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Top 3 ways to save money

43 replies

minimammy · 09/04/2018 11:26

Hi all I've scanned the posts within CC and I've got some great ideas.
What would you say are your top 3 ways you've saved money. Whether it be when to do food shopping, cooking, childcare, nights out, holidays, kids activities .... whatever really.

OP posts:
Raver84 · 09/04/2018 12:15

Mine probably are

  1. Shopping in aldi for food and cleaning product, beauty bits.

2. Switching energy and insurance companies if I can get it cheaper.
3. Taking packed lunches and snacks everywhere, buying a contigo so I never buy hot drinks out
itallhappensforareason · 09/04/2018 12:20
  1. Cut down on takeaways/eating out. The weekly shop may be more expensive as a result but ultimately you will save more by doing more cooking at home.

2. Instead of renewing your phone contract and committing to more large monthly payments, keep the phone and opt for a sim only deal instead.
3. When shopping online, taking out insurance, changing energy providers etc etc use! You will be getting money back just for spending money on the things you normally would anyway. Sometimes it takes quite a long time to pay out but ultimately it is free money.
minimammy · 10/04/2018 17:25

Ooo I didn't know that about top cash back! Thank you.
I'll have to look at those cups thank you.👍🏻

OP posts:
Internaljukebox · 11/04/2018 06:49

Checking out the supermarkets for yellow tickets is my main one.. I must get at least half my weekly shopping reduced! And if it’s freezeable it gets frozen straightaway.
Shopping for Christmas through the year, picking up at least one thing a week and in the sales.
Checking through your bills/utilities at least once every 3 months and making sure you are on the best/cheapest tariffs. Most make switching pretty straightforward now. 🙂

Passthecake30 · 11/04/2018 08:17
  • don't buy what you don't need. No impulse buying.
  • packed lunches every day
  • as the mortgage is our greatest cost, I make sure I'm on the best rate available.
Turquoisetamborine · 11/04/2018 08:38
  1. Use the Childcare Options site to work out which help with childcare, if any, is available to you. We both get childcare vouchers as it’s the best option for us but obviously it would be different for lone parents etc.

2. We buy a dozen bottles of water from whichever supermarket has the best deal for about £1.80 every month and keep them in the boot so when the kids ask for a drink on days out you’ve always got one. Pains me to spend £1.50 on a single bottle of water.
3. The kids really only drink water so I’m not afraid to order them tap water when we go out. Why should I pay for fizzy drinks when they don’t drink them?
4. We pay for National Trust membership monthly and definitely get our moneys worth all year round. We go to sites wherever we go on holiday and everyone enjoys it. Went with friends yesterday and my organised friend pulled out a flask of hot chocolate for everyone halfway round, even brought squirty cream and marshmallows. Saved us a fortune buying drinks and felt like a treat.
5. Make the most of any work related discounts available to you. I’m a civil servant so I’m a member of Hassra. Today we are off to WWT site for £2 each as opposed to £25 total if we weren’t members. It only costs less than £2 a month off my pay as well. We also get up to 20% off Forest Holidays which we go on a few times a year so that saves hundreds of pounds.
6. If I have spare time I’ll look at each one of my direct debits and see if I can save any money on it. I never auto renew insurance as you can always get a better deal by comparing.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others. I used to worry about what sort of car we had. We now have a six year old reliable Ford which is big enough for our weekends away. It never breaks down, I love it. We don’t owe any money on it so who cares if it’s not the latest model. I’d rather have more money in my pocket.
The same with our house. We don’t have a massive mortgage. We have a nice house which we can afford.
Tiredofit · 11/04/2018 15:11

I have a week every couple of months where I take out £20 cash for the weeks shopping and try to spend as little of it as I can, thus using up fridge/freezer stuff and tins. I can generally get by with just buying milk.

mayhew · 14/04/2018 13:21

As above, also

  1. Cupboard week. Use up those mysterious items at the back of the larder and freezer. Chuck stuff you will never eat.

2. Similar with clothes. Empty out your wardrobe and rediscover items and make up new outfits. Get rid of things you feel no urge to wear/don't fit.
3. Household / personal hygiene stuff . Dig it all out , have a good sort out and use up half finished products.

You will realise how much "cash" you have stored in unused stuff and you can reduce your spend for weeks.
HeadingForSunshine · 14/04/2018 13:26

Don't buy coffee
Use cash for day to day spends
Solar power

myusernamewastakenbyme · 15/04/2018 18:10

Stay out of costa and starbucks !!!

MoveDownSouth · 15/04/2018 18:51

Definitely get a Contigo travel cup...they are ace and save you a fortune!
I second National Trust membership. We also pay monthly into the Historic Houses Association and that gets us into a lot of nice places for today, we went to Alnwick Castle (much to the delight of my Harry Potter mad daughter).
Packed lunches!
I also buy a £1 cake (Victoria sponge or bakewell tart) to have with my Contigo cuppa. Split it into 4 pieces. I refuse to pay £4.50 for a piece of cake in a National Trust property!
Oh, for the summer if you fancy an ice cream or ice lolly, call in at a supermarket (wherever you are) and buy a box of 4 for £1. Again, that saves money!
Ebay for kids coats. Sales for clothes. I never pay full price for their clothes!

