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Please share your best money saving tips

(65 Posts)
SouthernNorthernGirl Fri 20-Oct-17 10:44:25

We are now in what is deemed the 'squeezed middle', after having spent years trying to drag ourselves out of the 'poverty' area.
For some reason, I thought it would be a much better place to be hmm

Paying my bills aren't the problem any longer, getting to do any living beyond that is. Reducing bills somehow may free up some money?

I'd love to hear tips on how to get by on this!
Days out / in with the DC, ideas for DH & I to have for date nights (I know the term isn't popular, we would still like quality time that's not gawping at the telly though)
Clothes are a big one for us, with 3 DC too. And of course, Christmas is looming.

I guess just any tips for general day to day living expenses.

Notreallyhappy Fri 20-Oct-17 15:30:24

Make sure all your bills...TV mobile utilities are on the best tariffs. If your in loads of credit get it back.
Down brand food items...if you like them stick if not find an alternative.
Only buy what you'll use or family needs 6 bottles of shower gel just in case.
Only replace things when beopen or worn out.. children grow quickly but do they need 4 fleeces/coats etc.
No take out coffee, lunches etc. Reduce takeaways to treats.
Batch cook freeze and leave nothing without a use.
Date nights..use vouchers etc look on mse for what's in your area. Me & oh used to have dinner in date night. Get nicer wine and something nicer to eat than usual. A fav dvd etc.
Depending the age of dc. ..Christmas is 1 day..add 1 or 2 things to your shopping now and hide it away..but do we need 9 tins of quality street left in January.
Good luck

LostMyBroomstick Fri 20-Oct-17 19:39:05

Invest in a travel mug, like a Contigo, and stop buying tea/coffees in the likes of Costa/Starbucks. I use mine all the time and it saves me £££.

Imfinehowareyou Fri 20-Oct-17 19:44:03

If you pop out for milk only take the money for that. We waste so much £ on top up shops when we only needed one thing.

WeatherDependent Sat 21-Oct-17 07:11:13

I keep a record of everything I spend, it really focuses your mind and stops you spending on crap.

I also try and just do one shop a week, menu plan and try and be really inventive to use what we have rather than buying anything else.

BikeRunSki Sat 21-Oct-17 07:19:19

Meal planning and shopping to a list. Been doing it about 2 months, makes a huge difference!

Silvertap Sat 21-Oct-17 07:20:53

You need a budget has revolutionsed my spending. At this time of year I often used to have to shuffle things around to pay for xmas. This year I have £900 in my ‘xmas pot’. I can’t recommend it enough.

Csd17 Sat 21-Oct-17 07:32:40

How does meal planning work in your house weather and bike?

Csd17 Sat 21-Oct-17 07:34:07

Wow silver tap how did you save that £900? I have a friend whose work colleague and her husband put away £100 a month into the Christmas fund savings account and always have loads for the festive season.

Graceflorrick Sat 21-Oct-17 07:34:12

I don’t know if you are in a position to just get your mortgage down as much as possible/ pay it off, but it was only after we’d ended our mortgage that we stopped having to think about money.

WeatherDependent Sat 21-Oct-17 07:48:49

We plan a week at a time, each person gets to choose one meal then I go through the cupboards to plan two more then one is a randomer.

The randomer is usually whatever is in the super six meat deal in Aldi.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 21-Oct-17 21:33:54

Become obsessed with budgeting until you get it under control.
Entertainment - we have a couple of memberships a year. Always nat trust as it’s worth it for the parking alone. We also have the aquarium but that’s locally specific. Look at year memberships for local attractions. I have done this since dc were little and there’s always something to do. I insist on packed lunches and argue with the kids that I have spend x on the entry fee.

Never go out for more than half an hour without drinks and snacks if your kids are quite young. Have long life foods in the cupboard for expressly this purpose. We have fruit winders but whatever - you get the idea. We go out with squash bottles and and fruit winders and apples and we are sorted.

