We've been thinking about ways to save money, as the cost of literally everything is rising to frightening levels, and on an almost daily basis.....and it will clearly get worse before it gets better (if it ever does).
We're trying not to use the car until we have several things we need to do, in an effort to cut down on fuel. No more nipping into town to get one thing from a shop. So e.g. this Friday I have to go for my x-ray at the small hospital in town, we'll also go to the country supplies store nearby to get dog food (they generally have some good deals on food in there) and Wilkos in town to get toiletries and cleaning supplies.
When doing our ambient larder stock up shop the other day, we decided to try a few cheaper brands. Now I'm not a brand snob at all, we generally buy a mixture of brand name and supermarket own labels, with a few of the value range things....not many of those, admittedly. Basically, we buy the things we like the best, regardless of brand. As an example, we've always bought Branston baked beans, because we like them the most, but I did notice that the supermarket own brand (not the value brand) were around half the price of Branston. That meant we could get twice as many cans for the same price, thus keeping our larder stocked for longer. They're not as flavoursome as the Branston, and probably have a bit more sauce, but I can add a squirt of tomato puree and some spices or herbs to pep up the taste. We are going to try more of the value range things too - there are things I probably wouldn't buy, such as toilet roll, and husband once tried the value range tea bags and swore never again, he said they tasted of nothing (he likes a full flavour strong tea). But things like value tinned chopped tomatoes, whilst I probably wouldn't want them on toast for a meal, would be fine added to stews or mince dishes.
And talking of toast, husband says he's happy to have something on toast for lunch, rather than meat or fish salads which we quite often have. We both really like jacket potatoes, so will have those once or twice a week for dinners with perhaps some leftover bolognaise or curry, or even beans and cheese, rather than our usual mainly meat based cooked dinner with lots of veg. And we're having more frozen veg now too - just as nutritious as fresh veg but cheaper.
I'm not going to use the oven as much, and only if I can fill the oven with lots of things at once - I won't be putting it on just to heat up a cottage pie. The other day when I had the oven on to cook chicken pieces and some veg, I also baked a whole trayful of jacket spuds. They're now in the freezer wrapped individually, I'll take out 1 or 2 to microwave for a meal. I'm using my Multichef more, especially for slow cooking, and I can also use the steam basket above the stew to steam accompanying veg at the same time.
One of the biggest money savers as far as I'm concerned is.....just don't go shopping! Well, only when we have to. And then take a list and stick to it. I'm a bit of a bugger for seeing things that aren't on my list and thinking 'oh that's a bargain, I'll have 2 of those'....or I should just send husband with a list, as he does stick to it, rigidly (husbands are good for some things 😉😂).
I do most of the washing on the eco short programme now, putting on the timer overnight so it uses the Economy 7 rate (although it can hardly be called Economy now!). I also try to do it when I know I can get it out on the washing line, rather than having to tumble dry it. I've hardly used the tumbler at all recently, only a few times on the 10 minute prog to finish off drying after it's been outside.
We weren't planning on growing much veg this year, but are rethinking that - it's certainly cheaper to grow your own veg and fruit. We'll be growing potatoes, early carrots, beetroot, courgettes, leeks and tomatoes here, and salad leaves and cherry tomatoes at the caravan. We already have asparagus and lots of fruit - apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb - in the garden.