Great 'ways To Cut Back' Hunt

in Debt-Free Wannabe
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  • BatgirlBatgirl Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Mellika wrote: »
    Hi all, this is my first post, just wanted to share a little tip with you.

    If you need/want to wash your hair twice, use the cheapest shampoo you can find for the first wash.

    This is a trick my mum learned when she worked at a hairdresser's. The first wash gets rid of grease and general everyday dirt, so anything will do the job. Then you can use just a tiny amount of whatever "special" shampoo you want, because your hair is clean it will spread more easily and you'll still get all the benefits (i.e. straighter hair, anti-frizz, etc)

    Fab idea thanks :beer:
    May 2015 £10 a day currently £208
  • Hoover Bags - Cut the bottom when full, empty out and then roll the bottom & staple up again..... More for your money!

    Can be done a couple of times before it gets a bit short :rotfl:
    :) Embrace your inner Hillbilly :)
  • brownfrogbrownfrog Forumite
    189 Posts
    Sorry, nothing original from me, but a few posts prompted some thoughts. Hope this doesn't break the 'no discussion' rule, but it didn't seem fair not to acknowledge the previous posts.
    When making tea or coffee, only fill the kettle with the amount of water required.
    Better still (because most kettles need at least 1.5 mugs of water to take them to the minimum level, boil one kettle of water before you're about to enter your tea-drinking phase, and pour the excess into a thermos. Poundland do vacuum jugs with a lever to allow them to pour without removing the lid, which is very handy (and, obviously, they cost a pound!).
    Humbug wrote: »
    Keep your old perfume bottles in your drawers. That way the will always smell fresh.
    The free paper samples of perfume that you get in magazines are really good for this too.
    Iona_Penny wrote: »
    Use Bold liquid detergent. For daily laundry use half the recommended amount in the ball-goes twice as far and you don't need fabric softener. For dirtier stuff up the amount.
    If you're just using Bold because of the fabric softener, then as others have mentioned, vinegar is much cheaper (or don't bother with it at all). Pretty much all detergents (liquid or powder) can be used at half the amount. Lidl's own brand liquid detergent is excellent, and is often on offer at £2 for 3L - at 50ml/wash, that's just over 3p/wash.
    Iona_Penny wrote: »
    Only wash clothes on a 40 degree wash
    30 deg is enough for many washes.
    sara2323 wrote: »
    If you're driving by a cheap store like Netto, Aldi , Kwiksave and would not normally go there due to distance from home etc if you have the time go in and pick up a special offers leaflet ASDA will price match and leaflets normally valid for two weeks.
    Aldi, Lidl and Netto all have their offers online, and you can sign up for these to be emailed to you.
    sara2323 wrote: »
    I personally don't recommend lending books from libraries after just paying £15 in late fees, maybe money saving for those who are organized enough to return books on time!.
    Ask your library if they issue a PIN to use with their online services. If I can't make it back on time, I renew them all online - takes less than a minute. It uses my library card number and a PIN.
    Penny-Wise wrote: »
    Instead of buying special scented ironing water just use water and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle – shake before use.
    Essential oil on a small bit of cottonwool makes a great vacuum cleaner freshener. Poundland/99p shop often do a 2 for 1 offer on oils.
    H2SO4 wrote: »
    4. Buy remanufactured ink cartriges rather than buying new.
    Or try refill kits - messy, but cheap! You can also buy gadgets that reset the chips on the cartridges.
    H2SO4 wrote: »
    5. When buying a PC, don't buy a monitor, just reuse an old one
    If you're not too fussy about it (say you just want a basic one for the kids), try Freecycle (
    se999 wrote: »
    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.
    Buy stamps in bulk if there's due to be a price rise (next week, folks!!). Just make sure they say #1st class' or '2nd class', not the actual price. You can buy the self-adhesive ones from the RM website.
    Smiley_Mum wrote: »
    If you have a formal occasion to attend like wedding, christening etc etc and need something nice to wear, hire instead of buy. Most towns now have dress agencies where you can hire really good outfits for a fraction of what they'd cost to buy.
    For evening gowns, TKMaxx usually works out cheaper (usually about £30) than hiring, and as the dresses are usually washable, you can sell them on ebay after the 'do'.
    headchef wrote: »
    Buy whole chickens and pick off the left over meat and gristle (dog loves it - urgh).
    If you don't have a dog, use the carcass for soup! If you can get some of those perforated baskets used in pressure cookers (Freecyle or your local tip), it saves having to hunt through the soup for the bones.
    oscardog wrote: »
    2. Get a cash and carry membership any way you can. Costco / Makro (we are members of both) will save you a fortune on stuff you always need (dog food, washing powder etc).
    But do price-xcheck. Makro used to be very good, but has got quite expensive, IMO, lately. Always remember that apart from food, you'll usually have to add on VAT.
  • moanymoanymoanymoany Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    I keep a packet of Tesco value dried skimmed milk in the cupboard, it's great for when I run out, don't have to go out until the next shop.

