How To Save Your Money and Cut Household Expenses

Cut your household expenses by 50% - Take care of the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves
Cut your household expenses by 50% - Take care of the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves | Source

Cut household expenses and save cash - a guide to saving money

How to save your money and reduce home expenses? Think about the old saying: "Take care of the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves!"

Times are getting harder and you should be thinking about saving and investing not squandering resources and throwing money, literally, down the drain.

Living in Limousin in South West France and trying to survive financially by a bit of this and that we live on a tight budget - but we love to enjoy the good life. To achieve this I took a lesson or two in thrift from times gone by.

People in this hidden part of rural France have always lived on small incomes but they also enjoy many of the pleasures that make life worthwhile. I looked to how people manage their money here - how many of us could reduce our home expenses by 50%?

I began to think about all the ways I manage to live a life that many envy, on a very basic income.

Think 50%. If you use half of everything, your annual housekeeping bill goes down by HALF. ou really can save a small fortune just by giving your lifestyle a little thought. Just try it.


What you can do to beat the recession

  1. Share more
  2. Use less
  3. Waste less
  4. Buy less
  5. Look out for real bargains
  6. Think smart when it comes to money

What are household expenses?

I have defined household expenses very loosely but I'm really thinking about food, the energy bills, and all the little things that cause us to fritter away our money. But more than that, I include clothes, costs of furnishing, baby products (those dear little creatures) and, in the end, I confess, just about anything that we spend our salary on.

This article is not about high finance, making money quickly, indeed, it's not about making money at all - rather it is about making the most of what you do have and, above all, it is money saving ideas, how to save your money and how to budget money.


Share your home and make money

Take in a lodger

Ok, I know I said that this is not about making money, but this is one thing you can do if you have a spare room to actually bring in a good amount of money every month to make your salary go further.

The last time I lived in England it was possible to take in up to two lodgers without incurring any problems with the authorities - before you became a hotel, or house of multiple occupation and such like. This is my top tip for saving money. The lodger will give you a bit of rent and contribute to the household expenses. If you're lucky you might even be able to do a bit of swapping - babysitting for cooking etc.

Welcome a language student into your family

When I lived in cities (London and Exeter) I used to welcome language students to my home. They would live as part of the family, take meals with us and join in with whatever we were doing. The advantage of language students is that they were usually very nice, well socialised, interesting and appreciative. They only stayed for a few weeks or months and didn't fully share the house - no messy kitchens to wake up to. You will also make lifelong friends and may even be invited to go and stay with them. Did I also mention that the pay is good?

Foster children or look after older people in your own home

I've never done either of these, but you might like to look into this area and see if it would suit you.

Join a LETS scheme

Join a 'Lets' or other no-money skills and services exchange scheme, where you can swap objects and services with others in your community.

"LETS - Local Exchange Trading Systems or Schemes - are local community-based mutual aid networks in which people exchange all kinds of goods and services with one another, without the need for money." Have a look at the UK LETS web site.


No LETS scheme near you? Why don't you start one?

More ways of cutting costs by sharing

  • Swap things with friends
  • Hold a clothes swapping party
  • Have a baby or wedding shower with pre-loved items
  • Pass on children's clothes to friends with younger children
  • Exchange and barter - one man's meat ...
  • Join or start a food club (see below)

Cut food waste and cut your food expenses by half!

I was recently watching Economy Gastronomy on, yes, I confess, English TV, when I realised that a family of five spent as much on food per year that my entire annual income. On the Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, (16 12 09), it was reported that as much as 50% of food is wasted in Britain. As an artist, one has to live on ones wits as, in general, everyone loves and admires what you do, but nobody actually pays you to produce it.

So, having got over the shock of watching this family pouring perfectly good food into their waste disposal unit I've come up with these ideas to eat well and waste less.

