Thrifty tips

Area for current parents, past parents and future parents of Blues or Old Blues.

Moderator: Moderators

MrsAverage
2nd Former
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:23 am

Thrifty tips

Post by MrsAverage » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:54 pm

I've been heartened and supported by the many private messages and e-mails following posts in 'Leaver and fees' and earlier similar threads e.g.'are we alone?
One of the strongest themes is how much us parents deny ourselves to pay the fees and I thought I'd try starting a new thread to share these tips, sparked by a particuarly poignant one. So here's hoping to some positivity:

"Primark clothes have become a luxury for me, I automatically 'coast' in the car whenever I go down a hill, and takeaways are a thing of the past"

Our own family favourite is: when replacing the toilet roll, to squeeze it firmly so it no longer unrolls easily meaning users limit themselves to minimum sheets. Give it a try, the results are impressive.

Who has got more?

Fjgrogan
Button Grecian
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:56 pm
Real Name: Frances Grogan (nee Haley)
Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by Fjgrogan » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:25 pm

When your computer tells you that your printer cartridge needs replacing, do not believe it. If you are only printing things for your own use, you can probably continue on the existing cartridge for several weeks; it will print in red which will gradually fade, but it doesn't matter as long as it is still readable. Obviously this will vary according to the type of cartridge.
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

'A clean house is a sign of a broken computer.'

User avatar
jhopgood
Button Grecian
Posts: 1713
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:26 pm
Real Name: John Hopgood
Location: Valencia

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by jhopgood » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:48 pm

Fjgrogan wrote:When your computer tells you that your printer cartridge needs replacing, do not believe it. If you are only printing things for your own use, you can probably continue on the existing cartridge for several weeks; it will print in red which will gradually fade, but it doesn't matter as long as it is still readable. Obviously this will vary according to the type of cartridge.
Agreed as I get my cartridges refilled at a recycling shop just along from my flat. I think he weighs the cartridge before refilling as more than once he has returned it with the suggestion that it is not yet empty.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

anniexf
Button Grecian
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 pm
Real Name: Ann Wilkinson 8s
Location: England

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by anniexf » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:31 pm

I cut the plain paper out of used envelopes, for telephone pads, shopping lists and labels for parcels etc. One of my obsessions is picking up any coin I find on the ground ( as long as it's clean!) - 47p so far this year, but we don't live in a wealthy area! And I read the electricity meter every day, and on Friday mornings I write down the reading, subtract the previous week's reading and record that week's usage in my diary - then compare it with that week in the previous year's diary. Am I nuts, mean or sensible? Naturally, I'm sure I'm sensible ...

Fjgrogan
Button Grecian
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:56 pm
Real Name: Frances Grogan (nee Haley)
Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by Fjgrogan » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:14 pm

Each week we send a package to Finland with a comic for Hanna and any post which needs to be forwarded, plus any newspaper cuttings which indicate how stupid this cou try is becoming! So we get through a fair number of padded envelopes/jiffy bags - they have to be padded because there is always a breakable free gift stuck to the front of the comic. Maria saves up the envelopes and next time one of us visits her we bring back a pile of envelopes which we then re-use. Some of them have been back and forth a number of times.
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

'A clean house is a sign of a broken computer.'

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3108
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown
Location: Essex

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by sejintenej » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:07 pm

Check it out but you might find a water meter saves money if you don't already have one. It is going to depend on your house "rating band" (see your rates bill) because the higher the band the higher water and sewage bils are. It will also depend on how much water you use - have showers, not baths. I'm hoping to save just under £300 this year.
In the toilet (which is often the biggest user of water), if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown, flush it down. Be carefulk of these low water consumption modern toilets; the lack of water can mean that stuff sticks in the drain which blocks itself.
Sewage can also be "metered" - they base it on 90% of the water arriving at the property as shown on the water meter.

A couple of sites I use and contribute to:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/index.html
This is a vast site including free samples, how to earn money at home, cost comparisons, special offers, warnings ..... the list is endless! There is a semi-competition between people trying to keep their cost of living (food etc) down so there are useful ideas there.

http://boards.fool.co.uk/Index.aspx
Another vast site but I recommend that you start with the "Managing your Finances" area. You could then go on to "Helpful Fools", Food and Drink, Lifestyle, etc. This is a finance website though I don't recommend the investment side (the biggest bit). That said, you could bone up on things like pensions, where to save (they warned on Landsbankki (Icesave) a year before it went down)

A warning: these two sites take active steps to prevent such posts but scams do get through; look at every offer very very carefully before you do anything. Never pay out money without having a street address and checking the seller out - at least its telephone number on http://www.teldir.com/ (united Kingdon).

You say that you coast in your car; do ensure that you don't carry even an unnecessary kilo - like a full tank when a half tank would do. Make sure that the car is serviced, tyres up to pressure, windows shut, no roofrack (unless in use). Careful how you accelerate (don't use higher revs than necessary) and try to avoid having to use the brake - if there is a red light 100yds ahead, off the accelerator immediately. I try to keep down to the speed of lorries on long jpournies - I save up to 40% of fuel that way.

Lidl and Aldi are normally far cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury etc. but see if there is a farm shop nearby. Marks on veg don't matter but make the goods far cheaper. I get large bags of veg at 50p per bag - 2 pineapples or a large bunch of fresh carrots or a cauliflower ................ whilst good eating apples are 50p per kilo (I have stewed apple on cereal every day - that is one fruit sorted!)

