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Money saving tips please!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Mrs Music, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    My husband has just had his driving license taken from him by the DVLA for a year due to his diabetes. As a result he's having to give up his job. We've added up all our outgoings and my wages will just about cover it. But it's shocking just how much does go out - I'm sure there are people who take home less pay than I do as a household (I'm on M6) and obviously get by - Sky/ broadband/ BT phone are cancelled and getting switched off next week; we already meal plan and do the food shop very carefully; I car share to work 4 out of 5 days a week; we will be saving on petrol and running of his van costs etc - any other ideas or words of advice really appreciated!
  2. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    If you do not already shop at Aldi/Lidl/Netto then do so. Aldi has more "upmarket" stuff, but much cheaper than the big 4. Lidl has very good fresh veg. Netto often have proper brands at cheap prices. An alternative is "Farm Foods" which sells cheaper frozen stuff, but is usually full of lower life forms.
    Turn your heating off. You should be able to manage with it off until September, unless we get a ridiculously cold spell, but I guess you have warm clothes. Do not make any unnecessary journeys. Don'y buy newspapers or magazines. Sell anything you do not need on ebay.

  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Grow your own food - he will have the time to do this if he's not at work too.

  4. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Start 'smart' shopping. Down-grade a few of your purchases...switch from a branded label to a store's own...or try a store's own 'value' brand (value brands need care - I can't abide any 'value' tea - so save pennies for a decent cuppa, but am happy to dunk a 'value' custard cream...and value tinned veg are pretty good too.
    Shop at strategic times. Bread/Veg are often cheaper at about 5pm...Hot meat counters sell food cheap after the lunch rush.
    Invest in a slow-cooker. (Yes. I had to say it....my anser to just about anything!). You can but cheap veg, add a handful of lentils and have soup for next-to-nothing. Cheaper cuts of meat slow-cook to mouthwatering tenderness too.
    Check your energy/insurance/phone tariffs with an on-line comparison site.
    Be ruthless with satelitte TV and mobile phones....do you honestly need the package you have? I'm not suggesting you ditch them completely - but are you paying for channels/services you never iuse?

    Also, your husband can no longer drive for a year due to diabetes. ...
    Look into any financial help that is available. He may be entitled to a bus pass (I get one on the grounds that my medical condition means that I am unable to drive)....
    Have you looked into claiming DLA? (Disability Living Allowance) If your husband cannot drive, he may have other needs you haven't mentioned. CAB or DIAL will give a free consultation and if they believe he may be entitled will help him claim anything to which he is entitled....
    Also, and I'm not sure of the exact critria for this, but some people with diabetes are entitled to free prescriptions - it classes as 'long-term chronic condition.

  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    My OH is covering all our bills whilst I'm unemployed and trying to start my own business and hes not even on an equivilent of an M1 salary.
    Don't know how much your mortgage is but we used to put £600 each into our household account (although now he puts £1200 in the poor love) We have rent - £500, Water/Gas/Elec - £110, TV/Internet/Phone - £35, Council tax - £100 and rest for food.
    Its good that you meal plan already, I find our food bill is much higher when we don't. Sorry to hear about your OH but maybe some work will come up nearby for him? xx
  6. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Sorry to hear that - that must be tough. Is there any chance he can do something else, or is his a job where you really do have to drive? My husband doesn't even have a driving licence in the first place, but he works for the railway so luckily doesn't need a car.
    As for saving money...do you have mobile phones? When i was last on maternity leave i reduced my phone contract.
    Ebay is a good idea - i sold loads of stuff last Summer and did pretty well out of it.
    I'm on maternity leave again so have been thinking really carefully about how to cut costs. We don't have Sky or anything, we won't be sending our son to the childminder anymore, i'll probably reduce my mobile phone contract again when i can, we're careful about food shopping, i'm going to sell more stuff on ebay this Summer, i won't use my car unless strictly necessary......
    All you can do really is cut down on the non-essential stuff.
    Good luck x

  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Contact your energy provider and check that you are on the cheapest possible deal for your usage. Just switching to online billing can save you money on your monthly DD (and even if you've cancelled broadband at home, you can check at work).
    If you're not already on one, contact your water supplier and ask to be switched to a water meter (they are usually fitted free of charge). Then do everything you can to conserve water: don't allow taps to just run down the sink whilst getting warm - fill the kettle, fill a pan for cook veg/pasta etc.
    Remember to buy things when on offer: 3 for 2, half price, BOGOF etc even if you're not particularly ready to buy that product - stock up, it'll save in the long run.

    So sorry to her your husband is unwell. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. Perhaps he can do some other work which doesn't require driving.

  8. charlotte.johnson06

    charlotte.johnson06 New commenter

    There may be some ideas that you can use on here.

  9. Stop a second - is his job actually driving?

    If not then you should get help from the ....... can't rememeber the department but the people at the job centre will know, to keep him in work, even if this is a tqaxi too and from work.

    I think it's called 'Access to work' - if he has not given up work and wants to continue check with them.

    Money saving
    cook from fresh and freeze complete dishes
    try supermarket own brands if you don't already
    take your own lunch to work and a flask
    check out ebay when you need new clothes
    if you have a garden grow some veg / herbs or even keep a couple of chickens
    declutter and sell

  10. Careful what you buy where.
    Aldi, Lidl have actually been shown to be more expensive or equal to the big four when buying like for like.
    They often have cheap veg offers though the weights are not enough that I'd buy them.
    Growing your own is great, but you need to eat while you're waiting, lol.
    Farmfoods often have good offers. I buy meat at the market, and no I don't mean the farmers market.
    Try local farms for eggs, cheese.
    And do get some benefits advice, you may just be surprised.
  11. from the cookery forum - this meal planner is good
    search for the frugal favourites meal plans
  12. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    Thank you so much for the replies everyone; we do quite a few of the suggestions as his work's been drying up a fair bit since Christmas but there are some excellent things to think about.

    He had an accident as he had a hypo at the wheel on his way home from work - how no-one was hurt we don't know, but he completely wrote off his own van, two other cars, and damaged two further cars. Needless to say recent weeks have been quite stressful. He works self employed, subcontracting to the gas board most of the week, and more locally with his own jobs if they haven't got him any work. The area that they get him work is in and around the nearest city to us (about 40 miles away). We're going to carry on sending our little one to her childminder 1 or 2 days a week to see whether he can do any work helping out a couple of plumbers he knows locally who are happy to come and pick him up if and when they have any work for him. Other than that it's really difficult as everything he needs during jobs is on his van! And it's tricky gauging how many days to stick with sending our little on to her childminder.

    A tricky situation but it could be much worse. Thanks once again for the replies x
  13. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    Apologies for the lack of paragraphs - not sure why that happened!
  14. I can empathise - I am in a similar position as OH has been unemployed for ages but he is also not well so cannot do his previous, more physical job anymore. I have 4 other mouths to feed :(
    I can only agree with all the other posters but also consider Iceland (some things are OK), EBay, Freegle (great for things that you need but cannot afford - some people don't need some fab things) and car boot sales.
    I find Aldi great value. Wilkinsons is also good especially for toiletries and your local Pound Shop might come in handy too.

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