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Your top tips on saving money day to day.

(49 Posts)
kinkytoes Tue 24-Nov-15 18:40:53

Need to start saving money ASAP and I'm sure there's lots we can do!

We've already cut back on the heating, started putting the washing machine on at night, and buying non- brand at the supermarket.

What else could we be doing please? We have a three bed house, and it's just the two of us plus a toddler (and another on the way).

BackforGood Tue 24-Nov-15 18:50:10

Write down everything you spend any cash on, over a fortnight (or month if you can) to find out all those "little" things that add up.

Check your ddrs and STOs in your accounts to make sure you aren't still paying out for a subscription to something you never use

Spend some hours checking you've got the best deals on all utilities, insurances (usually best done at renewal time for ins or you get charged hefty 'admin' fees), etc. as well as bank accounts / credit cards / saving accounts / mortgage rates / anywhere else you have money (or debt)

Pay off any debt as quickly as you can - interest just eats into your money

kinkytoes Wed 25-Nov-15 16:59:13

Thank you so much will get online tonight and look into all that.

Another thing we're doing is making packed lunches instead of getting lunch from the sandwich shop on work days. Might also start shopping in Aldi.

annielostit Wed 25-Nov-15 18:32:18

Some people can do a full shop at aldi & find it OK. It depends on how much you need to cut back or compromise.
I'll buy cheaper bread for toast, cheaper butter,cheddar low fat yogurt basic things but I don't like meats & find it more cost effective for me to buy what I'll use in a butchers.
If you don't, meal plan, home bake and don't waste leftover bits. Soups out of dead veg, left over pasta sauce into a bake etc.

Tartanthrifty Wed 25-Nov-15 21:15:48

Make soup at least once a week - it gives you a cheap lunch option and fills everyone up before the main course of their dinner so you can reduce the serving size. I was amazed at how much this reduced our food bills. Cooking your own meals saves you lots too - cook more than you need and freeze additional portions so that you always have home-made "ready meals" on hand to stop you sending out for take-away in an emergency.

Hellokitty105 Wed 25-Nov-15 21:18:30

I find that leaving my purse at home when I know I won't need it helps or leaving my card at home. Also withdrawing and carrying a small amount of cash helps me, I find I'm more conscious of what I'm spending when I only have cash whereas it's so is to simply stick it on your card without a seconds thought.

dementedma Wed 25-Nov-15 21:19:41

Definitely packed lunches and home made soup. Saves a small fortune . use top cash back if you are switching utilities or insurance ( as well as for buying Christmas gifts)
Open a credit union account. You can save tiny amounts if that's all you have spare and they do very low interest loans.

derektheladyhamster Wed 25-Nov-15 21:24:27

Menu plan. Go shopping with a list.

dementedma Wed 25-Nov-15 21:49:52

Throw all spare small change into a tub or container. It's amazing how it adds up. You can either take it to the bank and bag it or use a coinstar machine at the supermarket when times are tight.

Claraoswald36 Thu 26-Nov-15 18:22:27

Only shop at Aldi and lidl. Get over it. Once you have converted you will be horrified at the prices in the main supermarkets and avoid them. Except asda for petrol.
Cancel sky and paying channels and get Netflix grin
Take the heating and water off a timer.
Mean plan at all times. Take regular fridge/freezer/cupboard inventories - and make your shopping list based on this. Have a big devlutter too you need to see what you have that's any good.
Stop going in to town unless you need kids shoes fitted. Just avoid any browsing you won't miss it.
Give up alcohol.
Threaten to leave your providers they will cut your bills.
If you are off contract on your mobile don't upgrade get a sim only contract.
Quit the gym.
Phase in activities which are free. I got a dog partly for this purpose - the kids love the walks for hours on the beach etc - no cost but I lacked the motivation before. Obviously you need to want a dog!!
Get a flask and use it - I love mine for sitting outside endless kids lessons :-)
Never leave the house without snacks for kids

