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Money-saving hints that aren't...

(210 Posts)
TheFifthKey Tue 08-Jan-19 12:45:27

I've been looking through momey saving blogs etc and the same things come up that annoy me every time because they're either not good hints or just unhelpful.

Firstly, the "if you stop buying lunch/coffees/magazines" tip - maybe there's the odd person who hasn't noticed that £5 a day at Costa adds up but it's irritating when you never really buy these things anyway - funnily enough if I had a £100/month black hole in my budget like that I'd notice!

And the second is "use lemons for cleaning" - they don't bloody work and a bottle of Flash is £1 and lasts aaaaaages for me - I don't use loads and it's fine. A net of lemons is at least 50p and would last one cleaning session - this is not a saving in any form!

Jaxtellerswife Tue 08-Jan-19 12:47:35

Haha too true, I spend almost nothing but I'd love some more saving tips.

SandysMam Tue 08-Jan-19 12:48:00

I hate the constant suggestion to “grow your own”. Costs a fortune to set up, and loads of time to nurture...which you haven’t got if working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet!

SandysMam Tue 08-Jan-19 12:48:55

Also if you post that you don’t have much food in or money til pay day, people suggest foraging for blackberries or apples. As if they would!!

TheFifthKey Tue 08-Jan-19 12:56:35

Oh yeah, home-grown veg is lovely, and it's a great thing to do, but it's not at all a money-saving tip.

loveliesbleeding1 Tue 08-Jan-19 19:44:19

Spent 20 quid last summer on a set up to grow strawberries for dad.One strawberry we got, I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

Passthecake30 Fri 11-Jan-19 22:10:09

I agree. You can't save what you don't spend!

Pandasarecute Sat 12-Jan-19 10:22:38

The, "stop buying lunch and coffees" always makes me laugh!! When I read ways to save money I already live that wayhmm

livingthegoodlife Sat 12-Jan-19 16:41:30

Agreed. I never buy coffee out or lunch. Lemons are expensive! I don't know how to cut back much more. I've stopped going out as at least I can't be tempted to spend anything.

namechangedtoday15 Sat 12-Jan-19 16:47:21

There was a post the other day where a lady said she'd transferred the pence from her current account to her savings account each night (dead easy if you have a banking app on your phone) - so if her balance was £123.65, she transferred the 65g into her savings account. It was so little each day that she didnt notice it and at the end of the year she'd saved £200+ towards Christmas. I thought that was a great idea. Not really changing spending habits but generating savings.

namechangedtoday15 Sat 12-Jan-19 16:47:48

65p obvs blush

Roomba Sat 12-Jan-19 16:48:15

Even supposed 'expert' help isn't always super helpful ime. I was sent on a 'managing your money' course by the jobcentre. We spent three days being told don't take out payday loans (think everyone knows that's a bad idea, and no one gets one unless they are truly desperate) and pay off higher interest debts first when possible. Don't buy cars, tvs etc when you've been made redundant and don't spend all your money in the bookies. Hardly rocket science and this company are probably paid millions to run these 'really helpful' courses. I could give the dwp some money saving tips 😁

Some people are that daft though. My sister ran up huge credit card debts and when we went through what she'd spent it all on it was all coffees, false nails and new outfits for every time she went out. In her head, everyone needed to buy these things or life would be miserable. A lot more miserable with a few CCJs and bailiffs ringing you all day.

Sitranced Sat 12-Jan-19 16:50:21

name changed Lloyds have a similar saving you can setup called save the change where by any purchase you make will be rounded up to the nearest pound and the odd pence moved into your savings account automatically.n

Whatififall Sat 12-Jan-19 16:51:05

namechanged I liked that tip so much I’ve just gone and transferred 74p from my current a/c to my savings! Little things like that are useful!

Licencedtodrill Sun 13-Jan-19 06:14:59

I never go to any of the coffee shops myself but am always bemused at how busy the Starbucks is that is attached to a local supermarket. It's absolutely heaving at around 4.30pm, when I walk past after work. I never feel the need for a snack/drink after I've done a shop but it seems to be the normal thing to do for most people. I don't like coffee but am too tight to pay their prices any way!

Guineapiglet345 Sun 13-Jan-19 22:06:57

I just watched that live well for less or whatever it’s called with Steph and Alex with the family that spent an absolute fortune on Christmas. So their top tips were don’t spend £100 on a box of Christmas crackers from Harrods, £600 on a single outfit for your 12 year old or my personal favourite, don’t buy hand soap that costs £16 per bottle! I mean do people really need to be told these things?!

Flowersonthewall Sun 13-Jan-19 22:21:44

That live well for less and eat well one with Greg bloody fat face do my head in! They have families who spend £400 a week because they buy 7 take aways, ready meals and throw half of the food away. Or buy their kids masses of stuff from smiggle and brand new clothes every week from next.
I'd like them to come to ours where our food shopping is always Aldi and as cheap as we can make it!

