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money saving tips

(49 Posts)
RavioliOnToast Wed 26-Aug-15 08:29:07

we are in dire straits

our financial situation is crap, we are a one wage family with 2 DC's,
dh earns 18750, we barely break even at the end of every month. We've now gone over the overdraft and have no savings (TV licence just came out as annual payment that's why we've gone over)

what are the best money making tips you can give? I already meal plan and cook from scratch. dh takes his lunch to work. I know it'll get easier once dd1 goes to nursery, as me and dd2 can go for walks and it won't cost anything. we don't smoke, we don't drink, we don't have holidays, we are finding life really hard.

so as mentioned previously any advice is massively welcome

howtorebuild Wed 26-Aug-15 08:32:23

Don't buy stuff, just food and replace what is broken.

thesandwich Wed 26-Aug-15 08:42:28

Have you checked you are getting all the tax credits etc you are entitled to? Anything you can sell? Could you get some work- ironing/ cleaning/ dog walking delivering free papers etc?

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 08:43:05

Look at how much you're spending in "luxuries"

How much is your mobile phone costing? If you're out of contract, go to sim only contract

Are you in Sky/virgin/Netflix - cancel them go to free view

Check if you're over-paying heating/electricity - get your DDs lowered if possible (and get any cash paid back)

Buy less meat/go veggie

Look at all the "little spends" the ones you barely notice e.g. daily newspaper or a coffee out, squash boxes for kids, the odd chocolate bar, kids magazines... You'd be amazed how it adds up

Eat all the food in the house. You might be surprised how much you actually have in the cupboards etc. You'll end up with some unusual dinners near the end, but hey, it saves money.

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 08:45:11

The "look after the pennies" is a good addage to live by.

Turn off everything at the wall if its not being used (except fridge, freezer etc)

Turn the heating off.

Where are you shopping for food?

RavioliOnToast Wed 26-Aug-15 09:36:03

I'm on the app so may answer questions in bits

dh works for a mobile company so we don't pay any airtime costs just the phone cost, so is cheaper than payg as only a tenner a month

we shop in aldi, I never buy ice lollies, juice boxes, chocolate bars etc, dd gets one little sweet treat on a saturday night, heating is never on, I don't iron now so don't have that on for hours at a time during the week, dh makes coffee at home and takes it to work in a thermal mug, me and the kids occasionally get an ice-cream at the beach but theyre the only spontaneous treats we get, we are tied into a contract with sky for another 16 months I think

we have a 'cupboard week' once a month where we only eat the contents on the house for that week.

will have a look on a comparison website for gas and electricity to see if we're getting the best deal, just bought home insurance and shopped around at the time for the best deal.

struggling a bit more than usual this month as have just had to buy dd1s school uniform. all of it was from supermarkets other than the cardigans which have to be embroidered and cost a fucking bomb

any comparison websites you would recommend for gas and electric tarrif comparisons?

fuzzywuzzy Wed 26-Aug-15 09:49:11

Have a look here for switching energy provider.

School uniform was the most expensive outgoing for us too. I bought all the generic stuff from Primark. I hate having to pay for school badge embroidered cardigans, DC has been told se will not get a replacement if she loses hers it is insanely expensive.

Would it be possible for you to get a part time job in a supermarket or similar to subsidise your husbands income?

I brutally cut back on outgoings when we were in a similar situation, I do not have a TV anyway and I can watch anything I want on the internet if I want to, or DVD's, but that is my choice.

Turn off lights when rooms aren't in use.

See if you qualify for any benefits you might not be claiming.

When you shop for food check my supermarket, to see which supermarket will be the cheapest (it's not always the one you think).

I hope things get better for you.

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Wed 26-Aug-15 09:59:55

If you can't shave any more off your outgoings you're going to have to increase your income.

Can you sell stuff? Car boot sale? EBay?

I get your children are small and there might me childcare issues but have you considered a twilight shift somewhere? A friend of mine works 8pm to midnight in a supermarket - 20hrs per week.

