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Can you give me some ideas to save money?

(17 Posts)
tortoiseSHELL Fri 10-Aug-07 16:59:41

We're really trying to save some money atm as we are spending just about every penny we earn, and a little more most months . Any great money saving tips would be greatly appreciated.

Atm, we have about 2.2k per month after tax, but before bills. 1k goes on mortgage, £200 on council tax , then there are other bills etc. We only have one car, which we don't use all that much, but is very economical in any case. We probably spend more than we should on food - generally about £120 a week, plus a takeaway (there are 5 in our house). I don't spend anything on non 'house' things iyswim - hardly ever buy clothes/luxuries etc. I think it's the food shopping that does it.


EscapeFrom Fri 10-Aug-07 17:04:46

So, after mortgae and council tax, you have £1000 per month

Nearly £250 per week

You spend about half of that on food - what about gas and electric bills? What do they break down to weekly?

Phonebill? Work it out weekly.

Water rates, again work it out weekly.

I bet you could cut £20 off your food shopping if you really tried (up to you to decide if you want to cut back on food though)- could you make the takeaway chips from the chippy and quickly fry up some eggs to go with?

tortoiseSHELL Fri 10-Aug-07 17:06:35

Not sure about gas/electricity/phone, as dh deals with those [helpless woman emoticon], but we're very careful about what we use, and also he constantly monitors which is the cheapest supplier, so I'm not too bothered about that.

EscapeFrom Fri 10-Aug-07 17:07:51

Not saying you could cut down, but you do need to know how much you are spending on it or you will never know what you will have left to spend.

SanetJvv Fri 10-Aug-07 17:08:06

Write a menu before you buy groceries.
Use produce like tuna, chicken and lamb liver, vegeterain pasta in your menus.
Buy tescos own brand products, their nappies, wipes, handwash, conditioner and Non-bio washing powder is always on our shopping list.

normabutty Fri 10-Aug-07 17:08:37

Plan your meals in advance so you're not wasting any food. Are there any cheaper places to get your food shopping from?

tortoiseSHELL Fri 10-Aug-07 17:12:24

Meal planning is a good idea, I'm very bad at that, and do end up shopping a bit aimlessly. Escapefrom - I see what you mean! Will ask dh!

We use resuable nappies so not much saving there, and we do try and use own brand products, but I have to confess we do shop at Waitrose 50% of the time (it's our local supermarket). The rest of the time I try and shop locally.

Thanks - great suggestions so far!

normabutty Fri 10-Aug-07 17:32:41

We pay our bills from a joint account. I've worked out the total cost of all bills and that money gets paid into the joint account each month. Yearly bills (mot, tv licence etc), I have worked out the monthly total and this goes into a joint savings account. I move it into the joint account just before it's due.

We then have no nasty suprise bills and we know we can spend from our own accounts on anything else (clothes etc.)

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Fri 10-Aug-07 17:35:25

stop shopping at waitrose for a start, they are expensive (although generally better service)

meal planning is good, also, would it be viable to do a monthly shop rather than a weekly one? I've taken to doing this (i dont meal plan) replace all the stuff thats no longer in the cupboards and it comes to around £150, we find it cuts on the 'little extras' so cuts down in whole.

good for the re-usable nappies!

how about selling smaller nappies/clothes etc?

mapleleaf Fri 10-Aug-07 17:41:19

go on sites like or which have alot of up to date discount codes for everything. i find that if i order my groceries online i can usually get at least £5-£10 off with a code from those sites, plus by shopping online i can avoid spending on things i really dont need.

WideWebWitch Fri 10-Aug-07 18:20:44

Right, my top tips:

If you have any debt at all, get it on 0% NOW. Then you will be actually paying off the debt rather than the interest. I used to get 1 bill that was £174 a month, £172 of which was INTEREST! I've moved it to 0% now and it's much reduced. Durr.

Meal plan. Don't buy unnecessary food or extravagences, i.e. I was buying 3 packs+ of Innocent smoothies per week @ £3.85 a pack and not buying those (I buy juice as WELL, Grove organic apple and mango) alone saves £11 a week.

