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Sneaky ways to save the pennies

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
4.5K replies 1.3M views


  • when I cook rice, just bring the water up to the boil, give the pan a quick stir, whack the lid on tight and turn off the heat. By the time the rest of the meal is ready, the rice is cooked....:j
  • I always turn off the iron just before I'm finished and use the remaining heat for the last item or so, can't bear to do it with the iron actually on! Also, I spend quite a bit of time wandering round in semi-darkness rather than turning on the light!
  • pigpenpigpen Forumite
    37.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Debt-free and Proud!
    I freeze the childrens leftovers for my lunches.. .. I can't quite decide if that is just disgusting or actually sensible.. I don't do it if they have sucked it and spat it out obviously!

    I refill posh shampoo with cheap shampoo as DS1 (16) wants 'this' brand.. yeah right son.. when you buy it!!

    The rabbits have 1 lot of treats to last all week.. hay all the rest of the time.. none of that junk muesli stuff!

    I do 5 packed lunches a day rather than pay school meals

    I have bags full of those sugar/coffee/mustard/mayo sachets you get at restaurants..

    I go to the greengrocers..ask for a 'bag of leaves' for my bunnies.. take it home.. pick out the best bits and eat them.. the bunnies get the rest! I also get the bananas/apples etc they are throwing out and make pies and crumbles.

    If I get something below par.. I complain.. I've had so many vouchers and freebies this way.. I also occasionally write a letter saying how great some things are.. and had loads of freebies that way too!!!!

    I often sit in the dark.

    I am not averse to collecting things in the street!.. gloves, hats, etc..
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    06/06/2020 £47457.61 (2.41% int.)
  • TopherTopher Forumite
    584 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    A tin of tomato puree divided into an old ice-cube tray & frozen to use as & when, is cheaper than the tube version.
    Stand on toilet rolls (should we start a club?) bulk bought from Costco who now do a good quality own brand.
    Cut dog's dental chews (bought in large quantities from Costco) in half.
    Wash polybags (its embarassing)
    Use oven space for batches rather than individual things, also have combi microwave for when only one thing is being cooked.
    Don't have gas ring flame wider than pan, (don't particularly need to heat the air around the pan, just its base).
    Costco's own washing powder & old fashioned alternitives/additions
    Use up leftovers,
    Shop to a list, a plan, and known habits. (Still haven't used that single truffle)
    Ask for Oil of Olay cleansers & moisturisers as gifts, and use Pond's from the pound shop to spread on and muslin-rinse off, as regular daily use.
    Same gift requesting goes for OH's King of Shaves Gel,
    Use vouchers & coupons, inc. local garden centre ones given around Christmas to keep costs down during sale time.
    Packed lunches for work, with bought boxes & mini coolbags, (mine now in its sixth year of daily (work days) use).
    Petrol prices dot whatever? for finding cheapest, nearest, & plan journey accordingly so don't make special trip to save 0.4p per litre.
    Sacks of dry cat food & dog food; quite good quality dog food, but with a miniature, doesn't cost much in the long run, one bulk sack lasts ages.
    Send off for free Parker pens with quotes (e.g. pension plan, insurance etc.)
    run washing machine with sensible loads, (neither too small and frequent, nor too large)
    Collect celebration gifts throughout the year, to a list kept in purse, takes advantage of sales etc.
    Keep gift purchases at an agreed-in-family, fairly low price.
    Make own muesli, bread, baked goods, scratch dinners, desserts,
    use powdered milk as well as organic, milkman delivered, milk.
    trade with hen keeper for eggs,
    Use market for monthly magazines, some toiletries, and fresh fruit & veg, (near 4:00p.m. on market days, little earlier on football match days.
    Shop late Tuesday evening at Asda to take advantage of price reductions (this day sometimes changes)
    When I'm losing track of rising costs, update the price book
  • JennyBee_2JennyBee_2 Forumite
    390 posts
    Loads of great ideas! The only one I've got to add is that I buy the Ecover washing up liquid etc. Loads of farm shops will refill the bottles so you're not constantly buying (and chucking out) the plastic containers. Works out at half the price for most stuff!
    Jonathan Douglas born 20th January 2009 - 9lb 4oz
    Alexander William born 30th December 2012 - 10lb 2oz
    GC June 2014 £79.04/£150
  • savingpenniessavingpennies Forumite
    688 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    I only buy shower gel and shampoo when it's on offer. Imperial leather shower gel often on offer bogof and Tresemme shampoo/conditioner as well. I haven't paid full price for ages.
    I've also in the past when money was tighter bought a large bottle of bath foam and filled up shower bottles with it. Asda do one a large one which costs little more than one shower gel full price.
    Hubbie often stays in hotels and he's in trouble if he doesn't bring home the shower gel, shampoo, soap from the hotel bathrooms. The small soaps I put in the downstairs loo and the shower gel/shampoo we take on holiday or use when we go swimming.
    Books - the original virtual reality.
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
    0 posts
    10,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Since I first married over 44 year ago I have had what my Mum had .I buy a small red lined book to fit into my handbag, and when ever I go out shopping I have my list of things to get and stick to it .Both of my two DD's do the same
    I recently found an old one from 1966 and was shocked at how cheap things were in comparioson to todays prices
    Leg of lamb 17/6d lasted at least three days
    2lb sugar 1/3d ect,.My housekeeping for our family of myself ,husband and two small children was £8.00 per week and that included money for the gas and electric meter
    We ate fairly well, and even in those days the joint streeeetched for several days .Pay day then was Friday so shopping was done on Saturday morning .Not many supermarkets then though, it was street markets for me .East Lane near where I lived in London was a popular one for all sorts of things.In those days my husband didn't have a car so had to get a bus to work.He would walk to the next bus stop to save a few pennies over the week.We wern't well off at all and lived in a very small flat with no bathroom and a shared toilet with two other families ,but we survived it o.k. and it did us good to get a habit of saving to get us our first house .It took us over two years to get the deposit together but we finally did it .
    Today, although I have sufficient money to live on I still have my little red book and stick to it . I use vinegar for lots of cleaning and for conditioning my clothes, I only use one Persil capsule in my wash instead of two and am careful with everything that I have to spend good money on .I can't compromise on heating much as I have joint problems so I have to keep warm ,but I do have a 'cosy' that I knitted myself to go over my knees if it gets a bit chilly. I have found since having my chemo that wearing my hat indoors means I keep qiute warm as well. there are lots of excellant tips on here so keep them coming ladies:beer:
  • Andy_HamiltonAndy_Hamilton Forumite
    660 posts
    I live in a new build mid terrace house, I noticed that if I turned my heating off I can pull heat from both sides and it even gets to 20 degrees (comfy). It's now set to 15 degress just to keep the chill off the house "just in case".