This cake is delicious, super easy to make, cheap and will raise a laugh! Great fun to do with kids.
This cake is delicious, super easy to make, cheap and will raise a laugh! Great fun to do with kids. | Source

Save With Jamie Oliver

Save with Jamie Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less
Save with Jamie Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less

I'm a great fan of Jamie Oliver - champion of good, nutritious food, compassionate farming, high quality school meals and family cooking. Now he's come to the rescue of those of us struggling to survive in the Post-Banking crisis and in this book he teaches us how to make tasty, home-cooked food for less than a couple of £'s per person.

 

Saving money on food with frugal tips

Lets start with food and the weekly shop

  • Eat less? (Most of us are too fat anyway!)
  • Try your very best not to throw good food away.
  • Buy fresh food rather than ready meals. Healthier and cheaper.
  • Buy supermarket own brands; they put alot of effort into reproducing the big brand names at cut-prices. Don't pay for other peoples fat bonus's and companies' advertising. If you are not sure if you are going to like it - try it once.
  • Do buy 3 for the price of 2 bargains, cook and freeze. Throw end-of-day bargains into freezer. You are paying for your freezer - make it work for you.
  • Cook in large quantities and freeze portions for future. Saves on gas or electricity
  • Always fill the oven and freeze anything you can't eat within three days. Organise your menu. My mother never put on the oven, unless she was going to produce a whole meal - meat, roast potatoes, jacket potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roast vegetables and rice pudding. If nothing else, you can always squeeze in a few potatoes for the following day. Microwave them in a few minutes. Hot but with all the flavour of baked potatoes.
  • Buy different types of food, many cheap foods are good foods. The list is long but go for offal - kidney, tongue, gizzards or food that is cheaper because it looks less attractive, greyish coloured fish. You're going to eat it not paint it! Take a look at my delicious and healthy Chicken Gizzard Curry Recipe.

Use left-overs

  • Re-use all left-overs as a basis for a meal the following day. If nothing else add water and a stock-cube, whizz and produce as soup for lunch. For adults add a shake of Worcestershire sauce, chilli, zest of lemon etc.
  • Don't waste stale bread, (but do make sure bread is dry and not mouldy. Always discard mouldy food). Otherwise there is a wealth of recipes that require stale bread. Here in the Limousin, a good supply of dry or old bread is an absolute essential ingredient.
  • Here's a great way to reuse old cake or make cheap cake into something special; try my Fat Rat cake

WARNING Always be aware of food hygine. Don't re-freeze food, don't forget food in the fridge, keep food in the fridge and keep it covered. If you reheat, reheat very thoroughly, especially meat. I have a three day rule. I don't buy meat that I don't intend to cook within three days. Keep your fridge at the recommended temperature. Keep all kitchen surfaces clean and dry.

Grow your own food

Even if you don't have a garden, you can grow your own herbs, chillies, even lettuce on the window sill and they can be very decorative. You can grow tomatoes and lots of other veg in pots, but if you do have a garden, then you can grow quite a lot of your own food.

You can dig up your flowers and lawn and set up a traditional vegetable garden, but I doubt many people will want to do this. Why not grow vegetables amongst the flowers? Many are quite decorative - the squash family, chards, tomatoes .... And many flowers are edible too.

Have a look at these articles;

How to grow pumpkins for Halloween

Of course you can just buy a pumpkin at Halloween, but how much better it would be to start right at the beginning and grow your own, and it's fun and educational for the kids.

Pick your own wild food

There are many wild flowers and plants out there for the taking. Why not pick your own free food? Just be careful that pesticides, herbicides or dogs have not fouled the food. Easy weeds to eat are nettles, goose grass and chickweed. Then there is all that wild fruit - blackberries, rose hips, crab apples ... Make sure you can identify wild herbs and fruit correctly as you can poison yourself if you make really bad mistakes.

Try this recipe:

How to Make Weed Soup


Save money by joining a food club

Why not band together to buy your own food from the wholesalers? Cut out the middleman and put the supermarket profits back into the community. It sounds like a big organisational feat but some people are doing it.