Eat more veggie stuff, meat/fish are one of
the expensive components of our weekly shop

Don't fritter. I have stopped buying Americanos at work and take moy own coffee in - that's £40 a month saved. I've also stopped my magaznie habit (prob £50 a month) and book buying (£350 over past 3 months) habit

Buy own brand washing powder/dishwasher tablets

DON'T eat out/do takeaways or do so rarely

Buy presents for xmas/bdays throughout the year, we're doing this as in Oct/Nov we have millions of birthdays adn that's all followed closely by Christmas

Do thoughtful presents for relatives, will find old thread but I did this a lot in Devon when we had no money

Don't speed. I paid a £60 fine yesterday, grr

Don't forget to take library books back. I have a £25 fine to pay tomorrow

Download your bank statements for past 3 months and categorise your spend, it's been most illuminating for me to do this! I cannot believe our grocery bill for past 3 months excceeds childcare for TWO children! I'd never have guessed it, don't estimate, review real data.

Pay all bills by dd and make sure you make them all for payday so what's left is what's left.

Check your bank statements. I just noticed that the RAC had debited £67 and we're not members any more. Called them and they refunded.

Really shop around for insurance - I just got a huge saving on home contents AND car this year, hundreds less for shopping around

Don't buy anything you've already got elsewhere, i.e. we have breakdown cover with our bank account so don't need it separately or with our car insurance. Check what you've got and use it.

Allow youself x amount cash and DON'T take any more. We withdrew £1.7k in cash over the last 3 months, I've no idea how we spent it. Even paying the cleaner only accounts for about £500 of it

Don't buy food out, take it with you. Cafe eating is expensive.

Do free things. Ashton Court rather than the zoo (unless you have an annual pass, in which case, do that!)

WideWebWitch Fri 10-Aug-07 18:25:18

here's one cheap present thread hang on,t here's another I think

WideWebWitch Fri 10-Aug-07 18:29:23

And here's another list I wrote elsewhere, I've copied and pasted because it's all squished up in the original thread and unreaable. (whatever happened to anais?)

"anais, Here are ones I've done:

The year before last we made personalised calendars for my family and they went down really well. Dp is brilliant at layout and design though and was responsible for all that - he chose great colours and framing for each month etc. I chose all the best family photos, some of which hadn't seen the light of day for 20 years and we tried to make each person's birth month one where there was a photo of them, i.e. October was a picture of me and ds together since we're both October born. I'm sure there's a website (or maybe even in Word) where you can download calendars for next year.

Last year one sister gave me a lovely framed picture of all 3 of us together when we were very small children and I really loved that too.

One year I made individual olive oil for everyone - bought nice bottles (they were cheap), put olive oil in them and added different things for each person - one sister had garlic and herbs, another chillis etc. I made personalised labels on the PC for each one with the ingredients and their names.

We've made a planted flower pot decorated with ds's handprints and the dates for various people. (I know I'm always suggesting this, sorry if it's getting very boring!)

For my mum's 60th birthday I made her a personalised cook book - I trawled through all my cook books and scraps of recipes and chose my favourite 60. We then scanned them (but you could re-type if there were fewer recipes), added photos of all of us with food (ds with a banana for a smile, that kind of thing) I wrote a commentary for each recipe about why I liked it or why I thought she would like it or how I'd adapted it and we then indexed it and bound it. There were 10 starters, 10 veggie mains, etc etc. Warning though, it took ages and ages since every single recipe had to be checked for measurements etc since the scannner didn't reliably read oz/lb etc. So it was a LOT of work. But it would be better if you only chose a few favourites and a lot less than 60. Or you could handwrite them and make it a work of art?

We made up a compilation CD of all my adoptive sister's favourite songs for her birthday one year (she's 6) and dp Photoshopped a picture of S Club 7 so it looked like she was in the band for the cover.

I also did the experience thing as suggested by someone here: got a pretty box and put a book inside, with a note saying it was to be used to write down 27 things the recipient wanted to do in the coming year. The box also contained a disposable camera to record the 27 things.

One of dp's christmas presents was a book of vouchers from me. The vouchers were for things like "you may come home and have a 2 hour nap even if we're in" and "even if it's your turn to wash up, I'll do it", that kind of thing. Thank goodness he hasn't used most of them! Anyway, can you see we've been poor for a while?!"

crokky Fri 10-Aug-07 18:34:58

You need to go round your house and eBay everything that you don't use or need.

tortoiseSHELL Mon 13-Aug-07 10:54:08

Thanks for ALL the tips - am definitely going to follow them, and see how I get on. Thanks for taking the time to post!

anniemac Mon 13-Aug-07 13:32:10

Message withdrawn

Dozeynoo Tue 14-Aug-07 15:25:24

Look at what is going in the bin each week, particularly food-wise. I was shocked when I realised how much food we were throwing out as it had gone off before we'd used it.

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