    I buy toilet rolls in the biggest packs but always feel slightly embarrased at the till.

    I use Lynx and only tried asda own brand when I did an online shopping spree and seen the prices compared next to each other. Now, I'm not bothered what brand as long as it smells and lasts.
    Lets get this straight. Say my house is worth £100K, it drops £20K and I complain but I should not complain when I actually pay £200K via a mortgage:rolleyes:
  • lilac_ladylilac_lady Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Chillies, pesto, garlic, tomato puree and ginger in jars - I use what I need and then freeze the rest in ice cube trays. Although the jars can be pricey if not on offer the contents will last for ages.
    " The greatest wealth is to live content with little."


  • ness_w wrote: »
    When giving my kids ice cream I always use cones and give them a lot less actual ice cream than in a bowl. I only serve up the best ice cream (usually home made but sometimes bought) because I think the cheap stuff is rubbish, so I figure this is saving me quite a lot of money. The children don't notice at all.

    Any other ways of sneakily saving pennies that your family doesn't notice?


    Reading through this thread has set me wondering what else the same principle could be used for, not just for moneysaving but for helping us to eat less and therefore lose weight and be healthier. Obviously giving kids (and grown ups!) only 1 scoop of ice cream in a cone is much better for them than having two or three scoops in a bowl, as well as moneysaving.

    The only thing I can think of at the moment is making individual pies or quiches rather than one big one which "needs to be eaten up"! There must be lots of great ideas out there for eating less in this way.

    :rudolf: Always skip and eat your peas :rudolf:
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