ChesterGreySideboard Sun 13-Jan-19 22:27:09

I like the transfer the odd pence idea. Except my bank won’t let you transfer less than a pound. So I’ll do £1 plus the odd instead.

Soontobe60 Sun 13-Jan-19 22:33:54

My top tip: only use cash for weekly expenses. Been doing this for years. Managed to pay of a ridiculously big loan accrued through frittering money away on cards in a shorter time than expected.
Even now, when I'm quite well off, I still draw out my cash every Saturday and revel in being able to save a bit of it each week. I get my nails done once I've saved enough up from my weekly budget.

Guineapiglet345 Sun 13-Jan-19 22:38:52

@Soontobe60 I’m going to try and do that, for the last I don’t know how many years I’ve been using a credit card for my everyday spending and paying the balance in full at the end of each month, so that I could save up the points on the credit card but it’s to easy to overspend. So now I’m a month behind iyswim. I’ve just got to save enough to pay off last months credit card and have cash to use for this month.

megletthesecond Sun 13-Jan-19 22:42:05

I love the Save the Change idea.

Another one who always takes my own sandwiches and snacks to work. Only I make decent tea so there's no way I'm wasting money paying someone else to so it for me.

TheFifthKey Mon 14-Jan-19 09:50:50

Some things that I've tried/am trying:

* instead of making a monthly budget for food/days out/clothes, I'm trialling a yearly one. I've taken my monthly allowance for each and multiplied it by 12 and I'm keeping a spreadsheet of all purchases. It's actually really helping me because you can project much better "oh if I don't buy that top in the sale at the end of the year I could have £30 more..." rather than it seeming like a small amount out of your monthly budget if that makes sense.

* use cashback sites for all online shopping where appropriate. Coming up to Christmas they had lots of boosts and bonuses too so I've now got over £80 in my accounts (which I'm not withdrawing until I need it)

* GreenJinn for supermarket shopping is great and they pay out quickly too. Sometimes you end up buying some random stuff but I always use it and actually it's nice to try new things cheaply. I can easily get £3/4 a week doing this which soon adds up

WakeMeUpWhenGoodOmensIsOn Mon 14-Jan-19 09:56:41

I get about 200 quid in cash back each year from putting absolutely everything I spend on a credit card and paying it off immediately, so I find the evangelical “cut up your credit cards” people the most annoying. I’ve never had to use the Section 75 protection you get with large credit card purchase but that’s really valuable as well.

TheFifthKey Mon 14-Jan-19 10:02:14

I've been doing all of my shopping on my Tesco Clubcard credit card with a direct debit set up to pay in full every month. I find it really good as it's easier to see my purchases itemised as opposed to them being among the litter of bills etc in my current account, and the points come in really handy - for example, I easily get enough to take the DC for a free cinema trip with snacks once a month, which is a real boon for me. Keeping a close eye on the balance is important though.

FayFortune Mon 14-Jan-19 10:08:49

A cash back credit card is a good idea. (If you are a disciplined type of user.)

I agree with op as I've always been frugal.

You have probably reached the point of being a giver of good advice op!

FayFortune Mon 14-Jan-19 10:10:31

All the basics mentioned on this thread I've been trying to tell my teen.

Scarily it's having little impact. I am seriously questioning the brain wash of advertising they are being put through now.

FayFortune Mon 14-Jan-19 10:18:48

One thing I try to do do is know the baseline price for stuff we buy regularly and if I see it cheaper stock up. So I don't have a weekly shopping list for longer lasting stuff.

Another basic one a lot of people don't seem to follow in our soft water area is that you can reduce your washing powder / dishwasher powder dose substantially with no ill effect.

TheFifthKey Mon 14-Jan-19 10:22:20

Another thing I use for regular shopping is Amazon Subscribe and Save - I use this for things like kitchen roll, toilet paper, bin bags, vitamins etc. The thing about this is that the headline price often isn't cheaper than the supermarkets, but if you have 5 or more subscriptions in a month, it's 15% off the whole lot so it can work out economical. And I also very much never ever having to think about buying toilet paper, washing tablets, dishwasher tabs and so on, and they just arrive.

You get the chance to review your monthly order before it's processed too, and skip months, so you shouldn't end up deluged with stuff you don't need.

FayFortune Mon 14-Jan-19 10:25:48

That sounds a good idea.

Yep , you need to start advising op!

TheFifthKey Mon 14-Jan-19 12:31:31

With the small drawback that I still don't seem to have any actual money...!

HeyThoughIWalk Mon 14-Jan-19 12:56:44

@Guineapiglet345 that "Shop Well For Less" Christmas episode cracked me up! The £16 hand soap that they hated when it was in a plain bottle! And spending hundreds on Christmas Day outfits!! For babies!!!

The tip I hate is "turn your heating down by 1 degree". Yeah, I've done that. Can't just keep doing it, or I might as well turn it off.

But the Christmas EWFL did show that there are people out there who do need the most basic advice!

hopeishere Mon 14-Jan-19 13:27:36

I saw advice on here for a person who was really struggling that they should try baking their own bread.

