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how do I cut back with 2 kids?

(11 Posts)
ssd Wed 29-Jul-09 09:50:28

we have a tiny house, one car, went to Butlins on holiday

I work term time around the kids, dh is FT but earns a low wage

we're not extravagent at all, havent been out for at least 6 months

still skint, any ideas on cutting back anyone?

mankyscotslass Wed 29-Jul-09 09:58:46

Have you done a spreadsheet of all your out goings? We are doing this just now and it does help us to see where the money goes.

Grocery shopping is a biggy for us. We are about 80-90 a week, for a family of 5 and 2 cats, but I could do it for a lot less if DH would eat veg and pulses. Do you meal plan? Can you look at your shopping?

Shop around for utilities suppliers, Uswitch is great.

Use Money Saving Expert to get other hints and tips, and discount codes/vouchers.

We may have to look at getting rid of our car soon too.

We haven't had a holiday apart from at relatives since I we pregnant with the eldest.

We are selling bits and pieces on EBay, and have taken things into a place called CEX to sell, it all helps. Older toys and things get put into the local Loot paper to see if they sell (free adverts on certain days).

Can you try to get an evening job? I am going to have to try although DH is not keen as we won't see each other, but needs must. If I am lucky enough to find one that is. hmm

shavenhaven Wed 29-Jul-09 10:02:44

are you paying back a lot of debt?

our wage used to come in then go out again in all the direct debits we had set up, thankfully we are out that trap now.

i find that going to the shop every 3 days and buying exactly what we need to eat saves a lot of money, before i was doing a huge shop and some of it would end up going bad then i was still at the shop every few days buying more fresh things.

Pwsimerimew Wed 29-Jul-09 10:29:26

Snap shavenhaven. It's taken me thirteen years to work that out. I've a menu plan on the fridge and only buy what we need to eat. Went shopping with Dh on Saturday (without DC) and we went to four different shops to get the best deals. Can't do that everytime though.........
I have no idea where our money goes to, we should be quite comfertable but we're not. Paying off debts and DD means our bank statements are always printed with red ink. I can't see a way out without matching six numbers....

ssd Wed 29-Jul-09 15:35:46

thanks
TBH I wouldn't know how to do a spreadsheet, I wouldn't know how to start, do you write down everything you buy?

I also should meal plan, but it just seems so much hassle blush, I don't feel we throw out much food apart from the kids being fussy.....

I do work during the day term time then evenings and weekends during the school hols

I feel with 2 kids the summer is really expensive, we have no family to treat them to any days out etc. during the hols so everything they do is paid by us. also at 8 and 10 clubs cost a lot, the local park lost its appeal about 5 yrs ago!! they don't do much clubs, just the odd thing (they hate clubs in general apart from footie)

i KNOIW ITS cos we have crap money coming in we are skint, but with no babysitters how can I get out and earn more, this is my problem. I tried childminding for 4 yrs, never again!! I do babysit but theres not much work around.

It all feels like a vicious circle unless your dh is earning good money your'e always skint

Fizzylemonade Wed 29-Jul-09 17:22:08

Moneysavingexpert has a budget planner spreadsheet which is fantastic and very easy to use.

There is also lots on there about "painfree" stuff like reducing your insurance and phone etc

It depends how you feel about credit cards but we have a Tesco credit card which we pay every month in full. We earn tesco clubcard points which in turn we use their deals to buy days out. It includes theme parks, aquariums, museums, etc. It also pays for our RAC cover which would normally cost £200 for both of us but is technically free with the tesco paper tokens. You can also use it to pay for meals in certain restaurants meaning you can treat the children. The tokens are worth 4 times the face value if you use their deals on-line as opposed to just using them back in a tesco store, and no I don't actually shop in tesco I just use the credit card for anything I can to get the points.

Meal planning - it's easy if you just start by making a big list of all the meals you usually eat. You probably meal plan already. Prepare a list for the food you need to make those meals. Then you don't buy anything extra that you may not need.

My freezer is fab, it allows me to buy 3 for 2 offers or buy one get one free and I freeze a lot of stuff. Left overs can also be frozen, a bit of chilli can be frozen and used a few days later as a topping for a jacket spud.

Hope some of this helps

ssd Thu 30-Jul-09 08:49:24

thanks fizzy!

I do save the tesco clubcard points, we are going to Alton Towers soon using them and for a meal out to pizza express! How do you budget using the tesco clubcard? I'd be scared of buying something on it then forgetting about it and being in debt, esp. the little day to day things, the big things I'd remember. We don't have any debt on store or credit cards and I like to live safely like that!, but I do like the idea of saving more clubcard points.

I'm just finding as my kids get older things cost more.......

Paolosgirl Thu 30-Jul-09 09:02:22

I know menu planning might seem like a hassle, but it has saved me a fortune each week - and I now do that plus an online shop so I'm not tempted by all the impulse buys. If you put together a stock of recipes then it's less hassle trying to think of what to feed them - oh, and do more cooking from scratch. Big pack of mince makes lasgane, chilli and shepherds pie, that type of thing.

Buy and sell on ebay - and use charity shops. Find out where the good areas are in your town and go regularly.

Find out what's free in your area - libraries usually have free actvities, and there might be a sports programme that's free.

Second writing down you outgoings - and shop around. I've just saved £50 a month by moving a credit card.

God luck - it's crap having no money, isn't it? sad

lisad123 Thu 30-Jul-09 09:03:50

MY dh earns an okish wage and I work parttime and we are always skint too.

Def do spend sheet, plan meals and share lifts where possible.

As for things to do, go to cinema on sat/sun morning normally only £1- £2.
Save tesco clubcard vouchers towards days out, if you dont get them, buy someone elses off them
Change things like insurance, phone, gas to new dealer every year or so.
Swimming is now free for most under 16years in most areas.
Make packed lunches, dont buy on the day.
Find some friends with same age chidlren and spend days at each others house, local stream, parks ect.
HTH

heavenstobetsy Thu 30-Jul-09 09:12:58

Hi SSD - what my parent do with their Tesco card is put the money aside as it goes on their card so when the bill comes in they have all the money ready to pay the bill - so, if they spend GBP 40 on a weekly shop they pay on their credit card then come home and put GBP 40 in a jar. The points on the card do add up quite quickly ....

Sensitivechildminder Thu 30-Jul-09 09:16:41

I'm in the same situation as you..we are skint every month and I know it's my own fault (but you are better than me). I'm a big spender. I work as a cm full time and I have little time to plan for the family as I'm already spending a huge amount of time planning for my job. We both have reasonnable salary but we always end up with no money 1 week before pay day.

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