budgetting tips

We're all in this together, remember, so while the world is collapsing around our ears it might be nice to have a place to talk about new-found frugalities and old-fashioned eco-living. And mooncups.

Postby mummyknowsbest » 10 Jul 2008, 07:27

I was spending a fortune on fresh herbs until someone pointed out that you could chop them, and freeze them in icecube trays with some water. (i do realise it would be even cheaper to grow your own but i've just got the hang of growing mint so i won't push it :oops: )
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Postby KatGoldLIN » 10 Jul 2008, 11:11

ooh that reminds me, I have been meaning to ask...how much do people spend on groceries per week? I just don't know if we are normal or not...we spend bewteen £50 and £80 per week on groceries. The £80 would be times when we need a ton of the basics that all run out at once (olive oil, cleaning supplies, etc)...I would sy our average is about £65 and that includes cat food, but not disposies or wipes or anything like that.
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Postby PerpetualMadness » 10 Jul 2008, 11:21

It depends if DH is home. I reckon on a £50 shop lasting two weeks here, more like £40 if no expensive basics but includes catfood and litter. If DH is home, it's more. On top of that we spend £10 at the greengrocer a week so I guess £35 - £40 a week?
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Postby Lisec » 10 Jul 2008, 20:21

We try to keep within the £50 mark. Not always happening as I hate skimping on food and tend to buy organic where I can.
What we do do, is to go shopping at the end of a day/eve where lots of stuff has been knocked down - esp. meat.

All others have really said it: meal planning, eBay (we are major fans :D), cloth nappies (disp nappies take up a whopping 22% of all land fill :scream ), freezing leftovers etc.
Also, we have rarely had to buy clothes for T: lots of hand me downs and when he needs something, second hand is great. Cloth/fleece wipes is another way of saving a fortune!

While we spend on food(don't really do 'luxury', just organic) we hold back on holidays - go hiking/camping instead, or not at all.... and we buy very little clothes.

Switching off all sockets at night and not leaving your PC running/on standby all day is allegedly another way of saving some dosh - as well as saving the planet :D
Cycle instead of using the car?
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Postby PerpetualMadness » 10 Jul 2008, 20:37

Just wanted to say charity shops!!! Great bargains to be had especially from the ones in 'posh' areas. I managed to get 4 virtually new (look like never worn) designer skirts for under a tenner, as well as tops etc... Great for baby clothes and toys. Just got a toy pram/pushchair for Pumpkin for £5. Hilariously though, the little old lady manning the till felt the need to inform me that it was a toy pram not a real one (well duh!) and when I told her I knew that she added '...for girls!'. LOL She looked most upset when I told her that I really was buying it for Pumpkin! :)
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Postby AB&M » 10 Jul 2008, 20:37

Join your local freecycle group. You would be amazed at what people will be prepared to give you for free as long as you can return the offer with a few things that you consider junk.

I have got rid of things that were lying around the house that we no longer needed - DHs power tools :oops:

I have received loads of clothes twice over, an Ergo, and have currently put in a request for a sleeping bag and some PJs for Bruno.
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Postby PerpetualMadness » 10 Jul 2008, 20:38

I second freecycle. I got a breadmaker.
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Postby gingerbreadhouse » 10 Jul 2008, 20:44

Our weekly shop is somewhere between £50 and £80 too, no animals but no disposable nappies here either (apart from holidays - see earlier post!). I really wish it could be cheaper, but DH always does the shopping and while he' very very good following the list and not doing impulse buys, he's less good at comparing prices and spotting bargains (and he doesn't think like a cook!)

I'd second the cycle tip. I don't drive so have to cycle or walk everywhere. DH works 11 miles away from home, so he usually drives 2 days and cycles 3; it's saved vast quantities of diesel.

Actually, that sort of leads me to another tip! We had to replace our car last year and bought a very sensible diesel. We used to get about 35mpg out of the old car, this one its about 55mpg! Even though diesel is more expensive, it's cheaper to run, especially as it falls into one the lower tax bands too. I'm not suggesting that you all go and buy diesel cars (they aren't right for all situations) but it's certainly something to consider.
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Postby AB&M » 10 Jul 2008, 20:47

I am embarrassed to say I don't know how much our weekly shop is :oops: If you include our (very expensive meat) we probably spend nearly £100!!

I order it from Ocado but don't have it deliver on the same day every week - probably every 10 days or more.

We choose to spend our money wisely though and only buys meat once a week and a fish once a week from our local market where we can get organic and line caught etc.

