This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Any trips - the little things that save you money(37 Posts)
I'm really going to make a point of not wasting any food, ie freezing small leftovers or have them on the side with another meal and putting clothes on a shorter wash.
Also, using slightly less clothes and washing up liquid, maybe cutting up old clothes to using as cleaning clothes.
Any other ideas?
I buy shops own bubble bath and put into empty liquid soap bottles. Doesn't dry hands out and saves 50% on liquid soap. When tubes come to an end, I cut off the end and can remove whats left inside, usually giving me 2/3 more teeth cleans, a bit more moisturiser etc.
We're trying to cut back on food spending but still have proper meal and treats, so looking at cheaper options, ie if we fancy a treat with coffee look for a packet of biscuits that are cheaper than buying cake. I've set myself a budget each week now and roughly count up the cost in my trolley as I go along - if I think I'm close to the budget I question whether what I really need and put the odd thing back.
Meal plan is the way to go.
I feed my family of 4 for between £50-£60 a week. This includes packed lunches, all meals, treats.
I plan meals for the week and shop accordingly , use up what's in the cupboards and freezer at least 4 times a month.
Shop at aldi. Eat meat once a week only, too expensive.
Do not buy pre packed sandwiches, meals, coffees out.
Batch cook, eat half, freeze half. Use slow cooker at least 3 Times a week to do my batch cooking.
Save all of my £2 & 50p coins, when I have £10, £20 I deposit them into a little account, saved £400 last year.
Charity shop for clothes for me and kids.
Big one, I do not take my purse to work with me in the week, therefore I can t spend. Never pop to the shops for bits and pieces, shopping is once a week, when treats are gone, they are gone.
The biggest thing that I did to change my spending was meal planning, shopping specifically for those meals (online) and if I do need to go to the shop for something not 'browsing', just go straight to that isle get the item pay and leave.
My worst habit was popping into shops like heron or home bargains just have a look and see if they have any good deals and spending £20 on stuff we didn't really need.
I've cut that out and probably save close to £100 a month just from it (although I still do it occasionally)
I've swapped shower gel for bubble bath. And women's disposable razors for men's.
They both do the same job at a (usually) lower price.
Use bars of soap for handwashing. They last for ages whereas those plastic bottles of liquid soap don't. Plus it's much better for the environment with less plastic waste. I also use bars of soap in the shower - with a cheap facial moisturiser afterwards. Saves a bomb in shower gel.
Never ever set foot in Costa/Starbucks etc. It's just money down the drain. I drink mugs of tea at work, which are free.
Avoid shops if you can. Do everything online. Helps avoid impulse purchases, and makes you assess what you really need.
If I really need something expensive like winter boots, look on eBay first.
My biggest money saving area is charity shop, boot fair or eBay stuff. My winter coat is a pure wool one I got for £3, DD's school winter coat cost me 50p, her school shoes are DM's which I got for £20 on eBay and I just picked her up a 'new' pair of wellies for £2. I have a 'too big box' where I stash bargains for her to grow into as well.
After trying and failing with it a couple of times last year, I've set up YNAB and spent lots of time really learning it. Watched online classes and videos etc, and it's already having a positive impact!
Analysing EVERY spend right now. Given myself budget of £50 a week for food (down from £100.)
No wasting money -Books from library, free coffee from Waitrose. Bulk buying things when on offer. Checking all utilities again.
Main thing - living within my means finally. If I can't afford it, I dont buy it
Since replying, I tried Wetherspoons (yes the pub) for coffee in the hope of saving a bit. Obviously not your typical coffee surroundings but if you're stopping because you're genuinely thirsty or tired, my coffee and biscuits cost £1.70 - a lot cheaper than my usual £4 treat. Coffee better than my usual M&S coffee by the way!
Write down every penny of cash you spend.
I was truly shocked at how much I used to spend on Bus Fares, Parking, Coffee, Magazines etc.
Now I think twice about all of that expenditure and have saved £600 + in the last year.
I also decluttered last year and have stopped buying 'just in case' clothes and shoes. I was embarrassd at how many clothes / shoes I had bought just in case I needed them in the future (think perfect black suede shoes, now totally out of fashion) and then never worn. Losing that habit will save me £0,000s in the coming years
Do that thing of downgrading all of your shopping....so if you normally buy brands, buy shops own brand. If you normally buy shops own, try basics range. Then work out what it's actually work downgrading on! For example, I only use Fairy washing up liquid as I find it much more effective than shops own brands and so I use less and it lasts longer. However, Aldi's own range of laundry products are great and much less than the branded ones.
For most cleaning things though, I rarely buy from supermarkets. I try to get to Savers or B&M where they are much, much cheaper.
