Great Isn’t it Obvious MoneySaving Hunt: Tell us the secrets you didn't know you had



  • oojeyboojey
    oojeyboojey Posts: 189 Forumite
    These are things I always do, in spite of the rolling eyes of my relatives:

    1. Save all packaging and wrapping paper from parcels and present to re-use when it's time to give gifts. I haven't had to buy birthday wrapping paper since I got married, thanks to all the nicely wrapped wedding presents!
    2. If you're going to the cinema (presumably for Orange Wednesdays - cheap!), make your own popcorn and take it with you instead of buying the heart-stoppingly overpriced stuff at the kiosk. Not only is it cheaper, but it will generally have fewer nasty chemicals in it (depending, of course, on what topping you make for it...)
    3. Always ask if your leftovers can be doggy-bagged when you eat out at restaurants - or better still, take tupperware with you. Obviously, this is more the thing to try at restaurants that do take-aways anyway (in which case you might get free tupperware - hurrah!), rather than a 5-star posh place!
    4. Save old margarine tubs and takeaway containers to use for food storage.
    5. Cook excess for dinner and save the leftovers to have as lunch the next day (this is easier if you have access to a microwave at work) - I always get envious looks from my colleagues when they only have a soggy shop-bought sarnie and I'm enjoying delicious homemade food! I reckon I save anywhere between £7 and £15 per week by making my own lunch.
  • when giving birthday cards by hand instead of writing the name in the middle of the envelope write it in the top right hand corner where the stamp would go. don't seal the flap but tuck it in instead then you can re-use the envelope as the stamp will cover the name when posting.
  • petertwisty
    petertwisty Posts: 56 Forumite
    As well as using residual heat in ovens, hobs and irons by turning them off a few minutes before the end of cooking or ironing, don't forget that there is sufficient heat in a kettle to gently warm the water for next time. It's surprising for how long and how warm the water gets if you immediately refill the kettle with a measured quantity, of course!
  • MadMac_2
    MadMac_2 Posts: 1,173 Forumite
    We always keep a bowl underneath our taps. Inevitably somebody runs the tap and wait for hot or cold water - the bowl collects the unwanted water and this then gets poured straight in to our water butt outside. Keeps us going in the garden and for washing our cars!

    Also, I use all spare fabric - old bedding, end-of-life towels and turn it in to shopping bags, pet beds, whatever I can come up with at the time!
  • janineo
    janineo Posts: 56 Forumite
    Here's one if you use washing tablets instead of powder - only put one in a wash unless it's a really filthy wash.
    Your washing powder will last twice as long!
  • Alikay
    Alikay Posts: 5,147 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Have a secret hidey-hole in which to deposit all those B.O.G.O.F. packets of biscuits, Doritos and soft drinks bottles etc rather than just put the extras in the cupboard where 2 packs will disappear at the same speed as a single one! Then I "shop" from it a couple of weeks later. Mine is in the empty cool box in the ever looks there!
  • Sharp_Eyes
    Sharp_Eyes Posts: 99 Forumite
    Warning with Sainsbury's - Yes you get 2 points per pound you spend, but what are those points worth? 500 points gets you £2.50 of your shopping. So spending £1 at Sainsbury's only gets 1p off your shopping.
    With Boots, you are right, spending £1 gets you 4p off your shopping.
    With Tescos it depends. Spending £1 gets you 1p off your shopping, but they are worth 4p if you use them on Clubcard Deals. Depends if you want what's in the deals, and how much you could get them for elsewhere. I say Tesco's points are worth about 2p for every £1 you spend because most things in the Deals book you can get for half price anyway if you shop around (e.g. 2 for 1 theme park entry).

    I don't use 'em on shopping though. I save them up and use them for other rewards similar to Tescos Clubcard scheme. You've got cinema tickets, days out, spa treats etc. It's just not worth it to spend your points in store.
    :dance: *inhales deeply* "Ahhhhh! I love the smell of a good deal in the morning! (or just about any time, really...)" :dance:
  • she_grinch
    she_grinch Posts: 1,469 Forumite
    Alikay wrote: »
    Have a secret hidey-hole in which to deposit all those B.O.G.O.F. packets of biscuits, Doritos and soft drinks bottles etc rather than just put the extras in the cupboard where 2 packs will disappear at the same speed as a single one! Then I "shop" from it a couple of weeks later. Mine is in the empty cool box in the ever looks there!

    I do this too, I have 2 large storage boxes in the garage with lids that I keep it all in and the kids never look in them as they assume they are Dad's tools!
    Pucker up and kiss it Whoville! - The Grinch:kiss:
  • After reading the book Liquid Gold (, we tried using diluted urine (urine is sterile when it leaves the body, so there is no health risk - unlike with faeces) on our allotment. After two weeks, the results are amazing. Our dying French beans are now racing up the poles. Our yellowing courgette plants are now green-leaved and expanding. The squash plants are racing away. My poor slug-eaten celery plants are now green instead of yellow and gaining visibly on the slugs in spite of all the wet weather.

    For the technically-minded gardeners among you, urine has an almost ideal NPK ratio. ie. It has nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in the proportions plants love. As long as you dilute it by around 8parts water to one part urine to avoid scorching plants, you can water them up to three times a week with the mixture.

    I find plastic milk bottles make idea collection and storage containers (they're easy to carry and you can screw the lid shut to prevent any smells).

    While you could spend over a thousand pounds on a urine-diverting toilet, it's cheap and easy (if you'd a woman and not able to aim into a bottle) to pee into a jug and then pour the jug into your collection bottle.

    And by way of a bonus, you don't need to flush the toilet as often, so you're saving on your water bill.
  • morg_monster
    morg_monster Posts: 2,392 Forumite
    I must be a wuss or maybe its just too early in the morning... the collected leftovers into soup and Judith's idea above (both of which, from a money saving POV, seem excellent ideas)... have made me feel quite sick!

    I use rechargeable batteries, turn the broadband modem off at night, use a mooncup, ... none of these require too much effort... I guess if I was ever really hard up I'd try a bit harder but currently am too lazy! Hats off to all of you, I'm very impressed!
    My bro tells me he only poos at work now, saves TP and he is getting paid for it... (see for a calculator...) Oh dear now I feel more sick...sorry

    (PS - I am impressed by people who manage to take home made popcorn into the cinema - they check bags round here! Most I've ever managed to smuggle in was half a packet of fruit pastilles - and that was by accident!)
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