Open all your kitchen cupboards, take a good look at what you have, work out what can go with what and plan that out (here is the kicker though, it might not be nice meals, but food is food, we are talking means to an end here.
Your new shopping list will be Pasta, and knorr (or similar) stir in cubes, cook pasta, throw in cube, hey its pasta time, but with xyz flavouring added, again, not particularly fun food, but you just watch how much cash you have. Don;t be afraid to go and hang out at your local tesco / asda / sainsburys (not listed lidl / aldi here for a reason that will become obvious), as at about 8pm (you'll need to work it out) its final discount time when they really marks stuff down, if it meat you can freeze it and it will keep, again look at the packets, see how it can be stored, do not pay attention to the "best before" etc as thats not relevent once you have it frozen.
Look for offers, obviously don't stock up on digestives etc because they are 5% off, I'm talking 2 for 1 or 3 for 2, decent offers that make sense (also ask your work if they can sort you out a costco card if you got one near, as long as you have space there are some serious savings to be made by bulk buying)
Food is probably your number 1 expense after keeping a roof over your head, but its one of the easiest to push down the list..
Also got sky / virgin and not on the basic package, call them up, tell them you are thinking of leaving, they will usually offer a decent discount on your bills to help you out, contract mobile package and out of the initial contract, but its just rolling, that can be dropped as well (reduced mine from 40/mo to 10/mo (I need a large data allowance for my job, but found ways around that))
Did you put down everything you could claim? Meals for lunch for example. Speak to your IP and explain everything.
Take the advice people give you regarding saving money and it will become easier once you're used to it.
Foggy wrote:Excellent tips from Doritos --- I would add though that, sometimes, bigger isn't always cheaper. My lad loves cheesestrings ... can't remember the prices, but al illustrative example. My local supermarket has these in packs of 12 for £3.75 ... they also sell them in packs of 4 for £1, so you get the 12 for £3 !
100% this, look at the per kg / per item price to work out where the deals are, obviously with christmas coming up if you can freeze it and have space stock up early, check online as some stuff goes odd if you freeze it so may not work with everything, you will get better with hunting out deals, also get used to details, if you are looking at an offer in say Asda (as that was my local when my IVA was running), look at the small numbers on the yellow sticker, then only buy the products with corresponding bar codes (its all matched so you can figure out what is on offer, especially if the shelf is a mess and you need to figure it out, or if items are all packed together like in the fresh meat aisle).
Even now I'll still match the bar codes to make sure I'm getting the deals to kick in.
Also keep an eye out on coupons etc, they can help, there are loads of websites on how to get free stuff out of companies and all that.
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