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Thrifty

The creative ways to save money #thrifty

There are lots of creative ways to save money and I look upon it as a bit of a challenge. It gets intuitive after a while. I changed my car last week and when I was asked how I wanted to pay for the car tax. I didn’t think about it. I taxed it for a year because that is the most cost-effective way despite having just parted with a lot of money for the car. You can be creative and find new ways of saving money by being creative with food, for example. I like photographing all sorts of things and in summer we need refreshing things to eat so I’ve been experimenting with tinned fruit, jelly and soya milk to make a dessert that looks good enough to photograph and tastes delicious. I’ll put those photos on a future post!

creative ways of saving money

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Learning from the vegetarian #thrifty #ideas

It is National Vegetarian week in the UK. I’m not a vegetarian, I like eating meat but we can learn from the vegetarian lifestyle that we don’t need to eat so much meat and still stay healthy. Some would say healthier! My main problem with being a vegetarian is getting enough protein because I can’t have gluten or dairy.

vegetarian ideas

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Cooking up some savings #thrifty

I rarely eat when I’m out because it is simply too much trouble. I have to stick to a gluten-free diet and so I can’t eat battered fish and buying chips mean asking for them to be plain and then waiting for them to be cooked. So when I’m cooking I  try to make the meals look good as well as taste good and of course, I try to save money.

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Saving on the big bills #thrifty

The maxim, ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’ is still true but we also need to look at the big picture. We need to keep household accounts and look at the big bills that occur only occasionally. The big bills can be the water bill once a year or changing the car every few years.

big bills

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Loss leaders and introductory offers #thrifty

We have to be quite shrewd these days if we are going to save money. Supermarkets and other retailers have all sorts of tricks to relieve us of our money. The loss leader is a product that they will advertise at a much lower price then their competitors and then make their profit on the lines that aren’t advertised. These offers have to appeal to a large number of people so they can’t be on lines that we only buy infrequently. They have to be on products that most people buy regularly. So sugar is a good product for a loss leader and staples like potatoes and bread can also be put on offer. Some offers will be on products that they have a good profit margin on that they can afford to cut and still make a profit, as well. Loss leaders can be a good bargain but there is always a catch.

loss leaders

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Finding the spring bargains #thrifty

There has been a big shift in recent years to online shopping and that has changed our high streets. We still have to shop locally for fresh foods like fruit and vegetables. You can shop around and the small shops have lots of bargains but struggle to compete with supermarkets that bulk buy. The bigger shop can also do loss leader which can save us money on our shopping bill. Watch out for spring bargains on fruit and vegetables that are just coming into the season. In Aldi this week the super-six were just 19p. I had the leeks and cauliflower. The super-six has changed again today and has fruit and veg on offer at 45p. I might have the onions when I shop at the beginning of next week, warming soups are still worth cooking in spring.

spring bargains

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Smart shopping in the modern world

It has been scientifically demonstrated that more intelligent people can imagine the future better than less smart people. They are less likely to need instant gratification and so aren’t tempted so much to use credit or finance. Smart people tend to be more patient. Patience can save you money and it can even make you feel better and stay a little healthier.

smart shopping

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What drives us to spend so much money? #thrifty

I am an admin of our history page on Facebook and so I know we can learn from the past. Gas and electricity have given us all our modern gadgets, but before the development of gas, people had to cook on open fires. That was something of a chore and even today cooking on a modern gas cooker seems like a chore to many people. So we have seen a proliferation of takeaways and fast food joints spreading across the UK this century. We don’t just have fish and chips on Fridays, fast food and eating out has become the norm for many people. Delicious foods zap our reward centres and it is our reward centres that drive us to do most things. We are addicted to pleasure! The smooth delicious taste of chocolate drives us to eat more than one bite and we end up eating the whole bar.

Thirst drives us to spend money

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Food ideas to save money #thrifty

People want more than just food to satisfy hunger these days. they want an experience and that is one of the reasons that eating out has grown massively over the years. Barbecues have become popular for entertaining at home and turning it into an event. You can do other events at home that are cheaper than eating out, all you need to do is think laterally for interesting food ideas.

Thrifty food ideas

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The high price of the herd mentality

Researchers at Leeds University performed group experiments where volunteers were told to randomly walk around a large hall without talking to each other. A select few were then given more detailed instructions on where to walk. The scientists discovered that people end up blindly following one or two instructed people who appear to know where they’re going. The results of this experiments showed that it only takes 5% of confident looking and instructed people to influence the direction of the 95% of people in the crowd and the 200 volunteers did this without even realising it. (Wikipedia) This was the herd mentality in action.

The high price of the herd mentality

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Thrifty and frugal ideas #thrifty

As usual, I have had another week of trying to save money with thrifty and frugal ideas. I’m actually looking for another car. I have looked after mine but it is 20 years old this year and even I can’t make them last forever. It has a very slight oil leak but the main reason it has to go is it has started to corrode. It has virtually new brake pads and tyres and so I’ll hate to part with it. What a waste!

