The cats will eat the cheap cat food, but you are going to
feel guilty as hell. Lidl do a ‘stick’ treat that’s cheap as hell and my cats
will go INSANE for them. Seriously. I might lose a finger one day.
Cheap bubble bath foams just as good as the expensive stuff,
it’ll feel like a treat. (I use Asdas, the ‘man smell’ ones, was 2 for £2 or
something, lasts for ages)
Those giant bags of cheap rice are a fucking lifesaver.
(about £5/£7 depending on the type)
Those ‘easy cheap meals’ online are only easy and cheap if
you have a fully stocked cupboard.
Don’t worry too much about those posts that tell you to shop
around. It’s only cheaper if you can walk, remember petrol and bus fares add up
when you are trying to save 4p on washing up liquid. It’s not always worth it.
Lidl and Aldi are the BEST place for fresh veg – seriously.
Also, Lidl has some fantastic meat – I buy the chicken
breasts and freeze them singly.
Jars of sauce + lentils + a single chicken breast chopped up
small/pulled = at least five lunches if you have rice or pasta! They are high
in fat but its filling and tastes good. You can add mushrooms/peppers/frozen
veg and bulk it up.
Lentils will bulk anything up. Same with rice. Add them to
jars of curry sauce, soups, even stews.
Buy frozen veg and add handfuls of it to whatever you are
making. Seriously, peas go with pretty much everything.
Egg fried rice! Easy as hell and super filling – throw in
some frozen peas, any leftover scraps of chicken/pork/meat/fish… easy, fast and
cheap as hell.
Even plastic cheese tastes okay melted on top of stuff. (I
mean like the slices, you know?)
A slow cooker is worth it if you get a cheap one. I use mine
for bulk cooking.
No haircut is ‘maintenance free’.
Don’t get too stressed about clothes – it sucks when you get
a timehop and you are still wearing the same shirt (mine was 7 years ago) if it
still fits, wear it. Fuck people.
Asda own brand detergent is just as good as branded stuff
and the tropical stuff smells really nice. Same with fabric softener.
Sainsbury’s isn’t as expensive as you might think – the washing
up liquid is also just as good as Fairy. (I like the blue one, it smells clean)
Don’t even bother skimping on the one thing you love. For me
its diet coke… the store brands are NOT AS GOOD. Most places will have 30 packs
on offer at some point. Save up and buy it in bulk.
The little bottles of diet lemonade in Asda are bogof for a
tray – it’s GREAT if you wanna add in diluted juice or for sticking in the car
/ just for having a quick drink.
Lidl have a brand of crisps called ‘Snacktastic’ in
multipacks of 30. I get the ‘meaty’ ones, and they are better than Walkers. I
shit you not. Half the price too.
Charity shops smell weird, and sometimes the grans inside
will give you funny looks. Fuck em. Buy a 50p book and get used to it. You can
sometimes find some fucking treasures (I picked up a brand new bedding set for
£3, still in the packet!) beside the overpriced old Primark stuff. (Seriously. It
was cheaper new.)
Asda home wear section. It’s seriously unexplainable how
much better you will feel and how proud you will be of your bathroom if you buy
all matching towels. Asda have great colours – honestly, a sheet, a hand towel,
a rug and two facecloths. Lay them out, fold them nice. You feel like an adult
and the quality is good enough that they do last. Get a new shower curtain too.
Trust me. It’s a mini makeover and the cost will be under £30.
Primark. A lot of people think its shit quality and they
aren’t wrong, but my 7 year time hop was a checked shirt from Primark and it’s
still wearable to work.
Matalan vests are great quality and will go under cheaper
quality shirts so your bra / binder won’t show. I have about 20 and I love them
– they also look great with skinny jeans and boots. No one can tell they were
Ebay. You know that already.
Buy the best quality bras you can. They last longer; you get
the support you need. Don’t stint on bras (or binders!)
Buy cheap socks and pants. Men’s stocks are normally cheaper
in packs, and they go higher up your legs than the girls stuff.
Shop online for glasses. I used Goggles 4 U for my
sunglasses for driving. £15. Just as good as my Red or Dead ones from 8 years
ago that cost me £120. You can get a free eye test at Specsavers and just ask
for a copy of your prescription. Remember to ask about your pupil distance!
Savers make-up has a cheap brand that looks like Too Faced. It’s
in almost identical packaging, and it’s won a lot of awards in blind testing. Good
for sponges too!
Most perfumes have those tiny sample bottles. Ask the
salesgirl for one to see how it wears.
Pound shop pills are just as good as Boots. Same with
vitamins. The plasters tend to be shit though. Use Asda or Boots.
Cheap razors are the same for men and women. Normally
cheaper for the men though. To stop stubble burn on the legs, buy a super
(super) cheap conditioner for hair and use that like the shaving foam. Sounds
weird, clogs the razor by the end, but genuinely works very well. Also, smooth
Keep a book of stamps in your purse/wallet. It’s super
Bulk buy your kitchen roll, toilet roll and sanitary
Flowers are expensive, buy a Peace Lily. They are super easy
to keep alive and look pretty awesome. (keep out of the reach of cats!)
Cheap frames. If you see a photo frame for under £1, buy it.
You can cover a wall with mismatched frames and it’ll look awesome, and hide
some serious flaws. You don’t even need art, frame some nice wrapping paper or
comic pages, even newspaper articles, photos or drawings from the kids (or even
cards you received)
A fresh coat of paint will work wonders, and B&Q always
have offers on. Asda sells paint now too. Just take your time. If pintrest
tells you it’s a ‘quick afternoon project’ it’ll take a week for you to
Larger charity shops or local facebay sites can REALLY help
you furnish your home. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match, it’s a stopgap till you
can buy what you like. You might also find some really good quality stuff that
can be painted and kept for a loooong time.
A chest freezer will save your life.
Be fucking polite to sales people. You might be broke but
they gotta deal with some shit day in and day out. It’s not their fault if that
coupon has expired or the price tag is wrong.
Carpool if you can.
If you like a product, write them a letter. Might be
nothing. Might get you a coupon.
No matter how well you budget, you will fuck up at some
point. You’ll spent £100 on something you can’t afford, don’t NEED and just
WANT. Try not to do it a lot, but honestly, sometimes you’ll just fuck up. It’s
okay. You aren’t a robot.
Plan on doing something once a month. You are going to need
something to look forward too else why the fuck are you working? Go to the cinema
with friends, buy a ticket on one of those tourist buses, check your local
venues and spend £15 on a show you’d never normally see, go to the beach with a
small picnic. Do one thing a month, maybe right after payday. Invite your friends;
make it a ‘thing’. It’s hard to go on nights out when you’ve nothing to wear
and can’t afford to keep up with the rounds of drinks, so make a day event
where you can still be super social, hang out with friends and do something
fun. Just make sure you budget for it!
Tell your friends that money is tight. They might not be
aware that you are struggling and may try to have more outings that are less
Most people like curry – make a chicken curry, rice and naan
and invite friends around. Byob. You get to host a night in – card games or
board games or even charades are hilarious after a few beers and a good meal. Pudding
can be anything from jelly and icecream to a cheap chocolate cake in the
microwave for a few seconds and some cream. It’s low cost and high returns –
you look like your being generous while not actually spending a lot (esp good
if you are trying to hide the fact you’re eating rice 7 nights a week).