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Thread: Saving money. The cheapskate way.

  1. #1

    Default Saving money. The cheapskate way.

    I'm on a really tight budget at the moment and wanted to know if anyone could suggest some money saving tips?

    I already eat 70p bags of porridge and use 30p soap (among the other tesco value stuff I buy) can anyone suggest more ways to save money?

  2. #2

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    Well what non essentials do spend a lot of money on at the moment? Either buy the cheaper alternative or cut it out completely, for example alcohol isn't necessary but it's very expensive (sadly) so I don't drink that much during the semester so only in the holidays in any significant quantity. Just keep expenditure down to the bare essentials and see how much you can save in one month and if you still don't have much money then try and get extra hours at work or another job if possible (or a first job if you don't have one of those ).

  3. #3

    Lightbulb

    Not sure if your budget currently extends to nights out... But a few of my friends realised that a taxi out of the city centre was about the same price as getting a pizza with free delivery... So they would get a pizza, ask for it to be delivered, then ask for a lift home in the car that delivers the pizza!

    You can save a lot of money on food. Dried pasta and value-range chopped tomatoes are cheap. Chuck in chopped onions, garlic, a little cheese, and a wide range of veg and you have a pretty healthy meal. Avoid ready-meals, pre-packaged food, and cook from raw ingredients.

    If you can't afford too much meat, eggs contain a huge range of nutrients.

    Avoid foods like white rice, white bread, etc. and go for wholegrain foods (containing complex carbohydrates) instead -- they release energy slowly over a longer period, so they're healthier and fill you up for longer. Flapjacks pretty filling. If you make them yourself they're probably fairly economical.

    Public transport is expensive, can you walk/cycle more...?

    Wear more clothes so you don't need to have the heating on...

    Use cloth nappies instead of disposable (although be aware of electricity costs for cleaning & drying)...

    Cancel TV subscriptions and your TV licence and use online catchup services instead.

    Look at any debts you have and try to negotiate interest rate terms or move to other financial service providers.

    Make sure your debts are being paid back sensibly -- there's no point having money in a bank account earning 0.1% interest, if you have debts at 6% -- put all your savings towards paying off the debt.

    Sell any old books, CDs, etc. you have on eBay...?

    Invest in a hip-flask and ask for tap water in pubs?

    Keep a detailed list of every penny you spend so you can work out where your money goes.

    Sell any spare organs you have for medical research...?

    ---------- Post added 11-03-2012 at 03:13 ---------- Previous post was 10-03-2012 at 23:27 ----------

    Oh -- just thought of some more!

    Buy your fresh fruit and vegetables from the market or a greengrocer's where they tend to be cheaper than in supermarkets.

    Stock up with essentials when they're on offer (the shower gel I get is 2.40 a bottle, but I wait till it's on offer at 99p and buy ten!). Also, by stocking up, you avoid having to nip down to the shops for X (only to come back 30 lighter having been tempted by lots of snacks you don't really need).

    Write a shopping list and stick to it! Plan your meals so that you don't throw food away, and can work out how much each meal costs.

    If you don't know how to cook cheaply, buy a book (or better -- go to the library!) to get some inspiration.

    Eggs are very cheap and nutritious. Don't eat too many, but one or two egg-based meals a week can be delicious and save money.

    Carrots are one of the cheapest vegetables (but make sure you eat a good variety).

    Don't buy pasta sauce. Buy a can/carton of value-range chopped tomatoes, and heat with chopped garlic, a dash of vinegar, salt & pepper, and any other ingredients you fancy (lightly-fried chopped onion, grated cheese, etc.).

    Have a supply of "basic emergency" food (e.g. frozen peas and sweetcorn) so if you run out of fresh ingredients, you have an alternative and aren't tempted into the supermarket (where you might be tempted to buy stuff you don't need).

    Find out when meat and bread are reduced to sell, and go to the supermarket then. Beware the reduced stickers that don't give a decent discount (e.g. REDUCED!!!! Was 1.89, now 1.79!!!). Don't be afraid to ask staff for further discount. (They won't reduce standard prices, but seem to be allowed to use their discretion for items "reduced to clear").

    Make your own sandwiches instead of buying them when you're out. Carry your own bottle of water (and refill it with tap water). You can use baby-bottle sterilising liquid to disinfect it periodically.

    Never go food shopping on an empty stomach!

    Leave your credit/debit cards at home, and take out just the amount of cash you need.

    If you use a taxis or go to a restaurant and split the bill, try to ensure that you have a selection of change/notes, so (for example) if you have a 17 bill and want to leave a 2 tip, you have the change to leave 19, and don't feel "embarrassed" into leaving a 20 note and not asking for 1 change...

