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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
If you’re careful with money and are thrifty and try to shop around as well as being frugal, you can save quite a lot of money. The rewards over the long-term come as an appreciating bank account but you also have to look at how to invest your money. Since 2011 I’ve been getting good returns from Zopa and I still get over 4% which beats any bank account. My rewards for being careful are more evident now as I can afford to spend more money of a few luxuries but I still ask if I really need a product before I buy it. I bought a smart TV and other things this year and my credit card got a lot more use, but I paid it off at the end of each month.
I wanted some cornflakes last week and the Nestle ones weren’t on the usual shelf. I found them in the very short free-from section in Asda. They were of course much more expensive than the usual Asda ones. This made me annoyed enough to do some checks and found the Asda, Chosen by You, cornflakes listed in my food list as gluten- free. They are not gluten-free according to Asda who say they contain barley. Asda does their own gluten-free cornflakes that are a smaller box and work out even more expensive than the Nestle cornflakes. Confused? Me too. I went to Aldi for the soya milk to pour over them…
One of the first things I check before shopping online is the delivery costs. I checked out Home Bargains this morning and their delivery costs seemed reasonable but large items cost 7.99 to deliver so consider that before you order. There is only one parcel charge per order but realise your order could be split into two parcels, that is true for other online suppliers too.
The price wars between supermarkets continue to hold the prices of many basic foods down as the big supermarket chains try to hold on to their market share against stiff competition from discounters. Some products just get dumped into the market for various reasons; sometimes they aren’t very popular or supply outstrips demand. This applies to special buys in the discounters and also to many offers in the pound shops.
Searching online for bargains
You can find lots of bargains online but you don’t have to buy online. You can find the bargain and then go to the store to check out the quality or see what else is on offer. Searching online for bargains can save you pounds!
You don’t have to do much cooking when we have summer weather, but here in the heart of England, the rain has returned. The forecast for the weekend is better and so the salad days may return. In Aldi this week the iceberg lettuce, spring onions, celery and radishes are just 29p each so a healthy salad might be on the menu this weekend.
Food and energy
Food and energy prices soared after the 2008 credit crunch and we are likely to see the same now the markets are in turmoil again. It’s is a good time to look at how you can save money on energy bills, food and travel costs. Remember when petrol and diesel prices soared and came close to 150 a litre? Price wars between filling stations have reduced prices but for how long?
I’ve been checking out different supermarkets to see if the price war between them is making any difference. This week I went to Morrison’s and things don’t seem to to have changed very much. (more…)
I went into Mcdonald’s the other night with friends and paid nearly a quid for a cup of tea. I’m not used to such places, I do a lot of cooking and so I mistook the large fries for small. That wasn’t the only mistake I made, just going in there was a mistake and then I compounded my errors by driving out the wrong way… (more…)
Yes, I’ve been testing out bamboo underwear. No, not famous brands. I just wanted to find out what it was like. You might think it would be uncomfortable from its name, but quite the opposite it is very comfortable. (more…)
According to the marketing men it’s Mothering Sunday and you should all buy cards, flowers, chocolates and a weekend in Paris for mommy. If you don’t, you’re a mean hearted b******. You should also buy everyone a present at Christmas and on their birthdays. Don’t forget to buy Easter eggs this month either! (more…)
You might think that the government, the banks and the global business community know what they’re doing with all the supercomputers and experience they have. You only look at government and the banks and you will know that they can mess up big time and we the people pay for it. (more…)
There is a lot less stigma to buying used goods these days and most people buy used cars. You can obviously get a bargain if you know what to look for and where. Even clothes and furniture can be found at great prices. (more…)
It’s one thing to be thrifty and look for value for money, it’s quite another to be mean and save at the expense of other people. Being mean is not caring about others, not giving to charity and thinking it’s every man for himself. We can be thrifty, look for value for money and be generous too. (more…)
The big supermarkets have been trying to fight back against the discounters and Aldi in particular, but now Aldi is fighting back with a revamped website and more offers in store. (more…)
It’s good to be thrifty and prepare for the worst. Remember the ‘credit crunch’ when food prices soared and petrol prices nearly hit 1.50 a litre? According to an economist at RBS (yes, the bank that messed up that we had to bail out) another stock market crash is coming in 2016. (more…)
You can buy things with money, but it also has other uses. Money to some people is power and to others it’s security. They feel secure in the knowledge that they can afford to enjoy Christmas and still have some money in January. We all tend to feel a little more secure with money in the bank. (more…)
Thrifty people are thrifty out of habit and always look for value for money. This doesn’t always mean buying something because it’s cheap, it means always looking to value. The old saying ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’, means all those pennies you save add up. (more…)
The Federal Reserve in the United States increased interest rates yesterday and the markets responded positively. It is the first sign that the world’s economies will get back to normal. People with mortgages including the buy to let slumlords have been having an easy time, but that could be coming to an end. It seems likely the Bank of England will increase rates in 2016 too. (more…)