COMPETITION: Post A Tip, Win £100!

Miss Thrifty13 March 26, 2013

money supermarket competition

Let’s face it: me and you, we have something in common. We both like to save money. As you know, I’m a thrifty tart. I spill all my top tips on here, to all and sundry. But you? Honey, you’re something else…

Every time I ask Miss Thrifty readers to share their top money-saving secrets, from thrifty shoe tips to thrifty Christmas decoration tips, I am blown away by what comes back. You lot are BRILLIANT. I’ll let you into a secret of my own: I don’t even think you as “Miss Thrifty readers” anymore. I think of you as The Thrifties.

So here’s a competition that should be right up your alley. Share your top ten savings tips, by emailing me or leaving a comment below, and you could win £100 or more.

The competition is being organised by the Money Supermarket bods, who are compiling a list of tips called The Ten Commandments of Saving. They want to see what readers of this blog, and of other money-saving blogs too, can come up with. The total prize money on offer is £1,000.

To Enter:

  • Submit your list of 10 savings tips to me, by leaving them as a comment at the bottom of this post. Alternatively you can email them to me.
  • This competition is open to UK residents aged 18 or over.
  • The full terms and conditions are here.
  • The closing date is 5pm on Friday 29 March 2013. That is this week, so get those entries in now!


What happens next: once the entries are in, I’m going to trawl through them all and draw up a shortlist of my ten favourite tips. The Money Supermarket judges will then select their own list of ten tips, from my shortlist and from the other bloggers’ shortlists, for their Ten Commandments of Saving. If one of your tips is chosen by Money Supermarket, you win £100.

One winning tip = £100.

And here’s a final tip from me: like I said, readers of other money-saving blogs will be entering tips too. However I think that a lot of people will underestimate how hard it is to draw up a list of 10 savings tips! Most people will start off full of beans, then flag at around number five. My hunch is that if you make it to 10 and submit your entry, you stand a good chance of getting somewhere…

Also, you lot are awesome so you have a head start anyway!

Here are a couple of savings tips from me to start you off:

Miss Thrifty’s Top Savings Tips

1. Never borrow against a depreciating asset. Don’t take out a car loan, or pay for electronic goods with a credit card if you can’t pay off the balance immediately.

2. Don’t cut corners by under-insuring when you take out home contents insurance. You may think you are saving money – only to find that when you make a claim, your insurer tears up your policy.

Come on Thrifties: show me what you can do!

Image credit: The Library of Congress.

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13 Responses to “COMPETITION: Post A Tip, Win £100!

Miranda says:

Ask for unbranded pharmaceuticals: own brands are exactly the same formulation.

March 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

Naiomi says:

Mines obvious to me as do it every year, Christmas eve & boxing day most stores are 50/75% off. Wilkinsons & matalan are best i go down christmas and boxing day and buy for the following year, From make up sets, smellys, purfume, toys,clothes, jewllrey christmas cards & decorations. I bag them up and put in the attic for the following year. I got 25 luxuary cards for 25p thats a penny each! Toys reduced by 75% and clothing and jewllrey, My totall recipt were over £200 but after the 75% & 50% Was all under £70 and i dont need to get a thing regarding my daughter ,family & friends x

March 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

I find the key to money saving is make it a habit. Here’s my top ten..

1. Allocate The Money You Save Pay it off a debt, put it in the holiday fund, just don’t leave it lingering in your wallet or it will disappear on mundane items such as milk and bread

2.. Watch Your Money Like a Hawk
keep an eye on statements to make sure you are not wasting money or incurring bank charges.

3. See What You Spend
Spending on cards is too easy and many get carried away and overspend. Draw out the money and feel it go out of your hands.

4. Cut the Big Bill: Food
For one week, add up the value of the food you throw away. Plan your meals and only buy what you need to. Stick to your meal plan to minimise waste.

5. Cut the Big Bill: Gas and Electric
It does pay to switch. Being loyal doesn’t pay. Subscribe to the Money Saving Expert newsletter for the heads up on the right time to change.

6. Cut the Big Bill: Fuel
Get fit, walk to the shops, walk to and from school. If you can manage one less fuel fill up every month, that can equate to around £700 savings per year!! (or as I like to call it – a holiday!)

6. Non-Package Holidays
A self catering holiday abroad in a privately owned property is massively cheaper than a package holiday. Ask owners for the very best price on a hard to let week. They need your booking.

