Friday, 17 February 2012

Beefing up the money saving tips

Aye up me ducks, I hope you don't mind but I haven't had time to prepare a post for today. I have been busy re writing the list of money saving tips which were down the right hand side. So many people were asking me questions about them, because some were a bit vague due to the width of the column restricting how many words I could use. They have now been relocated, and have their own page, with a link at the top of here. This means I have more space for them and I can go into more detail. By putting them up in the Gods, I can add to the list as I discover more, and share them with you.

There has never been a more important time to be careful with our money. Maybe people of my age are more savvy, many of us grew up in a frugal household, we learnt our skills from our parents. But younger families who are struggling to make ends meet will be finding it difficult to cut back, they haven't had role models in their lives, to pick up all the tricks which we were shown.

I worry about people becoming depressed because they haven't got much money. I want to tell them it isn't as bad as they think, it just means they have to make a bit more effort to work out their finances. They have to decide what their priority is, who to pay first, what to spend their money on to get the best value. My first priority has been to always pay my mortgage, I have never missed in 35 years. Second priority is services, gas, electric, water. Third priority is food, you can't live without it, though you can cut down on it to pay priority 1 and 2. Everything else is a luxury.

How many people think sky tv is a priority, new clothes an essential, and going out is non negotiable because they will do it any way whether they can afford it or not. I'm afraid some young people of today will get depressed over their lack of money, and fall into the debt trap, because they have their priorities wrong.

It's a shame that Super Scrimpers has gone off in a different direction, now it's all about make do and mend, which is only a small part of money saving. The cookery slots are ok, as long as they don't start using expensive branded foods, they need to stick to the basics. Most of the people I know who make things don't do it because they are skint, they do it because it's an enjoyable hobby. SS shouldn't lose sight of the fact that people don't have enough money to live on. They won't be wanting to make cushion covers if they haven't got enough food in the cupboards.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Take a look at the new money saving tips, you won't find everything covered there, but it's a start. Toodle pip.   


  1. I like your "can do" and positive attitude. I think you are spot on when you say young people don't have the role models the older ones had. Hopefully some of them will find your blog and be encouraged.

  2. I agree with you regarding scrimpers. If you are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table decoupaging a tea tray is not going to help much as lovely as the idea is. It never ceases to amaze me on MSE how many people in real financial strife will become very protective of their huge Sky and mobile contracts. It seems to take priority over the things you mention. I hope I can teach my children how to look after their money better, and not feel they have certain rights to expensive things. Sorry for long post. Debs x

  3. I do not have enough money to afford satellite or cable tv, so the screen is blank! But, if I am short on money, making something pretty or useful helps me cope with my lack. Sewing or making or refurbishing something helps to get the fuzz out of my brain, settles me down, and gets creativity in money areas bubbling in my head. Stressed people cannot figure out to make ends meet and are hungrier or just want to eat to relieve stress.

    I handle stress and figure out problems when I create, especially when I sew. Sewing helps me relax and sleep well at night. Creating something is soothing. A stressed out me with no sleep cannot figure out how to cope.

    People cope in different ways.

  4. I agree Ilona..kitsch cushion covers are cute, but people need to learn to differentiate between want and need..we need some reverse snobbery on's easy if you spend a shedload of money, but I like to think we're a bit cleverer than that..I work with someone who, I know if I gave a basic shopping list to her, and the same one to my son, she would spend £32 and my son would spend £8.46 LOL..who wants to get into debt to impress the girl on the checkout? Not me ^..^

  5. I never spend money to buy supplies for my projects to destress me when I am broke. It is not a snobby thing I am doing.

    What does "aye me up ducks" mean? I am always so puzzled by your What does "dead chuffed" mean?"

