So, the news this week has been dim for everyone. Basically, financially it's bad and it's only getting worse! Great! Personally, I don't really see how it can, surely something's got to give? I don't know anyone that isn't struggling at the moment, even those with good jobs, no debts etc. However, relying on it all miraculously getting better is probably not the safest bet so I've spent the week trying to sort out finances and safe guard us for if the worst hits.
Anyway, as so many people out there are struggling too I thought I'd share some of my money saving tips!
Firstly, with the news that fuel bills could go up by 40% by the end of the year, I changed our supplier and plan quick smart to a fixed price plan. It's costing us a little more every month (maybe 5%) but that's much better than the predicted 40% and it's fixed until December 2010, so at least we know what that outgoing is for a couple of years!
I'd read that leaving your microwave switched on when you're not using it costs about £50 a year (due to the little digital clock). So, I've been switching that off along with the oven (which also has a digi clock) for a while now. I took it one step further this week by sorting out all my entertainment standbys! Certain things like the Sky box and dvd are just a pain in the bum if you switch them off every night, but things like the video, Wii and surround sound box, which only get used occassionally, are just eating up the old leccy by being on standby. So, I've changed round all the plugs so that the essential things are in one extension socket, and the things that are rarely used are in another AND SWITCHED OFF!
I also ordered a water saving doobery for the loo from the water company. Apparently you put it in the cistern and it means you don't use as much water when you flush. If you go to USwitch.com they order it for you.
I've also started looking for a new mobile deal. At first I was looking for a cheaper tariff. However, I've seen a new deal with Carphone Warehouse where I can pay £10 a month extra...but get a free laptop! Our laptop needs replacing and soon, and as we'll be spending most of our money on food and gas for the foreseeable future, there's not going to be any spare cash to buy new pooters! So, spending a tenner a month for 18 months on one doesn't seem like too bad a deal to me!
Foodwise, I've done this for a while but it works, and with the increasing price of food, it's a good idea. I don't shop every week, I shop every 8 days. You don't spend any more and every 7 weeks, you save a whole weeks shopping. I also write a menu every week and only buy the things that are needed for those meals (well, plus things like loo roll etc!). I also have the monthly food budget written on the fridge and write down what we spend so, if by the last week the budget's getting low, we have a week of beans of toast!
Ha, you Brown and your trying to eek us all into poverty; you shall never defeat me! Mwahahahahaha!!