Great 'ways To Cut Back' Hunt

in Debt-Free Wannabe
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  • When buying milk in those 6 pint bottles at your supermarket, take a carefull look at the quantity in the bottle. Select one with the most and get about an extra 3or4 cups of tea/coffee.
  • Eliza252Eliza252 Forumite
    449 Posts
    When shopping in supermarkets look at the 'price by weight' displayed in teeny tiny numbers underneath the purchase price (dont leave your glasses at home!) - this will tell you which product is really cheaper weight by weight - you may be surprised! I've found that often supermarket value 'own brands' are not actually the cheapest option!

    Go one better (of course, I like those) and buy stuff from your local market, or grow it/make it yourself (or just dont buy it!)

    :D
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • se999se999 Forumite
    2.4K Posts
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    When you go on holiday, switch things off!

    We went away for 10 weeks, and left a freezer running, it was an old one, but the electricity it used was horrific!

    Now if we go away for more than a week for the fridge (longer for the freezer), we forward plan to leave an empty fridge and freezer, we defrost if necessary and leave with the doors open.

    It also means we use everything up!

    Also try to go through tins and dry food cupboards once a month, and check use by dates. Anything getting close I leave out on the side to remind me to use it quickly.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Consider washing clothes without any heat. All the washing machines i have had has had a facility where you can turn off the heater and wash in cold water. My family dont really get their clothes really grimey so 80% of my wash is done without heat. However, for the dirtier clothes, i put my washing on a longer programme but without heat or i soak them in the washer overnight and wash them on a 40 degree wash the next day.
  • SuzieG_3SuzieG_3 Forumite
    4 Posts
    Real Nappies:
    I was glad to see someone mention washable nappies.
    I've used various cloth nappies for my boys, due in part to cost, environment and ease of use.
    Though No1 was in shaped ones, (with a vinegar soak), for No3, I've moved onto Terries held by plastic nippa (no pins), kept dry in a bucket and prewashed with sanitiser. (I found vinegar wasn't always upto the job), and washed with a good non-bio.
    I estimated that the terries/nippa's /pants paid for themselves within 3 months and now at most cost 2-3p per use (for laundry and liner).
    As a bonus most local authorities give upto £30 in vouchers to "real nappy" users. Contact the waste department of your local authority for details.

    In addition I use "travel tissues" and water instead of cotton wool. [15 x 10pk costs £1 at my local cheap shop.] These do not disintigrate in water andcan be flushed down the loo with a dirty liner.
    Hope this helps.
  • Never carry cash in your wallet.

    I think I'd say never carry *cards* in your wallet - it's much easier to spend more on a card than if you have to count out the pounds. I'm much more restrained if I go out debit- or credit-card-less!
  • karen69_2karen69_2 Forumite
    44 Posts
    I think I'd say never carry *cards* in your wallet - it's much easier to spend more on a card than if you have to count out the pounds. I'm much more restrained if I go out debit- or credit-card-less!
    I agree. I have real problems when it comes to handing out cash but think nothing of using plastic.
  • We've been home exchanging for about 5 years now - 7 exchanges to date both in the UK and overseas. Excellent system and here's a UK link for a worldwide company http://www.homelink.org.uk/ (the one we're members of). It has a very cheap annual membership and the rest is up to you. If you give it a try you'll be a bit nervous the first time, but gob-smacked by the properties on offer around the world, and better still NO CHARGE. Enjoy!
  • purplestar1ukpurplestar1uk Forumite
    207 Posts
    1) I have in the past had a few too many penalty fines for late payment of bills / credit cards etc. because I couldn't afford it at the time the bill arrived, but then forgot about it or thought I'd already paid it so didn't pay it when I could afford it easier.

    Nowadays, I use online banking and when I get a bill, I can log onto my account (with co-op bank, don't know online facilities of others...) and arrange a bill payment either instantly or on a date in the future. That way, if it needs paying by, say, 27th of month, and it takes 4 working days to arrive, then I count back to 23rd of that month and arrange the bill payment to go from my account on the 23rd or 21st or whenever money should be easier. That way you don't miss the payment date, but you also don't have to pay when you can't really spare the cash.

    2) Get rid of your TV! I haven't had a TV for 2 and a half years now, and as I don't see anything like as many ads, I don't lust after 'amazing' products that are being marketed, as they're not being marketed to me! Stuff like smelly spray to put in the iron, and other 'innovations' that we've lived for long enough without, just don't appeal to me without the hard sell coming into my house. I obviously still see billboards and such, but it's a lot less powerful and insidious.

    3) If you're going to smoke, roll your own. Infinitely cheaper. Not recommending smoking of course, but many of us are just plain addicts and will do it anyway, so smoking cheaper is better!

    4) Reusable sanitary protection. Cheaper, comfy, soft, pretty, environmental.

    5) Write down every penny and pound you spend for a week or so, with no exceptions. It's really scary to see how much you can spend on nothing at all, and you become a lot more conscious of what *needs* to be bought and what doesn't.

    6) Go shopping with a friend and 'share' buy one get one free offers which are for things you really don't need two of (e.g. tomato ketchup, boxes of 20 fishfingers, whatever).

    7) Re-use things that would normally be thrown away, or make something that would be thrown away into something else (e.g. toilet roll holders have become a desk tidy, and hamster toys; shredded paper - hamster bedding; shoe box covered with wrapping paper for envelope storage etc.)

    8) Put 'envelope re-use labels' from charities, or use plain stickers to make the tons of pre-addressed envelopes you get in junk mail or within bills or whatever into blank envelopes you can use. I never buy new envelopes any more! I use re-use labels from Friends of the Earth, Baby Milk Action and Traidcraft. There will be other charities doing them too.

    9) Don't have a car and don't drive.

    10) Freecycling.

    11) As others have said, ebay and car boots (for both buying and selling). Also buying from charity shops.

    12) Use 2nd class stamps. 1st class are only a few pence more expensive so it's easy to think that you may as well use those, but when you're using 10, or 20 or more, it all adds up.
  • crana999crana999 Forumite
    573 Posts
    8) Put 'envelope re-use labels' from charities, or use plain stickers to make the tons of pre-addressed envelopes you get in junk mail or within bills or whatever into blank envelopes you can use. I never buy new envelopes any more! I use re-use labels from Friends of the Earth, Baby Milk Action and Traidcraft. There will be other charities doing them too.

    or just cross out the old address ;)
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