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Am stoney broke! Top money saving tips please!

(30 Posts)
dandycandyjellybean Fri 17-Aug-07 12:06:23

Was just saying to dh that really since I got pregnant (ds now 22 months) we have been heamorraging (sp) money. Initially it was about getting (some) diy jobs in the house finished before the baby (dh disabled and can't do a lot - I usually do most of it!) But then somehow, since ds arrived I've completely lost touch with the budget, and just seem to keep spending, spending, spending. Bought an 03 car last year (need something roomy and reliable for dh/ds) and although didn't get a loan (don't believe in 'em) did use up all money in our slush fund. Have been attempting to put it back ever since with no success. Every time I managed a couple of hundred something would crop up and I had to spend it. Anyway, sorry for the longwinded intro, but suffice to say that I've spent the last 2 days having a real serious look at our finances, and I want to save money everywhere I can, and immediately thought 'I'll bet m'netters can help!' So, please pass on the things you find really successful, I'll try anything! TIA

brendar75 Fri 17-Aug-07 12:09:36

Have a look at and - fool's discussion boards are good, especially the LBYM (Living Below Your Means) ones for lots of tips! Good luck

dandycandyjellybean Fri 17-Aug-07 14:48:15

Thanks brendar75, anyone else? Please, really would love to hear how you guys do it.

LowFatPumpkinJuice Fri 17-Aug-07 15:58:55

I do grocery shopping on-line so I am not tempted to impulse buy. It's worth the £3.99 delivery charge not to spend an extra £15 of rubbish we dont need!

We also need to save money and am madly racking my brains for anything we do to help you, and that's all I can think of so far.

Will be watching your thread with interest, and promise to add more if I can think of it.

dandycandyjellybean Fri 17-Aug-07 16:32:35

thanks and bump

Dior Fri 17-Aug-07 16:34:00

Message withdrawn

DoubleBluff Fri 17-Aug-07 16:35:01

Menu plan
Shop with a list
Shop at Aldi/ Lidl/ local butcer/ greengrocer.
Check for better deals on TV/ phones/ gas, etc
CAncel luxuries ie mag subscriptions etc
Take packed lunches to work/ days out

Desiderata Fri 17-Aug-07 16:36:52

Look at all your bills in turn, and find ways of reducing them. There are plenty of websites that will help you with this. If you subscribe to SKY (or anything similar), get rid of it. There are plenty of channels on the digi-box.

Don't buy newspapers. Buy your clothes in second hand-shops or from the clearance rails of TK Maxx.

Ditto for children's toys, etc.

Where possible, try to cut your daily expenditure (not bills), to £10 or less a day.

mummydoit Fri 17-Aug-07 16:39:01

Buy baby and toddler clothes and equipment second-hand. Find out if your local branches of NCT and MAMA run Nearly New Sales. Our NCT ones are brilliant - some incredible bargains and everything is checked for quality. You can sell your outgrown things too, when you get to that stage. Also use eBay or the local paper. Plus if you're not a member of Freecyle, then join! You can pick up allsorts of things for free and you can ask for specific items if there's anything you need.

Dior Fri 17-Aug-07 16:39:33

Message withdrawn

mslucy Fri 17-Aug-07 16:39:49

walk/cycle as much as possible
throw away credit cards
take out a set amount of cash and accept that as a budget
put stuff you don't need on ebay
don't eat ready meals
don't take cabs
drink draft not bottled drinks if you go out as they're much cheaper
eat less meat
invite yourself round to people's houses for meals
don't buy new clothes
use freecycle to get hold of stuff for nothing
take in lodgers

Also go to a financial advisor and look into the realities of remortgaging your home to release money to tide you over.
Then get a good fixed deal (they're out there if you're lucky)

If you rent, put yourself on a council/housing association list asap - you sound like you've got a lot of needs.

ambercat Fri 17-Aug-07 16:47:46

Walk as much as you can,saves on petrol and gets you fit.

Definately meal plan (be really strict if its not on the list, don't buy it) and lidl is great espcially their nappys and wipes.

Don't spend a fortune on days otu in the holidays, use your local parks, look out for free activities (our local park had a family fun day last weekend)
go to the library, do some baking, make your own play-do.

Don't ever just pop into town for a look around, i always end up spending so only go if i really have to and then only buy what i need and then leave. Also never go to supermarket if i only need milk cos i always end up with a trolleyful of crap.

choosyfloosy Fri 17-Aug-07 16:59:43

Three things worth 'investing' in: decent tupperware and plenty of it, a Thermos, proper waterproofs with hoods.

Then you are all set for storing leftovers, harvesting free stuff and eating outdoors at any time. Maybe you are not like us, but a huge proportion of our wasted money used to be in cafes and eating out.

The blackberry crop is incredible this year. Also damsons. Haven't worked out how to use hips and haws yet but will try to do so!

I really wouldn't internet shop - get out of the habit of supermarkets if you can, unless you are incredibly disciplined. Markets are cheaper IMO, even if individual things are more expensive IYSWIM. Buy one decent butcher's sausage per family member and make a big stew with them with plenty of veg, rather than buying 20 cheap sausages at the supermarket.

If you buy magazines, do stop. They are not only expensive in themselves, but they are specifically designed to make you spend more.I love them but TBH am happy to not have them any more.

The only reward card I would recommend is Boots. Great at Christmas.

