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Best money saving hints and tips

(22 Posts)
LittleBlondeNinja Thu 01-Aug-13 17:55:08

Hi all
Money seems to be disappearing like water recently - what are your money saving hit and tips? thought we if all shared ours we might get somewhere!!


Chocolatestain Thu 01-Aug-13 19:12:26

Plan meals so you don't over-shop and be creative with leftovers. Frittatas are great way of making a cheap meal out of leftover meat and veg.

Slow cookers are good for cheap cuts of meat and they use far less electricity than using the oven (yep, I know there's a real love/hate thing with them but IMO they're definitely worth getting to grips with).

Those stay-fresh veg bags are definitely worth the money. They keep veggies fresh for ages in the fridge so you can stock up on any special offers.

If you have little ones, baby and toddler table-top sales can save you an absolute fortune. All DS's nicest clothes come from them.

If you live near a Waitrose, get a Waitrose card. Not necessarily so you can do your shopping there but for the free tea or coffee. Having a coffee while you're out will make you feel less like you're on a budget and what you save on cappuccino you can spend on cake - result!

LittleBlondeNinja Fri 02-Aug-13 22:59:04

I especially like the last Waitrose idea!!!
Good tips thanks!!

countingmyblessings Fri 02-Aug-13 23:07:30

Meal planning
Budgeting on a weekly, monthly, annual basis
Save 10%+ pm for unexpected bills, annual car ins, tax, mot & service, holiday, Xmas/bdays
Make sure you're on the right deal for all utilities
Don't buy magazines or books, use the library
Don't shop/browse for leisure
Priortise you needs above your wants
Treats strictly weekly, not as & when

ALittleBitOfMagic Fri 02-Aug-13 23:07:52

Keep an old fabric conditioner bottle and decant half a new bottle into it . Fill them both with water and you have double

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 02-Aug-13 23:14:25

Another reason not to buy magazines is that they are just one giant advert - selling lifestyles and all sorts of consumerist crap, convincing you that such and such is the latest thing to have and that you simply MUST buy one to make your life complete. All done both overtly and subliminally. But all will result in you spending money you haven't got and cluttering up your house, bringing stress on both counts.

Just don't buy random crap, people!

kikid Fri 02-Aug-13 23:20:54

cut dishwasher tablets in half, no difference in performance, & last twice as long!

Buy Aldi bio washing powder & loo roll, excellent quality.

Meal plan, don't throw food away ever...

cece Fri 02-Aug-13 23:23:16

Give your toilet rolls a bit of a squeeze before putting them onto the holder. This makes them not a perfect circle and they are therefore harder to roll on the holder. Children less likely to help themselves to vast quantities of toilet roll.

countingmyblessings Sat 03-Aug-13 09:15:19

Don't buy Aldi bio tablets! They gave my family & I got a rash from it. Their 'premium' steak mince is full of grissle. Shopping at Aldi is false economy imo.

noisytoys Sat 03-Aug-13 15:15:26

Learn to tell the difference between what you want and what you need. Cover your need first.

Fridayschild Sun 04-Aug-13 08:00:25

I found cutting back on cleaners, bubble bath, moisturiser etc by buying cheaper had absolutely very little impact on quality.

Fridayschild Sun 04-Aug-13 08:01:35


GettingVerySleepy Sun 04-Aug-13 08:13:40

Fridays, agreed, I feel such a fool having shelled out for expensive face creams in the past before discovering Aldi Lacura.

My latest money saver is cycling to work on a bike I already had thereby saving £60+ a month on train fares. Not sure I'll be able to keep it up in winter, though.

Also when cooking make loads extra and freeze. Saves on the temptation to buy ready meals.

GettingVerySleepy Sun 04-Aug-13 08:19:04

Oh and if you like magazines Flipboard is brilliant. It's free and better than any mags you could buy as its personalised

PattieOfurniture Sun 04-Aug-13 08:23:03

I use aldi then Tesco top up shop and eon for gas & electric, then with points acquired use them for days/meals out with dc. Also we collect tokens from the Sun for free days out, this year we've had tickets for legoland, Alton towers, chessington and Warwick castle. If we can't go I give the tickets away as birthday presents to family.
We budget, very carefully. We're not a high income household (2 dc, about 23k with two of us working including tc and cb) but thanks to mil and fil, we had no money sense whatsoever, they helped us create a budget. We now look at stuff annually rather than month to month and plan for upcoming expenses. We now pay car tax, house insurances, car insurance, car breakdown - for the year, this way we save money on direct debits and admin fees etc
We have cut down on takeaways, which we were buying a lot of
Days out we take picnics and drinks
Buy 2nd hand, I saved a fortune buying ds2 baby jogger city elite on eBay and it was virtually new, pristine
Use local paper for classified ads to get rid of stuff, cheaper than eBay and less faff

MrsHoarder Sun 04-Aug-13 08:25:37

Don't buy fabric conditioner at all.