Other frugal food tips for saving money

  • Be realistic about what you can eat. If you get it wrong, cook food and wack into the freezer rather than let it go to waste.
  • Peel only if you must. It came as a revelation to me that it isn't always necessary to peel potatoes and other fruit and vegetables. When I was at University and my Irish flatmate's mother came to stay and cooked us the most delicious whole potatoes complete with skins, I vowed that I'd never peel another potato! Why waste good food and give yourself more work? (But take care with non-organic foods like carrots and fruits that will have been treated with pesticides and fungicides).
  • Again, when I was a child, we would throw away celery leaves, tops of leeks, outer lettuce and cabbage leaves. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with these. Eat them up! Celery leaves are great in a mixed salad or added to soup. If all else fails, make stock.
  • That goes for bones as well. Boil up chicken carcasses and other bones with left over vegetables and make the most superb stock. When I worked inTerry's Restaurant in York, everything went into an enormous stock pot, and the most delicious soup came out!
  • Lentils and pulses are nutritious and cheap sources of protein. Use instead of meat 50% of the time.
  • Make your own yoghurt. It is easy and economical. Here's how: How to make your own natural yoghurt
  • Look hard at junk food. Do you have to buy crisps, biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks? All poor in nutrition and high in salts, sugars and fats. I know a little of what you fancy does you good, but keep them for special occasions.
  • If all else fails I give food to a. The dog b. The cat c. The chickens. (the latter get anything sugary on the grounds that they don't have any teeth to ruin) and d. The compost heap.
  • Eat free food. There are plenty of fruits and herbs to gather from the wild, nettles, sorrel, blackberries, elder flowers, elderberries and dandelions, to name but a few. The wild foods are full of nutritional value bred out of many cultivated fruit and veg. Try making Nettle Soup, it really is delicous!

Bread and Butter Pudding
Bread and Butter Pudding | Source
Make food fun - kids might not like poached eggs but will go wild for  'Ghosts on Toast'
Make food fun - kids might not like poached eggs but will go wild for 'Ghosts on Toast' | Source

Teach children not to waste food

  • I really hate wastefulness in children. The ones at a party who take a cake, bite it, leave it and then take another one! I am sorry, I am a post-war child brought up by a mother who had experienced rationing. We used to call this greedy.
  • Make sure children are not wasteful. Babies should be weaned on real food, cooked without salt. (Follow guidelines on weaning given by your health visitor or reliable baby care sources). I am convinced that bought baby foods make children picky eaters. PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS BASED ON NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER!!
  • Give children a wide variety of tastes and textures from the word go.
  • Insist that they eat a fair amount of good food before they are allowed the dessert or sweets.
  • Insist that they try everything.
  • Serve up left-overs in an imaginative way. When I asked a group of children who would like Sausage Soup, all hands went up and all plates were left clean. The sausage soup was last night's sausages and vegetables chopped up and boiled together with a bit of extra flavouring. Souper!
  • Make food fun - kids might not like poached eggs but will go wild for 'Ghosts on Toast'. I made these as a Halloween treat. They love them.
  • Don't give in to tempers and tantrums. Don't get into fights. Don't wheedle and persuade. Don't let meal times become stessful. If you make meals a battle - they will win!
  • Don't tolerate fads, but don't make children eat anything they really don't want to eat.
  • Don't fill them up with low-quality junk foods and drinks that 'spoil their appetites'.
  • Send them out to run around in the fresh air to 'work up an appetite'. Old fashioned values but they really do work.

Save energy and cut heating bills

  • Have you taken all the basic steps to reduce energy consumption? Remember the 50% rule. If you can use half as much electric lighting, half as much heating, half as much water you cut down on these big bills by 50%.


Reduce Heating Costs


  • Insulate your house. First easy and proven step to saving on heating.
  • Draught proof your house
  • Heat the rooms you are using and leave any other rooms cool.
  • Install thermostats to control the temperature.
  • Keep the living rooms nice and warm, but the bedrooms could be a little cooler.
  • Exercise. This keeps your temperature up and improves circulation.
  • Get out of the house so you can leave the heating off. Go out walking for the day, go to library, visit a friend.
  • If this is just too draconian, switch the heating down just one or two degrees; this has been proven to reduce bills substanitally.
  • Put on a jumper or warm sweat shirt.
  • Better still, on the radio a listener told a presenter that he had switched off his heating totally and invested in high-performance thermal underwear
  • Invest in thermal underwear (they call it a thermal base) I have and it really does make a huge difference. They are on the pricey side if you think of a bargain T-shirt or cheap woolly tights, but I think over time, it's a good investment.

DOUBLE GLAZING FILM DRAUGHT INSULATION KIT WINDOWS 6sqm
DOUBLE GLAZING FILM DRAUGHT INSULATION KIT WINDOWS 6sqm

Cheap, easy to install and really effective! I even kept mine on over the summer and, although not ideal I'll admit, you can clean the film.

 

Install cheap and easy double glazing

Plastic film

This plastic film is easy to install, cheap and almost invisible. I put it on my windows for the first time last year and the first obvious advantage is that it practically stopped the condensation problems. No more wet windows, no more rotten window frames.

All you need to put it on is a hairdryer and a pair of scissors. Simple!

PS You can put it over the part of the window that opens and you can still open and close the windows.

Secondary Glazing

In this case you buy frames with glass or acrylic sheet in it and you attach them to the inside of the window. Easy to install and to take down. The advantage with this is that you reuse it year after year.

Wood Burning Stoves

We use the stove to cook stews and steamed puddings in the winter.
We use the stove to cook stews and steamed puddings in the winter. | Source

Invest in a wood burning stove

Cut Electricity and Gas Consumption


  • Don't leave machines on standby. Leaving a TV on standby can cost you £60 a year. Check out this site to see how much standby is costing you: This Is Money
  • Switch off lights behind you.
  • Always fill your oven, dishwasher and washing machine
  • Always keep your freezer full, even if you stock it with empty boxes. It takes more energy if air is circulating.
  • Always cook large amounts, then freeze or keep in the fridge to microwave later.
  • If you have a wood-burning stove - use it to cook and heat water. In the winter we have super old-fashioned steamed puddings and stews and meats that simmer gently all day until wonderfully tender. On cool autumn evenings we cook chestnuts on the stove and in winter keep a pan of mulled wine warming.
  • In summer we have salads, raw food and we use the microwave, wok and frying pan to cook quickly. Stir fries are quick, delicious and healthy.
  • Do you have a low tariff time or could you get one? Then do your washing, water heating etc during these cheap periods, ie at night.
  • Buy energy efficient machines.
  • Use solar energy - for example solar chargers. I'm also waiting for the solar powered window socket designed by Kyuho Song & Boa to come onto the market. One word of warning thought - to save money you do need to cost out these high tech gadgets.

Invest in a stove fan

This is my latest tip for saving money on heating. A friend has bought one of these stove fans for her wood burning stove and she says it works amazingly well. She reckons that it's increased the heat in the room to sweltering point and it also sends the heat into the adjacent rooms.

I must say that it looks like a simple device that I could make myself if I had a decent blow torch. I'm going to send my husband around to check out this fan, take a few measurements and if it's just not practical to make it myself, then I'm going to invest in one.

Save water and cut water bills in half

  • Take showers rather than baths
  • Fill your washing machine and dishwasher
  • Install toilets with dual flush
  • Turn down the pressure on your water meter - you don't need gushing water every time you wash your hands
  • Put a plastic bottle of water in the toilet tank. The standard toilet uses 3 - 7 gallons each time you flush. A 2 litre size bottle in the tank will save half a gallon to a gallon each time, that's about 10 gallons a day. see The Daily Green.
  • Get awater butt or tank to capture rainwater
  • Buy water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines

Collect and reuse household water

Put a bucket in your sink or next to it to save all the water you use to wash your hands, prepare fruit and vegetables, rinse out cups and crockery etc. I save several gallons a day that goes onto the plants in the summer. You could use it to flush the toilet in the winter, or in summer if you don't have a garden, plant pots or window boxes.

Put a bowl in the wash basin and collect water in the bathroom. Put that into a bucket and use it to flush the toilet. I have a friend who collects the shower water that he runs waiting for the shower to heat up and uses it for the garden and toilet. Cut that water bill in half.

