Really need to 'tighten my belt'.  What are your tips?
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  1. #1
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    Default Really need to 'tighten my belt'. What are your tips?

    Like many of us at the moment, I'm having to be more cautious than ever before with money (DH job not secure). I'm sure I waste loads in all areas of my life. How do you all cut back? Any tips welcome! x

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    Me too as I may be losing my full timer. I am going with do I need it or do I just want it.

    Cupcake22

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    I make a shopping list, and then STICK TO IT If it aint on the list it aint coming home!
    (I have a list on the fridge and if I run out of anything, it goes on the list to replace)

    Shop later if possible to get the reduced stuff

    Check out your gas and electric supplier use something like uswitch to compare costings - I did that and then called the cheapest supplier and got a further reduction

    Shop around for any insurance - car, house etc

    If you have food left over - freeze it rather than bin it, I have loads of 'meals for one' that my own two eat when they don't want to eat 'early' or have the 'meal of the day' or at weekends when I really don't want to cook


    HTH

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    I've found what's helping me, because I waste money terribly and am in loads of debts is that I write down EVERYTHING that I spend each day now. Can seem like a really dull person doing this lol but honestly when I look back on it, I can see exactly where all this money is going to -and- it makes me less likely to spend money because I don't want to add yet another thing to the growing list!

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    I'm currently having a clearout and putting things I haven't used/worn/need on ebay to get some extra money.

    Round the corner from my house they have opened a quality save and I looked through my bank statement and last month I spend just under £200 in there I am no longer going to be 'nipping' in for snacks as I end up spending £30+ on rubbish every visit

    Shopping online for food shop always saves me money I only buy what I need and then I go back through the basket and remove any items I don't really need!

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    I have found some easy savings when food shopping for buying the next brand down for example 48 Weetabis is £4.50 whereas Asda's own are 48 for £2.99. And there really is no difference. I have done this with loads of food.

    I went through all my bills with a fine tooth comb and checked sites like moneysupermarket to make sure I had the best deals on things like electricity, etc.

    I rang sky and stopped paying £10 a month for HD as we forget to watch programmes in hd, and while i was on the phone to them they reduced my bill further.

    I also have a monthly food and petrol budget. I find this helps me keep on track.

    I have a £100 a week to spend on bits and bobs like extar bits of fruit, milk, swimming, trips out etc. I take this out in cash each week and i have found now that i am far more aware of what i am spending as i can see the cash disappear as appossed to using a card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velleity View Post
    I've found what's helping me, because I waste money terribly and am in loads of debts is that I write down EVERYTHING that I spend each day now. Can seem like a really dull person doing this lol but honestly when I look back on it, I can see exactly where all this money is going to -and- it makes me less likely to spend money because I don't want to add yet another thing to the growing list!

    I also do this in my diary, so every month i can account for every penny in and out of my account. It has stopped me spending loads on resources as i relaised just how much i was spending each month because something was on offer

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    I have a spreadsheet of all DD's. Then after I have left that amount in the bank whatever is left I can divide by the number of days left in the month before the next payday and then draw out the cash for the week. If I have to pay by cash it makes me think about whether I need something or not. I don't use my cards as it's not real if I pay by card. Oh and I do online banking every day to keep on top of it all.

    xxx

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    Quote Originally Posted by mummyof3 View Post
    I'm currently having a clearout and putting things I haven't used/worn/need on ebay to get some extra money.

    Round the corner from my house they have opened a quality save and I looked through my bank statement and last month I spend just under £200 in there I am no longer going to be 'nipping' in for snacks as I end up spending £30+ on rubbish every visit

    Shopping online for food shop always saves me money I only buy what I need and then I go back through the basket and remove any items I don't really need!
    I do this with my online shop too - see the total then take off what's really not needed

    I check out Lidl for some of my shopping before I do the online one - don't drive so online saves the bus fare ( I pay £5.99 a month for as many deliveries as I like from Ocado - bus fare is £3.60 return just for one trip to town) I make sure I do all my shop 'jobs' on one day so one bus fare. Iceland too for loo roll and big blocks of cheese

    Luckily I have just got 2 new mindees so feeling more flush even buying treats for a change - has doubled my income in fees
    Happy to be back with the Greenies

  10. #10
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    Do a spreadsheet of all your monthly incomings and outgoings and decide which ones you really dont need i.e. magazine subs.

    Set yourself a budget each week - so if you have £200 spare a month after bills, then you spend £50 a week, nothing more.

    Only buy what you really need - a good way to do this is to write a weekly menu planner and stick to what is on it. Therefore only buying what you need.

    Freeze items that have a short life on them. Bread for instance can be taken out slice by slice.

    Check your utilities - are you on the most cost effective plan?

    Check your mobile phone - again are you on the most cost effective plan?

    Hold a garage sale/ebay sale etc and sell anything you have not used or worm in the past 6 months - likelihood is you wont use it again.

    Do your washing overnight when the electricity is cheaper. You can buy a timer that plugs into your plug socket that can automatically turn the machine on for you.

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    I used to use Microsoft Money (have got out of the habit now, must restart ) and it's really good. You put in all bank accounts, debits and credits, all financial details and and spends - and all spends can be categorised into things like mortgage, utilities, groceries, personal care, eating out etc. You can also input budgets (for example, budgeting £50 per week for leisure, then if you went swimming you could input a debit of £20 against your leisure budget and it would take it off the running total for leisure and also off the account you withdrew the money from). I found it really useful when saving for a holiday we went on a few years ago because you can project your finances over the coming months and years, so it shows how savings will build up over time using graphs. It's also sobering sometimes to look at the amount you have spent on the more frivolous categories.