The person who was basically down to pennies was supposed to go and buy all the ingredients for a loaf of bread plus loaf tins et cetera only to probably end up producing revolting, inedible bread!! it was just such a ridiculous idea.

TheFifthKey Mon 14-Jan-19 14:07:56

And when you can buy bread from Lidl etc for about 50p, baking your own saves no money at all. The same goes for cakes and biscuits; home made are delicious and needn't cost a fortune to make, but they're not cheaper for people on a tight budget than buying value custard creams and own brand fairy cakes.

AHawkins Tue 15-Jan-19 00:18:33

Haha too true, I always find this when reading blogs, like who buys this stuff when trying to budget anyway! I have found a site that gives helpful, realistic tips that I follow for budgeting advice.

AnotherShirtRuined Thu 17-Jan-19 07:39:19

@AHawkins Would you mind sharing a link to that site, please?

MaverickSnoopy Fri 18-Jan-19 11:56:36

I've worked really hard at budgeting and think I've reached a good place with it all. These are some of the things we do:

* Set yearly budget for everything, eg car service = £300 inc repairs so save (300÷12) £25/month into a separate account. Same principle for every spend. Everything is put into one account and tracked on a spreadsheet. Actual account never falls below £1.5k meaning we can overspend from some budgets and repay later eg children's coat is £25 in sale so snap it up because there is enough money in the account but spreadsheet says I only have £20 to spend on that child's clothes. I spend £25 and following month I pay monthly about of £20 into the account making my balance on spreadsheet of £15.

* Use tesco credit card for everything including water, gas and electricity bills. Only use it for buying things that we have money for and pay off in full each month. Collect lots of points and use on trips, meals out etc.

* Free cinema tickets with bank account and also have the meerkat code thing (can't think what it's called).

* All shopping done via topcashback. Money is pooled and put towards Christmas (currently have £27 for next year).

* Shop in all sales throughout the year, thinking ahead for children's clothes, birthdays, Christmas and gifts for parties. In sales just gone I bought nearly all extended family xmas and bday presents and got started on Xmas pj's for my children. Jojo mamen xmas pj's reduced to £8, Joules adult slippers for £10, science based children's toys reduced down from £20 to £4 gifts for parties...which I can afford to do because I put money aside monthly and overall have a big surplus in the account.

* Use costco for branded things in bulk and only go when visiting other places in the area so not unnecessarily using petrol.

* Reuse recyclable items where possible eg formula tins for felt tip storage instead of buying tubs etc, in a similar vein, melt ends of Crayons to make new Crayons etc

* Buy secondhand where possible - always look on Marketplace first

* Always trying to bring down cost of food shopping and look for better deals

* Do surveys to buy family annual passes for days out which makes days out free

* Check for tax rebates annually

* Check paying the cheapest for fuel, phones, insurances etc but balanced with good customer service - also remember to check topcashback

* Book annual holiday in January when sales are on. This year we got 20% off of our summer holiday.

* In general I have a rule that I don't buy anything full price unless I have to. I always look around for discount codes too. In the summer I needed lots of new bedding (think enough to fully kit out 2 single beds and a few bits for a double). Sainsburys seemed pretty good so waited until their sale - got £250 worth of stuff for £40. Lots knocked off in the sale and then I used a discount code as a first time shopper and got a big chunk off - something like £20. When the delivery arrived the driver gave us 30 packs of Lego cards too!

* I have a shopping list of stuff I need in my phone. I'm always on the look out for these things and when they're on offer I buy them.

* Save gift cards in one place and rather than thinking "oh what can I spend that on" I wait until there's something I need and use the gift card.

* I enter lots of competitions. I won £100 in a MN survey last year and chose an amazon voucher. Then every time I needed to use amazon I used that - think it lasted about 3 or 4 months.

Generally we have a good standard of living for a family on 5 on a low income, but it takes time and a lot of work which can be tiring.

MaverickSnoopy Fri 18-Jan-19 11:57:14

Eugh sorry I did use paragraphs, but it looks like one long one on my phone....

AHawkins Fri 18-Jan-19 16:40:01

Sorry, yes, it I read all their blogs and have planned a call with them at the end of this year for free mortgage advice as I should hopefully be buying my first home by then!

Mrscog Fri 18-Jan-19 17:15:00

My rule (which often is also good for the environment) is really scrutinise whether you really do need something. I think lots of people in this thread are already in this mindset.

A couple of recent examples for me are - I wanted a new colour of nail varnish for christmas day. It would have been £8. When I thought it though, I thought not only about how it would feel to have the lovely new metallic red, but also how I'd feel beyond the day about £8 less towards the things I'm saving for (bathroom) and whether I'd really be bothered. Answer was no - that was £8 saved.

Another was wanting some new wash cloths for my face. At the same time I had put an old towel in the rag bag. Instead I chopped up this old ripped towel into 20 small squares - endless supply of face flannels and didn't have to buy a thing!

Another was my slippers - the inner insole was all ripped and very very smelly. Instead of buying new slippers (the rest of them were intact with plenty of wear) i simply bought a new pair of insoles and ripped out the smelly raggy ones.