7. Be a Go To Spender
All sales people have targets to meet. Get chatty and give them your mobile number and your email address and let them know you will spend if the deal is good enough. All stores have to clear stock and there’s bargains to be had if you ask.

8. Share the (Child)Care
Kids love going to their mates. They love having their mates round. Save childcare costs and So long as you return the favour and each family takes their turn, this is a great solution for everyone.

9. Second Hand Should Be First Look
Don’t spend a penny until you have scoured a site like EBay for a perfectly good pre-owned item. Set up alerts on the EBay app on your smartphone to nab the stuff you want for a fraction of the original price.

10. File Guarantees and Receipts
How many times does something break and you say “What a Waste of Money” and you can’t take it back because you can’t find the guarantee or receipt? Either file, or if you’re short on space, scan your receipts and guarantees.

March 27, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hannah says:

Top 10 money saving tips
1. Shop in the reduced section at the right time. In most shops they have massive discounts in the evening; we have been known to get steaks for around 70p and fish always goes really cheap! Also have a look in the reduced section of other shops for example Boots usually has a clearance section where they put discontinued items in. I got 6 bottles of conditioner for 50p each!
2. Make the most of your freezer. When you buy the reduced food most of it can be frozen so you don’t need to eat it on the day you buy. It is also a good idea to make more than you need and freezer it into portions. They are quick, healthy ready meals and work out cheaper! It’s much better to cook your own meals from scratch, my best friend’s favourite recipe is toad in the hole with 39p reduced sausages, egg, flour and milk. Cook and freeze the rest for later! Also check your receipts! This is a habit my grandparents have got me into. Often the only reason I will buy a particular brand is because it is on offer so if the money hasn’t come off on the receipt it seems pointless! Any changes are quick and easy to do at customer services and it can add up to quite a lot especially if you are buying reduced.
3. Enter competitions and freebie websites. Someone has to win these competitions so why shouldn’t it be you? Recently I have won a top from Miss Selfridge and some Billion Dollar Brows tweezers. I also get freebies all the time through the post, today was some free cat food! They may not be much but little bits can be added to presents and the miniature sample sizes are great for handbags and travelling. Also try entering competitions you wouldn’t normally enter for example recently I entered a writing competition for a short story, something I never considered before! If you can spare the time they can be fun and rewarding.
4. Use vouchers! I am a massive fan of the Boots card and save up my points religiously (I had over £80 at ones stage!) They do great vouchers through the post and in the machines that you find in store. Other great vouchers can be found for most restaurants if you type it in on Google before you go out have a look to see what is out there. Groupon also has some hidden gems; my last purchase was a haircut, blow dry and conditioning treatment for £16 instead of £50. They have lots of different things there for your area.
5. Use charity shops! This is my favourite tip as not only do you get bargains you are also supporting a charity. They often have new clothes or some that have hardly been worn at great prices. If you volunteer in a shop then you can see the great stuff before it goes onto the shop floor and some even do a staff discount (although prices are so cheap it’s not necessary) To get the best finds from charity shops try going to areas that are ‘well off’ as they often donate designer items. I once got a gorgeous Barbour jacket worth around £100 for £3! If you buy from charity shops then it is always nice to donate your own items after.
6. Haggle! Whether it is on the high street or at a car boot sale, if you think the item is too much then ask about discount. Car boot sales are the best places for this as stallholders don’t want to take things home so make the most of that. Be nice and have a look for any flaws. In charity shops and high street shops keep a look out for holes or marks as they will often knock off a few pounds. When in the high street I always ask if they do student discount, even If they don’t sometimes they will knock off 10% just for asking!
7. Make the most of discount cards! Sometimes you do have to spend some money to save some and many discount cards can save you a massive amount. My favourite is the young person’s railcard which costs £65 for 3 years (but is currently on offer for £56!) I made back the cost of travelling back and forth from Uni in a few months. It took my on the day ticket cost of around £17 to just £3 if I book in advance. Other cards I use include the NUS discount which is great for places like the cinema and most shops which often don’t accept my regular student card as it has no date. I also have a Superdrug employee card which gets me a massive 30% off own brand products. Great for when I need to stock up!
8. Don’t buy everything NEW. Websites like Amazon and eBay offer things like books and DVD’s very cheaply if you aren’t fussed about them being new. If it’s just for personal use I would recommend not heading out to the shops and having a look online! With many things after I’ve done I put them back online to sell them and make most of the money back!
9. Get creative! Presents can be expensive especially around Christmas but often the best gifts are those that are handmade. I may be 20 but my grandparents still prefer a handmade gift than a generic one! We have made things like chutney, flower arrangements, cushions and lots of other things. Pinterest is great for craft ideas (don’t be afraid by how perfect they are!) Just by having a look around your house you can find things that make great gifts for example decorated jars with tea lights in are lovely and pretty much free, think before you throw away!
10. Share the cost. In a house of students it sometimes saves money to all chip in to buy the biggest version of things like pasta and potatoes. We have considered buying big sacks of potatoes for around £5 which is probably how much we all spend anyway but you get much more. The only problem is storage as we have a tiny kitchen! Other things you can share the cost of is monthly items like Spotify which you can use on more than one device. Me and my brother do this and with my NUS discount it is only £4.99 between us. I also share the cost of toilet rolls with a flatmate as it’s cheaper to buy lots!