In the summer I buy the big packs of bottled water from aldi (v cheap) and shove them in the boot under stuff where it doesn’t boil. I’m prepared.

Re date nights can you get the 2 for 1 cinema tickets through anything you buy?

Re clothes I was so pleased when dd2 started school and needed so much less after uniform. I buy for what we do so long sleeved tops and skinnies for winter dog walks and playing. Party dress and nice tights and not much else. I only buy when there are offers. For example my favourite kids brands does 20% off their winter stock in about August so I wait for that and budget for buying then.

Wolfcub Sat 21-Oct-17 21:35:59

Get milk delivered so there’s no temptation to buy anything else when shopping for milk

SouthernNorthernGirl Sat 21-Oct-17 21:57:46

These are great tips, thank you smile

I'm on YNAB, its just I'm always adjusting the budget, and the ends never quite meet confused

Wolfcub I keep saying we should get milk delivery, DH always says it costs far to much though.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 21-Oct-17 22:00:02

Better still have some uht milk in the cupboard. Works for me. Also some Tim’s you can shine a meal together from. We always have tinned spaghetti but I appreciate your kids may be older than 5

Shop once a week at the most and learn exactly what you need for the week. Aim for an empty fridge and cupboards on shopping day apart from the above.

Good advice I’ve read on here a few times is doing a cupboard and freezer inventory regularly. Write down the contents and stick it on the freezer. Use this to plan your shopping more efficiently. Once you get into the swing of this it’s easier to get your shopping bill under control.

SouthernNorthernGirl Sat 21-Oct-17 22:06:10

One of the DC is under 5 yrs, the other 2 are older. Any suggestions for tinned meals please?

We are renting, sadly with a long way to go before we can afford to buy, so no chance of having less housing costs.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 21-Oct-17 22:15:30

Right you are; we have tinned pasta shapes with a hard boiled egg sliced on top. Sounds weird my kids love it. Tinned macaroni cheese if you can stomach it. Beans on toast with bread toasted straight from the freezer.
Tinned sweet corn with whatever I can find in the freezer - look actual veg ha ha.

Mine like tomato soup with whatever’s going too.

I also keep couple jars of pasta bake sauce and dried pasta around - you can bung the sweet corn in that too.

Slartybartfast Sun 22-Oct-17 07:12:13

I have tinned mixed beans and add them to tinned tomatoes, eaten probably with fried onions and pasta, with cheese on top. very nice.

Chottie Sun 22-Oct-17 07:18:26

Regarding milk, I always have a couple of one pint milk (in plastic containers) in the freezer for when I run out, so I don't have to go out just for milk.

NerrSnerr Sun 22-Oct-17 07:23:13

I look round charity shops and look for new or like new games and books for Christmas and birthdays. I pick them up throughout the year and put them away. Same for children’s clothes.

Bobbiepin Sun 22-Oct-17 07:27:47

If you make meals from scratch its so much cheaper. Macaroni & cheese is a prime example, cheese sauce made from scratch costs pennies & bulk buy pasta and that'll cost even less.

RandomMess Sun 22-Oct-17 07:31:26

2nd hand as much as possible for the DC - once they are secondary school age that tends to stop though sad

Car boot sales are ridiculously cheap for clothes and toys and check out Facebook selling pages.

Days out - visit playgrounds meeting up with friends. Swapping reciprocal play dates.

Are you both working?

SandysMam Sun 22-Oct-17 08:10:20

If I manage to have a NSD (free museum with packed lunch for example), I transfer a few quid into my savings. This can then become a pot for Christmas. Also, and this is mega tight, buy full fat milk and add a bit of water!! Not loads, but enough to get an extra pint out of a big one. Every little helps!

SandysMam Sun 22-Oct-17 08:10:44

NSD = No spend day

flyingpigsinclover Sun 22-Oct-17 08:11:26

Leave your purse at home so you don't do impulse shopping.

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