Is it more energy efficient to wash dishes by hand?

Apparently yes, but only if you use the hot water very efficiently! According to The Guardian Green Living Blog, the carbon footprint of washing up by hand with hot water using the water very frugally is slightly lower than using a dishwasher frugally. Washing up by hand and splashing that hot water about is the worst possible option.

So, get a dishwasher, run it on full load at lower temperatures and sit back and enjoy!

Reduce car costs

  • Ask yourself the question "Can I do without the car?" Take some time to cost out how much that car is costing you. Include initial payment(s), insurance, cleaning, garage bills, fuel, oil, tyres, taxes etc. How many taxis or buses could you get for that?
  • Ok, it's hard to do without the car, but do you need that car? Could you make do with a smaller, older, more efficient car? Trading down can save you money. Sell the car, buy a cheaper one and pay off your debts!
  • Order your own parts on line if the garage gives you a high quote, and get the garage to fit them for you.

Save fuel costs by reducing petrol and diesel use

  • Try to combine journeys. I try never to have to go out in the car just to shop, for example. I have plenty in my store cupboard to wait a few days and combine shopping with some other, unavoidable trip.
  • Shop with a friend if your friend lives nearby and the supermarkets are a distance away.
  • Walk or cycle if you can.
  • Join a car share scheme

What else can I cut down on?

Ask yourself what you really need. All my life I have easily managed without a spin dryer. Next year I might have to give in - but only because of the demands of our Guest House. In the past I dried clothes outside in the summer, and on a pulley above a radiator, an 'AGA' or, as now, above a stove. When the stove is lit, I can dry a whole wash overnight.

If you live in a flat, or have low ceilings or a small house, this might not be possible, but just go around and ask yourself if you can do without engergy-guzzling machines.

Give gifts that SAVE money

Ok, I'm not so naïve as to think you're really going to stop giving gifts to people but why not give gifts that will save them money? Recently I spent £40 on about 10 new books, and I chose cheap second hand ones but the postage cost a fortune! Now I've got them all over my sofa. No-where to put them! I should have splashed out on a Kindle - you can buy a used Amazon Kindle for only $35.99 (2013). Shucks!

Other ideas of gifts that save money: living herbs, seeds and vegetable plants, thermal underwear, training shoes so your loved one can take up running, cookbooks full of healthy recipes that use fresh food .... I'll add to this as I think of more but use your imagination!


Better still - stop buying! The best way to cut expenses!

Cutting expenses by saying no to buying

Here's my list of things that are a waste of money and add up terrifyingly

  • Magazines
  • Mobile phones
  • Huge TV's
  • Niff-naffs, ornaments, decorations for the house and garden and, in short, all that STUFF
  • Presents, cards and other 'gifts'. They give it to you, you give it to them. You didn't want it and they didn't want it and the shop is laughing all the way to the bank. Make or cook your own gifts, pick some flowers, do a drawing and put a bit of time and thought into something really special.
  • Cups of coffee and snacks bought outside the house
  • Taxis
  • Restaurant meals
  • Sugary snacks
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Alcohol and cigarettes etc
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Makeup, perfumes and the like

Don't fritter your cash away!

DIY - Get Essential Skills

  • Go to evening classes, learn basic plumbing, don't pay out extortionate bills for small glitches.
  • Learn to garden. Do you have a lawn? What is it for? Do you just look at it and cut it? Consider turning a small patch into a fruit and vegetable plot.
  • Plant fruit trees. They have blossom in the spring, fruit in the summer and lovely autumn colours at the end of the year.

Do I need it? Do I really want it? Why do I want it? Is it good value?

Always ask your self these questions before you buy anything. You can usually do without or put off buying it.

You will also reap the benefits of a healthier, as well as wealthier lifestyle - this is a real win-win situation.

Fresh, organic, free-range eggs
Fresh, organic, free-range eggs | Source
Not everyone can produce their own food, but most people can cut down on their household expenditure substantially.
Not everyone can produce their own food, but most people can cut down on their household expenditure substantially. | Source

How about producing your own food?

