Wednesday, 26 January 2011

How do you save money?

About a week ago I asked you for ideas on how to save money. My colleague Claire has recently moved in with her boyfriend and the cost of living has left her feeling a little poor. Your response was brilliant. In fact as I was reading your ideas to her she kept saying "Why didn't I think of that?" or "That's so logical!" - safe to say she is feeling much happier now so THANK YOU!

I wanted to do a post dedicated to sharing your ideas and you never know maybe you can integrate them into your lifestyle. Every little helps!

picture via 

1) The majority of the feedback was to buy what you need and not what you want. I think we are ALL guilty of this. Of course it is fine to treat ourselves, we're human but to over indulge means our bank balances get a beating. 

2) Many of you mentioned about having a shopping list and sticking to it, keeping aside a weekly allowance, putting aside some money each month into high interest saving accounts and my favourite one (which I find works best) is try not to use your debit/ATM card all the time. Taking out your cash and seeing yourself hand over money instantly helps you to realise what your spending money on.

3) Scott commented that they get library books out instead of buying new books. So if any of you are bookworms this would be a great saving!

4) Anne talked about the Envelope System. Where you "budget out every pay-check each time. Plan ahead and divide out the cost for car insurance, home insurance, gas, and any other bills you know you're going to have and set that money aside, so when the time comes to pay the bill, the money is there."

5) CrysHouse, Melaine and Mere discussed about menu planning! By planning ahead and knowing what to eat helps save money when buying food at the shops and helps you to resist the temptation of getting take away/eating out. Alex says that making bread instead of buying bread is a great way to save her pennies!

6) My sister Nicola used to go through make up wipes all the time. Yet, here in the UK the make up remover liquid is much cheaper. To save money she bought some white thick cloths/flannels. She cut them into squares and uses them each night then puts them into the wash to reuse them once they're clean. I love this! It stops her having to use make up wipes and the cotton pads. She says it save her around £15/$18 a month!

7) Ruth posted that buying fresh goods from her local grocers than the supermarket saves money. It allows her to buy the quantities she wants and produce is often much cheaper than brands.

8) Coupons/Vouchers - USE THEM! Make use of special offers on products you need not what sounds 'good'! It's only a good deal if you use the product regularly.

9) Kirsten says that meat is often the most expensive item in her monthly shopping. So when she gets paid she buys her meat in bulk and freezes it. She does not buy any other meat products that month and it now saves her around $80 a month for her family.

10) Jon voiced that preparation is key so why not buy next years Christmas decorations, wrapping paper etc in the January sales?! Buying presents for people in advance when they're on offer instead of struggling to find cash at the time of their birthday, wedding, christening etc. I can't promote this idea enough. I have already bought 2 x photo frames that were on special offer for my friends birthdays when they're not until May and July!

11) My Mum's most favourite quote when shopping is "Branding does not mean it is best" because it doesn't. The shop's own brand can be just as good particularly with fresh goods! The other day I picked up some Oranges and another lady told me I could save £1.50 if I got the shops own brand. The only difference? Was that the shop's own brand of Oranges were all funny sizes and not symmetrical like the brand name Oranges. They tasted just as nice. Sometimes food really is for thought!

12) Tammy says that making batches of foods like minces, soups etc and freezing them helps. Especially for lunches to take to work that you can reheat. It helps to stop you buying microwave meals or running to the shop in your lunch break (Claire and I are so guilty of this.)

13) My Gran probably mentions this every time we see her. Halve your cleaning products people! Aren't cleaning products like softener, powder, polish and sprays expensive?! Well halve what the product says you need to use. My fabric softener says to use 1 cup for each wash, we use half a cup. My furniture polish says you need to use 2 squirts. We use one. My dishwasher product says we need to use one tablet, we use half. And my furniture, clothes and crockery still come out just as clean!!! Remember companies want you to buy their products again...and the sooner you run out the sooner you'll be needing to buy it.

14) Kristin has a water butt in her garden that harvests rain water. She uses it water her plants and clean her car and patio. It saves money on her water bill and it means she doesn't have to get the hose or power washer out. Also, she puts foil down the back of her radiators she says "that way I use the heat the radiators do lose through convection. It keeps the room warmer for longer. It saves me a fair bit on my heating!"

15) Laura Anne promotes shopping around! Don't be afraid to shop around for clothes, car insurance, house insurance etc. Sometimes it is so much easier to just renew your policies with the same company to 'save hassle' well it doesn't necessarily save you money.

Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. They all produced many more brilliant ideas here. I hope you can resonate with some of the ideas people use. If you have any more money saving tips please let me know!


Alex(andra) said...

All great ideas!! Thanks for writing them out!

Jamie said...

Great post! Thanks so much for putting all of these ideas together!

Kristen said...

Great ideas Bec x

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