There are just a few ideas to start you off; good luck.

If you want to "grow your own" never buy plug plants - get seed from Lidl at about 23 pence a packet.

Always, aways work out and compare prices per kilo/pound. I have seen prepacked mushrooms in the supermarket at over £6 per kilo whilst a few metres away the price for loose mushrooms was about £2 per kilo. That said, I have seen "prepacked" at cheaper than "serve yourself". There is one big supermarket which sometimes puts a big price label against veg/fruit and then a tiny one (double the price) close by'; be very very careful because they charge the higher price.

You collect Nectar or similar points? - check that first site because I think you lose heavily by using them to buy food compared to what you could get
“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 167AD

anniexf
Button Grecian
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 pm
Real Name: Ann Wilkinson 8s
Location: England

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by anniexf » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:47 pm

Join your local Freecycle group: http://www.freecycle.org/
I've seen almost everything (legal) offered on ours, and some of the most unusual "wanteds" have been successful too. All absolutely free as long as you can collect it yourself.

User avatar
jhopgood
Button Grecian
Posts: 1713
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:26 pm
Real Name: John Hopgood
Location: Valencia

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by jhopgood » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:25 pm

anniexf wrote:Join your local Freecycle group: http://www.freecycle.org/
I've seen almost everything (legal) offered on ours, and some of the most unusual "wanteds" have been successful too. All absolutely free as long as you can collect it yourself.
Absolutely agree.
I cleared most of a house that way and picked up some boxes for packing from another member.
I have even got rid of furniture here in Spain.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

lonelymom
Button Grecian
Posts: 1767
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:56 am
Location: Maidstone, Kent

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by lonelymom » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:48 pm

My favourite (and the most tasty) thrifty food tip is bubble and squeak!! I keep leftover veg and leftover mash, and if there's not enough then I keep freezing what I've got until there is. Love it! (I've made myself hungry now :? )
lonelymom :rolleyes:

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14818
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by J.R. » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:38 pm

lonelymom wrote:My favourite (and the most tasty) thrifty food tip is bubble and squeak!! I keep leftover veg and leftover mash, and if there's not enough then I keep freezing what I've got until there is. Love it! (I've made myself hungry now :? )

Same in this house.

Brussel sprouts are best !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

ailurophile
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:42 pm
Real Name: Jo

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by ailurophile » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:42 pm

If you're lucky enough to have one, check out your local market. We buy most of our fruit and veg at bargain prices, and although bulk buying can be uneconomical with only two of us at home I've become a dab hand at devising unusual and filling soups, which I freeze in big batches. Leftover cuisine is my speciality!!

Charity shops are my other regular port of call. I used to be rather squeamish about second-hand clothing before I was poor, but now I'm the original 'Woman at Oxfam'!! Check pocket linings and buttonholes for signs of wear, you'll often find items that are as good as new; and Barnardos has lots of genuinely new items donated by retailers (clothes and household goods), look for the blue 'Gifts in Kind' labels.

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3108
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown
Location: Essex

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by sejintenej » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:39 pm

Where possible use a microwave - it uses far less electricity (or equivalent gas) than an oven

Put one cup (or more cups as required) of water in the kettle so that you don't boil too much

Vegetable soup is cheap to make - we get 8 portions out of about £1 farm shop worth of vegetables. Freeze what you don't use immediately.

Leave frozen food in the kitchen to thaw rather than using a microwave / hot water / oven

IF you are desperate and have a laptop go to a WIFI enabled place to log in rather than invest in a broadband contract

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:29 am

Reading this Thread --- I feel guilty ----

We have enough income to do most of the things which we want -- rather than need, and can "Indulge" sometimes, in spending on a Cruise, or Italian Holiday.

I think the reason for this, is that we were born --- and brought up, -- in a different age, and are fortunate in that.

Credit Cards --- with their temptations -- didn't exist,--- if you couldn't afford it ------ !! ------ Hence Savings !

Times are much, much, harder now and it seems wrong that ordinary People are worried about the essentials of Life.

The reason that TBA and I feel guilty is 5 pensions --- and no kids at School, I think Anne earned her NHS Pension, but my Army and UKAEA, for doing what I loved i feel a bit embarrassed about ! -- I was SO grateful to receive 25p for being 80 :lol:

One day the Government will start looking at Means-Testing the Old age Pension ------ !!! :oops:

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:18 am

We're on a very strict budget now.

But even when I had a bit more money years ago, I cut up my couple of credit cards and began saving up cash when I really needed something. Somehow, I appreciated my purchase much more when handing over the actual money... :lol:

My mother had the ability to make a meal from a few leftovers and I like to think I learned from her. A wartime mother = never waste food!

Yes - vegetable soups and home-made stocks - excellent fillers and healthy too. On Facebook, there's a *HOGOF Soup Group!

I can't say I enjoy having the heating turned off or down! I console myself looking at the surviving level of oil in the tank :( and thinking how much it costs to refill it :( :(

As for the price of buying Epson printer cartridges - terrible! Never!

Oh well - I confess - occasionally I wish I could go on a lingerie/bag/shoe shopping extravaganza!

*Hertford Old Girls On Facebook
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14818
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Thrifty tips

Post by J.R. » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:25 am

Strict budget ????

Even the mice have deserted this house !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest