How To Live When You’re Poor

This is how I live, and what I have done now for 6 years of being a mother.

I have been low waged since I became pregnant with my daughter and these tips I have learned over the six years. Its been hard but I have never been in debt. I have kept debts at bay with these simple life changing activities.

I hope they can help many of you like they have helped me!

The day I gave birth to my beautiful bonnie girl was the day that made me realise how careful I had to be for her sake. She has grown me up, and showed me how to appreciate life.

Deep down I am rich, I have a wonderful child and a partner who would do anything for me. Its just the hard work to keep the roof over our heads.

Shop around for the deals:

Shopping online is good when it comes to the large monthly shop. I tend to spend my budget. If you easily over spend your not tempted to buy all the yellow tags because they are cheep. How ever you will miss some cheaper deals because some times they put the dearer products on line rather then the cheaper versions. Sometimes I have gone into the supermarket and I have got what I wanted and had to buy a dearer valued products from the internet.

shopping_logo_When buying larger items, shop around for the best deals. I tend to try the bargain places first. On the internet or in the shops.

Be very careful what your buying.

Watch what you are buying. If you can’t see inside the bag don’t buy it. I bought a large sack of potatoes from a good Supermarket when I got home and opened the sack of potatoes they were all soft with big eyes. I was very upset because we had paid £2 for them and this a lot of money when your in a low income position isn’t it?

If this happens to you, especially with potatoes you can cook them and freeze them if you have space in the freezer. Like I say, ”Aunt Bessie does so why can’t I?”

Shops own can be tasty:

We only buy shops own unless I have to buy the next up and this depends price if its over £2 I will refuse to buy it and try to find it cheaper some were else. If your on such a tight budget as £50 a month for two adults and one five year old child then you have to be a meanie when it comes to price. That is just the way it is.

How ever, some times if you find something on a special offer such as a name brand product then it may be cheaper, even by a couple of pence its still saving. So always work it out. Do not just assume its always cheaper to buy shops own. However from experience it usually is.

Take your calculator SERIOUSLY!

Multi packs and bigger version are they CHEAPER in the long run.

I am fuming that supermarkets seem to think this is okay. Making out multi packs and some larger versions of the products such as cheese and butter are cheaper in the larger form. Some times yes but I have worked out that in some places its cheaper to buy two smaller versions then the bigger one this happens a lot so be careful and work it out.

Yellow tags:

These are brilliant, if its something you wanted to buy. I go shopping Sunday just before they are about to close. Around 1 hour or so. Sundays they tend to put the last of the stock from the week on special offer. Bakery Items such as bread and crumpets and also fruit, veg and meat.

yellow-tagI can buy so much more on yellow tag. Sunday is always the best time to go and get these yellow tag goodies, about 2 hours before closing.

For meat eaters, you can freeze the meat on the day you buy so if the meat is up on that day or the day after freeze it.

Canned foods high in salt but cheep

And plan meals:

I buy Frozen veg, I am not a fan of canned vegetables but I do stock them just in case. It is nice to have fresh in but I find they go off so much quicker and to me, on a low wage, this is a waste that I can not afford so. I stack up on tins and frozen. I see it now as if the electric goes I have tins. So we always have food. I buy fresh potatoes for Jackets, mash, or Sunday dinner and if I am going to make a Sunday Roast/Sunday dinner I will buy in the fresh veg for that occasion. I have a cupboard full of canned foods including Spaghetti, beans, soups, meats so that we always have food in.

You don’t have to live on tins, I do so that I can give my daughter the better foods. She needs snacks for school, and these need to be healthy. You can mix and match tinned foods with fresh if you want to.

I also find planning meals for the week easier, even so sometimes you don’t always want what you have chosen but this way you can avoid to much waste.

Start baking:

I have dyslexia, and dyscalculia and for me weighing and understanding instructions can be a problem if they are written. There are lots of great videos on You Tube and they show you how to do it too if you suffer like me. I eventually did it after years of attempts.

Baking your own food is healthier because you know what is going into it, and cheaper as you buy the products which will last a lot longer then some cakes.

Take your own food on holidays/vacations in your own country

I am going away this year, 2012 in a caravan. These shops on site are very expensive so I am already buying extra to put away for the week. I refuse to pay £3.99 for something I can buy for 99p. I am a mother on a low budget. I need to feed my family for the week not a day!

Make presents for special occasions:

Use FREE items, Things found out side large pebbles, Shells, Large branches or even make salt dough which is easy to make. There is so many fantastic and cheep things you can make for Farther day, Mothers day, Birthdays and Christmas presents. Its the thought that counts and this enables children to enjoy making their presents, and it cherished more by the receiver.

FREE days out with the kids:

The park, museums, even the libary can turn into a FREE day out. Local nature reserves,

Go camping:

Family camping in the park

Fancy a holiday? In the UK, there are camping sites next to the beech without electric pitches for approx £25 per night for two adults and two children. In stead of a B&B or hotel try camping and caravanning instead. Be at one with the sounds of nature. You can not go wrong when you have the sea hushing its beautiful lullaby at you at bed time.

Grow your own veg!

It is not for everyone, but at least give it a try, lots can be grown in pots and on the window sill. You do not always have to have a big back garden. Grow things that are expensive to buy such as peppers and tomatoes. This is a big help for me.

Freeze left overs.

If you make too much of a meal such as soup, pasta bake, Shepard pie or curry any of these can be frozen and microwaved at your convenience. To freeze them lessens wastage and also sets out more meals for the weeks after.

Odd jobs for payment.

If some one offers you a job for a little bit of cash take it. You need to think of feeding the kids, or paying of debts then don’t turn your nose up at it. Its better then starving isn’t it. Always do a good job, be trustworthy they may ask you back again.

15 more top saving tips by Tabatha 🙂

1. Check out if your in-tilted to free home insulation

2. Are you entitled to free or a percentage off solar panels

3. Use the microwave more then your oven

4. Use energy saving bulbs

5. Invest in a electricity saving meter

6. Check you gas and electric plans.

7. A water meter may be better if you are always working away, live alone, or just as a couple. How ever, may not if you have a family.

8. Turn of the lights or other things when your not in the room.

9. Turn everything of at the plug when your not using, or out

10. Shop around for everything, from insurance to food

11. Try and use those voucher especially if they are FREE

12. Don’t say no to samples

13. Never say no to FREE things for your home unless its falling apart, or something personal such as a mattress, or underwear.

15. Look up, in the middle and down in the supermarket. Super Markets have a habit of putting the cheaper items to the bottom so you by mid range or more expensive ones!