March 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

1. Save money on your water bill by placing a brick or large stone in your cistern. This will reduce the amount of water used for each flush of your toilet, which can save you money!

2. Save money when listing this on eBay. Every few weeks, eBay treat us to free insertions. So, if you want to list an item with a starting price over 99p, keep an eye out for their free insertions (which are usually over weekends). This will save you money as you won’t have to pay an insertion fee.

3. Save money ordering your personal shopping online. Looking to buy something on a popular website? If you have the patience, wait for a free delivery offer or a money/percentage-off offer. Some discounts are advertised on the website, but some are only advertised on the website’s newsletters. So make sure you sign up for them as you often get sent promotional codes through email, which you add on at the checkout. If you have the patience, wait for this – it could save you a fair bit of money.

4. Often send parcels? Save money on packaging by reusing padded envelopes that have been sent to you by other people. Rip off your address and cover the rip mark with a label or piece of paper with the address you need. Also reuse your clean plastic high street carrier bags that you’ve saved up, by using those as packaging too. Cut the handles off, double them up and stick them securely with parcel tape. You can reuse show boxes too, to save you money on buying cardboard boxes. To save money on polystyrene pieces to pad out boxes, you can use popped popcorn instead (just don’t cook them in oil.. Dry fry them) – but make sure, if you’re sending abroad, that popcorn can be sent.. Some countries are a bit weird about sending certain foods being brought over the boarder!

5. Make some extra money by selling your unworn clothes. If you are attached to your clothes and can’t bare to part with them even though you know don’t wear them, place them in your wardrobe on hangers, but make sure the hangers are all facing the same way. When you wear a piece of clothing, place it back in the wardrobe with the hanger facing the opposite direction. After a period of time (6 months – 1 year), if any hangers are still facing the original direction, it clearly shows you haven’t worn them for so long and are probably unlikely to wear it again. Take them out and sell them on eBay or at a local car boot for some extra money.

6. Save money by buying meat/fish reduced in your supermarket. Most supermarkets have a “reduced” section, which is just food, that has a ‘Use by’ date which ends that day. Most food on their is still perfectly fine. You can always buy more than you need, as you can bung it in the freezer the day of purchase and defrost it when you need it. Near the end of the day, most supermarkets will reduce things even further. I work in a supermarket and I’ve seen good meat go for as little as 40p. It’s definitely worth a look, even if you don’t find anything.

7. Save money on your Christmas decorations, wrapping, crackers, etc. As soon as Christmas is over, shops reduce the price of Christmas items drastically, to get rid of them. So this is the best time to stock up, as you could save a substantial amount of money. If you only buy one thing, buy crackers. If you think about it, you buy nice crackers for £10+, you pull them around the table, wear the hat for your Christmas dinner and then it all gets thrown away. Very often the little “surprise” in the middle is often chucked away too, as nothing in crackers is overly that useful anyway.

8. Save money on children’s clothing. Children grow so fast so a lot of their clothes don’t last very long at all. I know all the baby designer clothes are very tempting, but are they really worth it? Why not buy baby clothes in charity shops, supermarkets, boot sales (where you can normally find bundles).. They’ll only grow out of them anyway. That way you can save the money up so you can buy something nice for them when they’re older, that they’ll appreciate much more.

9. Save money on your expensive creams, shampoos, conditioners and toothpastes. Always store them upside down and, if possible, cut the ends of the tubes/bottles off with scissors to make sure you use every last drop – you will be surprised how much is actually still in there!

10. Save money on special occasions by hand-making your own gifts and cards. Although these can be quite time consuming to do, it’s often cheaper than buying shop bought gifts or cards and also are loved far more by the recipient. Also bake your own birthday cake/cupcakes for friends and family instead of buying one. This is WAY cheaper and often tastes a lot nicer than supermarket bought ones too! You can keep them as simple or make them as creative as you want, and you can make any flavour under the sun. You don’t need to buy cookbooks, just search online for recipes – there are hundreds out there for free, which often come with reviews!

March 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

Rhianna says:

1. Surveys – Although this is more of a making money tip doing online paid surveys helps me to purchase things I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. My favourite site, Valued Opinions (, sends you regular emails with links to surveys about different products. Each survey is worth between about 10p-2 and when you’ve made £10, you choose which gift voucher you want and they’ll email/post it. Some great vouchers to choose from too – including Amazon, Boots, Miss Selfridge and Topshop.

2. Invest in blankets – When it’s cold it’s so easy to just turn the heating on but I found by investing in some nice looking warm blankets, I’m inclined to reach for those first saving on the bills.

3. Homecook – so much cheaper than buying things pre-made. A few basics include bread and cakes, both of which add up over the month but can be made for pennies!

4. Linking into baking your own products – try to time your baking so you can use the oven for more than one thing. I often get a cake mix ready so it can go straight into the oven when dinner has come out. This saves on pre-heating the oven twice and all means pudding will be ready after we’ve eaten.

5. Charity shops – when I was younger I hated the idea of charity shops but love them now. I did find wearing second hand clothes weird at first but just give everything a wash and it’s good as new! Got some bargains including unworn £40 heels for £6!

6. Make the most of iplayer, ITV player and other simular services. They’re free and often have some great films on there as well as all of the shows that you can catch up on.

7. Eat veggie once a week – as a huge pasta lover I find this quite easy but if you or your family are big on the meat part of your meals you may have to do some research online into interesting meals you’d all like. Veggie doesn’t mean boring!

8. Shop around for products that are essential – I have eczema and so I won’t skimp on products for my skin. However, I shop around to get them as cheap as possible. I either us my vouchers from the surveys I mentioned about or look at sites like which have some of the same products as boots but for a lot less money.

9. Use ebay! I needed to splurge a little on a good quality bag but wasn’t prepared to spend the prices. I found a brand new, un-used River Island bag for £18 inc P+P on ebay. Often people sell unwanted gifts like this and luckily for me it was exactly my style not the sellers.

10. Make the most of deals but only when you really need to items. As always, it’s only a deal if you need and will use the items! 3 for 2 is all very well but if you’re only spending because of the deal it’s not worth it!

March 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Emma says:

1. Recycle, Reuse and Regift: If I get a present in a lovely bag or wrapping paper I keep the packaging to use again for someone else. It’s such a waste to just throw it away. I am also happy to regift items that would be better suited to someone else – just make sure you remember who gave them to you!

2. Make your own bread: It is easy, therapeutic and costs about half the price of a supermarket loaf. Here is the basic recipe I use.

3. Take advantage of cashback: This is essentially free money just for taking an extra click through a cashback website before buying something you would have bought anyway. I use Quidco but Topcashback is also highly rated

4. Don’t skimp on insurance: Insurance always seems like an unnecessary expense, until you need it. Breakdown cover and pet insurance are two that seem extravagant but always work out to be cheaper in the long run.

5. Plan meals around special offers: Check out what’s on offer at your local supermarket on their website before you go and plan your week’s meals around these money saving deals.

6. Get your Swagbucks on: I’m usually a bit wary of rewards and survey sites but I have made £20 from Swagbucks in the past few months just by spending a few minutes a day on there. Well worth it.
7. Don’t be a brand snob: Try out the value range items before automatically deciding they are no good. Shopping in the basics ranges saves loads of money and often you really can’t tell the difference, especially on essentials like tinned tomatoes, kidney beans or rice.

8. Hold a swap shop: Clothes, cook books, bags or makeup can all sit languishing in your home when someone else would love to have them. Set up a swapping evening with friends, grab a glass of wine and breathe some new life into old items.

9. Join the library: Sounds simple but many people, like me, have spent hundreds of pounds on books and dvds which are free, or very cheap, to borrow from the library. I am a convert!

10. Be a voucher vulture : I never go out to dinner, to the cinema or on a day out without first checking to see if there is a money off voucher or discount code available. Always get free store loyalty cards – especially Tesco and Boots – and find the savviest way to use the points you collect.

March 29, 2013 at 11:51 am

Nadine says:

There are some great money saving tips on line if you look BUT many mean you have to be spending quite a bit in the first place in order to make those great savings. For those of us living on the lowest of budgets most of our savings can be counted in pennies rather than pounds but it still all adds up and can make a massive difference. So while my top ten tips might not look like they save a huge amount, to me they have a big impact on how I’m able to live my life.

1) Line curtains with old blankets (I got mine from a bootsale at £1 each). I put a strip of velcro along the top of the curtain just below the hooks and along the edge of the curtain and then as summer draws to an end I can add my ‘winter insulation’ and then remove it easily when the weather warms up again.

2) I don’t buy expensive toilet cleaners but instead buy a litre of supermarket own brand thin bleach (approx 45p) and pour it into empty, washed out, spay bottles. A spritz round my loo each day keeps it shiney and clean and it will last me at least six months.

3) Cut your water bill by reusing water. I water my house plants with the water from hot water bottles once it has gone cold, I wash the car, flush the toilet and water the garden with bath water etc and I’ve almost halved my water bill.

4) Make homemade wine from leftovers. I make homemade wine from lots of things and love collecting from the hedgerows when things are in season but one of my biggest ‘breakthrough’s was realising I could also use things I would normally throw away such as used teabags and potato peelings, or even the water from boiling veg! You need a bit of patience but it’s so satisfying to know not only have you made it yourself but that it cost next to nothing 🙂

5) Walk everywhere you can. Not only will it save you money on busfares/petrol but keeps you fit too. It’s a win/win situation.

6) Grow your own. You don’t need a garden for this. Last year all I did was buy a packet of lettuce seeds and grew them on my window ledge throughout the summer. A £1 packet of seeds saved me over £40 on the supermarket price of lettuce!

7) Give your time instead of gifts for birthdays or christmas. A few hours of gardening, cleaning or babysitting can be a thoughtful and very much appreciated gift and costs you nothing.

8) Jazz up old outfits for a whole new wardrobe. I’m still getting compliments on my ‘new’ winter coat when all I did was add a velvet ribbon to the collar and cuffs (80p) and change the buttons (£2.20 from ebay).

9) Batch cook. Never put your oven on for just one thing, make the most of that gas or electric and use all the space in your oven. Use that warm kitchen to rise bread and dry washing too! Get the most out of everything.

10) Don’t be proud. Use the supermarket basic/value ranges for as much as you can. For most things they are just as good (and if your family don’t believe you just ‘decant’ the cheep stuff into the old, familiar containers. I can almost guarentee they won’t be able to tell the difference – my husband never has 😉 )

These are just a few of the things I do, and even if I had the money, they’ve helped us so much I don’t think I’ll ever change the way I do things now.

March 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Mal says:

1 Incorporate pleasant and cheap rituals into your life, e.g. cut some twigs to make an Easter tree at home, decorate it with anything you have, I saw one blog using buttons. Boil some eggs with onion skins, or beetroot or turmeric to dye them.
2. Have a few recipes which can use up tiny amounts of leftovers. Some friends make pizza every Friday, putting the dough ingredients in the breadmaker before going to work, and then in the evening using up anything possible for the topping. Then they have an empty fridge for the weekend shopping, and have slices of pizza for snacks.
3. Use a blender to make soup with leftover cooked vegetables, or to make baby food. You can also use it as a way of making sauces for pasta, etc.
4. If you buy expensive fruit like grapes or cherries, wash them and divide the bunch into smaller servings with scissors if necessary. This is useful when you have people in the house who can eat an enormous bunch at a sitting. It can also be useful to pre-peel oranges for children, if they have tough skins, pour a little very hot water from the kettle over them and let sit for a few minutes.
5. Portion-control the most expensive ingredient, e.g. the meat if you eat it. If you have enough left over to make something else, hide it short-term, e.g. in the microwave, so that family or flatmates don’t casually finish it off. They can fill-up on cheaper ingredients. Plan the other meals, so you can prepare them as soon as possible, and freeze if necessary. e.g. use bolognese sauce to make a lasagne, or pie.
6. If you share with someone who raids the kitchen after a night out, make sure that they can’t do too much damage to the budget by preparing for it. This is easier with partners and family than flatmates. A friend’s teenage son once ate a whole cooked chicken, intended for Sunday lunch, having decided it was leftovers. He had to go and buy the family a replacement, and now leaves himself a pile of sandwiches in the fridge, (he toasts or fries them when he gets in)
7 If you buy fruit at supermarkets, check carefully, sometimes the exotic stuff is cheaper than apples or other basics.
8. When you’re stuck for something to cook with whatever you have available, try websites (the BBC is one) which let you enter some ingredient names and then find you recipes based on those.
9. Dried fruit can be used instead of sugar to sweeten many recipes, and is healthier and more nutritious. Try cutting down on the sugar, e.g. in flapjack recipes, and substituting any dried fruit you have. e.g. chopped up apricots, or raisins.
10. It sounds obvious, but use things up. If you have things which seem under-ripe e.g. plums, then cook them Over-ripe bananas can be frozen until you have time to make banana bread (lots of recipes for this online)

March 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Ali says:

Mine are mostly focussed around saving money while still entertaining/ rewarding 3 kids, or making the house look great!

1) Don’t buy three kids a magazine each week to reward good behaviour. Give them 20p each and let them choose at a penny sweet shop (saving £9.40 per week!)
2) Avoid buying kids books first hand. They cost a fortune. I treat mine to a book each at a second hand shop (about £2.10 for three. Bargain!)
3) Use mysupermarket when doing the food shop online. You can check a running total of your shopping basket against each of the top supermarkets prices, and swap items around to save cash. Love it.
4) Try for kids’ friends birthday presents. Bright, fun gifts for kids for under a fiver.
5) Get kids to make their friends birthday cards. Far more personal and will save a couple of quid each time.
6) Learn how to make home made pizza. Delicious and way cheaper than any take away. It’s our Friday night staple, has been for about 6 years.
7) Check out local furniture YMCA stores or charity owned furniture shops. Visit every couple of weeks as that’s about how often they their change stock. I found a fab Habitat armchair for £25, an Ikea guest bed for a tenner and a great play garage for £2. Just don’t go too often or your husband gets suspicious.
8) Be ruthless on eBay. Stick to your highest bid and if you buy something, sell something the same week!
9) Check out the flower section at your local convenience store. Just this week I got 3 bunches of flowers for under £3. They look gorgeous once you’ve cut off the broken leaves – and I’m happy that I saved at least £8.
10) Farrow and Ball is amazing paint but it costs a bucket, literally. Instead of 2 coats of the quality stuff, find a similar shade in a cheaper paint brand. Layer that on first, then use the top coat for Farrow and Ball magic. Our front room will soon be ‘Railings’.. once the cheaper undercoat is done!

Happy thrifting,

March 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

natalie barlow says:

1. Plan your meals.
I plan our meals each week on my calendar. I know this sounds basic but it does save so much money as I don’t know about you but a) its easy to forget what you have left in your cupboards/freezer and b) I often forget a vital ingredient for a meal and this single ingredient often costs twice as much in the local store.Honestly this saves me a fortune!!.

2. Cashback websites- BUT ONLY WHEN BUYING WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO BUY ANYWAY- some people think these are a rip off I totally disagree as long as you use them carefully. I always search through my cashback sites for any online purchases remember if you start using them for additional purchases your not actually making money just spending it. I us it often for groceries and baby items and since January have made about £100 from joining 2 sites:

3.Reusable nappies 🙂 I know this may sound like a lot of hassle and very old fashioned. However you can save soooo much money. I am at home with my little one so find using reusables no problem to wash or dry. In fact If you estimate your baby will probably go through £10 of nappies a week until they are 2 1/2 years thats a cost of £1300 yet my nappies in total have only cost me £60 so far and they are birth to potty and I only need to wash every 3 days as I have so many. I brought these from ebay and preloved sites and they are not what most imagine!!. They are not the old terries muslin cloths anymore. They are shaped and easy to do up with poppers or velcro come in all kinds of designs and colours. Yes they are more bulky but they can be pretty, cool and stylish. Also think if you have 2/3 kids thats a saving of £3840 for 3 kids (minus cost of washing which isnt high)

4. Baby food- make your own- Again this does not mean buying extra things its using what you already have and are using for your own meals. Simple purees such as apple, carrot, sweet potato and as they get older bolognese, mild curry, shepherds pie. Why buy jars of baby food (probably spending £10 a week) when your baby can eat healthy foods just buy blending what you already have in for yourselves.