    Use Google to find frugal recipes to use as the base for meal plans. Look for meal plans on the OS board.

    Soak and cook a 500gram pack of dried beans at a time and then freeze when cold. Allow 100grams per person. This is the basis for many meals and it counts as one portion of fruit and veg a day.

    Read the OS moneysavers for ideas on frugal cleaning products. This includes laundry as well as general cleaning.

    Make your own bread, wholemeal bread doesn't have to be kneaded it can be mixed and put straight into the tin - what could be easier? Dove organic wholemeal flour is 55p for one and a half kilos. It makes 3 large delish loaves.

    Read the 'Tightwad Gazette' for inspiration.
  • Pandora_2Pandora_2 Forumite
    258 Posts
    Just read the ENTIRE thread, and a couple of things I do haven't been mentioned (or if they have I've missed them :rolleyes:

    1-With regards to the freezer being more energy/cost efficient when full, it doesn't need to be full of food, just being full of anything works, so I use scrunched up newspapers and just remove some when I buy more food, or add some when I use food up.

    2-Switch everything possible off at the plug!! Obviously having things on standby uses electricity, but some things still use a bit even when switched off - noticed this with my speakers, when switched off I could still hear a faint hum coming from them meaning there was still electricity running through them!!

    3-When cold, don't turn the heating on/up, put a jumper and an extra pair of socks on! Or if you're into extreme moneysaving (like me!), go the whole hog and get the hats, gloves and scarves out as well ;)

    4-Slightly extreme but use candles instead of electric lights! Doesn't work if you need to be able to see properly (if doing a jigsaw or something!) but works fine for me most of the time :p

    5-Spend an hour a day doing something electricity free - go for a walk, read a book, do a jigsaw.....Doesn't have to be something boring like tidying!

    6-I often go to other places to do stuff I could do at home, but doing it there saves me money. For example, go and sit in the library to read rather than at home therefore using their heat, light etc, I always go to the toilet at Uni, Tesco etc before coming back home so saving my toilet rolls and water bill!

    7-Any old clothes that are too rubbish for the charity shop (holes, big stain etc) make great cleaning cloths, haven't bought a cloth for years!!