    If you have a printer, don't buy the manufacturer's ink -- the cheaper stuff is fine (and after buying one or two sets you will have saved enough to buy a brand new printer if it does break anyway... not that it will). I use chipless cartridges for about 1 each, instead of the Canon ones which cost 15+. I got a chip-resetter off eBay and reset the original chip, then fix it on to the new cartridge.

    Make sure you re-evalute all contracts once the minimum term elapses. Companies rely on the "inertia" of customers not noticing that the "good deal" they negotiated in year 1 is no longer competetive (e.g. insurance products, energy suppliers, mobile phone contracts, etc.). Look out for introductory offers (where you get, say 3 months free as a "new customer") and keep switching providers to take advantage of that.

    If you are paying interest on a credit card, see if you can get a 0% balance transfer deal.

    For phone calls, you can sign up to a company like 18185.co.uk, where you dial a prefix, then get massive discounts over BT standard rates for all kinds of calls (UK, mobile, international).

    Use a cashback provider like Quidco. When you buy something online from one of the companies to whom Quidco refer you, you get cashback. Sometimes it's a few pence, but for certain items (like mobile phone contracts or broadband), the savings can be considerable. At the moment, Vodafone offer a 12-month SIM-only 15.50/month tariff, but if you click the referral link in Quidco, they'll give you 50 into your bank account! Sign up to a O2's "The All Rounder" broadband deal (12.50/month with 6 months half price, if you're with O2 already) and you get 100 cashback. At the risk of being a bit cheeky, I can send you a referral link and I'll get 2.50 for signing you up, but I guess it's probably easier for you to just go to the site...

    If you are struggling with debt repayments and are advised of an interest-rate rise, you can reject it and ask for your balance to be frozen at the old interest rate (i.e. you won't be able to spend any more money, but won't have to pay the higher fees).

    Well, that's all I can think of right now! I'd better stop before I put anyone to sleep... Hang on... where's everyone gone? Guys...? D'oh! Am I that boring?!


  4. #4

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    Making and mending is just one of the ways I save money.

    I make a lot of my own clothes and soft furnishings. Having a sewing machine and the know how is fantastic. I customize many of my old clothes or make new things out of them if I think I can use the fabric. I always mend things. I own a lot of clothes that I've had for many years, I customize things I no longer like or alter things that don't fit so that they do fit.
    2nd hand and charity shops are great, as are boot sales - I've bought many awesome things in such places - it's not all tat, I've bought expensive/brand new/still got tags on really nice quality clothing for pittance.
    If you smoke and buy packs, stop it and learn to roll, it works out cheaper.
    Use less - ie. less vehicle fuel, have the heating on only when you need it, turn off electricals when they don't need to be on etc.
    Don't buy cheap shoes. Only the rich can afford to buy cheap shoes. This is because they wear out so bloody quickly you'll be buying pair after pair every day, they might be cheap, but it does add up. Save up and go to a decent shoe store, buy decent quality fit for purpose shoes - a decent pair can last in good condition for a long time after many wears. I apply the same rule for clothing, except it's not cost but instead quality I look for - in short, don't buy tat that'll just fall apart/look like crap after just a few wears.
    I recycle and reuse everything I can.
    Points cards are great - you buy things and you get points, eventually you can earn enough to buy things with the points, the cards are free. I find it helps as there are certain things I'm not going to stop buying from certain stores, so I may as well pick up points if I can. It's great when I'm shopping in a store and I'm able to pay half of the bill with the points I've collected instead of spending.
    Soups can be really cheap to make from scratch - it's usually better with a blender, but it's not essential.
    If there's room in the freezer I freeze ready prepared meals in tupperware etc. Every now and then I'll make a friend a cake or something, if they make me something in return I never turn it down.
    If I can do it myself, I get on with it. Having friends who are good with their hands/skillful/knowledgeable is great too - my brother puts my shelves up, I've never paid to have a computer fixed as I have a friend who's brilliant etc. Of course I always return the favors, would be terribly rude not to.
    Premium numbers, 08 numbers etc. are costly - look up alternatives online and try to avoid them.
    You probably already know this, but the internet is/can be a brilliant resource. A lot of my sewing skills/techniques I learned from online tutorials as well as many other useful things.

    I keep editing this post of mine because I keep thinking I'm done and then suddenly remembering things. Sorry.
    Last edited by LittleGirlLost; 11-Mar-2012 at 04:43.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleGirlLost View Post
    Don't buy cheap shoes. Only the rich can afford to buy cheap shoes. This is because they wear out so bloody quickly you'll be buying pair after pair every day, they might be cheap, but it does add up. Save up and go to a decent shoe store, buy decent quality fit for purpose shoes - a decent pair can last in good condition for a long time after many wears. I apply the same rule for clothing, except it's not cost but instead quality I look for - in short, don't buy tat that'll just fall apart/look like crap after just a few wears.
    That's a really good point -- don't scrimp on the things that matter. Comfortable shoes, a comfy bed, thick warm coat, etc. are all going to make you glad you spent the extra money.