At Les Trois Chenes we serve our own fresh eggs, home made jams and chutneys, home-grown, largely organic fruit and vegetables, and honey from our own bees. Don't worry, not only do I not expect you to set up your own smallholding, I don't even think we save money by producing our own food on such a small scale - especially if you take time into account.

I can never get over how cheap eggs and chicken are in the supermarket. The birds served up for only 2 or 3 euros are only a few weeks old. Mine, at the same age, are little fluffy chicks still, and already have probably consumed more than 3 euros in grain.

Beware cheap food! The animals are often not well kept, they are overcrowded, fed goodness knows what (remember that part of the Mad Cow Disease problem was that cattle were being given a feed containing dead sheep?), medicated constantly, given food and chemicals to force them to grow much too fast, and then, after slaughter, the meat is pumped full of water. The advantage of producing your own meat, eggs, milk and veg, is that you can have absolutely fresh, wholesome, nutritious and organic food.

Buy good food. Don't save money by cutting down on quality. Cut down on waste and thoughtless profligacy.

John Ruskin, the great English art critic and thinker said:

"Learn first thoroughly the econmomy of the kitchen, the good and bad qualities of every common article of food, and the simples and best modes of their preparation".

(Taken from my Granny's cookery book. Sorry, no title or author. It bears only the address 17 Greenhill Gardens, Edinburgh! If anyone out there know more about this I would be interested to hear from you.)

Bag a bargin and save money

If you really want or need items, how about driving a harder bargain?

  • Buy things in charity shops and give them your unwanted items to resell
  • Buy second hand on Amazon
  • Buy and sell things on E-bay

Remember, watch the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Cancel or cut back on holidays

Cancel or cut back on holidays

Now, why would I say that when I make my living from tourism? Because I feel that if you are really strapped for cash you can't afford to waste money on holidays - you need to address the basics first, debt, a roof over your head and food on the table.

Stay at home holidays

You don't have to go to far flung places - open you eyes to your local area - you'll be amazed how interesting it can be.

Cancel expensive holidays but try to think of lovely and FREE ways to spend your holiday time. Money saving ideas for holidays could include:

  • Taking walks locally
  • Discoving your local history
  • Oraganising treasure hunts for the kids
  • Taking advantage of any free local activities: check out the tourist office, local library etc there is bound to be lots of interesting things to do
  • Many art galleries and museums are free
  • Borrow or buy CD's or films cheaply through car boot sales, jumble sales, or on Amazon and have cinema afternoons with the kids complete with popcorn, (cooked yourself of course, cheap, easy and nutritious). Be creative.

Look out for bargain holidays - A budget-friendly family holidays in France

On the other hand if you just want to cut back why not check out prices for a gite in France. Our gite is fairly typical of holiday homes in this are. Prices for 2014 start at just 310 euros for a 3 bedroom holiday cottage that sleeps seven adults.

Team up with another family, friends or relatives and share the costs. You'll be self-catering so you can save on expensive eating out and I think you'll find that Limousin is both beautiful, full of free things to do and see and a 'bon marché' as they say here, a bargain!

Check out low-cost carrier air flights

You can fly from various parts of the UK with Ryanair for very cheap rates, and sometimes just pence. Ryanair even offer Free flights - no taxes nothing. Travel light and keep dates flexible for the best bargain holidays.

For more information about our Bed and Breakfast or gite contact me on info@lestroischenes.com, telephone on +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84 or check out our web site www.lestroischenes.com

Take a look at this article Tips for a Budget-Friendly Holiday in S W France

A budget city break

France not your thing? Here are some ideas for a budget holiday in my hometown, York, England. The City of York - Tips for a Budget Holiday in York

I'm sure you could apply these ideas to other cities.

Get your finances in order

Pay off debts. In October 2011 the British Prime Minister was about to advise us all to pay off our debit cards and get rid of our debts. He back-tracked on this policy. Why? Because if we all did that the banks wouldn't earn their massive interest rates and the country would go into recession. (See Money Box 8th October 2011 Radio 4)

Don't let the banks make a fool out of you!