Lidl maps and washing powder (small dose is cheaper than tablets)

Bake biscuits and cakes using basics ingredients.

If more than one if you is having it make the tea in a put with fewer tea bags.

MrsHoarder Sun 04-Aug-13 08:26:59

Walk or cycle if you can

Turn lights off and check the boiler settings

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 04-Aug-13 14:40:25

I love Aldi, the washing powder etc is brilliant.

The freezer is your friend, I chop and freeze most Veg like cabbage, carrots, onions, courgettes and just chuck them in soups or pasta sauces etc.

Meal plan, check what you already have in the freezer and cupboards before you go shopping, you'd be surprised how much just doing this saves.

We have sainsburys smart price tea bags too, very cheap and I don't miss brand name tea at all.

Take a drink and a snack with you with you when you go out, even on weekends. It's much cheaper than just nipping into McDonald's.

Wear thermal undies in winter, I love my long johns and thermal long sleeve tops because it means the house doesn't need to be heated as much in the winter.

Close the curtains in winter, a thick curtain or thickly lined curtains really makes a difference ime.

lovecupboards Mon 05-Aug-13 17:20:27

Buy coal for loved ones at Christmas instead of traditional gifts.

Simbolic Wed 07-Aug-13 00:05:52

I got a half price Delivery saver offer from Tesco a few months back (mumsnet is doing one now, I got an email about it earlier) so I paid £30 & for 6 months I can have my shopping delivered into the kitchen as long as I spend £40 a shop.
You can go & chuck whatever you like in the basket days before you even check out, see how much it costs, look in the cupboard & realise you already have enough of that etc... & it's such a boring site to be on it's actually difficult to impulse buy.
I usually buy the same things, so I just go to my favourites to see everything I've ever bought in the last year or so & throw in the basics plus anything I notice is on special offer if it's something I wait to buy on special. The dates are listed so you even know when the offer ends, so sometimes I leave it til next weeks shop.
Even after you've checked out, you can log back in & amend the order up to 11.45pm the night before it's delivered if you forgot something or want to delete an item, or even change when it will be delivered.
I now spend MUCH less on shopping, never have to deal with tantruming kids wanting sweets or for you to abandon the trolley so they can go to the toilet, getting the shopping home or paying the transport costs.
They temporarily take £2 out of your account when you place your order, which will go back in a couple of days later, but don't take out the cost of the shopping until the morning of the delivery, so you can order the shopping before payday as long as you know the money will be there by the delivery date.
So far (in the last 3 months of my membership) they've sent me a free packet of popcorn, some free samples of gravy, some free crisps, a voucher to choose a free gift of either a box of chocolates (I went for the big £7 box of ferroro rocher) or a bottle of wine, there were about 30 items to choose from between wine & chocs to be delivered on your next shop, codes for free delivery on items from Tesco Direct.
One day, the delivery guy turned up 10 minutes after his delivery window (van had broken down), they refunded me the £6 the delivery slot would have cost even though I told them I didn't pay £6 as I had a delivery saver which means all these deliveries have cost me £24.
Once, they turned up without nappies or baby milk (said they were out of stock) I phoned up & complained to customer services, they sent out replacements for free delivered in a cab.

If you think you've lost any clubcard vouchers or coupons btw, log in there & you can see how many you've had, how many you've spent & any you haven't used that are still valid - I saved over a tenner on last weeks shop as I only just found this out, I had £7 worth of unused vouchers & a load of unused money off & extra points coupons my toddler had drawn all over for things I was buying anyway like semi skimmed milk.
You can print off copies & use them instore if you don't like shopping online.

I also turn off everything except the boiler & the fridge/freezer at the wall before going to bed, even things like the cooker.
I bought a solar powered/wind up radio alarm clock (which doubles as a torch should I ever need it) for my bedroom for £13, I've been using it as my radio for about 6 months now & I've never had to wind it, daylight keeps it charged.
It also works really well as a little radio to take to the beach or into the garden, although the sound is not the best. It's free to use.
I batch cook meals like chilli, bolognaise, curry etc.., freeze portions then reheat them in the microwave. Much cheaper than cooking them from scratch everytime, less washing up & cooking too.
Doing these things has reduced my electricity bill by about a third.

