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



  • Millennium
    Millennium Posts: 63 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Use the cold water from the hot tap to brush your teeth, rather than run the cold tap, don't use more water than needed, saving the remaining 'cold' water to water the plants.

    When showering, just wet down, turn off the mixer while shampooing and soaping up, then just use a small amount of water to rinse off!
  • karendb
    karendb Posts: 313 Forumite
    Great thread! I've a couple of things to add that I think haven't been mentioned already:

    Buy a roll of greaseproof paper instead of sheets of tracing paper if your kids use them for Art etc. - MUCH cheaper.

    My kids do hundreds of drawings each week - I save all the junk mail that has a blank side to it and they draw on that. They think it's a real luxury if I give them a clean sheet of printing paper LOL because it's so very rare!

    I make my kids use disclosing tablets once a week but I cut them in half and give them half each instead of a whole one - they're just as effective. Also, they're cheaper to buy from the orthodontist/dentist than from the chemist.

    Up till a few months ago, I sorted out my laundry according to the temp of the wash/light colours/dark colours etc. - normally washing at either 40 or 50 degrees. However, I now wash ALL the clothes at 40 and I can honestly say they're just as clean. And, of course, all the clothes washing and dishwashing is done overnight on Economy 7.

    We use Tesco's cheapest printing paper for almost all our needs - perfectly fine for school letters etc. However, we also keep a ream of better quality paper at hand to use when necessary (Photo printing, School projects etc.) - we just don't keep it in the printer for everyday use.

    We use continuous ink for our printer as well which is so much cheaper than even the compatible cartridges. If you're looking to replace your printer, focus in on the ones that can use a continuous ink system.

    Hope this helps :)

    I would love to be lazy but can't find the time:exclamati
  • karendb
    karendb Posts: 313 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!

    This made me laugh as I'm constantly having to find new hiding places - I haven't come up with one yet that my kids don't get to within a day :)
    I would love to be lazy but can't find the time:exclamati
  • karendb
    karendb Posts: 313 Forumite
    Just wanted to add as well that I always keep a container with picnic blanket, paper plates, forks, & spoons, cups, sharp knife & kitchen roll in the car in case we're out longer than planned and can't get back for lunch etc. Then we just pop in to the nearest Tescos and buy some cooked chicken, french bread & drinks etc. to make a quick lunch - so much cheaper than eating out, even at KFC, and you get much better quality food and get a few more clubcard points to boot.
    I would love to be lazy but can't find the time:exclamati
  • oojeyboojey
    oojeyboojey Posts: 189 Forumite
    Charis wrote: »
    I thought it was only my mum (aged 83) who went out for dinner with a Vitalite box for the leftovers. It's a family joke now. When she gets it out we either hum the Vitalite theme tune (aka the Israelites) or the little bit from Jaws that gets played when the shark makes his appearance...:rotfl:

    I wonder what I'll be doing when I reach 83... I have 58 years to become even more eccentric than I am now! Eek!

    Other "obvious" money-saving things I do:

    *Cut out the hanging tags from skirts, shirts, trousers and dresses - you get a few inches of ribbon that are perfect for sticking to home-made birthday cards.

    *When my supplies of silk and other pretty fabrics are running low, I email sofa and curtain companies requesting free samples of whatever shades I'm running low on - these little squares of fabric can be made into patchwork for cushions or bags etc., or used for making home-made cards.

    *Don't throw out your old PJs, socks and pants etc. - cut them up and use them as dusters, or (as someone above suggested) make them into other things. My mum made me a lovely thick, hard-wearing picnic blanket out of old pairs of jeans that me, my brother and my dad had worn out. The sentimental value alone makes this a treasured item, which is always useful when camping.

    *Cheap eggs/veg etc. can be bought direct from the farmer, if you know where to find them. I get mine at a local car boot sale that has a section for locally produced fruit/veg/meat - they're much cheaper than supermarkets, and you have the satisfaction of knowing the local farmer is getting 100% of the money you pay for them.

