Friday, 23 November 2012

Saving Money Around the House.

Without Much Effort.

Frugal Friday

Here is my menu plan for this week and next week. My husband has been away this week so not only did I get some time off working, I got away with easier meals too! Monday on week 2 I am planning to top up my freezer meals. I have to do this about every 3 weeks, but so appreciate it in the time in between as it makes the evenings so much easier, especially on the days I am not in.

F = freezer meals I have previously made
SC = Slow Cooker meals
* = indicates I am cooking extra for the freezer

Week One
Week Two
Lunch: Pumpkin Soup
Dinner :Roast Chicken
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner:Pot Roast - Brisket
Faggots and Mash/peas   F
Chilli *and rice                
Risotto                       SC
Loaded Baked  Potatoes
Pasta and bacon/cheese
Beef Stew  *  SC ( will make a pie too )
Lasagne  F
Cheesy Macaroni
Egg and Homemade oven chips
Lasagne and garlic rolls  F
Lunch: Sausages in homemade rolls 
Dinner:Steak Pie mash and veg F
Lunch: Soup and rolls
Dinner:Italian tuna balls and spaghetti

My motivation for writing these posts is two fold. One is because we are trying to save a little more in preparation for an extension project we are starting on our house next year. We have been saving for about five years , but it's never quite enough is it?! The second is that I really resent spending our hard earned money on products I know I can get cheaper elsewhere. The retailers have us right where they want us and I feel like fighting back. I want to choose where and what I spend my money on!

Ok rant over!
money and savings

This weeks Frugal Friday is focusing on simple changes you can make around the house that can end up saving you hundreds of pounds a year. With the pace of life today , it is so easy to overlook some of the simpler things that we can do to cut back on our everyday outgoings. Each one of these tips may not seem much on their own , but tot them up over a month, a year, five years and they soon add up!  

There are so many I could choose, but here are my top 20.

  • Switch your light bulbs, as they run out, to energy efficient bulbs. They cost more up front, but can save you £7 a year, per bulb in running costs. That's £60 per bulb before it needs replacing.
  • Turning your thermostat down by 1 degree could save you up to £100 a year.
  • Turn your radiators down or off in rooms that are not used.
  • Install thermostatic radiator valves so you can control each radiator individually. Money up front that will save you money in the long run.
  • Bleed your radiators regularly so they run efficiently.
  • Switch appliances off standby. This can save up to £50 on your bills a year.
  • Turning your washing machine to a 30 degree wash instead of a 40 or 60 degree wash and save 40 degrees of energy thus saving money.
  • Get a good clothes airer and hang your clothes to dry whenever possible. Driers cost between 14p and 50p a 7kg load ( depending on size and energy rating) to use. This soon mounts up.
  • Drop a brand at the supermarket and see your grocery bill go down.
  • Start collecting coupons - you can cut your grocery bills by between 15 and 50%. Check out online sites - print off coupons.
  • Be vigilant about how much water you use if you are on a meter- don't leave the tap running whilst brushing teeth, take shorter showers, flush only when necessary etc.
  • Pay off your credit card every month to avoid interest charges.
  • Make a packed lunch for work, take flasks of coffee.
  • Turn off lights when you aren't in the room.
  • Use a slow cooker instead of your oven.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Always write a shopping list and plan your menus.
  • Go through your bank balance and cancel direct debit for things you don't make the most of - gym membership?!!
  • Use your library.
  • Stop trying to keep up with the Jones's.
tesco energy saving lightbulbsPacked LunchMy shopping list for the week. Eating clean sure does make for a pretty shopping cart. (Is anyone still using the #sscleaneating tag?) @danihampton
What tips could you add to this list?


  1. Some great frugal tips here Claire.. Some of them so simple but so effective.
    You've inspired me to try at least a few as, like you, we are trying to save for a house extension.

  2. Flush only when necessary?? Ah, Claire, you're not serious??? I fully accept that we all need to tighten our belts, I am with you on the fact that I love a bargain and resent spending hard earned money when unnecessary .. but isn't the toilet flushing taking it a step too far??!!!! :))

    1. Not when you live where we do and pay the rates we do for water! The South West are renown for being expensive - we pay a ridiculous amount so our 3 kids are under strict instruction not to flush it every two minutes! When you are paying over £100 a month for water you will do anything to get it down. Sorry if it offends , but needs must and all that!

    2. Goodness, I wasn't offended at all. I just thought it seemed like a rather extreme money saving tip. However, I guess if you're paying out that much in water rates each month, there is logic to your plan!

    3. I just had a bill saying they owe us £52 so I'm a little happier about it!! It is a sore point as we pay more now than if we didn't have a meter which was installed when we didn't have children and then it saved us £400 a year! 3 kids later we can't change back to the fixed rate and they won't cap the charge until you are on benefits - how unfair is that! I have found a 'save a flush' bag you can instal in older toilets that automatically limits the water now though so the flushing limit has been lifted! HA ha! x

  3. Great post and I especially like the last post about the Jone's...need to bear that in mind more ;) x

  4. You've reminded me to bleed my radiators - haven't done it for ages! Always telling the kids to turn lights off when not in use and not leave things switched on - I think they imagine money grows on trees! We all take packed lunches to work/school - I can't stand having to pay through the nose for items from the canteen or vending machine when I can bring it from home at a fraction of the price! xx

  5. My favorite? "Just say no!". One of the hardest yet best ways to save money. I also find it funny that we eat so much lighter when the men are gone! I love my husband and want to keep him around forever, but we can live on soup or sandwiches whenever he is out of town. Great tips, as always, Claire!

  6. Love this post, there are some really great tips! I need to remember not to try and keep up with the Jones's!

  7. Great tips. Not keeping up with the Jones's is such an important one. Meal planning saves a huge amount of money on groceries doesnt it x