The rest of the time we're on store cupboard stuff with veg so I made a quiche this week which will do 2 days food and DH made a chick pea & aubergine stew which was 1 dinner plus a pot for the freezer.
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Postby Dakiara » 10 Jul 2008, 22:05

Probably around the same here (£100), perhaps a little more. But at the moment we don't get out at all (no babysitters) so have been splurging on luxury food to cheer ourselves up! ;) That and the dairy free thing for Wee One, which is kinda expensive with all the substitutes. Plus having to cook certain things for my Crohn's tends to add to the cost also.

Just bought a second freezer this month so will be doing batch meals this weekend and using up the contents of the cupboards and freezer over the next month or two.

Been meaning to save some money as well so have planned to get back to the weekly planning thing - with Wee One's sleeping it really hasn't been a priority due to utter lack of energy! :? This week will be the last large shop for a long while. :)
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Postby LemonJuice » 11 Jul 2008, 21:28

While I was on maternity leave and Little Em was not eating. I managed on £110 a month for food. (I am veggie). No treats though but then I don't have a sweet tooth much. Since we started weaning and food prices increased I have raised my food budget to £170 a month. That's for just me and Em and we are veggie. I buy most of my fruit and veg from our local green grocers.

We have a brilliant 'serve yourself' shop in our town so I buy flour, dried fruit, rice, pasta from there rather than pre packaged at the supermarket.

I use a meal planner too. I look out for special offers in the supermarkets though so sometimes swith product loyalty.

Other Budgetting tips to add to the above posts

I have a small CC dept on 0% and switch each time the 0% is due to end.

Check out your mobile phone usage. Pay as you go is porbably cheepest if you only use occasional messsaging. BT offer an option of free evening and weekend calls on landlines and mine includes 100 free landline texts too (I hire my phone for a small amount each month). I have an 02 contract phone. When my contract is up for renewal instead of having a new phone I was credited with £100 to my bill.

Get out of the car and walk - you'll be fitter, the environment will benefit and so will your purse. A friend of mine has bought a trailer for her bike for her LO which converts to a buggy for when she parks up in town.

Stop buying newspapers and magazines. I stand in Waitrose and browse through Hello etc. when Little Em is asleep in the pushchair! I also stopped buying a TV listings each week as I could use CEEFAX (I only have terrestial).

Get rid of SKY TV and replace with FreeView or FreeSAT.

Check out dual fuel offers.
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Postby AB&M » 12 Jul 2008, 19:35

Dakiara - you are so right on the saving money by staying in! Plus DH gave up smoking and we don't buy even a quarter of the wine we did before I was pregnant. We are probably quids in :D
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Postby Heidi » 12 Jul 2008, 19:55

I spend over £100 a week in Asda or Tesco, but that covers all food and groceries, nappies etc plus my books, and all of our clothes.
We also don't go out a lot anymore, but do still drink a fair bit of wine :oops:
i am lucky that we have not needed to worry about cash flow too much, but am more and more conscious of the price rises (especially petrol!).
After nursery fees and petrol i don't have an awful lot left- lucky dh earns a good wage :)
Some really good tips in this thread - thanks all :D
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Postby doodlesmummy » 13 Jul 2008, 13:48


i am surprised with what little amounts some of you ladies can shop with for a week....I am in awe of you! We typically spend 80-100 quid at tesco a week, about 10 quid at butchers every 2 weeks and another 10 quid at fishmongers every 2 weeks too...this does include absolutely everything though (like DH's lunches he takes to work etc) and feeds us as a family of 4. Plus I do tend to spend a little more than I used to on better quality stuff (less salt, preservatives etc and organic on our dairy and some other things)...also we do buy most stuff to cook from stratch....it is just amazing that we used to spend about 70 a week tops and now due to 2 small extra people and increased food prices it costs loads more.....just wish my 2 girsl would eat more beans/pulses/veg so we could eat more veggie meals...any attempt I make is either a success for a meal then refused, or just plain refused....meal times are getting to be a pain with my 3 year old and she describes everything as yucky (even her beloved tortellini) and keeps putting my 16 mth old off everything too...oh the joy of siblings!!!

I would love to know of any tricks re shopping you have...I buy anything on offer (am v brand-fickle) and make lots of food from stratch and freeze, make my own bread etc, food shop online and always find a discount code to get at least free delivery....so where am I goign wrong??
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Postby sally » 13 Jul 2008, 17:30

I'm with you DM, I have no idea how people are spending such small amounts on groceries each week. Whilst on Mat Leave I was suppose dto be spending £60 a week but as yet have not managed to go under £100. We do drink wine, but only buy 2 or 3 bottles at £3-£4 each. We have no pets, one child, but we do use nappies and formula.
However, cheap meal ideas would be great if you have them!
I actually find BLW quite expensive as at each meal, instead of simply defrosting something from the freezer and spooning it into LO, I provide an array of goodies that she may or may not be in the mood for. Melon, avocado, strawberries, stone fruit, tomatoes etc
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