Monday 3 January 2011

10 ways to save in 2011

At the end of this month we become a one income family so I've set myself a challenge. The plan is to save as much as possible each month of the amount that I would have earned. I don't think it is really possible for savings to equal previous earnings but nothing venture. In addition, it would be good if the family feel that they have gained and not lost by mum being home full time so being too stingy isn't an option!

There are some lists around which suggest ways of saving large amounts:
stop smoking-thankfully, never started.

Take packed lunches-been doing this for years.

Change energy supplier-done this a few times. Rewards decrease each time. Saved lots the first time.

Change mobile plan-pay as you go has worked out just cheaper and once I'm not  at work will almost certainly be the best option.

So this is what my husband calls "Serious Saving".
Anyway, here goes with hopefully 10 points! Mainly directed to myself.

1. Cook from scratch. Do a fair amount of this already but now it is "goodbye" to Tesco pizzas and "hello" to home made ones. On the rare occasions that we have eaten home made pizza the family prefer this so a win-win.

2. Use the slow cooker more. The slow cooker uses several times fewer watts than the oven which more than makes up for the longer cooking.

3.Use the pressure cooker more.
 I'm a bit scared of the pressure cooker-I don't like the noise or flabby vegetables-but was particularly put off by a bit of an accident with a Christmas pudding when I was first married. Recently, a friend encouraged me to use it again and we've enjoyed pea and ham soup a few times. This is ideal as it would take ages to cook the dried peas without a pressure cooker. Now, to find a few more successful pressure cooker recipes. Ideas gratefully accepted!

4. Don't waste anything. Dh is much better at this than me. He is the one who picks the nettle shoots and makes a soup from them. It isn't bad either. The sting goes with cooking.

5.Don't forget that motorway driving necessitates coffee and remember to take a thermos.

6.Make our own. Eldest daughter made a wreath from the garden and with odds and ends around the house. I can't claim any credit for teaching her. She is much more artistic than I am. It would be good to get knitting and sewing again!

7.Cut out small wastes of money-chocolate is my failing- especially little Yorkie bars. Not much but multiplied over a year it all adds up.(62p x2x52=£64.48) I do need some chocolate! Best brought with the main shop-also discourages too much as the rest of the family see, and share (not sure that this is good) when the shop is delivered.

8.Don't go shopping!

9.Clear some cupboards. Having the household items from two homes means that more cupboards are filled with china than in most people's homes. I need to declutter so that there is more space to store preserves and items on offer.

10. Buy in bulk. I want to research buying half a sheep and fruit juice straight from the farm.


  1. One of my favourite ideas: never buy anything new till I've tried all the local charity shops, then ebay. It's amazing what we save (even inc. postage from ebay)

    Another of my live-by ideas: "it's amazing what you can live without" (or "need is all relative")

    Always buy the "value" or "supermarket own" brand to start with. If it doesn't suit the family, you can always move up, but it's amazing how they don't always notice or care.

    (I grew up in a cold, one-(very-low)-income family, we got free school meals, and never had new clothes (until I was old enough to work and buy my own). Holes in my shoes didn't kill me, grin.)

    Everyone has to work out what matters to them: don't cut out something (like the chocolate!) that if it will make you feel deprived (though I find that after a couple of weeks after no chocolate, I stop wanting it - or alternatively, places like Morrisons do really good "Value Chocolate".

    Will be interested in comparing food spending notes.

  2. PS - totally agree about the storage space, some things will last for ages, and it's good to stock up when they are on offer.

    We used to buy lambs from a place in Headcorn, it was really economical over time.

    And buy all your cleaning materials in Lidl, it is so inexpensive compared to "normal" supermarkets.

  3. I often get veg, eggs and meat from Aldi. They don't always have everything you need so you need to do other shops. Free range eggs are 85p, free range chicken for £4.99 lots of veg for 39p or 69p.

    Bulk out meat dishes with pulses. Actually recipes with pulses are really nice, especially in pasta.

    Big one-pot dishes are cheaper than meat and two veg.

    Selling old stuff on Ebay.

    And congratulations on your promotion!! ;-)

  4. I don't think that I've ever been off chocolate for long enough to stop wanting another bar!

    Do you have the details of the place in Headcorn? I often go near there.

  5. Alice, I need to look at Aldi. The free range prices sound good.

  6. Hi Sarah,

    I sent you a note. I'll be back tomorrow to share a little bit. I too am excited about your promotion! :)


  7. Hi Sarah
    Have you tried sourdough bread at home? It's cheaper, and more filling and digestible than ordinary bread,. You can keep the dough rising all the time, and just take some out of the fridge to prove as you need it. You do need to keep your starter fed with decent flour though. You can do a good pizza base with it too!
    One other thought... as Alan is working from home, can you get hold of a cash and carry card and get your bulk stuff wholesale?

  8. Great ideas!

    I also have found, too, that pay-as-you-go is the best! Of course, I don't use it very often, but I spend approximately £45 a year (three refills at £15). Texts, for me, are free, evenings are free. We also buy cheap phones. Chris wins this one for his $8 phone (mine was $20). Do people really NEED to have games on their mobiles?

    I shop at a variety of supermarkets. Sometimes, Waitrose has been cheaper than Morrison's or even ASDA. I do get the delivery service from Waitrose every week -- this saves me time.
    I do price shop for non-food items. I only buy vinegar from ASDA (why pay 99p when you can pay 39p?)

    For food, vegetarian meals are also a very good way to save money. I like to croc-pot a medley, adding chicken stock, and setting it over rice for serving. Or roasted vegetables on their own make a great meal.
    Peanut butter (and jam, optionally) sandwiches (here's the American in me) are great for kids' lunches.

    Clothes-- ebay, for sure! But also be sure, whether new or used, that the clothes are of good quality so you can wear them for years. Boden is a very good brand. M&S have good skirts (not so good in the shirt department). Next is good for kids' clothing.
    Also, take care of the clothes. Don't wash unless really necessary.
    Some of my clothes are ten or more years old. Of course, style is not and never has been that important to me. That might not work for the fashion-oriented.

  9. Hi, some helpful ideas. One thing we've done is cut out fruit juice - we now only have orange juice for breakfast. This saves several £ per week and I'm sure we're better of for not having so much sugar!We just have water or squash instead. Thank you for the ideas.

  10. These sound like great ideas.

    Cooking from scratch...everything seems to really save us the most. Also the not wasting anything is something I take as a personal challenge and I only in very extreme emergencies throw any food out. I found that you can morph even a failed dinner into something eatable:)

    Congrats on staying home!