    Hope none of them are repeats but too many posts to go back and check, and hope some help :D
    :ADFW Nerd 145:A
    LBM - June 2006 - DEBTS - £19,261.08 :eek:
    Nov 2017 - £10,644.92!!
    Debt free date - 13/08/2022 - the day before I turn 40!!!!! :beer:
    Grocery Challenge - Dec 2017 £30.63/£150
  • brownfrogbrownfrog Forumite
    189 Posts
    Chris120A wrote: »
    If you use a product regularly (eg shampoo, deodorant, shower gel), and you see it on a BOGOF offer, buy LOADS. Unlike food it's not going to go out of date if you don't use it. Example - say I get through a can of deodorant a week, at £2.00 a can. Last month it was on BOGOF at Superdrug. I bought 8. This month it's back to regular price, so instead of paying £8 for this month's supply I'll be paying 4. Shop around and do this for any toiletries you can find, you'll save £30+ a month. Shampoos and conditioners are normally on BOGOF together. Buy the shampoo and get the conditioner free, or be double thrifty and buy two bottles of 2in1!.
    Look out for supermarket own brands too. Aldi are particularly good for shower gels and bath stuff. Superdrug's coconut hair conditioner (99p) also excellent.
    Fix a date in the diary to go through all your finances, old statements, policies etc, burn old ones (very therapeutic)
    But think of the hassle when you start reclaiming all those charges! ;)It's best to keep financial information for at least 6 years (and if you run your own business, you have to, by law).
    Save money and Cola by using the toilet brush whenever the toilet bowel gets dirty. If you do it before it gets caked on, it takes half a second.
    Keep the lid half-closed when you do this, though. You don't want an aerosol of you-know-what being released!:eek:
    tesuhoha wrote: »
    The most brilliant cleaning product on the market is Bar Keepers Friend, price £1.95. It is far, far superior to Cillit Bang. It doesnt smell that good, but to remove hardened grease from the top of the cooker, you only need to use that and a j-cloth.
    Smells better than CB, though (choke, choke). Try pound shops - you'll get it for half this price.
    xXxKatexXx wrote: »
    if you sell on ebay and use paypal, save the money up in your paypal account to buy your christmas/birthday pressents. i do this, and its almost like free pressents cos you dont notice the money :)
    You're giving Paypal use of the money for nowt, though. Why not move it into a high-interest account specifically for pressies?
    JollyNolly wrote: »
    Do the same with herbs and spices - the Schwarz jars cost about £1.30 for 28g - if you go to your local asian corner shop you'll find a much better selection, much larger quantities, for pretty much the same price or less. You just need something to store it in - you can use old jam jars with screw top lids.
    It's only worth doing this if you use a lot or if you buy them unground and then grind them yourself (whole nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, etc). Dried herbs and especially spices usually won't last more than a year. For herbs, it's worth getting the pots of fresh ones when they're reduced. They're usually little more than seedlings, and even if you pot them up, they probably won't survive. Instead, cut them down to the base, chop them up and freeze in ice trays. It's also quite economical to buy the jars of herbs and spices preserved in vinegar or water (which usually need to be used within a month) and freeze spoonfuls of those in the trays too. Keep them in the freezer, and you'll always have them to hand for cooking.
    Alicatt wrote: »
    1) 2) If you're not in a hurry to go out after washing your hair, especially if you have long hair, wait until it is 95% dry before using the hairdryer just to finish it off and to style it.
    Try pound shops for microfibre turbans - they dry your hair much quicker than normal towels and keep it out of the way while drying.
    dippy-dora wrote: »
    If anyone is on thyroxine you get all your other prescriptions free.
    And if you're on metformin for Type 2 diabetes too. If you're taking regular meds, it's worth asking the doc or pharmacist if any of them qualify you for free prescriptions.
    mh1923 wrote: »
    When buying flowers, carnations last much longer than tulips or daffodils
    Tulips and daffs will last longer if you put them into iced water for 24 hours. All flowers will last longer if the water's not allowed to breed bacteria. Change it regularly (every couple of days, and chuck the water on the compost heap), removing any flowers past their best, and cutting a bit more off the stems of the others. Make sure no leaves are below the waterline - they'll rot. Add a bit of bleach (I reckon roughly a tenth of the volume of water) to the water - it should make them last at least a week longer.
    Batgirl wrote: »
    You may all already know this but I have only just realised...... Huge bottles of bleach are obviously cheaper than the little turned up neck ones you use to go around the loo edge, and I have only just realised that you can refil the turned up little bottles. So now I just keep the upturned one and refil it wiht a cheaper huge bottle.
    And on the subject of bleach (and pound shops - yes, I am obsessed!), pound shops often stock packs of bleach tablets (10-20 per pack, depending on the shop), and each makes a litre of bleach. Bleach does go off (and when it does, will actually start growing things - yuk!), so making a litre up fresh every few weeks means it'll be much more effective. Just drop a tablet into a bottle, top up with water, leave for 24 hours and give it a shake. Don't open the whole pack, though - cut off one blister at a time, leaving the rest sealed (and obviously, keep well away from kids).
    rchrisp wrote: »
    when frying, reuse the oil (let it cool then pour it into a glass jar to use next time - we do this when making our own chips with rapeseed oil)
    If you decide on a goose for Xmas dinner (£15 in Lidl), remove all the fat and put it in the pan, p-r-i-c-k (oh, for goodness sake!) the bird all over, then place it on a rack in the pan. Drain off all the fat and clarify it as follows. Put fat into saucepan and add roughly equal amount of boiling water. Bring to the boil (be careful of spatters). Allow to cool a bit, then while still warm, pour into Pyrex bowl and put in fridge. The following day, pour off the water, turn the solid fat upside down and scrape off the gunk at the bottom. Repeat procedure twice. Finally, heat the fat on its own very slowly to drive off any remaining water. Allow to cool until just warm, then pour into a scalded jar. You should end up with beautiful white fat that is perfect for roasting potatoes, and this costs over £4 for a tiny tin in the shops!
    rchrisp wrote: »
    befriend your local butcher. you end up getting decent quality meat, prepared just how you like it, and cheaper than the supermarket. mine even gives me samples of sausages...
    They'll often give you bones for nowt too - great for stock!
    and check out small independent cobblers rather than the chains - I pay about half the cost of repairs this way
    same goes for watch batteries and straps and similar
    It's good to support the independents, but for watch batteries, you can't do better than - yes - pound shops. I get a pack of 50 (various sizes, so they work for other things too) for a quid.
    Bambywamby wrote: »
    Just a few of my fav penny pinching tips.
    1) Don't put nail varnish remover on cotton wool, it acts like a sponge and soaks in far more than you need ~ use tissue.
    Put a piece of sponge (be careful of this - some types can melt!) into a jar, cut a slit in the top, and add some with nail varnish remover (not too much - you want it wet, but not with loads of liquid over it). Just insert finger into the slit, wriggle it round (gosh, this sounds rude!:eek:), off comes the nail varnish. Just like those posh Quickies -type tubs.
    Bambywamby wrote: »

