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Super frugality

(109 Posts)
Luxyelectro Mon 09-Nov-15 21:13:59

Have started a thread here to avoid completely derailing the November thread

NC again. I wish MNHQ would release my old username so I can have it back

After a completely miserable day I'm up for some extreme measures now
I'm cold and hungry and pissed off!
I need an extra £10-15 a week really.
How can I save/makethat?

I have no debt, my food bill is minimum and I save £80 a month for gas and electric bills, next ones due January
Car running costs are just fuel ( don't pay for car or insurance) and it's a necessity due to disability but fuel costs are quite high at the moment due to one year of DC being at different schools, next year will be better but can't change at the moment and DC have to be taken to school by car

Any ideas? Don't care how crazy pennies add up so willing to try everything and anything


rageagainsttheBIL Mon 09-Nov-15 22:19:00

Ironing one evening? Try advertising on your local Facebook group.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 10-Nov-15 08:03:39

Swagbucks are meant to be good. Student websites do a lot of money saving ideas and survey sites, some pay out in cash but most are vouchers for highstreet amazon.

E-rewards do surveys that pay out in nectar vouchers, I've made £5 in a couple of weeks doing them. They credit you with points even if you get screened out.

SleepyForest Tue 10-Nov-15 08:10:04

Do you work during the day? Can you get a weekend job. If you have cut all your expenditure you need to earn more. ( sorry if this is impossible, I don't know your circumstances)

00100001 Tue 10-Nov-15 08:23:03

Well, you need to have a long hard look at things like TV packages, what's plugged in and running, your food bills, check you're in the lowest energy tariff etc

There's always ways to save money.

Howuch are things like your food bill, TV packages etc?

Madmog Tue 10-Nov-15 08:35:52

Do you have household insurance? If so, phone up the company, tell them you need to make savings (they might just offer you a discount) and ask to go through exactly what you're covered for. You might find there are one or two things you think you can do without on the policy.

Phone other utilities asking if you're on their cheapest package for you.

I realize you are putting money aside for gas & electric to ensure you can cover them, but is £80 the average you spend? If it's usually less, it's mild at the moment so bills should be lower than average for time of year.

I guess you do all the usual, like go to Lidl, Aldi or buy shops value/basic ranges.

I never take the car if I need to go somewhere less than a mile.

Cheap bubble bath put in soap dispensers is cheaper and no one will know. Use old clothes as cleaning clothes instead of buying them.

Make sure you have any shop cards which accrue points. They might only give you a little off occasionally, but that's money for something else.

rageagainsttheBIL Tue 10-Nov-15 09:03:42

Are there any consignment shops near you? You know the ones that sell 2nd hand designer clothes? I've made around £300 this year selling 2nd hand clothes via one of those shops, both mine and stuff I've picked up in jumble sales etc for a few quid (it helps if you have an idea of what will sell/have unwanted but decent clothes in your wardrobe etc). I've made loads more than I would have on eBay.

Make sure you collect points for all the fuel you are buying eg nectar points if you get fuel in Sainsburys, there are often really good deals on fuel like 10p off a litre if you have points too. Also look online to find which of your nearest petrol stations is cheapest as it can fluctuate.

Can you reduce your mobile phone bill, assuming you have one?

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 13:23:15

Thanks for the ideas. I've come to the conclusion I have to take one child out of school for the rest of the academic year. It's only until September when they will be at the same location high school wise. I can't do anything else I don't think

Insurance was paid in full in sept
Food bill £25 a week
Fuel is exactly what I use. I could spend it now but would have issues come January
I don't go anywhere except school runs in the car and don't go out anyway due to disability. I can't work and don't have an iron.
I have a cheap plan on my phone - giffgaff and don't have any home broadband or phone. I don't have a tv license. Ive sold everything I can already.
Short of standing outside a supermarket bin raiding at closing time I don't know what else I can do.

AnotherStitchInTime Tue 10-Nov-15 13:28:25

Have you checked you benefit entitlement is correct with the CAB? There could be some extra fund you might qualify for with Housing Benefit or DLA.

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 13:28:57

Going to look at surveys and Erewards. Thanks
Have emailed Dd school HT to see if she has any ideas.

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 13:30:33

I don't qualify for any housing benefit.
The house isn't mine but I don't pay rent. I can't get social housing because I'm not homeless but this house is expensive to run

I get all the benefits I'm entitled to.

CherryPicking Tue 10-Nov-15 13:31:17

Don't do that, unless you're officially homeschooling. You're liable to be hit with a fine and a visit from children's services. Speak to your local authority about school transport, speak to other parents about lift shearing

AnotherStitchInTime Tue 10-Nov-15 15:17:24

If the house is expensive to run, can you reduce energy costs?

I am in a house with high energy costs. We have installed draught strips around doors and windows, covered the windows with insulating film because we don't have double glazing and put draught excluders under doors. None of these was very costly to do, but it has already made a massive difference to the heat loss and our heating costs. If it gets too cold this winter with mounting energy costs we will move our three children into one room to save heating two rooms for them and stop using the living room. Might reducing the number of rooms you use and heat be an option for you?