MoveDownSouth · 15/04/2018 18:54

Oh, I also go on Compare The Market every June and see what bills I can cut down.

Serin · 16/04/2018 15:23

Reusable water bottles/insulated coffee cups for trips out.
(Disposable ones are appalling for the environment).

CSSC membership if you are a civil servant or NHS employee.

Avoid takeaways. I batch cook chilli, casseroles and bolognese and freeze, so that there is always something 'ready' if I come home from work knackered.

Put £50 a month aside for Christmas so that we have £600 by December, this is a massive help.

Serin · 16/04/2018 15:28

Re activities for older Kids, Army cadets has got to be the best value!Free uniform and heavily subsidised weekends away as well as a annual 2 week summer camp for £60! I couldn't feed my DS for that, let alone start to pay for all the activities he has done there. Helicopter rides, day long horse riding treks, coasteering, rock climbing, sailing, Duke of Edinburgh award included...fantastic! Smile

minimammy · 16/04/2018 20:01

Great tips so far.
I think fat to much of my money does go on cuppas.
I like to keep the children busy at weekends. Some good ideas.

OP posts:
BendoverK · 16/04/2018 20:09

Transfer cc to 0%
Meal plan
Batch cook
Charity shops
Library - use it often
ALWAYS take snacks/food/ drinks with you everywhere
No take aways
(sorry that is not 3!)

whattheactualbleep · 16/04/2018 20:11

Just sat today and did a scan of the household bills account.
Decided to cancel prime saving £8 a month and an insurance is due to finish which was £16 a month.
So although council tax and car tax has gone up its evened out.

Still couldn't figure it out till I added up how many mini shops we've done in the last month (this is after we've done a full weeks shop )and scarily it came to over £200 last month just in extras. Coffee out with the kids,a pootle around Tesco non grocery sections,and too much food I end up slinging in the bin as it doesn't get eaten Hmm
Just sat and done meal plans for the week and am armed with my list tomorrow to Aldi to get it back under control again.

minimammy · 16/04/2018 20:20

@whattheactualbleep it really easily happens. That's what we realised last year. We are too conveniently placed for shops and if we didn't fancy something we just bought something else. Meal man all the way.

OP posts:
MinaPaws · 16/04/2018 20:21

Mine are:
whatever your income, take off the non-negotiable payments (mortgage or rent, bills etc and then allocate a percentage of what's left to the more flexible stuff: food, clothes, fun etc. never spend more than is allocated on that. If you only have a few pounds left for clothes, shop in Primark or charity shops. If there's not much food money one month due to unexpected outgoings, shop in Lidl and eat baked beans more often. Always keep a small percentage - however broke you are, for family fun. Even £5 can get you a new dvd and a bag of poundland popping corn so you can have a family film night.

See how much fun you can have for free or almost no money - long walks in the country, building dens and river dams or round galleries and museums in cities, followed by a Magnum ice cream in the sunshine (4 for £2 or less in Co-op) is a great family day out for next to nothing. Poundland water pistols on hot days and their paints and craft stuff on rainy days.

Switch providers. Or ring them and tell them you will. You can usually negotiate better deals on utlities, phones, TV etc.

halfwitpicker · 16/04/2018 20:21

Cook and eat at home
Shop at different supermarkets for the bargains
Don't buy new clothes unless totally necessary

halfwitpicker · 16/04/2018 20:27

Don't buy expensive toiletries, they're a total waste of money.
If you do have Costa / Starbucks etc just have a filter coffee with milk instead of all the cappuccino nonsense that is twice the price. And don't have cake there for the love of god. I like a pp's idea of a Victoria sponge cut into 4.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny · 20/04/2018 06:57

Shop at Aldi and Lidl but make use of other stores offers for example m&s £10 dine in we get the biggest chicken and nicest bottle wine the sides n pud are a bonus

If out for a meal don't be worried about letting children share a meal my 3 &7yr old never eat a whole meal n pud each so sharing saves money and the eat your dinner or no pud.

minimammy · 20/04/2018 18:38

That would totally be the case with mine for main courses. Good idea when eating out, thanks.

OP posts:
Queenofthedrivensnow · 20/04/2018 18:53

Probably heavily repeating but;

  1. Meal plan at all


2. Ditch the big supermarkets altogether. The only thing I can't buy in lidl is fruit winders and coffee syrup.

3. Know exactly what your income and outgoings are and update it regularly. Be in control
Queenofthedrivensnow · 20/04/2018 18:55


4. Know exactly what you can claim on expenses or similar through work. Your employer won't be displaying this on a billboard in the carpark!

5. If you are PAYE but buy lots of items for work that are essential research whether it's worth you doing a tax return.

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