    When times are hard, you want to make sure that you're comfortable... because being skint and uncomfortable is really miserable... and just makes you want to spend money you don't have because you "deserve a treat" to cheer yourself up...

  6. #6

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    Also... Buy batteries that you can re-charge and a battery charger if/when you can afford them, it does save money in the long run and they aren't always expensive - in the pound shop near me they sell packs of 2 or more for just 1.

    @ tiny: Another thing about stuff like shoes - it's always worth having at least 1 pair of each: walking boots, wellingtons, casuals, smarts etc. I never wear my smart/going out/dress shoes everywhere or all the time, it'd ruin them and I'd have to buy more. If like me you're female and you don't much like the look of wellington boots, then riding boots make a great stylish/practical/comfy alternative that never goes out of fashion - they're not always expensive, I own several pairs as I ride a lot, even the "lower quality"/cheaper/fake leather ones by popular/well known brands/manufacturers tend to be good quality and last.
    Last edited by LittleGirlLost; 11-Mar-2012 at 05:11.

  7. #7

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    i use coupons for everything, yes it takes a lot of time but you would be suprised on how much you can get for a verry little amount of money. for example i can spend a hundred dollars at the store and walk out with about five hundred dollars of stuff using coupons. and i always use free stuff. com for things too. and always ask yourself do you want it or do you need it? you will find that your wants will outweigh your needs.

  8. #8

    Default

    Don't buy luxury foods, no snacks or desserts or sweets or junk food. Only eat three times a day, don't eat a lot. Drink water instead of pop and juice, those drinks are luxury.

    Bundle up than turning on the heat.

    Don't use AC, wear a bathing suit and wear nothing else in your home. Use fans than AC to keep cool.

    Turn down the heat when you leave or leave the room. Turn off the AC when you leave. It's actually a myth that it uses more power when you turn the heat back on.

    If you have the money, get solar panels.

    Use cloth diapers.

    Use public transportation and ride your bike instead or walk than drive.


    Use rechargeable batteries.

    Don't leave plugs in the wall that charge up your cell phone or Nintendo DS, etc. It uses more power so when you are done charging them, unplug them.

    Take shorter showers.

    Don't flush the toilet after you use it every time. Flush it at least once a day unless you did a number two.

    Go to second hand stores, go to Ross or TJ Maxx, shop in the clearance section.

    Use coupons on food you get, buy what's on sale but watch out because make sure it's the food you actually need and that it's not a luxury food or else you could end up spending more than you usually spend.

    Christmas shop all year around, no need to wait until the Holiday to do it. Or put some money aside every paycheck.

    Don't wear diapers

    Don't have TV subscriptions you don't watch often and cancel packages you hardly ever watch. Or cancel the whole thing if you don't ever use it.

    Bring your own lunch to work or dinner.

    Open the curtains during the day and use sunlight instead of lights. Don't stay up late and give yourself a bed time.

    Turn off the computer when you are done with it. Turn off any lights when you are through or leave the room.

    Don't be cheap and buy things that are more expensive such as shoes or appliances because they tend to last longer. Also buy in bulk. Like do not go to the dollar tree to buy paper towels or toilet paper when you can go to Safeway and buy more and have more at a cheaper price.

    Cancel anything on your phone you don't use or don't need. Change your phone plan if you can.

    Try and find services such as internet or phone that are cheaper.

    Bring your own food with you when you go out and bring water with so you don't have to buy lunch and a drink.

    Try and do less trips as possible when you have to run errands so try and kill more than one bird with one stone if you have to drive.

  9. #9

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    Ramen noodles are 23 cents a box... I only eat twice a day so that is 46 cents a day. That times 7 is $3.22 for food a week. I also love water and when I'm not drink water I'm drinking Arizona Tea.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by freddy View Post
    Ramen noodles are 23 cents a box... I only eat twice a day so that is 46 cents a day. That times 7 is $3.22 for food a week. I also love water and when I'm not drink water I'm drinking Arizona Tea.
    Might I suggest you also invest in a big bottle of vitamins. Subsisting entirely on ramen means that sooner or later, you'll have the distinction of being the only guy you know to who's had scurvy.

    ---------- Post added at 01:10 ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    Don't be cheap and buy things that are more expensive such as shoes or appliances because they tend to last longer. Also buy in bulk. Like do not go to the dollar tree to buy paper towels or toilet paper when you can go to Safeway and buy more and have more at a cheaper price.
    Seconded. Unless you're at a bare minimum and buying extra toilet paper means you can't buy gas, buy in bulk. Don't discount a warehouse store (assuming that the UK has them as well). I dropped $50 on a CostCo membership about six months ago. In my first trip, I saved $37 if I'd bought the same items in the same quantities in a supermarket. This was an apples-to-apples comparison as well, since I was only buying things I'd be buying at the supermarket anyway.

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