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Need to cut costs drastically - where's cheapest/top tips !

(46 Posts)
LouThomp Mon 29-Oct-12 23:15:52

We need to cut our general household outgoings dramatically - and we don't live a particularly lavish lifestyle as it is!

Where is the cheapest place to shop? Top tips for cash cutting with a one year old, three year old and husband who all eat like there is no tomorrow!

lisad123 Mon 29-Oct-12 23:16:51

Aldi, and food planning helped a lot in our house. Recycle others with friends.
Stop wondering if brands are better, they aren't.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 29-Oct-12 23:17:14

Shop in Aldi. I had to shop in Sainsbury's today and spent £25 on bits and pieces for the next few days-ordinarily I'd spend £35 on a full week's shop in Aldi (2 adults and one child) so it really stung!

SarkyWench Mon 29-Oct-12 23:25:01

Selling our car saved us loads. Even with taking occasional taxis.
Fuel bills are the other pace when big saving can be made.

expatinscotland Mon 29-Oct-12 23:27:46

Don't eat out. Ever.

thewhistler Mon 29-Oct-12 23:34:17

Turn the heating down and put on vests and jumpers, with hot water bottles in beds at night. Central heating was not usual until.the 60s and people survived.
But close your curtains as soon as it gets dark to keep the warmth in.

Eat lots of seasonal veg. And lentil soups. And porridge is much cheaper than cereals. Supermarkets tend to be more expensive than markets.

For quantities of protein, 6 oz for a man, 4 for a woman or child.

Buses are cheaper.

Knit jerseys. And charity shops are great for toys, books, children's clothes and presents. New to you is all that is important.

Children don't need much in the way of toys. They certainly don't need electronic ones.

Check your standing orders.

VintageRainBoots Mon 29-Oct-12 23:39:01

Cars, childcare, and housing tend to be people's biggest expenses. Can you cut back on any of these?

LouThomp Mon 29-Oct-12 23:46:46

Thanks for the advice - have just worked out I am actually better of working slightly less hours and saving on childcare (ridiculous scenario that it costs more to work!) - car I can't get rid of yet but have got a bike trailer for kids so hoping less petrol (and a bit fitter!!). Am just sorting a menu plan and have located Aldi - feeling slightly more positive. Need to save about £150/£200 a month.

Mum2Fergus Tue 30-Oct-12 07:21:54

Have you looked at utilities...gas, electric, phone (inc mobiles)...check bank ac for DD/SOs no longer required, gym, magazine subscriptions etc. Can you Gumtree/Ebay any unwanted items...clothes and toys always popular this time of year. If you drop hours, can you fit in any home work beside childcare, take in laundry/ironing for example.

Mealplan definitely...use up what you have before going shopping. Use up anything that might go out of date. Freeze leftovers and batch cooking.

Sorry, bit if a brain dump lol hope its if use.

SarkyWench Tue 30-Oct-12 07:44:40

And offer lots of favours to people... Offer babysitting, daytime childcare etc.
They're more likely to help you out in the future and save you paying for occasional extra childcare

somebloke123 Tue 30-Oct-12 10:13:06

Revisit:

Car insurance
Home/contents insurance
Fuel tarriff

If you haven't switched these for some time it's a good idea to go onto a comparison site or too e.g. moneysupermarket.com and look for better deals.

jenduck Tue 30-Oct-12 11:33:54

My little family is the same as yours (ages-wise), so I felt compelled to reply!

My top tips would be to shop at the supermarket later at night (7-8pm) to reduce grocery costs. You can get meat, bread, fruit & veg & other fresh produce on its sell-by date reduced by up to 90%. I went to Tesco last night & got roughly £70 worth of food for around £13 - lots of it Tesco Finest range which we wouldn't normally afford.

Buy/accept secondhand clothes & toys for your DC - they use them only for a short time & mine get very excited at any 'new' book or toy, whether it has cost 10p or £10. Their Xmas stockings last year were largely secondhand and they neither knew nor cared.

If you buy anything on the internet, look for voucher codes & get cashback on it via topcashback.co.uk. We got £50+ back when we got our new mobile phones!

Pootles2010 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:40:09

Yes second Jenducks ideas - partcularly the walk to supermarket at 8pm! Last night i got £20 worth of meat for £5.

Also biggest thing has been changing way I think about meal planning. You need to look at what you've got and plan around that, wheras i used to look at recipe books and see what i fancied, then go shopping. Google is your friend for this - just google recipes for whatever you've got that's about to go off, or been lurking at the back of your cupboard.

AndDIEMacDuff Tue 30-Oct-12 11:49:20

Eat less meat. Like once or twice a week. Make a big roast beef or whole chicken and then divvy it out over a few days. All the things that are easy to give a toddler like individual portions of fromage frais and cheese sticks are also much cheaper to get in bigger size containers and portion out yourself or to cut slices off the block.