Feel for you - I've been there and frugal as I was, increasing income was the only thing which helped as there comes a point when there's just no more cloth to cut.

RavioliOnToast Wed 26-Aug-15 10:58:24

I do think we're at the point where our cloth is none existent now. I'm looking for parttime work at the moment. I've applied for quite a few jobs, had one interview, but didn't get it as I wasn't completely flexible.

I'm starting college in September one day a week and I'm waiting for 2 application forms to come through for jobs in the area.

regarding meat in an earlier post. I only buy ham and sausages that are actual meat, I buy everything else quorn. also thanks for the link re energy providers, I'll take a look when the kids are in bed tonight

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 11:33:40

How about your TV services?

What other outgoings are there that might not be "essential"? No subscriptions to anything etc?

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 11:38:17

For increased income - are you good at anything/have skill/hobby

For example, I can fix PCs and push my services on FB selling pages and get customers through that. My DH is an employed plumber full time, but still "sells himself" and gets odd jobs here and there - bringing in about £50-150 a month extra.

have a look at sites like UserTesting (I use this) which pay you to review sites, you earn about £3-7 a time, not a huge amount, but it all helps when times are tough! (I earned and extra £20 last month form it) and the most it takes is about 20 minutes a time (and often less)

fuzzywuzzy Wed 26-Aug-15 11:38:43

talktalk currently have a TV/broadband/phone package that is £18.00 (rounded up) a month for an 18 month contract I think. Take a look?

AndNowItsSeven Wed 26-Aug-15 11:38:49

On your dh salary you should also be receiving approx £120 a week in CTC and CB possibly some HB if you rent.

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 11:40:09

Ring up Sky and cancel it - tell them you can't afford it, you have no way of paying etc.

They should be able to do something

00100001 Wed 26-Aug-15 11:41:20

and yes go to

check your benefits

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Wed 26-Aug-15 13:23:59

Have to say, Virgin were great with us when we phoned and said we couldn't afford to keep the package even though we had months left on the contract - sky must take a similar approach?

I remember so well the horror of one off bills - and I know the answer is to budget and spread the cost over a whole year but it's difficult when starting from a deficit position.

The thing I took comfort from was "this is as bad as it gets. It will get better. Maybe not this week, or this month but it will get better". flowers

Autumndays14 Wed 26-Aug-15 13:34:35

As someone else mentioned, how about taking in some ironing for people? A lot of people do that round here and charge £10 per hour or per item. If it's only a few hours a week I think it doesn't affect any benefits though am not sure. Also, you could do the odd bit of cleaning, helping out people in their houses etc, dog walking etc (that would be fun for the kids too, plus exercise!)

Autumndays14 Wed 26-Aug-15 13:36:05

Anything you could do at home or in evenings would mean that you don't even need to worry about childcare.

Sookie65 Fri 28-Aug-15 13:32:58

I feel for you. All of the suggestions are brilliant. One thing I do to save money is make my own washing powder. It is easy and works out so much cheaper in the end, once you have bought all the ingredients. I also use white vinegar as a fabric softener ..... it really works, and no, you don't smell like a bag of chips, lol. I hope things get better for you xx

00100001 Fri 28-Aug-15 17:11:28

Cone back OP, did you check your benefits?

RavioliOnToast Fri 28-Aug-15 17:39:11

Yeah I checked and we're getting everything were entitled to, I've also been on that money saving expert energy club and we're on the cheapest tarrif for both bit have signed up for alerts if one supplier becomes cheaper. TV licence is paid now for the year. We were meant to be at an engagement party tonight but have cancelled to save some money. I've cut the top off my makeup and am making it last as long as possible. I've stopped taking my purse out when I go out to stop frittering, and have started taking sandwiches if we're going to be out over dinner

SurlyCue Fri 28-Aug-15 18:18:22

Please ignore if you already know these but here is what i can think of right now.

Oven based tips:
Batch cook- filling the oven means it uses less time/energy to heat to the right temperature. It also means it is on once for several meals rather than each time you have dinner. Freeze in portions.

Turn the oven off five/ten minutes before cooking is done.

