I know these posts have been done OVER AND OVER! But after watching ITV’s bargain fever and reading through the #bargainfever hashtag I cant believe how many people still either don’t understand the benefits or don’t know how to do it. There are so many advantages for us, for business’, for the planet.
And I do apologize HUGELY if this appears a bit ranty.
I make no secret of the fact I am SKINT, not just a little bit but I am in debt, some weeks I struggle to buy food, my proper internet has currently been turned off and I have no land line because of not being able to afford the bills, I’m currently using BT wifi, about 85% of both of my children’s clothes are second hand from someone on freecycle and the other 15% have been bought by my family when I’ve mentioned the kids need things. My heating and water accounts are getting bigger and bigger because I struggle to afford them. Me & my partner are in a dire position but we make the most of what we have and we always manage somehow.
Birthdays and Christmas our kids get £30 spent on them. In this day and age thats nothing! Birthday cake is a 20p cake mix which I quickly rustle up with a bit of melted chocolate/chocolate chips. My parents spend more on my children for birthdays & Christmas than we do.
So any chance we get to save money or get anything free we grab!
I love coupons, I did once have a shop which I managed to reduce from £112 to £4 using coupons. I do get Healthy start vouchers which helps with the likes of fruit and veg and milk (we get through tonnes of milk) but for everything else I try find vouchers. Using the vouchers is best when the item is also on offer.
some of the websites I use for coupons are
http://ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk/coupons-and-freebies/ – I LOVE this site, ashleigh has done really well, theres a huge amount of coupons there are fantastic tips and loads of help on this site.
http://www.caringeveryday.co.uk/ – this site is brilliant for personal care vouchers
https://www.supersavvyme.co.uk/ – this site is great for vouchers but also for free samples!
There are more but these are my 3 main go to’s for vouchers. Most supermarkets accept them but each supermarket has their own ‘couponing code’ so some wont allow you to use over a certain amount, some will check you’ve bought the item before letting you use the coupon (which annoys people behind you) but most are pretty cool with it all and scan them on through. I tend to try use self service tills so I’m not holding people up too much and can do my coupons in peace, the people who oversee self service all know me now and always give me a hand with coupons which are playing up! I have also had him keep back a couple of vouchers which someone wasn’t able to use and give them to me (I think he feels sorry for me)
OUT OF DATE FOOD
Food which is close to best before or just out of best before is FINE! All a best before date means is that the item will be at its optimum before that date, after that fizzy pop may not be as fizzy, crisps may not be so crunchy, the flavours may not be as intense, but generally its still exactly the same! As far as I know food isn’t able to tell the time or read a calender. Does a magic chime at midnight suddenly render food of certain dates uneatable? I dont understand the obsession with throwing things away. Generations of people before us didnt have use by, or best before dates. We all have senses which should be used to judge whether something is edible or not. Have a look, does it look okay? yes, does it smell okay? yeah, try a tiny bit, does it still taste okay? yes, then it is fine to eat! If you are worried that meat/fish or other things are going to go out of date freeze them. You can freeze most things now. It keeps things for longer, your able to take advantage of reduced items it just makes sense. We have a big chest freezer out in our shed so that when we get offers we can fill up our spare freezer, meaning then there are times I don’t have to shop! I spent £80 on my last shop and that was 3 weeks ago, since then I’ve bought a couple of top up bits and I’m going to do a small £20 shop today, just a few top up bits. Because I have stocked up cupboards, freezers, fridge I’ve not had to do a shop for 3 weeks!
http://www.clearancexl.co.uk/ – short dated/out of date bulk food supplys
http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/ – short dated/ out of date food
Tv and internet are things which most of us couldn’t live without (especially with children!) as I said earlier I’m currently using BT wifi which is free for all BT customers. But on Friday I am having broadband provided by Fuel broadband, free broadband for 12 months just pay line rental £15 + unlimited phone calls for £3 so I will be paying £18 a month for unlimited broadband and phone, with BT I was paying £60+ and as for tv the best thing everyone could do is get rid of sky/freeview/freesat, all of it and get nowtv/chromecast or something like that, you get to watch what you want, when you want to watch it, you wont have to pay tv licence, you arnt paying for 101 channels which you’ve never even glanced at. There are so many options now for watching tv on the internet I don’t understand why anyone still pays tv licence or sky.
I spend so much time on freecycle and freegle. We have picked up numerous things on there and its a really fantastic way of getting things you need and want and helping keep landfill levels down! We’ve had my daughters bed, loads of kids clothes, lawn mower, a massive gas bbq, kids bikes and scooters, freestanding metal clothes rail for daughters room, two tvs which are in our bedrooms and lots more but they are the ones which come to mind. And we’ve even had stuff dropped off to us as we cant drive. People on there are generally really understanding and brilliant. I love it and the buzz if getting free items is brilliant (yes I’m sad!) and freeloved is part of preloved, ive personally not had anything off of there but its basically free classifieds like in newspapers etc.
Before everyone breaks out the competition sites this is NOT a quick, easy or guaranteed way of getting anything! There are people who are able to say they have massive tvs & game stations in every room, have traveled the world & taken pictures on a brand new camera, won cars and thousands of pounds. But chances are to win them they will have put in HOURS of work. The average serious comper will enter over 150 competitions a day. And all to often people will arrive on the forum and say I’ve entered 20 competitions since I started 3 days ago and not won anything! Well no, the average win takes approx 4000 entries. Some people will have a couple of months where they win loads and then go through a dry patch when they win nothing. End of last year October till December ish I had a real good streak I was winning things once a week and it really helped at Christmas but this year so far ive won two things. And neither have been big or worth much money. But I spend 3 hours of a morning entering competitions, then through the day I enter all of the twitter ones I see. And I will bob on and off the pc between sorting the children and my OH being on it. And even then its not certain you will win, some people have been entering for years and never won a thing!
But read this first:
I know there’s lots more but I have run out of steam… I had them all listed in my head before I started but once I started waffling on ive lost the other things somewhere amongst the other 1381 words which I had typed up to that point!
If you find a voucher use it! Dont throw away things just because a packet says best before! Always try get things on freecycle or second hand before buying new.
Times are hard for everyone, but things will get better.. when I don’t know, but they will.