If you have Sky or Virgin or similar, cancel all but the basic package.

AndDIEMacDuff Tue 30-Oct-12 11:49:41

Sky or Virgin TV that is.

Ponders Tue 30-Oct-12 11:53:59

Depending on what you normally buy, doing your main food shop at Aldi will save you upwards of 25% - & it's good quality, & none of those annoying BOGOFs where you have to buy more than you need to get the best price

agree about doing price comparisons for all your utilities & insurance, & if you do switch use a cashback website to do it

wheredidiputit Tue 30-Oct-12 11:55:55

Menu plan where you can. But see what meat they have on offer as do a meats 3 for £10 and work round that. Also make sure you use/freeze any leftovers even if it just a child's portion then have an odds and sods night where you eat the meals. Or use for lunch the next day.

Have homemade soup one night a week and another have jacket potato.

Ponders Tue 30-Oct-12 11:56:22

(oh, by "food shop" I mean the other stuff as well - loo rolls, laundry, cleaning stuff, nappies etc)

Ponders Tue 30-Oct-12 12:07:23

I made a huge pot of leek/carrot/potato soup at the weekend - 5-6 pints of it, for around £3, & 70p of that was expensive organic stock cubes! If you made your own stock from a chicken carcass, or bought cheap cubes, it would cost even less, & it freezes well.

somebloke123 Tue 30-Oct-12 13:29:00

Second Ponders' last remark.

If you are fortunate enough to have a proper butchers nearby they will often sell chicken carcasses, beef bones etc for a few pence. They make loads of stock which you can freeze in manageable portions and make an excellent basis for soup. Also things like ham. bacon knuckles which may have odd shapes but good for a ham and pea soup.

A couple of worthwhile investments if you don't already have them:

1. Slow cooker. You can simmer cheap cuts of meat for a few hours with very little effort.

2. Bread maker. I have a basic Panasonic. Once you get into the habit it takes only 2 minutes to bung the ingredients in, then leave it for 4-5 hours and take it out when it's done. Cheap, and with the added advantage that you know exctly what has gone into your loaf.

educatingarti Tue 30-Oct-12 20:54:45

I'd second using Aldi. I now prefer it to the other supermarkets as I notice how much more expensive the prices are and get annoyed! It does have a more limited range of things though so you might need to visit another supermarket every so often to pick up a few bits and pieces.

Sometimes Aldi fruit and veg doesn't last as well as stuff from other supermarkets but you can I buy enough to do a big batch cook of something straight away and freeze the extra.

Aldi washing tablets, dishwasher tablets etc are brilliant and loads cheaper than other brands.

educatingarti Tue 30-Oct-12 21:02:26

Oh - and especially with your children being so young, look in charity shops for clothes for them. As children grow out of things very quickly they are often in really good condition and your dcs won't know care. You might even find some good condition toys that would work in a Christmas stocking. Do you have friends with children of in-between ages to your 2? Could you pass some on to a younger child in the hope of getting some return items? When I was young, clothes used to go through me and my sister, go down the road to two younger girls who lived there and then come back for my cousin! You could get together with a few friends and arrange a child clothes swap maybe? It might be particularly good for more expensive items like winter coats.

educatingarti Tue 30-Oct-12 21:08:12

Another thing I've found is not to spend too much time reading magazines and catalogs that just make me want stuff I don't really need (or internet window shopping)! I'm far less likely to spend on impulse buys if I don't get "hooked in" by what is basically advertising. I've been cleaning out my big hall cupboard today and rediscovered some items I'd forgotten I had and I'm enjoying the thought of re-using them! So clear out cupboards and drawers so that you know the things you have already and don't buy duplicates ( although possibly your memory isn't as poor as mine! grin )

Wingedharpy Wed 31-Oct-12 02:21:20

I'm another in favour of meal planning and I write up my shopping list as I plan so that you check what's in stock as you go rather than just buying because you can't remember if you've got some in the cupboard or not.
I also agree with checking on line when insurances (car and home) come up for re-newal. Don't think because you're a loyal customer you'll get a good deal - it's not the case as the best deals, in the main, go to new customers.

thewhistler Wed 31-Oct-12 08:27:45

Use your local library rather than buying books. If you do want to buy a book, go second hand and charity shop.

Completely agree about catalogues. And take a shopping list with you when shopping to avoid impulse buys.

Use your freezer to the full. It's cheaper to run like that and you can freeze the things you have got on special offer.

Always for the value item. Cleaning materials have a huge spectrum if prices.

Cook your own. It's better for you and much better value.

Likewise entertainment. A home made pizza on a Friday night in front if a family video is great.

If you need really cheap decorations for Christmas, try your pound shop. No one will know.

Make your own Christmas presents for the ILS etc. Much more thoughtful.

Get the children to make Christmas cards with you. Ditto.

Turn off the lights when leaving the room.

Have a common piggy bank for small change. It's remarkable how it mounts up.

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