Are you ever embarassed by your money-saving ways?

edited 17 November 2009 at 7:32PM in Old Style MoneySaving
297 replies 58.7K views


  • zippychickzippychick Forumite
    9.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    I cringe a lot thinking about money i peed up the wall over the years. I earned about 10k more a year than i do now. Now i did get my house double glazed, a new kitchen, and sorted my bathroom out and partly my landing and stairs, but i wasted an awful awful lot. I would have thought nothing of spending over a hundred pounds on a night out. I bought for everyone and was happy to share any money i had with other people. (In hindsight I hope no one thought i was trying to buy them):o

    I remember going to buy an outfit for a christmas dinner, the top and skirt was about £200 from debenhams , and I bought silver shoes for £55 plus probably a heap of make up. I also got my hair put up which was £25ish, so add all that plus taxi there and home and a fortune on drinks! :eek:

    This year, I am re wearing a dress I bought years ago (hand stitched and sequenced, its beaut), will do my own hair, don't need any make up and will have a few drinks before i go. So spends will be absolutely minimal. I'm being made redundant so figure I may as well go and get the last dregs of free that i can from this company.

    I never used to bring lunch into work, and can honestly say i've spent thousands over the years on rubbish take out lunch and dinners. Even now if I treat myself to take out lunch, it's hardly ever nicer than what I would make at home.

    I know my Mum would be embarassed to a certain extent - eg if I asked for freebies at the butchers, but I think she is now starting to come round to my way of things. She is amazes at the things i dont waste. She made a catty comment about how much food i had in my freezer - much more than her and i tried to explain ,that's because i dont waste food. When i was sick she bought me white bread baguettes and they sat for a cuople of days. I knew they were past their best so whacked some garlic butter in between the slices and froze them. Told Mum and she was completely amazed! She said she would have binned them .

    It was my birthday recently and she sat and watched me unpick the sellotape. She always uses lovely paper (it had cute cupcakes), and i thought ohhh i could re use this. I always did pick the sellotape anyway but then she asked me why i was keeping it, and rolled her eyes when i told her. Then she gave me other little gift bags and said "here, Im sure Laura can use tese for something". I think she sees it as a load of hassle though.

    She is still very wasteful and has a long way to go though. I hope one day she will click and have her LBM. She wastes so much food each week. Money down the drain.

    My best friend thinks it's amazing and loves learning wee things from me. One day we had a tiny bit of cheese and i made her grate it with the small part of the grater. She was astonished. She did this in work too and everyone was really impressed. I know for a fact she is picking up little things from me and she gets a real buzz off it. She had put some scarves up in "My room" (her spare room) "a la Laura style" which is good - rather than going to buy new things.

    So i rarely feel ashamed, I think it depends on who it is with. I have no embarassment of going into 2nd hand shops . I also would have wanted to take the cheese home! Sorry for the rant :p
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men :cool:
    Norn Iron club member #380

  • I don't have any shame really. I didn't use charity shops until recently but now I'm happy to go and browse and buy things that still have use in them. I've had some lovely bargains towards Christmas presents and can't wait for a good rummage - I've not been for over a week :eek:

    MrS isn't so keen and finds Freecycle most annoying as I do tend to fetch things quite regularly. Now I'm too ill to drive I'm really missing being able to go and fetch things and I think he'd go nuts if I asked him to do it on my behalf ;)

    He won't pick up pennies in the street either, although to me this is just common sense; every penny is one towards my mortgage :confused:

    He is getting wise to the whoopsie aisle and understands about the value of cooking from scratch but he isn't as MS as me .... yet!
  • SunnyGirlSunnyGirl Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    I don't feel embarassed at all. I was brought up to be thrifty, not waste things, use food up, repair before buying new & when you do buy new things buy them to last. This last point is sometimes a sticking point with me though. My Dad's mantra is 'buy it cheap and you'll buy it twice' and he's right for big purchases like carpet in a high use area, quality paint that only needs one coat and the like. But sometimes I've only had the money to buy cheap things so I've bought them, tey haven't lasted but at least its given me time to save up for an more expensive, longer lasting one if you see what I mean. He firmly believes that a tin of beans/tomatoes is a tin of beans/tomatoes wherever they're bought from & I agree.

    I don't compromise on certain things like quality meat. I use less and buy from a trusted farm shop. I don't buy cheap washing powder as, for me, it doesn't get all the stains out so is a false economy when I'm having to rewash stuff.

    My friends are pretty much the same as me apart from the odd few. My Sister in Law is appauling :rolleyes: She buys ready made mashed potato, frozen rice, ready beaten eggs in a carton from Tesco and rarely cooks from scratch. She works full time though & it's her choice what she spends her money on I just get frustrated when she says that she's 'skint'. Having said that she's one of my fave people and I love her dearly. Each to their own I guess.