    15) Buy smaller sized eggs they are usually cheaper and you will not really notice the difference particularly when cooking and baking. (Go for free range...say NO to battery eggs).

    Try your local farm shop - mine sells 'catering eggs' for 80p/doz (free range). Supposedly, these are ones that are getting a bit old (they say to use them within 14 days), but I've never found a bad one, and I've kept them a lot longer than that! Often double yolks, too.
    Bambywamby wrote: »

    20) Book your holidays last minute ( one to two weeks before you are due to go) you are likely to get a cancellation and can save hundreds of pounds.
    Also try the holiday company's website as well as the travel agents - going direct is often cheaper.
    Another little tip that works for me only change your lenses when they are tired and worn and not monthly like it states.
    You might be OK if you're cleaning them regularly, but I'd be a bit worried about doing this. Maybe you could save money by buying online instead?
    . Shopping at some of the cheaper supermarkets - sometimes the food is so sub-standard you end up chucking it!.
    Oh no, no, don't chuck it! No matter how vile it is, mixing it with something else will make it edible. Yukky cornflakes? Make a crumble topping. Horrid cocoa/coffee? Mix with a better brand. Disgusting cheese? Use in a sauce for lasagne. And so on ..
    . 2. Shops own washing powder - I've yet to find one that's as good as a named brand - I end up using twice as much!
    Can't help with the washing powder, but Lidl's own brand washing liquid is brill.
  • brownfrogbrownfrog Forumite
    189 Posts
    Though that is true, but what i'm thinking is of ways to cut my bills by at least 1/4, don't get me wrong i'm not going to moan about the extra money i save buying shops own, taking my own lunch to work, but i would like to know how i can make some really big savings.

    Your best bet is to head over to the Debt-Free Wannabe board, look up how to do your statement of affairs (SOA) and post it. Believe me, those guys will save you hundreds.
  • brownfrogbrownfrog Forumite
    189 Posts
    Eyesparky wrote: »
    Start thinking of the true cost of things if you have any debt.

    It's worth doing this even if you're not in debt. For most wage-earners, a penny saved is not a penny earned - it's actually about 1.3p earned by the time you take income tax and NI into account!
  • Have just spotted post about if you are on thyroxine your prescriptions should be free.
    Can anyone point up how I find out more as my daughter is on thyroxine plus a whole load of other drugs & has to buy a prepay cert


    Suzi xx
  • brownfrogbrownfrog Forumite
    189 Posts
    sissy wrote: »
    Hi there all you netto /aldi shoppers! I was wondering if you could share your information on these shops products, i.e. is their brand of washing up liquid as good as Fairy? I don't want to go out and spend money on their brands if they are useless! I'm on a budget! I'd stick with the brand names I know. So if any of you MSE's can give examples I would very much appreciate it. Thanks in advance for your advice and thank you for reading this x
    Sorry if this question has been asked before x

    Check out this thread:

    Several others available too. Just do a search for the shops' names.
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