You need to go through your outgoings and see if there are any savings to be made. Review all of your utilities at least once a year. I recently re-negotiated my broadband/TV package by phoning Virgin and saying I was thinking of leaving unless they could give me a better offer...they did! Completely painless way of saving money.
Use cashback sites like Quidco for all of your online shopping. I booked our summer holiday (Eurocamp) and flights (Monarch) through Quidco last year and got enough cashback to pay for a meal out for the 6 of us while we were there. Even for the little purchases, it's worth doing...again, minimal effort (you just click through to the site via Quidco) and you get a bit of money back.
My big one at the moment is not going into shops! I can't resist a bargain and it's so hard with the sales on just now. I work in town so usually have a mooch round the shops at lunchtime but I am making myself just have a walk instead.
With old clothes I keep them to use the fabric to make kids clothes on my sewing machine or cut up to use as dusters/rags for chores.
I'm also no longer going into shops as I can't help myself.
Only buying clothes from eBay, but only when I actually need to replace something. I have plenty of clothes for the foreseeable future (and have to remind myself about this frequently).
I have had a massive sort out and am ebaying everything which is bringing in £100's which is going straight to a savings account.
Making my own lunch for work instead of buying. Cutting back on Starbucks coffee until I don't have any and use the kettle in work instead.
Swapping activities like eating out to free activities like walks, picnics (in the summer!), museums, etc.
I try to ensure I use up all food, ie even if there's only a small amount left I save it and serve it as a side on one or two plates. Also, I often check packets etc for sell by dates and make up I use things up.
Not going to the shops at lunchtime is a big saver for me - so I bring lunch in 9 times out of 10 (bottom of fridge soup or leftovers) and then there's no need for me to go out to the shops. And I go for a walk round the block instead.
Getting my head around the fact I don't need to buy stuff.
Our budget busters were eating out and food shopping. So we are eating out less often and meal planning (in a fairly disorganised way) but having a think about what we've got in and how to use that up and what I need to buy to use it up before going shopping.
DH last week instead of treating his kids (grown up) out to tea at the pub and buying all their booze bought meal deal pizzas and then all their booze. A small saving but a start!
I look for stuff I usually buy (deodorant, toothpaste, baked beans) and stock up when on offer. Take branston beans- £1.24 atm for 4 in T@scos so I have got 16 cans...
Kids don't have as many clothes as they used to, they keep growing SO fast, they literally have 3 pairs of jeans/leggings that fit, 3 jumpers, more tops thou....works fine most of the year, I just need to be on top of the washing in the school holidays. They do have more in summer to cover the holidays and our break away.
Bottom drawer at work has snacks (some good, some bad) so I don't end up paying higher prices.
I've recently downgraded my facewash from Clinique to Superdrug.... kept the moisturiser the same. Small steps as I have very sensitive skin!
Taking bottles of water and snacks out with you to avoid higher prices in convenience stores, buying myself packs of boys socks (size 5-6) which are cheaper than ladies and last longer, using half a dishwasher tablet ( works just the same), drying clothes outside whenever possible. Stopped buying magazines, try to avoid paying to park, checking the 'oops' yellow stickers on food in the supermarket later in the day. Think I got all of these tips on MN over the years and they make a difference to weekly outgoings.
To save money on clothes, I have a capsule wardrobe - which is nowhere as fancy as the ones on Youtube, but see there for inspo. If I buy a pair of trousers I have to get rid of a pair, this weekend I bought an M&S pair of black skinny jeans (£4 from charity shop) and got rid of a pair of Topshop camo print joggers - it means my new trousers go with way more of my wardrobe - and I look more put together.
It makes me question every purchase as it means getting rid of something, which saves me money.
I always go on a charity shop crawl if I need something.
I'm doing a no spend on clothes this year. Use soap instead of shower gel as it's cheaper and lasts longer. Invest in a thermal flask for tea or coffee on the go. if you get the metro paper, McDonald's and Starbucks have coupons in there. Useful to have a few of these in your purse, just in case.
Great tips. Going to definitely try the 3 spend free days and the thermometer to gauge decreasing 🙏🙏🙏🙏...debt !
Taking bottles of water and snacks out with you
Yes! And a thermos in winter.
I take a travel mug/cup with me for tea. This saves a fortune!
For us it avoiding those inbetween shops. We can spend £60-£70 every 2 weeks on a big shop but then go and spend £20 several times inbetween to get something to go with something else (instead of accepting we can't have that and have something we do have)
We've stopped this (apart from bread and milk) and it's made a huge difference
The biggest way you can save on food costs is to not eat out and cook your own meals. I also use soap bars instead of shower gels since they are cheaper and they last longer.