Your tips on surviving on a tight budget!

Discussion in 'Work & Finance' started by vespersonicca, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Hi ladies!

    I'm a Californian in Finland. We are so lucky over here to have 9 months maternity leave with a very nice pay. I'll be trying to stay home after that ends though and we will have a very TIGHT budget to make it happen! Basically after food and bill, etc we will have perhaps 150-200€/month, if that. I'd like to save something for a rainy day too... I just don't want to miss a thing with my LO!:flower:

    I'd love to hear what kind of tips/tricks you've discovered to survive on a tight budget and still have fun from time to time. Any great recipes that are inexpensive? Ideas for free activities year-round? Anything you might think would be helpful would be appreciated. :thumbup:

    You ladies are great!
    :happydance:
     
  2. Paxton

    Paxton Mum + Wife-to-be

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    Never buy at full price what you can buy on sale then freeze until you need it! I swear DH and I have NEVER bought meat at regular price... We wait for the 50% off sticker and stock up.

    Buying bread ingredients is a lot cheaper in the long run than buying bread.

    Any rice-based food.

    You can do fried rice with some rice, a can of peas, soy sauce and almost any meat (hamburg, pork, steak, whatever). Basically, you boil the rice. Then you fry the meat and cut the meat into little bits. After the meat is cooked, add some soy sauce and whatever vegetable stuff you want (can of peas). Mix it together and then add the cooked rice, more soy sauce and mix it all up in the pan at a high heat. You can add an egg if you want, but you don't have to. Just mix everything up to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan, adding soy sauce as you need to.

    It's pretty good, and a bag of rice lasts a long time. We eat rice a lot, so we bought a bigger bag (about 1kg) and it lasted for almost 2 or 3 months.

    If you need clothing, there are the thrift stores, some thrift stores have a "bag day" where you can literally take a garbage bag and fill it up for a set amount of money (there's one here, $5 CND, for a garbage bag full).

    Activities to do could be as simple as going to the park, going to the beach, camping, in winter you can go sledding or find a pond to slide around on. Curl up on a pile of blankets on the floor and watch a movie. Volunteer at an animal shelter - you can do that around here. They literally have volunteers to come in and just cuddle a kitty, or walk a dog.
     
  3. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Thanks Paxton! I actually HAVE a bread maker I've never tried sitting in my closet! What a great suggestion! And the animal shelter could be a nice and very exciting outing for kids. I guess I would be concerned about diseases a bit but maybe I just overthink things... I've also thought about the fact that museums in Finland here have one free day a month too. Build art appreciation early!

    Looking forward to more ideas/tips! I know you ladies have got em!
     
  4. littleblonde

    littleblonde kacey and sophie

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    when shopping. Plan your meals and write a list and stick to it.no extras. We have guides in our local papers with free events. Picnics in the summer is a great 1.also look for coupons for money off food and days out. Ebay for baby clothes. The amount i have gotten still with tags is crazy.
     
  5. Jemma_x

    Jemma_x Mummy and Engaged

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    The one above id really recommend, if you plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and only buy what you need. Ever since weve been doing it weve saved so much. If you see something on BOGOF thing are you really going to use both because if your not you can usually get it cheaper and you wont end up chucking something away. In our local supermarket they tend to put alot of meats on sale 50% off usually on a sunday so we tend to go and get some and freeze it
     
  6. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Bumpety bump! Any other ideas? :)
     
  7. bump2be

    bump2be Well-Known Member

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    Ohh I'm really interested in this thread as well!! I think I will probably gave to go back to work, but hopefully I can find something part time.

    Here's some tips I can think of:

    I'm a vegetarian so hardly ever buy meat which cuts down on our grocery bills a lot. We try not to eat out at all any more or buy coffee - it's so much cheaper to make your own!

    Never buy books, take full advantage of you local library.

    Breastfeed, instead of formula feed if you can

    Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
     
  8. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    I think learning a few good vegetarian recipes would be extremely useful. Maybe you could PM me a couple Bump2be?

    Def using the library. Thankfully we've got an espresso machine and milk frother at home. Just want company. I like the coffee house atmosphere... :/
     
  9. cyclura

    cyclura Mother and expecting

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    cloth nappies, you will only be buying the initial and paying for an extra 2ish washes a week ontop of what you do now. I am on a tight budget so use prefolds with PUL wraps and terries flats with PUL wraps as they are cheaper and dry quicker than fitted ones. It means you dont have to find that extra £5-10 every week for sposies.

    moon cup for your time of the month...........you do not need to buy tampons/towels every month

    reusable wipes............pop them in the wash with your nappies.......no need to buy wipes
     
  10. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    We use cloth and washable wipes exclusively. Love it!