Things like this really add up over a year - you can easily save 500-1000 by just not spending/renewing.

Petalflowers Fri 18-Jan-19 17:20:39

Another money saving tipmwhichnisn’t, ismto sell things on eBay/spchock/local selling sites etc.

The item may not sell, can take time to sell (I often relist the same item 3+ times before selling ) and then may not sell for much, plus there’s fees to pay. It’s not the grand money making scheme that it’s often portrayed.

Linguaphile Fri 18-Jan-19 17:29:39

Ha ha, I agree op, some of the advice is dumb.

I saw this on a 'world's cheapest people' sort of TV program, so haven't done it myself, but thought it looked like an interesting experiment. There was a couple the show who had decided that one week a month they just wouldn't go to the shops at all and would survive on whatever was in their cupboards and fridge/freezer. They ended up saving hundreds every month. Maybe hard to do after a few months though once the dregs of the freezer and cupboards have been purged?

Want2bSupermum Fri 18-Jan-19 17:42:12

Best thing we have done as a family is to keep our expenses consistent while our income has increased. We don't have a cleaner, buy food out or have a 2nd car. We could easily afford it but save the money.

Most people who are struggling financially have an income problem. If you aren't earning enough you will never get ahead of your bills. You either have to work more hours or get a skill more in demand that commands a higher salary. It's amazing what a job title change can do to a salary. Admin vs project manager. Very similar skills but project managers are nearly always paid a lot more.

QuietContraryMary Fri 18-Jan-19 17:54:28

Well tbh the best money-saving hint is to actually budget. If you don't ever find out where your money is going then it might not occur to you that you have £x/month of discretionary spending (coffee, takeaways, etc.). I don't think 'don't spend £4/day on takeaway coffee' is a very good tip, but that sort of stuff does add up.

For someone else it could be alcohol, an overly expensive car, but until you write it down and see then you can't get anywhere.

ALongHardWinter Fri 18-Jan-19 18:16:37

I think the 'best' money saving tip I've ever had was from my DMum,quite a few years back. My washing machine had packed up,so I was going to the local laundrette once or twice a week. She asked me how much it cost each time to use the laundrette. I said £3.00 for the wash,and another £1 for the dryer. She said 'You'd be better off saving that money for a year then buying yourself a new machine with it'. Yes mum,great idea. But in the meantime,how do I get my washing done?! confused

miggeldysthepres Fri 18-Jan-19 18:21:52

I have an excel spreadsheet which at the start has an estimated amount for each bill ,absolutely everything. i then save 12th of that every month so when the bills come I've got it there and I don't have any leaner months. I put x amount into the joint account every month, leaving £100 each for dh and I to spend as we wish.

OldJoseph Fri 18-Jan-19 18:27:16

A few years ago there was a program where celebrity chefs were supposed to help people struggling with money and cooking healthy meals.
One chef decided to help this particular single male who ate most tinned ravioli by showing him how to cook salmon in a fish kettle. It's economical because you have salmon to last a while.
Ridiculous, the man only had a couple of saucepans and a small hob. He really needed help to cook cheap basic meals on a budget.

NWQM Fri 18-Jan-19 18:27:34

Sorry but I’ve just lost a mouthful of coffee laughing at the washing machine ‘saving’ idea. Home made coffee luckily not Starbucks. Am loving these ideas.

grannybiker Fri 18-Jan-19 18:32:24

It's not saving money if you buy up half a shelf of food with yellow / "Whoops" stickers if your freezer hides them until they're all freezer-burnt sad

Rudgie47 Fri 18-Jan-19 18:32:56

I got our water bill cut in half from applying for a scheme for low waged households. So it went from £700+ to £350 per year, quids in!!.
I changed from BT to EE, £200 saving per year there.
Also I always take a flask and a bottle of water or squash when going out for the day I wont buy coffees.

Also I have cut down on buying shoes/ trainers and bags etc.

DowntonCrabby Fri 18-Jan-19 18:32:56

I start doing the “pay yourself first” method in 2017 so savings are budgeted before ANYTHING else.

I’ve worked on the method so I now only keep what I know we’ll need in the current account, a buffer is kept in our savings accounts that can be easily transferred over if something unexpected comes up and permanent savings are kept less easily accessible.

Plum is great for saving wee amounts that you don’t notice. I’ve saved £250ish since about August.

PoisonButTasty Fri 18-Jan-19 18:34:42

I hate ... reduce your mobile contact ... it’s called a contract for a reason and usually you’re stuck with it for two years so you can’t reduce it!

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Fri 18-Jan-19 18:37:08

I don’t get the fuss about changing energy suppliers. For 25 quid a year? It’s not worth the hassle

PlumpSyrianHamster Fri 18-Jan-19 18:46:36

Take in ironing. Oh, yeah, that's a real money spinner. Sell stuff on Ebay. Never mind the fees, the PayPal fees, the chancer buyers who can fuck you or having to wait for your money.