Do you have the best deals on the phone, TV, internet, gas, electricity etc? Take some time to check all these out and ask your friends what they pay and what they get.

Save don't take out loans

You don't need a sofa/bed/chairs even. I have a friend who lived in a Paris flat and she had cushions on the floor, boards raised on bricks for tables and a mattress supported with the cardboard inner rolls from reels of paper. You could use the same from carpets and other flooring. The flat was perfectly comfortable!

Never take out pay-day loans

As times get harder so the sharks come out to feed. Never be tempted to take out what is now called 'pay-day' loans. These short-term loans have MASSIVE interest rates and will have you up to you ears in debt in next to no time. Only consider these loans to literally save your life!

Your suggestions, ideas and tips for saving money and living a simpler and less materialistic life

Please leave your ideas and comments below to save money and Iell add them here.

Has this helped you to budget money and cut home expenses?

Could you save money by implementing any of these tips?

  • No, I already do all this
  • None of this is enough, I just can't earn enough to make ends meet
  • Yes, it's a start
  • Definitely, I hadn't thought about how much I waste in the house
See results without voting

Do you have any advice on cutting expenses?

Since writing this the world has been plunged into recession, (or credit crunch) and not only are people choosing to live more frugally in the name of anti-materialism or in support of a greener life, but many people are being forced to live on less due to loss of employment, benefits or pensions. In any case you might pick up some tips, and remember, please leave your comments and ideas for saving money in the box. I'll add them to this article.

Can I save money?

Did you find these money savings tips useful?

  • Yes, very useful
  • Interesting
  • Not really - too impractical
See results without voting

© 2009 Les Trois Chenes

More by this Author


Any more cost-cutting ideas? 11 comments

Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 4 weeks ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thank you for this tip, Hilde. I've never tried making my own cleaning products, so I'll give this a go (although not so keen on using the vodka for cleaning!). I have started using cleaning vinegar instead of toilet cleaner and it works so much better. Toilet cleaner didn't seem to deal with the scale.


hilde ettrick 5 weeks ago

I have saved so much money in the last year by making my own cleaning products using a mixture of water, vinegar, vodka ( the bottom shelf stuff made from beetroots) cornflour and a few drops of essential oil. I use vinegar and bicarb mix to boost the performance of my washer instead of Oxy products a d even use the cheapest hair conditioner mixed with water for fabric conditioner. Clothes smell lovely


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Stressily, thank you so much for this information. Having studied History of Art I should have come across this, but, alas no. So pleased that you have taken the time to leave the quotation.


stessily 4 years ago

Les Trois Chenes, The sentence which you quote from John Ruskin ~~~ "Learn first thoroughly the econmomy of the kitchen, the good and bad qualities of every common article of food, and the simplest and best modes of their preparation" ~~~ is from one of two lectures given in December 1864 and published in 1865 as "Sesame and Lilies". The quoted sentence is in the first lecture, known as "Sesame (Of Kings' Treasuries)".

I think that Mr. Ruskin would applaud your commonsense approach to thriftiness.

Appreciatively, Stessily


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thanks so much for leaving a message, elle64


elle64 profile image

elle64 4 years ago from Scandinavia

Excellent tips, very useful thankyou


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Les Trois Chenes 4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thanks Millionaire Tips. Not sure that you'll become a millionaire by following this advice - well maybe, if your household expenses were really big. Still, if you can save £1000 a year that adds up to enough for a downpayment on a house after 10 years.


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Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

These are all great ideas to save money. It is true, most people live on 50% less, if they only try.


Web Hosting India 5 years ago

Hi! wonderful information. What a great news! I love this blog. Thanks.


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Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Pinkchic18 Thank you for your comments. It does make sense to avoid waste, I think, no matter how rich you are.


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Pinkchic18 6 years ago from Minnesota

These are wonderful tips! We should sit back and say, "Do we really need this much?" Most of the time, we just make too much and it's not really necessary. Great hub!

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