    Been considering the mooncup. Haven't had AF since LOs birth but I will eventually. It's not recommended for use with a IUD though so I have to figure out which I want more...
     
  11. panther19

    panther19 Well-Known Member

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    If you are open to cloth diapering, look up family cloth. Something I've only found on the uber-frugal sites, haven't tried it myself but I'm open to it.
    Other ideas that I've implemented myself;
    - Bake your own bread, 50% savings vs store-bought
    - make your own yoghurt, very easy! 50-75% cheaper than store bought
    - make your own dryer sheets, about 90% savings vs store bought
    - make your own liquid or powdered laundry detergent, depending on the recipe 50%+ savings vs store bought and YES it works just as well
    - rice & dried beans are pretty well the cheapest way to cook. You can be quite creative with recipes and still eat well
     
  12. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Family cloth. Hmm. I'd never heard of that. I do go to the loo a lot so it might make a difference in our household. Thank you!
     
  13. topsy

    topsy Well-Known Member

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    Don`t know if it helps and most people prob do it anyway, but I always try to buy next years birthday/christmas pressies in the sales. I got some tops for my friends LO for £1 rather than £8 and some skinny jeans for my nieces for £1 from tesco :) or if you are creative make things, Iam not!!! xxxx
     
  14. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Good advice about xmas! I was just discussing this with someone today actually! My husband is one of 5 and his siblings have kids plus my own family, etc. That makes for quite a bit for a month or 2. Best spread it out!
     
  15. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Just used our bread machine for the 1st time today! Awesome, fresh, and cheap!!! :thumbup:
     
  16. ChristinaRN

    ChristinaRN Mother of 3, pg with #4

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    We buy our kids clothes a year in advance. When the summer clothes go on clearance we buy them for the next summer. Same with winter clothes. Also 2nd hand stores are GREAT way to save. We turned off cable/satellite TV and that saves us $$$ AND free's up time.
    I highly recommend reading Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey (an American author). He talks about budgets, how to make your money go further, and how to prioritize expenses. Additionally he goes into the importance of saving. Following his advice, we became DEBT FREE in 9 months time (except the house).
     
  17. panther19

    panther19 Well-Known Member

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    Yes!!!!

    Totally agree, also check out David Bach - The Automatic Millionaire and Joe Dominguez'sp?) Your Money or Your Life.

    Your Money or your Life changed my life and Dave Ramsey gave me the extra kick in the butt I needed. Financially my life has done a complete 180 in the past three years.(I will be debtfree this time next year) You don't need to buy any of the books if you can't afford it... Dave has a great website with a lot of info and a radio show that posts 45minute pod casts every day. you can check it all out on the net and if you listen regularly you will gain a lot of valuable tidbits that can help you scrape by. :thumbup:
     
  18. vespersonicca

    vespersonicca 2 gorgeous boys!

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    Thanks! Looking into what I can find from the local library :)
     
  19. MrS. MaBrEy

    MrS. MaBrEy Mom of 2 & TTC

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    dont waste money on papertowels, you can reuse a towel that you dont wipe up meat stuffs with for alot of uses. use cleaners that are multi purpose so that you can make them go longer, or if youre really really broke 50% vinigar 49% water 1% lemon juice is great from counters, bathrooms, and floors. unplug ALL of your plugged in things when you arent using them (except the fridge of course!) but seriously EVERYTHING! dryer, washer, oven, microwave, televisions, lamps you name it!!! dont just turn it off UNPLUG!!! we saved 40% on our power bill from doing this. dont waste money on boneless skinless chicken breast, the bone in stuff is half the price and you can take it off the bones in half a minute or it tastes better if you cook it on. buy store brand stuff for any item you can stand too...take a couponing class, it WILL pay for its self in a matter of weeks...i can get 125 dollars worth of groceries for around 60 bucks. get rid of your cable and get netflix or something similar instead or not at all. if you dont use your internet for anything except BnB and the likes check into the tethering fee your cell company charges for using your phone for internet, i only pay 10$ per month for my internet service this way!
     

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