Whyislarryhappy Fri 18-Jan-19 19:09:55

Where I've moved to now, most shops don't accept card payments at all, and the ones that do, seems like their card machines are always broken.l, so for me taking cash out bank and spending it is actually worse because you get loadsa unwanted change that you end up spending in the shop.
My number 1 tip for saving is I don't use the corner shop, unless I'm topping up my gas and elec, take my DC with me and buy them a treat from their. Also I find topping up my gas and elec works better if you do a large amount not £5 or £10 here and there. So I visit corner shop literally once a month!

Banjax Fri 18-Jan-19 19:19:25


Kikipost Fri 18-Jan-19 19:34:58


Possibly the most contradictory post I have ever read!

QuietContraryMary Fri 18-Jan-19 19:35:01

You can save a lot more than 25 quid by changing energy suppliers.

I just checked and even within supplier there's a £170 saving between the standard tariff and the fixed price one assuming bills of £1600 per year

Kikipost Fri 18-Jan-19 19:36:18


No hassle

I got £100 through referrals
And I save £27 a month

Kikipost Fri 18-Jan-19 19:45:46

It’s all such tiny savings, which I appreciate is sometimes the best that can be done.

As a previous poster said, it’s all about earning.

I went from single mother SAHM on CTC and (admittedly generous) CM from my ex. I went back to work, £40k a year. CTC dropped slightly but then I got WTC too, and CM stayed the same.

So in short - my income was suddenly hugely increased. Saving that amount would have been impossible.

So now I’m studying (and working damn hard to impress management) so that I’m able to take next leap up the ladder to £48000 a year. It’s in sight.

It’s all about improving your earning potential. Saving £1.45 here and £3.80 there may help towards an unexpected car repair but it’s not going to actually tangibly improve your finances

UpTree Fri 18-Jan-19 20:13:10

For those who do enjoy a take out coffee every now and then, go to McDonalds, Subway and independent cafes.... much cheaper (and nicer imo) than starbucks/costa type places

Thegirlwithnousername Fri 18-Jan-19 20:24:01

I love the transfer the pence into savings from the bank account me and DH are going to do this!
Keep the helpful ones coming lol!
Some of these are ridiculous!

soulrider Fri 18-Jan-19 20:24:45

I just checked and even within supplier there's a £170 saving between the standard tariff and the fixed price one assuming bills of £1600 per year

Assuming bills of £1600 per year, is no better than assuming people have a takeaway coffee every day. We pay 650-700ish per year (depending on weather) combined gas and electric.

Someone upthread mentioned using cash instead of card. For me it's the opposite, if i get 10 pounds out the bank to pay for something that's 2.50 i'm far more likely to spend the remaining 7.50 than if i'd just used my card for the 2.50 to begin with.

Want2bSupermum Fri 18-Jan-19 20:33:54

kiki well done on getting your earnings up. It's not easy to do it but I found it a million times easier to save by earning more.

NameChanger22 Fri 18-Jan-19 20:48:05

My top tip is the find the cheapest place to buy everything non-perishable and keep a good supply of them. For example Asda sells the cheapest bubble bath at 45p, so when I go to Asda I buy 10 or 20 of them. I never buy bubble bath anywhere else. When I go to Wilko I buy lots of kitchen rolls as they are 4 for 90p in there. I source the cheapest of everything and keep a good supply of those things. I keep a simple spreadsheet to keep track of where to buy everything and how many I have. For some reason I find this fun.

Also, think about how much each meal costs you to make, roughly. Then start to eat more of the cheapest meals and only occasionally have a more expensive one as a treat.

Bread making doesn't save much money, but it does save some. A bag of flour costs 45p in Aldi. I sachet of yeast costs about 5p. With that I can make 2 loaves of bread, a pizza base, some rolls and some cinnamon twists. All that would have cost me at least £3 to buy, instead it cost about 60p.

PigletJohn Fri 18-Jan-19 20:51:29

Buy a jar of Diamond Dip and put in the jewels you have worn each evening when you come home. It will save your PA having to take them to the jewelers to be cleaned and they will always sparkle.

Not your opals or peals, obviously.

April2020mom Fri 18-Jan-19 21:13:50

These are my money saving tips:
I always buy food in bulk when I’m shopping. When it comes to days out I save money by taking my own food and drinks. Rather than buy food we have a family picnic. At Christmas time I make my own gifts. I even design my own cards.
I reuse a lot of the time. Instead of buying brand new clothes I visit charity shops for clothes for the kids to wear. I’ve even altered them for my daughter. Or I poke around online. There are lots of amazing deals out there.
I fly out of season. I detest flying in a crowded plane full of germs. Plus it’s waay less expensive. My middle name is Thrifty.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Fri 18-Jan-19 21:26:04

I am one of those people who buy little treats to cheer myself up, so advice to stop buying takeaway coffees etc has worked for me.
I also save all the £2 coins I get - I don't get so many that I notice them bring saved, but by Christmas I usually have over £100. I also save coppers in a jar.
My best money saving tips is simply to stay out of the shops!
I think that if you are already meal planning and shopping sensibly, there's not much you can do to save money - if you don't have enough coming in, there's only so much you can do to save.

delboysskinandblister Fri 18-Jan-19 21:50:30


This is tried and tested is it?... grin

Jcsp Fri 18-Jan-19 22:00:54

The money saving tip that annoys me is the idea that a smart (electric) meter will save you money.

