Monday, 15 April 2013

My 30 Ways to Save a Pound

As this Google picture says 'I Love Saving Money', and when I heard about this challenge from on Ilona's wonderful Blog I just had to have a go.  (The link to moneysupermarket .com is no longer active - sorry.)
So here are my 30 ways to save £1
1.  Keep a grip on your finances and simply don't take that £1 out of your purse or wallet to spend.  Have days out with NO money, go for a walk, take a flask and a sandwich and stop for a break on route.
2.  Instead of buying a magazine or paper call into your local library and read them for free, in Winter it's usually nice and warm too.  Borrow a book while you're there and you'll resist the urge to buy that new recipe book that's just come out or that juicy bestseller that everyone's raving about.  You can pre-order new releases so you can borrow them straight away.
3.  Talking of heat, turn your central heating thermostat down by just one or two degrees or alternatively set it to come on a few minutes later or go off a few minutes earlier each day - or do both. If the house feels a bit chilly grab a cardigan or jumper instead of automatically reaching for the heating controls.
4.  Start watching the pennies, they soon add up to a pound, and if you see one on the floor pick it up and pop it into your money box at home, set yourself a challenge to see how much money you can find on the floor during the course of a year.
5.  Use half the recommended amount of washing powder or liquid, I have done this for years and my clothes are just as clean.
6.  Stop using expensive fabric conditioners in the final rinse of your clothes, white vinegar works just as well.
6.  Never wash and rinse your hair twice, one dollop of shampoo is plenty for most hair. 
7.  Use a cheaper brand of hair conditioner, it is there merely to neutralise any soap left in your hair, if you're not keen on the scent add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to the bottle the first time you open it and shake to mix through.
8.  Dilute your washing up liquid half and half with water, if you buy a good brand (ie Fairy) when it is on offer for £1 a bottle you have saved a pound straight away.   I dilute it one third liquid to two thirds water and it still works fine to get those pots and pans sparkly clean, so I save two pounds for every bottle I buy.
9.  Switch to supermarkets own label basics ranges, experiment with all the different products until you find the ones that you like best.  I love this Peanut Butter for instance it knocks the socks of many others I've tried and it saves me almost a pound every time I buy it in preference to the others :-)
10.  Make good use of your leftovers so none of your food goes to waste.  Have  'planned leftovers' so something cooked with tonights tea forms the basis of the next days lunch or part of the next nights tea.
11.  If you can't think what to do with your leftovers, most things taste delicious in a pie or pastie, so simply make up or buy some readymade pastry and pop your left over veggies or whatever in a gravy or white sauce and put them in a pie.  This makes food go so much further too and who can resist a lovely steaming homemade pie with a spot of gravy on top, almost a meal in itself.
12.  Make your own tomato based sauces when you have a glut of fruit in the greenhouse, you can keep yourself supplied all year round with the taste of fresh tomatoes.  Brilliant when used in all sorts of recipes, on pasta, in casseroles, as a pizza topping and as the base for a curry sauce with veggies or meat.
13.  Have a meat free day at least once a week, veggie meals work out so much cheaper than meat based ones.
14. Menu plan for the week ahead with the foods that you have in the fridge so that nothing gets wasted
15.  Make up a big pot of soup with all the veggies that you find leftover in the fridge drawer at the end of the week before you go shopping.  It will vary slightly each time and will save you a fortune on lunches or starters.
16.  Find a food that your pet loves and give it that one, even if it's perhaps not the cheapest one available, there's nothing more annoying and wasteful than throwing your animal's food away because they just won't eat it. 
17.  Make your own dog food from scratch with the cheapest mince, some rice or pasta and a handful of veggies, simmered in water for an hour or so and then stored in the fridge or freezer in meal sized portions.  Saves a fortune on expensive tinned foods.
18.  Spend time grooming your dogs and cats, less loose hair on them means less on the furniture and carpets and less hoovering means less electricity.  Of course this also makes for happy well cared for animals and you can spot any little cuts or problems with their skin before the problem becomes an expensive vets bill.
19.  Don't wash your pets bedding too often, they actually like their beds to smell of them.
20.  Instead of buying a bag of expensive potato wedges, make your own.  Simply wash and slice the potatoes to the size you prefer, place on an oven tray and sprinkle with sea salt and paprika, or herbs or whatever takes your fancy to go with the meal you're having.  So much cheaper, you only need about one medium sized potato per person.  These can be open frozen and then bagged ready for cooking from frozen too.
21.  Whenever you have a glut of home grown veggies, prepare and open freeze them on trays so you have free flowing veggies, they'll be just the same as you would get from the frozen food section of the supermarket. but cheaper and tastier.
22.  Make your own plant labels from ice cream carton lids or any plastic tubs, cut carefully and keep in bundles ready for use when potting up plants.
23.  Use the inside cardboard tubes from toilet rolls and kitchen rolls as starter pots for veggie or flower seeds, this saves pounds on buying pre-formed starter pots and you can leave the seedling in the tube when it's time for planting out in the veggie or flower beds as a good watering or shower of rain will make it vanish into the soil around it.
24.  Make good use of your icecube trays and freeze anything you need in one teaspoonful amounts in each section.  This saves lots of money on opened jars of sauces that might go off in the fridge.  Once frozen tip into labelled tubs for ease of stacking.  This is also great for that leftover half glass of red wine.  You can then add 'wine cubes' to sauces and casseroles for a lovely depth of flavour.
25.  Never throw away old worn towels, cut them down instead for cloths to use around the house and in the garage.  Old facecloths are also brilliant as floor cloths, saves buying lots of disposable cloths and paper towels.
26.  Don't buy cloches for tender plants in the garden instead use empty plastic drink bottles cut in half.  The top part becomes an individual plant pot sized cloche and the bottom, with a couple of drainage holes punched through can be a very usable plant pot.
27.  Don't pay out your hard earned money for a scoop to use in the greenhouse make one out of a plastic milk bottle cut to shape.  Different sized bottles make different sized scoops.
28.  Do as I do and buy all your seeds for next year in the garden centre sales at the end of Summer, I rarely pay more than 50p a packet for my seeds this way saving me an average of £35 a year.
29.   Grow your own Mustard and Cress.  For the price of 2 packets of seeds you will have all the mustard and cress you can eat throughout the summer months, and keep on growing throughout the year for all year round freshness on your salads..
30.  Blitz together stale bread and herbs to make a wonderful topping for many savoury dishes, with a sprinkle of cheese on top and then 30 minutes in the oven you can turn things like a simple macaroni cheese or veggie in a sauce into a filling feast.  Much cheaper and healthier than buying a ready meal ..... and you get so much more for your money.
So this is my 30 Ways to Save a Pound ..... what are yours?
Sue xx


