Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Big Squeeze...

Since Michael lost his job in December, we have in the last six months more than ever had to cut back and think about the choices we make when it comes to household budgeting. With grocery prices rocketing, and the cost of living continuing to become more costly it got me thinking about ways in which we can save money and how far am I willing to strip our lives back in order to survive.


The thing is though, its just not that simple. Because Michael wanted to start up his own business and because of my blog, we couldn't just get rid of the broadband or sell my iPhone. Modern technologies are becoming more and more essential especially to those who are self employed.

So I looked at other areas where we could save money. The weekly shop was a big one for us. Luckily Poppy is now out of nappies so that in itself is a huge saving. We have a chest freezer in the garage so I've started buying reduced bread and meat to freeze. Any veg that looks like its on the turn gets blanched and frozen to add to soups or stews when needed. We also grow our own fruit and veg in the summer which is a great way to educate Poppy too and get her involved and understanding about where her food comes from. 

Growing our own veg...

Broad Beans

Apple Tree

If I need to make any big purchases like furniture or appliances I look on local freecycle sites, swaps and sales and eBay. 

We recently needed a new dining table, ours was way too small for purpose and one of the chairs was starting to go. So I put it up for sale for £20 on a local Facebook page. It was snapped up within minutes. To replace it I found the perfect table on eBay and won it for just £10 so I actually made a £10 profit. 

I've found more and more these days I'm replacing modern furniture for "vintage" and making a profit. I prefer the older pieces made of more sturdy stuff and so pretty too.

I got these 2 beautiful cabinets for free from a friend who was going to throw them away


My £10 bargain table, big enough for all Poppy's painting, sticking and general mess...


I'm in a very fortunate position that I get clothes sent to me nowadays, so I've found I can make a bit of extra cash selling on my older clothes, I also use clothing banks to get rid of older clothes that can't really be sold on, lots of Poppy's clothes that you wouldn't get an awful lot for anyway. You take your clothes in, they are weighed and you're given money per kilo. You don't get an awful lot, one big black bag will get about £6, but its £6 in your pocket and the clothes are sent away to charitable organisations. 

So although its not quite practical for us to start living the "good life" yet like Tom and Barbara we have made small changes that all help towards saving money and making the end of the month a bit easier when it comes to paying the rent. 









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7 comments:

  1. Great advice here to help make savings. We all feel it and your ideas are really good. I hope your husband finds something soon - my husband took a while to find a new job (he is in the US and I will be joining him soon - I hope). We will make sure we live a life where we are careful.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Molly

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  2. Love your vintage furniture. Very nice.

    And thanks for the tips to save money. It is something that we all need to learn.

    Patrick

    csuhpat1.blogspot.com

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  3. We've been feeling the pinch too, it's a amazow much money we waste in big supermarkets ! Now we get most of our meat from a meat warehouse sort of thing then the basics from Lidl and Aldi, also work for iceland so get my staff discount aswell.

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  4. I am a mother of 4 and honest diapers always worked for my kids. You just go with what works for your child. I also have noticed that they work differently for different ages as well. Good idea to try a few out before you buy the jumbo packs.

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  5. Since we stopped flat sharing we have also had to change our life style dramatically! I am trying to grow some herbs in the garden, looks like you have nailed it! xxx

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  6. Oh I have been through the same situation, so I feel you, it has been one of the reasons why I haven't had a baby yet, luckily for us our situation has slowly improved, so I keep my fingers crossed xxxx

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  7. Im going through similar situation myself longterm unemployed and live in area of high unemployment so no money to buy goodies.
    I live just over road from Asda a 5 min walk and do the "whoopsie" run every day and freeze and make do.I shop round town and know all the places for cheaper things :)

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Thank you for your comment, I love reading what everyone has to say! B x