It will only save you money IF you heed the messages on the display - the ones that tell you how much electricity that, say, your tumble drier is using etc.

The thing is - you only have your tumble drier on when you need stuff drying, it’s not something you put on for fun.

There is a school of thought that having a smart meter can make it easier for electricity companies to introduce and operate dynamic pricing ie the cost per unit goes up at times of high demand - like fares for Uber taxis do.

It’s far simpler to get the household used to switching stuff off when not in use, getting LED bulbs etc.

Ylvamoon Fri 18-Jan-19 22:21:21

Shopping: meal plan & cut out most meat and processed products- they are expensive. (Try and have 2-3 vegetarian meals / week) Write a shopping list, if it is not on the list, it's not going into in the trolley. Bulk buy dry goods like lentil & pasta if you can store them correctly. They don't have a use by date and will last.
Always stick to your budget. Try and rotate things like washing power, toilet paper and other cleaning products so you don't have to buy them in the same week (and go over budget) This will also encourage you to use less (e cloth might be your friend).
Showering: use a good old fashioned soap bar, you use less and it's cheaper than shower gel...

Guineapiglet345 Fri 18-Jan-19 22:26:16

There is a school of thought that having a smart meter can make it easier for electricity companies to introduce and operate dynamic pricing ie the cost per unit goes up at times of high demand - like fares for Uber taxis do.

A friend who works for an energy company told me the only thing smart meters do is encourage old people to turn their heating off resulting in hospital admissions and early death confused

3out Fri 18-Jan-19 22:27:43

I’m sure the money ‘saving’ ideas are written by the same people who write the articles on how to get the most out of a small kitchen. Firstly, the included photo of the ‘small’ kitchen is always bigger than our sitting room and kitchen combined, and secondly, the ‘tips’ are often ridiculous - ‘create more room in the kitchen by moving infrequently used items to the utility room’. Well that’s just super advice. I’ll move all the books out of the sitting room and into the study. That’ll save room too...

PoisonButTasty Fri 18-Jan-19 22:29:17

@3out that really made me laugh

SinceYouAskMe Fri 18-Jan-19 22:29:56

I agree that “getting a smart meter will save you loads on your electricity bills” is probably not true if you’re already reasonably clued up about how electricity works.

3out Fri 18-Jan-19 22:38:12

Thanks, poison ;) What really makes me laugh is the ‘Readers’ top tips’ in Chat/Take A Break etc. ‘Deirdre from Derby: Don’t waste money on a recipe book stand in the kitchen. Just hook an old trouser hanger on a cup hook and slide your book on to the hanger (picture attached)’ Some of the ideas are just ludicrous!

PoisonButTasty Fri 18-Jan-19 22:42:18

Sanitary towel slippers for example ...

dottyp0104 Fri 18-Jan-19 23:24:20

Best money saving tip for me was to switch energy supplier. My monthly DD wemt from £220 with EDF to £95 withBulb. No contract, one flat rate which is variable but still cheaper, and no
more estimated bills. Saved myself a fortune amd you get £50 for signing up. As no contract, if not for you then can switch again.
Wish I had done it years ago 🙄

littlemisscomper Fri 18-Jan-19 23:25:37

@3out I remember one that suggested instead of spending money on hanging baskets, you use kitchen colanders instead! hmm

littlemisscomper Fri 18-Jan-19 23:35:12

@NameChanger22 But what about the cost of running the oven, the hot water and detergent for washing up afterwards, the wear and tear on utensils and kitchen equipment? Not to mention the time you spend baking that you could be either working (earning more than you'd otherwise save) or relaxing/having fun. I guess if you were really into baking it would be worth the few pennies saved but if it just another chore the chunk of life it would take up would negate any benefit.

smallgirlproblems Fri 18-Jan-19 23:42:16

It really winds me up when I see money saving programmes on tv when a family say they are really struggling and then you see literally everything they buy is branded (all groceries) and they generally have a take away a week. Then the helpful presenters ask them consider own brands, or not having a takeaway. WOW.
And on the shop well for less programme someone was told that buying a spray and washable cleaning cloths was more economical than using about 4 packs of dettol wipes per week.

Mossend Fri 18-Jan-19 23:42:49

@namechangedtoday15 that's a brilliant tip, I've just trf 86p into my savings account and will do it every night

Blankscreen Fri 18-Jan-19 23:46:48

I think the save the pennies idea is good. I'm going to try that.

As my mum says there is only so much cutring back you can do.

I think my best advice is to stay out of the shops. For example this week we have eaten out of the fridge /freezer and I didn't do a £120 shop. Still got stuff to get through in the freezer so going to make a plan tomorrow and see if I can get by with a small shop this week.