  1. I love all of these ideas- but sadly Leicestershire libraries have recently decided to no longer stock free newspapers[apart from the Leicester Mercury - which is of little interest to me! and anyway I can read it online] AND they have put up the cost of reserving/pre-ordering.

    Your tomato sauces look good! Do you cook a big batch in the pan and then just pour it into sterilised jars, or do you do the 'bottling' thing, standing the filled jars in hot water? I usually freeze mine, but my freezer is a bit small, and knowing how to put it in jars instead would be useful.

    blessings xx

    1. Yes I cook a big batch, in my jam pan usually and then pour it boiling hot into hot jars and put the lids straight on. You hear the lids get drawn in with a 'pop' as it all cools down and then you know you have a sterile seal.

      If you save the jars shop bought sauces come in their lids have a little dimple that 'pops' even louder so you know.

      In the four years I have been doing it this way I think I have only had to throw about 3 or 4 jars out because they have gone a bit mouldy.

      Once opened I store in the fridge and use within two days, but I am still using sauces from 2010 from the larder and they are fine.

  2. Some great tips there Sue, I shall be using one or two of them myself, thank you for taking the time to put them on your blog and share them with us.

    Karen x

  3. One of my ways of saving money is to read your blog - lots of good ideas here!

  4. I often blitz up stale bread for bread crumbs. I never thought to combine them with herbs too.

  5. Never go food shopping when you're hungry, it's too easy to pick up a snack!
    Freeze cream in ice cube trays, two squares are plenty for one serving.
    Try to avoid supermarkets, small local stores are normally more helpful and don't have isles of the same stuff just different brands, so less temptation.
    Use your local butcher, he will give you advise on cheaper cuts and you can buy just the weight you want.
    Use washing soda in your washing machine instead of costly washing powder, whites come out whiter and it also acts to soften the water.
    If you have a surplus of herbs, chop them up and freeze in ice cube trays for leaner months.

    1. Thanks for the cream tip. I sometimes see that in the reduced section and avoid it because I won't use it all in time.

      Sft x

  6. I love these tips. My favourite one is the potato wedges for the freezer.
    My tip for the day would be. Share a car when you can. Petrol saving is good for your purse and for the planet:)

  7. Hi Sue,

    Another brilliant list of ways to save £1.

    I completed mine last night when I was really tired so it's a bit brief.

    I did get an email from MD.COM thanking me though.

    To be honest any payment is a bonus isn't it?

    Sft x

  8. I got my email almost immediately yesterday, yep as you say £30 is £30 and a real bonus.

    I think it's brilliant that so many Bloggers are joining in with this one, there are tips everywhere you look at the moment, very inspiring.

    Yours are good :-)

    Now I'm off Blog hopping to look at some others.

  9. Brilliant list, good ideas, so detailed & illustrated too. Thanks, x

  10. These are all very good tips and they do make a difference. One thing I always do when I do my food shopping is check and compare the price per kilo/litre. I often find that many items described as Value or Smart price are more expensive per kilo/litre than branded ones.


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