Tartanthrifty Sat 28-Nov-15 10:49:02

Second the Aldi recommendation - I find a lot of their food is better than other supermarkets (have a look at Good Housekeeping for this month - in their festive food taste tests, Aldi and Lidl come out well in almost every category). They save a substantial amount of money off our weekly shop, and it takes less time to shop there and is less stressful because there are far fewer choices so every purchase is not an energy-sapping decision. Their specials go out on Thursdays and Sundays so these tend to be the busiest days. Lidl bakery is excellent!

kinkytoes Sat 28-Nov-15 16:25:38

Done our first Aldi shop this week. Nothing to get over Clara, I'm not a supermarket snob I've just never had to worry about budgeting for a weekly shop before. (I've always bought ds' nappies there not for the cost but because they are the best! grin)

We're really impressed with the food so far, haven't worked out exactly what savings we've made but will work it out. I already know it's making a difference.

Thanks to everyone for the tips (Demented we took our change into the bank yesterday - been collecting for a while and added up to £7!) Hellokitty leaving the purse at home is genius! Really makes you think you don't really need to buy that item after all smile

SilkandSteel Sat 28-Nov-15 16:35:39

I would recommend looking at the Martin Lewis MSE site for best buys on utilities, bank accounts, insurance - pretty much everything really. You can sign up for the weekly newsletter which gives up to date info, join the energy club which lets you know when you can save by switching etc.

Mrscog Sat 28-Nov-15 16:53:02

I know this sounds stupid but just don't buy stuff. Use what you have until it's completely worn out. As an example I've recently thrown a few pairs of socks away as they had holes in them. I nearly bought more to replace. Then when I counted up, I had 15 pairs of socks. Seeing as I do at least 4 washes a week I clearly don't need more socks! Same with cleaning products - just 1 multipurpose spray and a bottle of bleach for anything really germy is all you need.

hippospot Sat 28-Nov-15 17:15:00

Eat less meat. No need to go vegetarian unless you want to, but eg make a bolognaise with half as much mince and add more lentils and beans to pad it out a bit. I do this for health reasons but it's also a money saver.

I think meal planning and eating up leftovers is the best tip. Aim for zero food waste.

Things like rice and pasta are sometimes cheaper in huge bags, if you have storage space. Ditto sacks of potatoes from the farmer.

Eggs and porridge oats are cheap and nutritious. I make my own porridge and flapjack. I also make my own bread in a bread machine but I appreciate the initial outlay of £100-odd for a decent breadmaker might not be an option (Panasonic are the best by far and worth the extra IMO).

My local greengrocer is much cheaper than the supermarket, less convenient though. And I know not every town has one. I like to support the small family business too.

Buy fruit and veg that are in season. No need for it to be boring necessarily if you are imaginative with root veg. In summer you can buy the berries etc and freeze them (also pick blackberries) or make jam.

The food thing takes more time and planning but definitely there are savings to be made.

For short journeys if possible leave earlier and walk there instead. I appreciate this is not always an option - depends where you live. Every journey I walk I think I am saving on bus or petrol (also for me there are health reasons for adding more exercise, though I genuinely love walking too).

We use a basic spreadsheet to keep track of our budget, knowing your outgoings is very empowering.

Good luck

EssentialHummus Sat 28-Nov-15 17:29:51

Great ideas above, and good on you OP for doing this. What works here:

Bulking up with lentils. Complete MN stereotype but it works.

Soups as main meals once a week. I work at home and soup with bread is a brilliant lunch for me.

Use the freezer. Make larger portions and freeze half, but also buy frozen meat/fish/veg and defrost as needed. Has drastically cut waste for us.

Be a disloyal shopper. £20 at Sainsbury's? Sure! £10 off at Ocado? Done!

