Can we have a 'best money saving tip' thread please?

(516 Posts)

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PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 11:38:33

Myself and DH have decided that we really need to have a frugal couple of years to start properly saving some money. I think the MSE website is good but can be a little overwhelming- so much info! What are your best tips for curbing spending?

My tip: meal plan, cook in bulk, freeze individual portions. Lasagne and pasta bake seem to freeze well and are cheap to make.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 30-Jun-13 20:20:12

MNHQ!!! this would make a great email.

Instead of that stuff you keep sending about money off expensive furniture or clothes or holidays that we can't afford anyway, how about a weekly money saving email about every day things that we all actually do need?

Meal plan - yes, I have a set of recipes that are cheap to prepare, and that can be changed depending on whatever leftovers I have (or plan to have, eg a roast chicken makes more than one meal, etc). Cook extra to freeze or use another day.

Checking prices per 100g/ml - yes, the way shops are it can be confusing otherwise.

Buying stuff that you use often in bulk - yes, when I have space. And Dad, just because it's buy 1 get 1 free, that doesn't make it a bargain unless you are actually going to use both of them. (Dad's a sucker for a bargain, sadly. Mum gets frustrated.)

School packed lunches, another one I do. I buy the DCs stuff in bulk and decant into pots to stop them being squashed in the bag. EG, they like the Whitworths dried fruits, so I buy the larger packs rather than paying something like £2-£3 for a few mini packs. I make cakes and portion them. Less additives and cheaper. Instead of a compartmented lunchbox, I use tiny pots with lids, has the added extra of being able to use the pots to save small amounts of stuff in the fridge.

It's not that we are short of funds, but I don't want to waste what money we do have.

Oh, another idea. I have a skin condition called Roseacea and this means I need to use face stuff that has few chemicals and isn't harsh like some cleansers. I ran out of my Ponds cream last weekend, and thought I try the Johnson's baby lotion I still have in the bathroom (well, it says it can be used for dirt and grease). It worked a treat. Face cleaner and less of the redness I often get. Even better than Ponds and a big bottle should last ages.

SuburbanCrofter Sun 30-Jun-13 20:55:45

I'm chuffed to be of help OP! Make sure DS can open all the clips before he goes to school smile

specialsubject Sun 30-Jun-13 20:57:14

If you have enough space, bread and milk freeze excellently. 2 litres of milk is a pound in Aldi, a third cheaper than Sainsbury's.

I am in love with my chest freezer. :-)

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:46

OK, have signed up to MSE's energy saving club to see if I can switch to cheaper supplier, plus I've signed up to top cashback (is it worth doing quidco as well?).
Ilovemydog yes, tips like these would be v useful in an email!

Triumphoveradversity Sun 30-Jun-13 21:50:50

Turn down invitations to events you do not want to go to.
There are the big ones like DH cousins wedding, it would have cost about 400 quid to attend.

Saying no to social events seems hard for some but if it's something you will not enjoy, why not.

RetroHippy Sun 30-Jun-13 22:11:22

YY to meal planning! I do it monthly, I'm too disorganised to keep up a weekly planner. I look at what we have in then only buy essentials. Fresh stuff I buy from Aldi or in tescos reduced section. Quite often get diced lamb for curry for a couple of quid.

Before Christmas we were eating weekly takeaways blush. We're saving so much by being more organised.

And charity shops and the market more than satisfy my shopping urges. I got a dead cute pair of shoes for £3 off the market, and a semi-designer dress from Oxfam for £10. I don't even normally go in oxfam as I think it's overpriced, but this was in the window and tempted me in!

Grow your own salad. We eat loads in summer, its really expensive to buy and doesn't keep well. It's been a good year for it this year too.

RetroHippy Sun 30-Jun-13 22:14:56

And our chest freezer has changed our life! In the event of a zombie apocalypse we could hole up and live off the food in there for months! Amazing. Bread, milk, borderline out of date meat, unidentifiable brown stuff, pizzas... I even broke some eggs the other day, so made an emergency cake mix, portioned it out and froze it. I can now have one or two cupcakes (which bake excellently from frozen) as a dead cheap tread without feeling like I have to eat a dozen at once!

PrincessWellington Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:33

Go through all direct debits. Cancel anything can e.g, subscriptions, charity donations etc.