I do some limited gardening (pots of tomatoes, come & cut again salad leaves, peppers, a blueberry bush, strawberry plants etc..) which saves me a fortune in fresh veg.
I bought the strawberry plants in Wilkos on clearance for 20p per hanging basket at the end of the season about 3 years ago, my 2 baskets are now 4 hanging baskets & I get about a punnet of strawberries every couple of weeks in the summer.
Would be more if I remembered to water them or plant all the sprouts that grow off them or ever feed them, but not bad for 40p.
I buy value seeds when it's 3 for a £1 & use the same packet 3 years running, the seeds still grow.
If it can't survive with my limited & forgetful input, I don't grow it again.

I went on the water website & got all the freebie watersaving devices they would give me, managed to knock a tenner off my water bill each quarter with that.

I started to complain when it's justified.
I know that sounds dumb, but if you order something & it doesn't turn up, or it's not right, don't let it go, complain politely.
I've ended up with refunds, perks, extended subscriptons & compensation due to inappropriate behaviour by a companies representative worth over £800 this year already.
In the past I just would have let it slide & paid that money on the same things myself

I cancelled sky & got a freesat box
If you want the Sky movies channels, you can pay £15 a month subscription on a payg month to month basis & get them online so no contract you can just do one month - there's a free month trial if you've never done it before.
I get it once in the summer holidays & plan to do a month at Christmas if I like the look of the films coming up then.
Most of the films on those movie channels hang aruond forever anyway.

Started using YNAB budgeting software (picked it up in the steam sale for a tenner)
It took me a couple of months to get used to using it & I had to make a few fresh starts, but I'm actually a lot better off for using it as I can't bear to see the red overbudgeted message & I can see all the bills etc.. in advance.
Helped me pinpoint areas I was spending on but forgetting to budget correctly for like kids clothing.

Which led me to start shopping the clarks shoe sale online (my son is an E or F fitting depending on style, so it's clarks or nothing) - you can get up to 6 pairs of shoes sent to the store for free & you don't have to pay for them til you pick them up, so if you see the right size shoes for your kids/yourself today, but don't get paid til next week, you can still get them at the sale price.
It take them 3 to 5 days to send the shoes to the store, then you get a text/email to say they are there, then you go in & try them on or buy them. They will hold them for 9 days after they've arrived in store.
If you don't like them after all, you don't have to buy them!
Or of course, you can just get them delivered to your home for free.
Personally I never seem to have the money when the stuff I want is on sale.
Now I've got his next size up shoes & trainers in the cupboard, total cost for a pair of leather clarks shoes & a pair of doodles was £26 instead of £54 for same shoes off sale.

Don't buy stuff because it's on sale, figure out what you have to buy & then find out where it's on sale & if it's worth going there to get it or will cost you more to go out of your way/in postage etc..

There's loads more, but this post is starting to look like a novel.
They are all actually easy things to do, if it is too much effort I try something else.

princesscupcakemummyb Mon 12-Aug-13 22:21:11

budgets and cutbacks heres what we do

*dont buy magazines or newspapers (you can view some papers online free)

*no eating out
*no nights out
*shop at tesco own brand products and earn clubcard points which you can double up free
*cook meals from scratch
*no sky (freeview instead how ever we do have broadband )
*no mobile phone top ups as we have a house line & broadband deal
*dont buy things you dont need just cause its on sale as someone else said
*dont buy drinks or food while out with the family take some with youfrom home
*buy own brand products not big brands we have a exception for washing powder due to sensitive skin in the family
*allways google discount codes for online shopping ive saved £££ by doing this
*shop ebay car boots nearly new sales for clothes
*at xmas be sensible dont buy for every extended family member we have a rule we only buy for our children & a gift for husband
*turn down that invite to a event if its going to cost you a fourtune you cant spare

NorfolkIngWay Tue 13-Aug-13 17:01:23

I bake my own bread, cakes , bread rolls - so much cheaper (and healthier).Once you get in the hang of filling the bread maker its easy.
I have an empty plastic box on wheels under my bed which I fill with small presents suitable for Christmas and birthdays- nice gift sets ,mugs, socks and also cards, sellotape grin paper- so that I never have to buy something expensive in a rush.

I weigh portions of cheese blush as 25g is a portion and its easy to cut off big chunks < looks at DH>
We don't drink fruit juice, fizzy drinks, takeaway coffee and have a good selection of flasks and water bottles so that its easy to make a coffee on the way out . I am shock at the prices people pay on a daily basis for takeaway coffee !
We cycle to work and probably use our car once a week or so.
I make 2 cups of tea out of one Asda own brand teabag as its quite strong.blush
We rarely have a takeaway - birthdays only and cook from scratch.
We only use soap bars -even Waitrose own is 27p (ish) a bar and it lasts ages compared with bottles of shower gel.

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