Put an oven dish filled with water in the bottom of the oven whilst cooking dinner. I doubted this but it actually heats up really well which means you have hot water for washing dishes without any extra energy being used. (Ignore if you use a dishwasher.)

In winter after cooking leave the oven door open to heat the kitchen. You could even stand a clothes horse in front of it to kick of laundry drying or finish off what was on the line during the day.

Laundry tips:
Half the powder, lower the temperature, lose the fabric softener (use a couple tablespoons of white vinegar if you miss the softness)

Downbrand on the powder. I use the asda one and it is grand. (Ignore if skin issues make this not an option)

Dry outside as much as possible.

If you cant dry outside, some things will dry on a hanger on a curtain pole by an open window. Use banisters for towels/bedlinen if you have them- heat rises. If you have an airing cupboard with hot water tank, use it. If there is room see if you can rig up a miniature sheila maid in there. If not rig a normal one in the space above the stairs (if applicable)

Wear things until they are actually dirty/smelly (except knickers grin)

Things air out really well between wears on a hanger on a curtain pole at an open window.

Those over radiator hangers can also hang over windows on the outside if you have no outside space to dry. Peg everything on them though or you'll be chasing your keks across next doors garden grin

Energy tips:
Get into habit of switching everything off at socket when not in use. TV, internet, PC, chargers, microwave, kettle, washing machine

Fill kettle in morning and boil then fill flasks for tea/coffee/washing dishes throughout the day. Switch kettle off at socket.

Dry hair naturally where possible (if applicable)

Have one day a week "energy free" where everyone uses the bare minimum. No TV, internet, radio, straighteners. I tried a week recently and it was too ambitious but one day a week is doable and will saving a couple of £ a week. (Or did for me anyway.)

Lights. Take the bulbs out of lights where you dont really need them. I find we switch on lights out of habit because it is there. If a light is needed try a low energy lamp instead.

Use YNAB app to track spending.

Every evening you and DP take all the change under 50p in your wallets/purse and put in a jar. At the end of the month this is your treat money. For ice creams for everyone or a take away if there is enough. If you dont use cash then set up an account and transfer it in online banking. I transfer whatever is left over the pound. So if balance is £61.72 i transfer the 72pence. Im getting around £20ish a month as a lone parent so could be a good way to save for treats as no-one misses the pennies.

Sorry i cant think of anymore now. Hope some of these are helpful. If i think of more i'll update. Best of luck OP. It sucks being this skint.

SurlyCue Fri 28-Aug-15 18:37:19

Good idea cutting the top off make up. Do the same with toothpaste. You would be amazed at how much is left in the bottom.

For shower gel and hand soap i buy a bottle of asda bath foam. I split it into two bottles and add water. Add a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil and give them a good shake to mix. Then i decant into pump dispensers. There is one in the shower and one at the basin. It uses so much less shower gel.

Downbrand for all cleaning products or even make your own.

Use cloths for spills instead of kitchen roll.

Reuse kitchen tin foil as many times as you can get away with. Give it a wipe with washing up cloth.

clean less often grin

00100001 Fri 28-Aug-15 19:01:18

you might want consider swapping out your Quorn for dried lentils/beans, Lentil bolognese and Five-bean chilli - there's lots recipes available online.

Make your own pasta sauce - buzz some canned tomatoes, garlic and herbs, and any left over veg if you want - freeze and use as needed.

Did you ring up SKY to try and get out of the contract?

Go shopping late at night to get the cheapy bargains, we pick up loaves of bread for undr 10p all the time (last time, the Hovis Granary 800g in the blue pack was 6p...I bought 8 loaves) when you find it, get as much as will fit in your freezer! Tesco tends to do second reductions at 7.30-8.

RavioliOnToast Fri 28-Aug-15 19:15:53

I haven't had the chance to call sky yet, I already make pasta sauces, a jar is such a bloody fortune

I only buy zoflora and cheap bleach and clean everything with them and have bought some microfiber cloths from the pound shop and use them and wash with any towels I stick in

Will call sky tomorrow

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