    I was lucky to have been brought up with home cooked meals & parents who didn't/still don't waste anything but we always have something to learn. I shared the tip of using half as much dishwasher powder this week & Mum shared her fave cheap recipe from when I was younger - homemade corned beef pasties :D

    An interesting thread & some thought provoking replies :T
  • valk_scotvalk_scot Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    He won't pick up pennies in the street either, although to me this is just common sense; every penny is one towards my mortgage :confused:

    We all pick up pennies in the street but put them in a big jamjar on the hall table. At the end of the year we give the jar to the cat rescue where we got our older cat. There was over £19 in it last Christmas, just from street pennies!
  • valk_scotvalk_scot Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    SunnyGirl wrote: »
    ready beaten eggs in a carton from Tesco

    WHAT???? You can buy such things?????? How on earth can anyone be so *insert word of choice here* that they can't break an egg?
  • SunnyGirlSunnyGirl Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    I know! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: It shocked me but there were definitely bottles/cartons of ready beaten egg in Tesco. It was near pancake day so maybe its not there all the time :confused: but I was amazed & said to DH that I'd seen it all now :rotfl:
  • foxglovesfoxgloves Forumite
    7.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Agree with one of the previous posters, that I feel more embarrassed about the amount of money I used to waste before I saw the light and reaslied that surprise, surprise, yes, there WAS actually a link between our spending habits and our debts! I think people who are embarrassed to go in charity shops miss some good finds. I look upon it as treasure hunting. Good finds this year include a perfect pale pink cotton king-size sheet which I bought to back the retro patchwork duvet cover I am making, a lovely hair ornamnent, a pair of vintage earrings, a Monsoon cardigan for my Mum....linen, really good condition, £6 & a fabulous big white cotton shirt for my husband, as good as new £4. Yes, you have to wade through a lot of tat to find the gems but for me, that's part of the fun.
    "Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only the moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake".
    Sir Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626 (Philosopher & statesman)
  • I am less embarrassed than many people think I should be by my money saving/green activities. I would have probably justified taking the cheese by explaining the negative environmental impact of letting food go into landfill! As I am a bit of an eco bore I tend to make a joke about my obsessions which takes the edge off things!

    But I have certainly done plenty of potentially embarrassing things in the name of greenness and economy. I used to go through my manager's waste bin every night after she had left, and retrieve all the recyclables that she should have been putting into the recycling schemes I had set up around the building. I realised after a while that this clandestine activity of mine was common knowledge :embarasse but I am pleased to report that, as a result of my tenacity, we now have a co-mingled recycling bin and just one shared landfill bin in our office (as well as plastic cup, battery,toner, mobile, and carrier bag recycling schemes). Also a scrap paper box for everyday printing needs. My next plan for green domination is to convince people that they really do not need cordless keyboards and mice that use an obscene amount of batteries every year.... Oh, and I turn off monitors, printers etc. on my way out as well...

    I regularly bring home trays of unwanted catered food that would otherwise go to landfill. Huge trays of crudites that are ready cut up for stir fries, bread rolls that go into my freezer. If it's not suitable for me, my family or my pets to eat, I take it down to the local wasteland and leave it for the foxes. Then I take the plastic containers to the plastics recycling at my local authority dump.

    It is disgusting the amount of waste that goes on in our society. For most working families, only a generation or two back, thrift was an everyday part of life; I know my father could not have given us the standard of living he did without making sure nothing got wasted and bargains were sought whenever possible. And yet now, some people think nothing of buying ready peeled and sliced fruit and hardboiled peeled eggs in plastic packaging. I sometimes imagine my grandparents being resurrected and wandering into a supermarket and try to picture the puzzled look on their faces at the depths to which modern society has sunk. Frozen omelettes crease me up - I mean it takes longer to defrost them than to cook from scratch so what joker has managed to market them as convenient?
  • My Mum was always frugal which embarrassed me as a I find I am following her advise but do feel sorry for my kids...maybe the circle will start again!
    Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!
  • JevversJevvers Forumite
    648 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    I agree with the previous posters, I'm far more embarrassed by how much money I've wasted over the years. We were brought up thrifty by our skint parents and I think I rebelled against that once I had my own income.

    Now I just think I was a mug for thinking that expensive=best whereas in reality I was buying into a lifestyle dream, marketed to me by companies who hello were just trying to make money from me.

    Anyhoo it's not all sackcloth and ashes chez Jevvers these days but I have become a lot more thrifty and green to boot.
    Mortgage 1: £243,034 0.99%, i/o, ends May 2026 MFW date 20 Aug 2020
    Mortgage 2: [STRIKE]£166,966[/STRIKE] £159,066 0.99%, repaymt, ends Oct 2033
    Total: £402,100
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