  6. Bang on again MQ ! I had a friend once who thought she was in poverty if she couldn't afford the most expensive fabric conditioner !
    Some of those people who featured in the early SS series (the ones that you featured in) made me want to slap them - the money they wasted was nothing short of criminal ! how could they 'not' know they were throwing money away ? beats me.
    Can I take this opportunity of thanking you MQ for your blog ? it's got to be the most interesting and informative on the net ! always something new to read, lots of new advice and tips - it's an inspiration and like dropping in for coffee at a friends house !
    You get us all going sometimes with your topics - and why not ? Your members are an interesting and diverse lot also full of good advice, all in all, a great mix.
    You are a star MQ - keep up the good work, I don't know what I'd do without my daily 'fix'
    I would give you an award if I knew how to do it !

  7. TBH for some people like myself at the moment food is becoming more and more of a luxury.There is no way that benefits take into account the working person with changable hours. My hours go from 23 to 10 next week on NMW which is effectively a Saturday job and below the JSA 16 hour limit. For most at my company their pay is essentially pocket money, for me i have to put food on the table etc when I find prices increase a lot from day to day.Our reduced sections all feature items over 1 quid.I cannot get help from the local foodbank as you have to be referred by the DWP etc.

  8. on top of this the DWP have claimed they have overpaid my benefits when I claimed them last year and I now have to give them what equates to 3 1/2 hours salary per month. I am sure that they will think oh Anon is working and earns enough to pay back but I now have to cut back on food to pay them back at a level of half a weeks wages (based on next weeks rota)

  9. Hi , I can give you a few years in age . Being a war years child I know about making do. I consider I'm fairly good at it but I think it is a little difficult these days shopping for one .
    I do put food in the freezer but it isn't my favourite way of eating
    I make one layer of sandwich cake , when it has jam and cut in half size that isn't too bad . I can manage 3 portions . Anymore and I,m off it.
    I hate supermkts , that say buy 3 etc,.

  10. Hi Ilona. Always enjoy your posts. A couple of my tips. The very bottom of the (cheap) cornflakes when crushed with a rolling pin make lovely brown crumbs for fish, turkey escalopes etc. which makes them look bigger and more interesting. Even a teaspoon of baked beans or gravy or casserole plus l lone mushroom will make your soup more flavoursome. Del.

  11. I'm wondering how long your mortgage term is, since you've been paying it for 35 years? You might be able to re-negotiate to pay the same but shorten the term, it would be worth looking into.

  12. I always enjoy visiting your blog. Always food for thought.

  13. Totally agree about Superscrimpers, laughable really. Hunt for Britain's Tightest Person was much more useful and entertaining. I wish they would make more programs like that.

  14. I have taken to contacting companies if I am not happy with a product, and have been recompensed with vouchers to more than cover the cost of the item - every little helps!

    A question Ilona - I have 2 over-ripe bananas that no one will eat as they are not very tempting to look at. Should I throw them away or use some of my store-cupboard items and turn the oven on to make a banana cake so they get used up? I HATE throwing food away but in this instance it will cost me more to use it up, and make a cake that we would not normally have!????????

  15. KateG,
    Put the bananas in a smoothie for three with any other fruit, juice, yogurt. THEN, if there is too much for one person, put it in a bowl in the freezer and stir often. It makes a nice "ice cream."

    1. Don't have any yogurt or other fruit......

  16. I'm off to have a look at your tips right now! I thought the old ones were fab so new and improved will be ace! :D

    You're right about getting priorities right. If I ever buy Sky, please shoot me! Even if I had the money, it's such a WASTE of your time (and money!) Get out there, do something, meet people, make something!

    P.S. I've started using "bimbling" to describe going for a walk. No-one understands me, so I blame you! :D

  17. Kate, can you make some batter, dip them in, and fry them....fritters. Serve with honey or syrup.

  18. PP - that's an easy way to make ice-cream, I shall try that especially now I will have lots of yoghurt made in the slow cooker ! which incidentally MQ, worked a treat.

  19. Wean, I am dead chuffed to read your comments. Thank you for your kind words.


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