5. Swap clothes/sell- I don’t know about you but do you find your baby/toddler is only in clothes for a short space of time?. The best saving tip is to find a few friends that also have children and do a swap you get a nice lot of hardly worn clothes(I found that I have about 4-5 friends all with babies of different ages). Another option is ebay them or sell them on another site. There’s another even easier option if you can’t be bothered with all the creating an advert and sorting out p and p. In your area there are often clothes bank/second hand shops that buy old clothes in bulk.These pay you by weight so you are likely to get less per item but its still money rather than having them sitting there at home!!.

6. Online Surveys/Mystery shopping- These are easy money. Some can take some time to complete but some are quick and easy. They also don’t pay vast amounts of money however if your at home and have a spare few minutes each evening it can soon mount up. The only thing to bear in mind is this is classifed as income so you will need to ensure you declare any income you earn.

7. Learn to live off less than your minimum income.Especially those whose wages vary. My partners job is very seasonal and in the winter his hours can be half of what he earns in the summer. This means the winter months can be very tight. We’ve found the best approach is to always plan your budget based on your lowest estimated income. This means even though my partner earns twice as much in the summer we still try to live off his basic winter wage and save the excess. This means we are always living within our means and not over and we are creating a little nest egg.

8. Freezing bread, milk and of course meals. We were finding every week we were throwing away so much bread milk and left over food. Why??? we thought what a waste. So Every time we order the food now we freeze half the loaf leaving out just what we need for a few days. Again with the milk rather than ordering 1 large and the milk going off we order 2 small and freeze one so it doesn’t go off. The same with meals we have saved a few cartons from ready meals and every time we cook too much food we freeze the excess for another day.

9. Know what your entitled too- Benefits. I read somewhere about how much benefit entitlement is not claimed each year. I believe that some people do not simply know what they are entitled to i.e Healthy start vouchers for new parents, uniform allowance, how to claim a tax rebate when entitled?. Its really important to know your entitlements so get on the phone to the tax office, council, job centre or crb and find out everything your entitled too. One example is tax rebates me and my partner checked through our last few years tax and discovered we were both owed over £400 each!!

10- Grants- There are so many grants out there for people suffering hard times, starting a new business, expanding e.t.c But people don’t know they exist!. I went on the turn to us website when I had to leave my job due to ill health during my pregnancy and we were sharing a house with my parents and struggling to afford our own house/ furniture etc and they recommended a few possible trusts/grants that could help. After several letters of application we did get help to furnish our house with the basics (Cooker, Bed, Fridge freezer). These places are here to help you when you need it the most, without them we would have been sleeping on the floor without an oven!! So don’t expect money unless your in need and the funds are for the essentials. However I myself would personally like to thanks Retail Trust for their help.

I hope all these tips are useful particularly to new families.

April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Claire M says:

Top 10 Tips:

1. Cut out your SKY/Virgin – there’s plenty of TV on freeview, and who has time to watch all that extra TV anyway? SAVES £20+/MONTH
2. Buy cheap sauces and cheaper food for your meals – then add in smart-price/ equivalent herbs etc. SAVES UP TO £10/MONTH
3. French bread pizza (home-made): £5 for family of four. SAVES £5 PER PIZZA MEAL.
4. Cut out your takeaway coffee on way to work. SAVES £50/MONTH!
5. Don’t put heating on in the morning (wear an extra jumper)! SAVES £15/MONTH (or more if you have a pay meter).
6. Use a freegle website such as freecycle for anything you might need (not want)! Clothes/furniture/anything. Be honest though…. people are giving these things away out of generosity and good faith, so don’t be tempted to get these things free and then sell them on!! 🙂
7. Cut down your meals out/takeaways, eg. one meal out a week = £40/week, one meal out a month = £10/week.
8. Make your own greetings cards – plenty of websites out there for lots of simple ideas. You can make each card for as little as 20p, and it only takes 20 mins! SAVES approx. £8-£10/MONTH.
9. Free (or v cheap) days out eg. parks, picnics, bike rides, walks, free museums, etc.
10. Premier Inn is great value – you can find 4 person rooms for as little as £29 per room per night (on occasion, £25). Even rooms in big cities! Breakfast is £6-£9 per person, but each child eats free with each paying adult – or you could even bring in croissants etc to eat in room. So, a 4 night B&B break for a family of four can cost as little as £120! Great cheap UK holiday!

Hope this helps 🙂

March 19, 2014 at 1:16 am

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