Thrifty and frugal ideas

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How to cheat and save money #thrifty

We often see very expensive products and want them for the prestige or just to fit in. It can be anything, an expensive car to impress at an event or designer clothes. It is always possible to cheat and create an impression that looks expensive but isn’t. We need to forget labels, a label doesn’t guarantee style. People who select clothing based on the label do so because they have no sense of style. It can be useful to just look around a website that sells the latest fashions and then decide on the look you want to create and then you can cheat. The way to cheat is to go to the budget websites like Matalan or Primark and look for the same style or a very similar style and create the look you want on a budget. I did this for a vintage event. I thought a linen suit would look good with a suitable hat. I ended up with chinos and a linen shirt from Matalan and a summer trilby. I got the look but I did cheat!

thrifty cheat

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Food and entertainment #thrifty

Eating out and buying takeaways can work out expensive with 20% VAT on top of the bill and the same applies to entertainment. I follow a gluten-free diet and so rarely eat anything out and even buying chips is complicated because they have to be cooked separately. When I do spend money, I always look for value. I went to a community night this week and had an evening of entertainment for the price of a 50p cup of tea! Look for value when you want food and entertainment.

food and entertainment?

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Socialising and days out on a budget #thrifty

We all like to go out and socialise and meet our friends and new people too, but it can be expensive. We can cut the cost by trying to get value for money and resist the temptation to buy food when we smell the onions or see other people enjoying hot dogs at a popular event. Taking out the sandwiches that you prepared earlier doesn’t have much appeal in comparison to the delicious food offered by the vendors. We do have to live within a budget, though, so we can still do some socialising and limit the amount of food and drink we buy while we’re out.

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Frugal February savings #thrifty #frugal

We can save a little money here and there all year around. I recently bought a new phone after dropping mine trying to donate to the local food bank. I found the phone I wanted at Giff Giff for £120 less than I would have paid at Amazon or local retailers. £120 saving is a lot! I put that on my credit card and also on this month’s bill was the renewal on the web space for this site! I negotiated a discount of over £100 on that too. I still have a huge credit card bill to pay this month, but I saved £220 on my frugal February credit card bill!

Frugal February

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Hacking your food bill to save money #thrifty

With the falling value of the pound, the prices of many foods are rising. Is it time to look at our food bill and try to trim them a little? There are more prices rises in the pipeline and so even if we aren’t feeling the pinch now, we soon will be. As always, we should be looking for value for money.

hacking our food bill

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Online bargain hunting saves money #thrifty

I do a lot of online bargain hunting and shopping online is very popular. Even Poundland has a website that takes orders online. They have a 50p event on at the moment and in the stores, they are selling of Christmas goodies for just 25p!

online bargain

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Short of money in January? #thrifty #frugal

A lot of people have spent too much at Christmas and now find themselves short of money in January. What can you do now? Obviously, you can cut down on luxuries or even cut them out altogether. The idea of giving up alcohol for January is appealing to many people for health reasons and to save money. If money is really tight, you need to be frugal as well as being a thrifty shopper.

short of money?

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Winter bargains and offers #thrifty

There is still some end of the year offers around and you can check them out online before you go to the store or shop online and have them delivered. The super-six at Aldi were still 19p yesterday so I had some parsnips to make a winter stew. Aldi also has lots of nice sausages and packs of four baking potatoes. Sausages and baked potatoes are a favourite meal for me and fortunately, Aldi does gluten-free sausages.  You do have to look very carefully for the gluten-free symbol and the same applies to products in the bigger supermarkets.

winter bargains

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Last minute Christmas presents #thrifty

We know a few people will be looking around for last minute presents before the big day. A little luxury can be a good idea, so buy them something they would like but wouldn’t normally buy. I bought luxury chocolates in Aldi yesterday. I won’t say who they were for! They make a good last minute present and you don’t have to buy a huge box. The same applies to a quality scotch whisky or an unusual but quality ale.

last minute Christmas bargains

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Festive savings on Christmas essentials #thrifty

Before you start spending money on Christmas food and presents, consider what the festivities are all about. The religious significance is all but lost as commercialisation overshadows it. There is another meaning for many people. It is a time to take a break and enjoy the company of family and friends. We shouldn’t get stressed out by it and we certainly shouldn’t get into debt in a bid to impress our family and friends. Save money on the food by cutting quantities.This can be difficult because over the festive period much of the subtle and not so subtle marketing will be structured to encourage you to buy more than you need.

festive savings

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Christmas on a budget #thrifty #Christmas

It’s that time of year again when we try to keep Christmas within some kind of budget so we can afford our bills after Christmas. We buy presents that only last 5 minutes like horrible Christmas jumpers. We also buy food that gets thrown away. I’ll be looking for good value in the run up to Christmas and because I have been thrifty and frugal all year I can afford a few luxuries at Christmas!

Thrifty Christmas

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Rising prices could spoil Christmas #thrifty

We have seen a lot of rising prices recently mainly on food items because of the devaluation of the pound. Now OPEC has agreed to limit oil production and we could see rising prices associated with that. This price rise will be delayed, higher oil prices mean higher production costs in the future. The higher heating oil, diesel prices and petrol prices will come sooner, maybe before the end of the winter.

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Black Friday deals all week #thrifty #UK

Black Friday in the UK lasts for a week or more and there are deals everywhere. US-based companies are used to this annual promotion and so they lead the way. The biggest is Amazon who has offers on a wide range of goods.

Black Friday

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