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Thread to share tips and ideas to reduce costs of daily living!! Hard Times are here...
packed lunches for work no Starbucks etc meal planning batch cooking making own biccies and cakes (yum) no alcohol except for weekends leaving cards at home so no impulse buying no trash mags planning journeys so no excessive car use
Search on line for car/home ins etc.Martin Lewis website is a good start. Do this at the end of the month - companies chase targets. We saved nearly £400 on car insurance (we have 2 cars - both need them for work). Also check your direct debits - see if you can cancel and to reduce your monthly outgoings. 2x crappy magazine subscriptions = £50.
Substituting with fish is not going to be that cheap though is it? We don't actually have that many meat free meals but sometimes you can just use a little meat and bulk it out. Eg on Sunday we had pitta pizzas and I used 2 rashers of bacon between the 4 of us on them. Also I can make 1lb of mince last the 4 of us for 3 meals by cooking something like chilli or shepherd's pie and bulking it out with red lentils, beans or whatever.
We swopped bank accounts - we went to first direct and they give you £100. They move all your direct cebits. Fantastic. If you dont like them, you can go else where and they will give you another £100. I think you need to keep the account for 12 months though.
I tried spending less on the weekly shop, but I was pissed off at eating like a pauper and DH's comments began with ffs etc. We decided a couple of quid we coud manage extra on the shop and tried to look at saviings else where - car ins etc.
We need to look at utilities next.
You would have to do weeks of huge savings on the food shop to make any real difference. I have cut back, but like I seeem to be twittering on about, its often the other stuff that you forget about, that you can make the bigger savings on.
Oh God sorry bernard - get a glass of wine while you do it I bet you save loads. I have spent literally hours doing that stuff, I got our house insurance to about half as well. I think we have saved about £1000, if that's any intrest to you. I dont think we are any worse off than pre credit crunch. Just much more careful about where our money goes. Quality of life good. I dont have it in me to make chicken mince carcass last for 14 weeks .
We have 'meat-free' meals about 3-4 days a week, but if dh is in meat-eating mode, I can cook a pack of sausages and use one or two (in pasta or suchlike) and another couple the next night in sausage and mash and another couple next time in a bean-and-sausage dish .... I eat one meal with sausages to his 3. And cooked sausages/bacon/odd bits of meat can be frozen if you don't fancy sausages 3 nights running.Just make sure you heat it through properly when thawed.
Make your own birthday cards and wrapping paper. I buy a pack of A4 white card at WH Smith for around £1.49. Each piece makes two cards which the kids decorate and personalise for their friends birthdays etc. We often also buy plain brown wrapping paper and then they decorate it with felt tips, again personalising them. They look great and it saves a bundle.