AudrinaAdare Sun 30-Jun-13 22:50:58

Buy Fairy Liquid when it is on offer. My 900ml bottle is just on it's way out and we've had it for four months! No dishwasher, DH and I working from home, four of us eating at different times. I used to buy a cheap one nearly every week. False economy.

kukeslala Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:54

Honestly my best tip is, money saving expert!
I'm a complete nut for it, I'm always telling people about it!
Its a joke in my family.
I would say take a small section at a time and work through.
I'm 3 years in and there are still some areas I want to look into but haven't yet got round to.

But if I really had to say one thing now, overpay mortgage if you have one. Even if its a small amount of a few quid a month look at the overpayment calculator and see how it adds up.

Maybe you could put a few bits about you and your current lifestyle, to help adapt tips to your needs.

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 23:03:41

TK Maxx is great for birthday, Christmas and other presents. I bought a beautiful reed diffuser there today. Was £4.99 and I've seen the same make for £18 in other shops. Buy stuff throughout the year if you see something really good there.

Charity shops for kids toys/games/books/clothes etc.

Whenever possible go to the supermarket as late in the day as possible. Really great discounts. Can be well worth going to the ones you can't normally afford to shop in, like Waitrose, especially for massive reductions of high cost stuff like meat! Often fruit, veg, salad, break, cake etc are heavily reduced later in the day.

Instead of going out to eat, have friends round for a meal, afternoon tea etc. A group of us meet in someone's house and we all bring something towards the meal. They are really relaxed do's and no-one has had to slave away for ages in the kitchen or spend a fortune. And no tip necessary. We all help tidy/wash up etc at the house we meet in.

Don't go mad at Christmas/Easter/Eidh/Hannukah or whatever - vast amounts of snacks, treats, presents etc just not necessary. It can be both special AND simple.

ImperialBlether Sun 30-Jun-13 23:09:02

If you shop in Asda and do the Asda Price Challenge, you get a voucher if it's not 10% less than its competitors. However, you should pay separately for anything on special offer (eg BOGOF) because that will mean your voucher won't be worth as much.

AudrinaAdare Sun 30-Jun-13 23:16:52

Downsize, nay, de-clutter costly friends and relatives.

Internet friends are completely free. And much nicer.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 30-Jun-13 23:19:11

Do not take any money with you to work, take your pack up and that's it. Can't spend it if you do not have it.

I also keep a box of ceral bars and a multipack of low fat crisps in my cupboard just in case.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 30-Jun-13 23:19:29

Pls cheaper than the vending machine

Wineandchoccy Sun 30-Jun-13 23:36:03

Have you enough for a car boot sale? We had one and made £250 which we have put in savings account to save for a new bathroom.

Write down everything you spend for a month I was amazed at how much I spent on magazines, papers, coffees, non food items in supermarket etc

I have a list of everyone's birthdays and if I see cards or presents on offer I buy and put away.

Things I like from Lidl - DH loves the excelsior beer, fresh bread is lovely, nut cluster cereal, dousy softener I prefer to comfort, frozen pizza the one that looks like Dr Oetkler.

quoteunquote Mon 01-Jul-13 00:17:22

We always have lots of bpa free water bottles, filled with filtered water in the fridge at all times, so anyone leaving the house grabs one easily, (I've banned anyone leaving without at least one) stops anyone wasting money on drinks.

pollywollydoodle Mon 01-Jul-13 00:19:40

use cash
keep a flask by the kettle fill it after running hot water for washing up/leftovers if you boil a kettle
insulate your house as well as you can
if you have to use your car what else can you do on that trip errand wise
can you car share or actually share a car with another family
can you do a house swap for holidays

MunchMunch Mon 01-Jul-13 00:23:05

Yes its worth signing up to both Quidco and Top cash back as sometimes the rates are better with one or the other so you can get a better deal.

FinallySaidMama Mon 01-Jul-13 06:43:20

The only problem with Quidco is it'll take your first £5 you've made back in subscription fees. TopCashBack is free.

Lavenderloves Mon 01-Jul-13 06:55:47

Cleaning. Microfibre cloths wll clean just as effectively as multi purpose cleaner/ window cleaner / floor cleaner.

rubyrubyruby Mon 01-Jul-13 06:58:23

Quidco don't take that fiver anymore smile

CambridgeBlue Mon 01-Jul-13 07:06:38

Re kids' lunch boxes, my DD loves those little pots of jelly and I thought 6 for £2 was a bargain. Now I buy a normal jelly (in cubes) and make it the old-fashioned way in individual plastic pots with lids (about £2 from Ikea for loads). The jelly packets are about 30p and you get 5-6 jellies out of each - result!

This is just a small tip but it's thinking That way which helps you save on all sorts of things.

AllOutOfNaiceHam Mon 01-Jul-13 07:08:56

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