    *When my tights get a ladder or a huge hole in them, I cut the offending leg off and keep the waistband attached to the good leg - then I can team up two "good legs" and save on buying a new pair. This is fun when you end up with two different colours! People often ask me where they can get a pair of tights with two different coloured legs like mine...:rotfl:
  • jb5
    jb5 Posts: 90 Forumite
    karendb wrote: »
    My kids do hundreds of drawings each week - I save all the junk mail that has a blank side to it and they draw on that.
    Junk mail envelopes are also useful for lists etc.

    Also if you slice open the sides of the envelope, as well as the top, it is possible to write/draw on the inside surface as well.
    MORPH3US Posts: 4,906 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Ooo, ooo, i'v got one.....

    Whenever you go into a shop, they will often have a drinks fridge by the door and maybe snacky things like crisps and chocolate.....

    Well i've noticed something... the shops never advertise special offers when they do this, yet walk further into the store and you will see the same drinks with 2 for £1 or BOGOF on them...

    Supermarkets often do this by not advertising offers on drinks in the chillers, but do advertise the offers on the same drinks on the shelf (warm).. yet its the same product so both still on offer... just check the shelf for the offer and then get the same drinks from the chiller.
  • soozimay
    soozimay Posts: 10 Forumite
    Use the bubble bath instead of the shower gel from any range, as some ranges use a flow restiricter so you have to squeeze harder to get it out of the tube, thus making the shower gel appear to be thicker!
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,620 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    When you've finished your bath, don't immediately pull the plug out.
    Put in your dirty washing and let it soak in the warm water. Unless it's very dirty, this eliminates the need for liquid soap or tablets when it's transferred to your washing machine. Sometimes you can just hang it out to drip dry after a quick swirl around or simply then use the Spin cycle on your machine.
  • kfn1502
    kfn1502 Posts: 22 Forumite
    Set your printer default to draft mode which is good enough for most printing. You can override this if you need better quality print for some reason. I also print everything in black & white, unless it definitely needs to be colour printing.

    Give your kids (esp teenagers, but even younger children as well) sufficient allowance from which they have to buy their own entertainment, clothes etc. (Base this amount on what you already spend by giving them cash or making purchases on their behalf.) Determine in advance what you are willing to make additional payment for. Then do not give in to their demands for you to buy something when they have forgotten their money - even a 90p ice cream on a day out. It's a tough lesson for them, but it pays dividends in the long run, as it teaches your kids that it is possible to go without if they don't have the cash to pay for something they think they want.

    Empty a can of soup into mince when cooking any recipe which requires mince. Makes it go a lot further and enhances the taste. I mainly use store's own brand tomato soup but will use anything I have in the cupboard. Sometimes I use a packet soup mix and add a bit of extra water.

    I also have one basic mince recipe from which I create spaghetti bolognaise, a beef & pasta mix, shepherd's pie, lasagne, kai si min (a pseudo-Chinese dish with lots of cabbage), rissoles (Aus version of hamburgers - don't add soup to this one!) and savoury mince. Cheap meat but still giving variety at mealtimes.

    Every now and then, I go through my pantry and use up the 'stockpile' (you know, all those fascinating bargains which looked interesting and you thought you'd use, but they just keep getting pushed to the back of the cupboard while you use old favourites!). I design a menu around those items, and shop to my menu, which helps reduce the cost of one week's shopping.

    I wash most loads at 30 degrees, and add disinfectant to the wash (instead of fabric conditioner etc). Tesco disinfectant costs about 30p, and lasts for six to ten washes. It makes the washing smell nice as well as killing off any germs which may have been lingering in the clothes. Washing at 30 degrees is usually a shorter wash cycle as well, so you're using the electricity for at least 10mins less per load (which is 60-70 mins saving per week for me).

    Remember to have the heating / hot water on for a minimum amount of time when you go away on hols. Why pay to heat the house or the hot water when you're not even there to get the benefit from it? I have heating on for some time each day if it's winter, so the pipes don't freeze or do anything dastardly - but at a lower than normal heat, and not for as long as I would if we were at home.

    Hope these ideas help someone ... although sometimes I suspect this type of thread is 'preaching to the converted'!
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