Saturday, 7 December 2013

Sealed Pot Challenge



We finally opened our sealed pot and counted £202.80.  

The money saved was raised by the whole family:

New Savings Pot!!! found in Poundland (£1 of course!)
Leafleting pocket money job - sons
Savings on finding free parking near work  (by getting up early!)
A Lottery win of £15 - hubby
Savings by not buying coffees or lunches on work days but taking packed lunches
Every bit of spare change in pockets being emptied into our tin regularly

We saved for a weekend in London 
Paid £35 for a double room when an early bird booking promotion came up online

So the money saved is to cover our meals and entertainment - and some takeaway meals/treats for the boys who are staying at home cat sitting.  There might even be enough for a glass of fizzy at the famous London Ice Bar (drinks served in an ice sculpted interior in individual ice glasses).

Thankyou to SFT for running the challenge which has motivated us and kept us going - there are so many people taking part and lots of great ideas on her blog - SFT herself is an expert on finding great affordable hostelling accommodation for example.

NEW SEALED POT CHALLENGE STARTING NOW!

A two night country cottage stay New Year 2015 for all four of us!!!!

WAYS WE HAVE LEARNED TO SAVE:
  • Planned food shopping online has probably reduced our spending by about 20% - no danger of impulse buys; hubby is in charge of this and does a menu plan, he often bulk buys on offers - the deliveries cost 75p a go and we do a split shop each week to ensure we get the right dates for the deals we want.  We often cook double and freeze for further meals too.

We found the delivery saver deal online on Moneysavingexpert.com - its worth checking for these kind of deals regularly as they are often glitches and short lived.

  • We buy most clothing online, mostly seasonally, so we can plan and save for it - we don't 'do the sales' much but we do shop online during promotions like 20% off weekends.  
  • We usually buy shoes for everyone this way for example (sometimes the next size up for teenage boy who is still growing). 
  • We avoid delivery costs by ordering more than one size in goods and returning the unwanted items - thereby qualifying for the free delivery threshold.  A bit sneaky but it works and the savings go in the pot.
  • We never buy anything major like a holiday or clothing without either searching the web for discount codes or ringing and asking if a discount might be on offer - sometimes several times as tomorrow could be different!  You would be surprised how often there is a discount hiding - also when booking a holiday it is expected these days to haggle, to start with the bare bones and then ask if anything can be added in free - i.e. an excursion, inflight meals, etc.

I hope anyone reading my blog will know there is no smugness in this post
We are emerging from a recession which has had some real lows for us,
but we have also been very lucky at times, resourceful and determined
we were forced to look at the way we budget
and surprised at how many ways we could improve our spending
we learned to hold on tighter to what we earned and to make it go much further
we had no savings but luckily no debt when we started the year
we had no plans either - it's good to have plans, they motivate you
and make you resourceful
and hopeful


Looking forward to more savings in 2015
Hope anyone reading this will be encouraged to do so too.


UPDATE ON OUR ONLINE SAVINGS PLAN FOR 2014 HOLIDAY IN TURKEY
This savings account is funded by my overtime payments and hubby's commission whenever we can spare it - so far we paid £800 deposit and have saved £2000!!!!  
Total cost of holiday £4,100
We intend to use an interest free credit card to make the payment deadline to the tour operator
NB:  I would only do this with an interest free card deal
that I am confident I can make regular minimum payments to.





9 comments:

  1. Betty you are wise and clever indeed. Nothing wrong with a little smugness as you deserve it. Hope you get to go to the ice bar.
    Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. So happy for you all to have saved and saved and saved for a wonderful weekend and NY! Make the most of it and we expect pictures!

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  3. Well done - and I love your new pot!

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  4. Hi Betty, this doesn't sound smug it sounds like a lot of hard work and commitment as a family to fund a treat and be debt free where possible is probably the best sleep aid there is. Well done to all of you.

    I had to use online food deliveries due to a knee injury recently and used mysupermarket to check who would be cheapest. I was blown away by a £55 difference in cost between the cheapest and dearest supermarkets for the same items so totally applaud your thriftiness and I love moneysaving expert too. To scrimp and save and make yourselves miserable is just mean of money and spirit but it is just as bad to throw money away that your can repurpose for a shared treat. Hope you enjoy your holiday.

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  5. Congratulations Betty, I think that you are doing wonderful managing your hard earn money and by now it has become a habit. It's surprising how much money one can save by good planning. Enjoy your vacation guilt free.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  6. Good on you, I'm all for being thrifty and not wasting money.

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  7. Well done Betty ... you have done so well, I am tempted to try this sealed pot challenge myself. There is nothing wrong with thrifteness & you deserve to be smug about it as you have done so well & I hope you thoroughly enjoy your little break away x0x

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  8. Hi Betty, great post, not smug at all. I think the key to saving is being organised, hubby was unemployed for a while back after being made redundent after 30 years. It was a very worrying time and a time to be ultra organised. Im happy to say the planning stayed and for the first time this year I ve saved for Christmas, what a relief. You ve done so well and love your new saving pot and goal. Enjoy London,I know You will :) happy Tuesday xxxx

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