I just want to know where our money goes. DH is bloody useless. After all bills we should have quite a lot left but we never do!!
I said him today that I think we need to withdraw £150 on a Friday night as our weekly spends and that's all we have for spending at weekend until next Friday And if it's gone we can't have a takeaway on Thursday night for example. He doesn't think it's enough but I think it's worth a try.

Gotstuckwiththisname Fri 18-Jan-19 23:47:10

I always round up to the nearest fiver from my main bank account and transfer the extra to my savings every week. It pays for christmas pretty much.

BackforGood Sat 19-Jan-19 00:20:48

Thing is, there are thousands of people out there who do buy their lunch out every day, and do buy takeaway coffees every day, without realising quite how much that adds up to over a year or even a month.
Same with the switching energy suppliers / insurances / etc every year, as suggested. Someone suggested it then another poster says it isn't worth it for £25 a year. Well, for a lot of families £25 is worth saving, even before you realise you can usually earn that just for switching, on top of any savings you make.
Same with switching bank accounts etc. - if you have the time, and are organised and remember to review regularly, you can earn money that way.
So much depends on your money budget vs your time budget. There have been times when I simply didn't have the choice, moneywise, and other times in my life where it was more of a choice.
People regularly start threads on MN asking how they can spend less on their weekly shop. Other posters start setting out how they spend so little, and the OP says "I can only possibly eat organic, ethically sourced produce and my dh won't consider it a meal unless there is meat everynight and I have to have 14 different types of fresh fruit everyday, etc etc. Well, that's nice if you can afford it, but everyone's ideas of saving money are different.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 19-Jan-19 00:42:23

* I was sent on a 'managing your money' course by the jobcentre*

This reminded me of that time in the Simpsons when, following an unfortunate series of chance events, they were referred to Social Services (or whatever the American equivalent is) and made to go on a parenting and general sensible home management course.

The leader enthusiastically says "And, people - I can't stress this enough - DO NOT THROW YOUR GARBAGE OUT OF THE WINDOW!!! Simply dispose of it in the trash can."

Homer (frantically scribbling, taking notes): "This is gold dust, Marge!"
Marge: "This is soooo humiliating!"

FloorLamp Sat 19-Jan-19 00:44:28

My TSB account has a Save The Pennies account.

It automatically rounds up the change and transfers it in every day.

I managed over £100 last year wink

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 19-Jan-19 00:55:08

I remember seeing one of these programmes where a supposedly hard-up family had invested in a caravan to save money on family holidays. Good idea, except they'd bought a huge shiny, posh brand new one for £20K+ - a twin-axle, I think - rather than a sensibly-priced, well looked-after used one.

Only then did they apparently realise that their medium family hatchback wouldn't easily tow it, so they went straight out and bought a BRAND NEW 4x4 for another £20K+.

I would love to be 'struggling' in the same way they obviously were.

On another one, there was a young woman - not particularly wealthy but I think used to being shielded by her (hard-working but not rich) parents and bailed out to the extent that she didn't really appreciate the value of money.

She'd bought herself a BRAND NEW Mercedes (at least middle of the range) the previous year and was now heartbroken to discover that the model had been replaced by a new slightly restyled shape. She was almost in tears and it took the money adviser quite some effort to get it through to her that she didn't now have to buy a new one and that her existing one-year-old car wasn't now a useless heap of junk and would still function just fine for quite some years yet.

VanGoghsDog Sat 19-Jan-19 01:08:18

Chip is good for making small savings. It transfers an amount weekly, based on an algorithm which reads your bank account. I've got £500 in mine now.
Pays interest too.
The idea is that it's small amounts, similar to what you might pay for a coffee, which you barely notice.
It gives you the choice to stop it if you need to and you can set the level at low, medium or high and withdraw any time. It's an app and easy to use.

I've found it really helpful, here's the code to get 1% interest: 4RUZAS

I'm the same as most people here, these tips are just normal stuff to me. I do buy way too many clothes though, that's my downfall.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 19-Jan-19 01:16:36

A now completely unpublicised way of gaining over £200 a year if you're a married SAHP (or work part time) is the Marriage Allowance.

If you earn less than about £12K, and are thus a non-taxpayer, and your spouse (or civil partner) earns even a small amount over £13K, you can transfer 10% of your unused tax-free allowance to them, meaning that they pay less tax.

Obviously, you have to have shared finances and/or be in a healthy, non-controlling marriage to actually see the saving yourself, but it can be backdated to 2015, so could add up to a nice tax rebate of several hundreds and a bit more take-home pay ongoing.

It was one of Cameron's gimmicks and a lot of people scoffed at the time as it 'only' amounts to about £4 a week. I'm no fan of Cameron at all, but to households like ours, an extra £4 a week is very helpful and well worth a one-off five minutes filling in a really straightforward online form.

It's still going, but so many people haven't heard of it.