    The one thing that makes a big difference to our outgoings is online grocery shopping. It's so easy to go into the supermarket (as I did on Sunday!) for bread and milk and spend £85 on, amongst other things, a Brave Doll, a packet of top trumps, some storage boxes, a t-shirt for the baby, a bottle of wine and two boxes of cream cakes that we didn't need. Even on a good day I end up leaving with half of the ingredients for each meal and still have nothing in the cupboards. Shopping online stops me buying random stuff and means I can properly meal plan and ensure I have everything we need.

    For some more hardcore moneysaving, I suggest moneysavingexpert.co.uk - particularly the 'old style' board.

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    We shop online so can see how much we have spent before the checkout We just cut things out if we go over budget. We get our shopping delivered out of peak time when its cheaper. Also if an item is out of stock they do great substitutions which are charged at the same price as the original item. We dont get branded food. The cheap stuff is just as good.

    The freeze left overs and batch cook. All meals are cooked from scratch.

    We shop for fruit and veg at the market as you get much more for your money. Milk from Poundland or Icelands as it is cheaper and usually just pop into these places when passing through town.

    We are looking into getting a full pack with sky (tv, phone and internet) as at the moment we are paying 3 different suppliers.

    We take days out to free places. The woods, local parks, just a walk around the town etc. We also get an annual membership to a local open air museum which has so much to see and do and make sure we go there atleast twice a month. Can easily make our money back in 2 visits.

    We looked at changing our gas and electric but unfortunately in a contract so gonna have to live with it for now. Car insurance in due for renewal next month so gona look aroud to get cheaper deal.

    I do online surveys in my spare time. I know this doesnt earn me lots but so far this year I have earnt atleast £50 of vouchers which I have put aside for christmas presents.

    Oh I have also sold a lot of suff which is no longer needed. I have moved away from using ebay and sell mostly on a local Facebook selling page. No postage fees as everyone collects.

    Can you make money from a hobby? I bought a set of second hand pine drawers which needed a bit of tlc. I sanded them down and painted the main section and varnished the top. They look like new and are really nice. I enjoyed doing it so much I have just bouught a pine dressing table and another set of drawers so do up and sell on.

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    Before I go shopping I make a menu for the week and work out what I need. I then only buy what is on the list.
    Debbie

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    don't buy craft supplies use only recycled stuff - toilet rolls, bottle tops, tinfoil, yoghurt pots etc - I only buy glue and paint.....

    Make good cheap healthy meals such as bean stew, lentil soup, veggie curryor stew and rice......

    go to the park for free instead of taking lo's to anything organised.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by VeggieSausage View Post
    don't buy craft supplies use only recycled stuff - toilet rolls, bottle tops, tinfoil, yoghurt pots etc - I only buy glue and paint.....

    Make good cheap healthy meals such as bean stew, lentil soup, veggie curryor stew and rice......

    go to the park for free instead of taking lo's to anything organised.....
    that is a brill tip. We are members of our local scrap store. It amazinf what you can pick up there.

  16. #16
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    when i know things are tight i get most my shopping from Lidl and when i go shopping i go with cash so i can't spend more than that and believe me that helped me cutting bill £20 a week...

    but then when it gets a bit better it all go out of windows and i use card and....

    then we're back again!"!

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    I have had many times when I've had to work with a really tight budget. I had 4 children and was mostly a SAHM.

    As has been mentioned Lidl is good for value shopping - there's a lot of snobbery ( not on here of course ) about shopping in Lidl's but when I'm in France or Spain it is THE place to shop !

    Iceland has great deals sometimes and were the first people to promise not to stock GM foods.

    As CC said , make a menu for the week and use the shopping list.

    Food is one area where it is relatively easy to cut costs quite dramatically.

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    I'm living out of the cupboards at the moment as 2 children have left and 2 are term time only so hardly worked this summer.

    I advertised for summer holiday children through facebook and got a couple of days work there.

    I have gone through the house and selling everything we don't need.

    We are taking all our food out with us, tap water in our bottles.

    I'm going to plant some winter veg like spinach, brussel sprouts to keep us through the winter.

    We are doing lots of baking for treats.

    I also take cash when I'm out and add it up as we go along and make sure I'm under by at least £5 as I am a terrible counter and its always more when I get to the till.
    Paula

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    Menus for the week and a shopping list based on it really helps.

    Think about why you are buying something - if you actually need it or just want it.

    Look for the basics brands in supermarkets. Try it and if its ok keep buying, or if not just go up to the next price range - no need to buy branded goods all the time although sometimes only a brand will do!

    Use the back of your shopping list to add up as you go round the supermarket - it not only makes you aware of the prices (and makes you look for the best deal) but improves your math skills and helps keep altzeihmers at bay!

    Look at your income from minding and try to disregard perhaps one child's income and work your budget from that. Not only does it provide a way of saving but it also means that should you receive notice from a parent its possible you can bring that other money in to the buget until you fill the place. (I understand this can be difficult if you are not especially busy but its one to bear in mind for the future).

    Make sure your utility bills are being paid by direct debit so that you get the discounts. Pay your TV licence quartlerly or monthly. If all the bills are split into months its easier to budget.

    be realistic about how much you spend on things - eg petrol, going out, clothing etc. Sometimes in the past I have vastly underestimated them and it bites you on the bum.

    Money saving expert has a great calculator on it to help with budgets.
    I'm not paranoid - the world IS out to get me!

  20. #20
    jumpinjen Guest

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    make yourself a 'resources embargo'. I stopped spending two and a half months ago on resources and instead wrote down everything I would have bought if I hadn't banned it.... so far I've saved £165!!!!! And I've got into the habit of being more creative with what we have instead!

 

 
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