Generic painkillers are only 37p a packet, but well tucked away at the bottom of the shelf.

Consider car-sharing or getting rid of it (if you have one), although other transport is also expensive. I haven't cracked this one yet at all.

Have a 'mum's night in' instead of a 'mum's night out' (if you have these with local friends) and get each person to bring a couple of no-longer-needed books or toys to swap between you.

Plan for Christmas (if you celebrate it). Tell all your family that you are buying presents only for under-25s (adjust for your family) and that they shouldn't give you any. I like Christmas but this reduces stress enormously. Use children's drawings as wrapping paper/basis for cards. Use last year's cards cut up for gift tags. Avoid urge to buy more than one present per person.

dandycandyjellybean Fri 17-Aug-07 20:20:50

Thanks guys these are just the sort of things I'm looking for! some real inspiration. Anymore for any more?

dizzydo Sat 18-Aug-07 07:14:58

If you do supermarket shop, try exchanging a couple of items you regularly buy for the basics or value range. You will be amazed at how much you can save. I buy Sainsbury's basic loo rolls now instead of Andrex and I think they are about £1 for nine rolls!! I cant say there is any appreciable difference compared to the massive saving. I still only buy the same number each week so they dont run out faster. Same with their tinned basic tomatoes in a stew you cant tell the difference.

dandycandyjellybean Sat 18-Aug-07 13:48:20

Thanks so much. I have put a menu planner on my kitchen notice board, and planned all the meals for next week (eating as much out of freezer and storecupboard as possible), as well as a very strict shopping list, and I feel better already!

Am already a good bogof shopper, am veggie and when the Quorn fillets were £1 instead of £1.95 in Asda I bought about 20 bags! Love Aldi, but as we have one just down the road, I have been popping in almost every day - fatal, so will be more disciplined from now on. Get my nappies and a few other things from Lidl too, but only go there once a month as it is further away.

Have been meaning for just ages to put some stuff on ebay, so will try that too. Any tips on what sells well and what doesn't?

I'm also going to implement the 'set amount of cash' thing, as it is too easy to just keep spending with cards. Can't get rid of car, as dh is disabled, but will be trying to do more walking too. Thanks again, and please keep 'em coming if there are any more tips out there!

saltire Sat 18-Aug-07 13:56:09

I am reading this, as could do with some tips for us, as I can't get registered as a CM until after Christmas. I am also laughing at the shop at Aldi/Lidl advice. i did that 2 weeks ago and spent over £100. The following week spent £45 including delivery at Asda home shopping!

coleyboy Sat 18-Aug-07 14:17:25

Batch cooking saves loads of money. It also means you don't have to cook as much as you do it all in one go!

Spag Bol
Shepards Pie

It's quite easy to plump up mince based meals with other ingrediants, so it goes further which means you don't have to scrimp on the quality of the ingrediants you buy.

Would also agree with internet shopping. Aas you have a running total as you shop you are less likely to overspend.

coleyboy Sat 18-Aug-07 14:21:45

Oh, and using a breadmaker is great - although the initial outlay is expensive (don't get a cheap breadmaker, they are usually shite), and it probably takes a while to recoup the costs.

Homemade soup and bread is dead cheap, and very yummy.

DoubleBluff Sat 18-Aug-07 14:29:53

Start your own veg patch?

wolveschick Sat 18-Aug-07 15:04:16

If you have not sat down already and done a budget do it now and be's so tempting not to be realistic. Include tax credits/ child benefit and add to income. As regards outgoings I list fixed, variable and optional outgoings in a column and review them periodically. Have a good look at each item and see whether you could swap around or change providers.
Re: credit cards-look for lowest interest rate, transfer outstanding balances and set up a standing order to pay a set amount per month.
I agree re: internet shop.
One way we saved money as a one off was to put all groceries and petrol on a credit card instead of funding it direct from our current account and paid it off at end of month with direct debit. This gave us quite a reasonable cash injection but you need to tie it in right with pay day and bear in mind that it is a one off. The card also means we get double nectar points.
We also have a car fund, xmas fund, holiday fund and clothes fund. I divide what the costs for each are per year and divvy up by 12 and put the money away. No I am not anal by any means but am very scatty and this helps discipline me. Plus if I see a Xmas bargain in August I can just get it.
One last thing DH and I do is take our set amount of spends out in cash on pay day and this is it for the month. We can get quite competitive as to who has spent the least.

I do know what you mean tho. I took 5 months unpaid maternity leave last year and we are still recovering-everything is so expensive at the mo

wolveschick Sat 18-Aug-07 15:07:28

ps I order all the books I want from the library for 50p per reservation instead of buying and I have saved a fortune...books are my thing. I also subscribe to a few magazines as works out much cheaper.

FlameBatfink Sat 18-Aug-07 15:07:39

Go onto legal/money and find the debt free 2007 threads - oodles of us on there screwed together

Pruners Sat 18-Aug-07 18:36:22

Message withdrawn

dandycandyjellybean Sat 18-Aug-07 20:52:42

went to Aldi today to buy a few necessary essentials, and was really proud of myself for completely sticking to the list, until I got outside in the pouring rain and remembered that milk wasn't on the list so had to go back in and queue up all over again!!! Never mind, i was a really good girl, so am proud of mysef. am rewarding self with large gin and tonic (Aldi's own for both things, and cheap lemons! so very allowed).

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