Aldi / Lidl. I switched from a weekly shop at Ocado (£70) to once a month at Ocado and Aldi / Lidl the rest of the time (about £35 a week). The only thing I haven't liked so far are Lidl's fresh tomatoes.

Carry drinks and snacks with you.

Heating - switch off for 30 minutes every hour and put on another bloody layer DP. We don't really notice the difference.

yeOldeTrout Sat 28-Nov-15 18:04:48

Don't own cats. Or any pets, really!!

BikeRunSki Sat 28-Nov-15 18:06:08

Never leave the house without a bottle of water and a cereal bar or sandwich each.

Claraoswald36 Sun 29-Nov-15 14:38:55

I need to make a list of things you can't buy at Aldi/lidi for a c occasional big supermarket shop. It's definitely talcum powder.

Agree lidl tomatoes are rubbish but Aldi are amazing!

Lidl complete dog food - my daft cocker really likes it - huge bag for not much and much better for his feeble guts than iams. I am v happy with this.

I've bought q roll of the reflective stuff you put behind radiators to try this year.

Submit regular meter readings for utilities - your bills will be much more accurate and possibly adjusted in your favour.

Lynnm63 Tue 01-Dec-15 18:33:19

I can't praise Aldi enough, I should buy shares as im always singing their praises. We swapped from Asda three or four years ago and my shopping bill dropped from £100 for a trolley full to around £45 for the same stuff.
The super 6 fruit and veg is excellent. Their instant coffee is as good as Nescafé and DS likes paninis 80p for two in Asda but 47p for two in Aldi. Pain au chocolat are £1 for 2 in Asda but a pack of I think 8 is £1.30ish. DS prefers Aldi probably because he can eat two at a time without me shouting at him i pop into Asda for crusty bread, squash and branded crisps when they're on offer.

kinkytoes Tue 01-Dec-15 20:54:30

You guys are the best thank you so much for all the tips, they're great!

Hippo I love your food tips, we already eat meat very sparingly but I should use more pulses. As for soup , we have tinned soup for an evening meal sometimes but not homemade - might try that.

Hmm yeoldetrout we do have cats and unfortunately they are both on prescription diets (which I buy online to save money). Not a lot I can do about that particular expense really. They're worth it though grin

We've worked out that Aldi saves us around a third on our shopping bill, and have been so impressed by the food - love the taste but I do wonder how ethical and healthy it can be at that price. I suppose those are things that have to slide down my list of priorities now, the main thing is we have food (and enjoy it).

DeclutterQueen Tue 01-Dec-15 23:30:40

Go to the local market at the end of Saturday and you can get some amazing offers on fruit and veg etc. I got 27 nectarines for £1 - that's a load of jam, and some crumbles for the freezer. 3 fish heads for £1 makes loads of soup.

Gingernut81 Thu 03-Dec-15 02:31:03

We're trying to cut down at the mo as I'm on maternity leave. We started shopping at Aldi and love it! Granted there are a few things that we can't get there but as I now have plenty of time I stop off at Tesco on the way back. We used to use Ocado and the minimum spend is £40 so we'd often buy things to bulk up the order. I reckon I save £10 a week shopping at Aldi now. We're also eating less meat, DH decided there was no need to eat it everyday so now we'll only have it at weekends.

We also bulk buy some stuff at Makro although although you need to be careful & check prices as you're going around as it's not always cheaper.

specialsubject Thu 03-Dec-15 14:12:57

you talk about putting the washing machine on at night, which presumably means you are on an economy 7 tariff. Check that this is REALLY the best deal for you, and also that you know when the cheaper hours are because they vary and shift.

never use coinstar machines, bang goes TEN PER CENT of your money.

NeededANameChangeAnyway Thu 03-Dec-15 17:15:11

We save up coppers and changes in a huge jar. I just took £8!!! Worth of 2p's to the local shop who were overjoyed with it and I stuck the £8 straight back in the jar - notes are very hard to get out grin and that's us saving for our holiday smile

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