lunch for my Dad and DC2.
Buying bargain holiday flights for the summer.
Stalked the price of a piece of furniture (which we have saved for/needed for the past 2 yrs) which was still £££ in the Jan sale. Played Sales Chicken and won! The sale price halved in the last week and for a big ticket item, it was bargainous so well chuffed. It was delivered today and due to a very small flaw, I also got a 20% refund which DH cannot believe. Thanks JL!

CanToCandle Fri 30-Jan-15 22:29:25

Alcohol and stopped magazine subscriptions

rainyevening Sat 31-Jan-15 09:05:00

chanie44 Liz Earle fan trying to cut back here too. Can I ask what your cheaper alternative is?

Ememem84 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:23:46

Have clawed back all money owed to me. Final refund hit my account yesterday. Yay! And it's been sent straight to savings.

I've set up all dds so on pay day money comes in from work then automatically goes to savings/joint ac/mortgage. The rest is mine to save/spend as I like.

Have audited wardrobe too. I don't think I need anything new for a while.

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