If you qualify but don't want a bit of extra cash (which more than pays your annual TV licence or similar bill), nobody's forcing you to apply - but we most certainly did!

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 19-Jan-19 01:27:54

I hate the constant suggestion to “grow your own”. Costs a fortune to set up, and loads of time to nurture...which you haven’t got if working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet!

There was a somebody who started a post a little while ago asking why 'poor' people waste money buying veg etc from shops when they could grow it themselves free.

She was seemingly well-intentioned, but hadn't reckoned on the fact that many people don't have a garden or the time or the money for the initial outlay for it to be in any way realistic.

She was also suggesting a lot of 'free' meals which home-growing could enable you to make with nothing more than the addition of several store-cupboard basics (olive oil and the like). Yep, those staples that magically appear, free of charge, in small enough quantities so you have room to store them, just before you need them.... hmm

JustOneShadeOfGrey Sat 19-Jan-19 01:33:33

Save hundreds by moving to NI!!

We don’t pay water rates or for prescriptions.

Franheaton Sat 19-Jan-19 01:45:26

Lol justone!

The transferring change tip is genius, especially now it's so difficult to cash in actual change.

I'm also going to investigate topcashback and other suggestions on that long pp's post back there which all sounded sensible.

I already Google for vouchers etc if I'm going anywhere which can save quite substantial amounts.

The best thing really is not to spend money unless you have to. I mean, don't do shopping as a leisure activity. There's plenty of other stuff you can do instead.

What I've done the last few years is overpay my council tax so that in November i don't need to pay any. That's a hundred extra quid for Xmas that I don't even notice going.

I do save regularly for Xmas as well anyway but it's nice to have that boost.

Monty27 Sat 19-Jan-19 03:02:09

I absolutely love this thread. I am pretty skint, having had the luxury of a fair bit of money in the past.
I happened across a TV show last Sunday morning; Martin Lewis money saving expert, about 10am ITV 1. My blood was boiling at how frivolous I still am
House insurance, car insurance, utilities and mobile phone including WiFi etc. The things you promise yourself you'll get around to but never do. It's shocking how much we pay out of sheer laziness?
I agree with home made breàd and growing your own veg is expensive and time consuming.

Kikipost Sat 19-Jan-19 05:48:21

TopCashback I have earned >£400 over 2 year period

NatWest rewards (gives you bit of cash on every purchase) I have almost £450, over two year period.

So best part of £1000 over 2 year period doing absolutely nothing.

Kikipost Sat 19-Jan-19 06:09:17

Hmrc do fantastic savings vehicle
Max £50 a month
Called help to save

What you’ll get

You can earn 2 tax-free bonuses over 4 years. You’ll get any bonuses you’ve earned even if you withdraw money.

After your first 2 years, you’ll get a first bonus if you’ve been using your account to save. This bonus will be 50% of the highest balance you’ve saved.

After 4 years, you’ll get a final bonus if you continue to save. This bonus will be 50% of savings you pay into your account above the highest balance you saved in the first 2 years. If your highest balance does not increase, you will not earn a final bonus.

The most you can pay into your account each calendar month is £50, which is £2,400 over 4 years. The most you can earn from your savings in 4 years is £1,200 in bonus money.

Your bonus is paid into your bank account, not your Help to Save account

KanielOutis Sat 19-Jan-19 06:42:38

I have a help to save account, and DH has one too. We save the max £100 per month between us. It is only available if you claim working tax credits or a working entitlement to UC, but this is including childcare fees element, so the income cut of to qualify is very high.

ChesterGreySideboard Sat 19-Jan-19 08:13:29

Credit cards are a good way to make money, but only if you are disciplined.

I have an Amex gold card. Now after a year it will cost you £140 so you need to cancel it before then.
But this is how it makes you money; open one and use it for all your spending. Provided you spend £3000 in the first 3 months you get reward point to the value of £100 you can spend these in Amazon or get them gift cards for other places. You also get travel insurance and airport lounge membership. You can also use your point to pay for flights, hotels and holiday activities.

So if you time it right it will be your holiday insurance too.
You also get points for referring a friend, so before your year is up you refer your spouse and get another £50 to spend.
You then cancel your card and your spouse uses theirs and gets all the points, has the insurance etc.

I also did the sums last holiday and it works out better value to spend abroad on the Amex gold card than on the 0% commission cards because Amex give you a better exchange rate.

3out Sat 19-Jan-19 08:13:48

@PoisonButTasty 🤣😂 Hope it wasn’t the super-slim STs, they’d not be very comfy!

@littlemisscomper yes! Colanders are more expensive than hanging baskets, and you’d need to widen the holes to poke the flower plugs through. So not helpful! 😂

ChesterGreySideboard Sat 19-Jan-19 08:14:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Somersetlady Sat 19-Jan-19 08:44:15

Getting rid of our freezer after a power cut as there were £000’s worth in it.

Not storing stuff we will probably never use means we actually eat what we buy. I appreciate it’s easy for us to do this as we have a butcher in the village.

We have an ice box in the fridge that I use to make ice lollies in the summer.

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