Also you might qualify for assistance with heating costs under the Homes Discount Scheme ink{ see here} and also Water bills under the Water Sure Scheme.

TalkinPeas Tue 10-Nov-15 16:26:39

I was told to come and look at your situation as finding ways to handle lack of money is rather an obsession of mine.

Could you PM me the first half of the postcodes for where both of your kids are at school and I'll do a bit of a search to see whether there is some grant funding available to last you this academic year so that you do not have to disrupt either of your children's education.

Have you also talked to the schools to see if they have temporary hardship funds (and it is clearly temporary) ?

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 17:35:56

Another stitch..
Yes I only heat one room anyway. Unless it's sub zero and I'll warm the children's bedrooms briefly
I have insulated and stuck that stuff in doors and windows.
I don't qualify for water sure as I don't have the right kind of disability or have enough children. I tried 3 times.
I get the warmer homes £140 rebate on electricity account, but not until May time. So I'll have to pay my January bills before then but hopefully it will be in my account before I have to pay the April ones.
I am terrified of getting into debt with any of these companies as I couldn't cope with pre-payment meters as they given even less flexibility.

tip. Thank you I've PM'd you and have followed your suggestions. Very useful. A real possibility of some help there and they are getting back to me.

LeaLeander Tue 10-Nov-15 17:43:30

Can you take in a lodger?
Can you watch small pets in your home?

Drastic: Can you lease your home at profit and live somewhere smaller/cheaper?

Sounds like a difficult situation; I hope you find some viable solutions.

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 18:01:39

Thanks Leander.
I have no space for a lodger.
The house isn't mine to rent out. It belongs to my ex who is currently very unwell with alcoholic liver disease ( honestly you couldn't make this shit up. It's too dramatic for eastenders)

I've had an email back from primary school HT who is determined to try to help find a solution. She knows the very complex history and importantly knows the back story and that I haven't been reckless in decision making to get myself in this situation.
tip is also wracking her brains to see if she can think of something.

Can I say I hate David Cameron. Disabled parents are totally fucked over. Also both my children have a medical disability too. Just not bad enough to get any help but the cumulative affect of all this shit is overwhelming.
I want to give up. But I can't. There must be an answer somewhere. We just seem to fall through every gap in services everywhere

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 18:06:22

Can I also say that 4 years ago I had a good job, had lots of savings and a good marriage.

I never thought this would happen to me.

Lightbulbon Tue 10-Nov-15 18:09:50

Have you asked your local authority for free school transport? They can give payments if you have a disability.

If you don't pay rent then you do t have security of tenure do should get housing points for that.

To save on heating, only put hot water on once a week-all have a bath then and live on cold water the rest of the week.

Using the microwave rather than the oven for cooking will save a lot.

Try to charge your phone out of the house.

Only boil what you need in the kettle.

Don't use hair dryers, tumble driers or straighteners.

Only wash clothes that really need it.

Sweep rather than using an electric Hoover.

Don't buy expensive cleaning products. Use bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and tea tree oil instead.

What are you going to do for Xmas?

Artandco Tue 10-Nov-15 18:12:09

How bit is the house your in? I would def look at a lodger or similar. You and children all share one bedroom to free up the other for a while.

Can you not do any kind of of work? Researching from home/ typing type work? Lots of work is home and laptop based only now

LeaLeander Tue 10-Nov-15 18:13:00

Ugh, I hope it gets better for you.

At this time of year, churches and community organizations are taking note of those who need assistance -- is there a way you could approach some in your area and at least get on the list for a holiday hamper, or perhaps help with gifts for the children, or something like that? Some extra food coming in would help stretch your own funds.

I am sure it's awkward but remember people are happy to help. One of the best Christmases I ever had was when my now-deceased parents and I "adopted" a family in hardship and were able to provide for some of their needs and give them a rather more festive holiday. People in your area may be seeking the same and it would be generous of you to let them feel good by providing a bit of assistance.

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 18:18:47

I don't have a laptop. Ds had my dads old one but its recently broken. The lcd display has gone.
Yes we are doing all of that with regard to keeping bills down

Christmas will be fine. We have each other. DC aren't expecting mega presents and I am determined we will have a great day, whatever.

Us all sharing a room could work. I wonder what the score is with income from renting a room out if you are on means tested benefits. I'll go and see what I can find.

I really don't want to doorstep charities for help. I need to find a solution and there must be one somewhere.
I'll phone the LA in the morning again. I've tried before and they told me to get stuffed. I'm not the right kind of disabled. But I'll try again.

Thanks for all the ideas

Luxyelectro Tue 10-Nov-15 18:20:30

And I got no points at all. I couldn't even go on the housing list. They outright refused my application as I had somewhere to live.

SurlyCue Tue 10-Nov-15 18:29:27

Can you type okish? Could you do data entry from home? Have you a computer or laptop? Sorry if this is uselss idea.

SurlyCue Tue 10-Nov-15 18:30:29

Sorry just seen that you dont have a laptop.

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