Monday, 21 June 2010

Thrifty living

As an impoverished student/writer, I've mastered the art of living thriftily.. So I thought I'd share a few tips with my fellow impoverished readers...

1. Keep your eyes on the ground in public places - pennies make pounds, after all, and sometimes you can even find notes! My greatest find was a £5 note in London one time. Sure I nearly got run over to fetch it, but the point is, I didn't!
It's not only money, either. If you happen to be in an academic type institution and ever need a paperclip, don't bother buying a set on the ground. Just look to the ground. If I'm trying, I can pick up one every day! Not too bad.

2. Try out cheap brands. Experiment. Sure some of them aren't that great, but a lot are practically the same as their famous counterparts. I find that Tesco or Co-Op cheap tomato soup tastes the same as Heinz, for about 40p less, and I'm partial to Co-Op mushroom soup!

3. Buy whole milk and add water. I've never tried this, but it sounds like an intriguing idea. Also, if you live near a Poundland, have a look inside to see if they sell milk. You can get a 4 pint just like any other, but for £1 rather than £1.50+.

4. Don't bother with a TV and TV license. Is there REALLY anything worth watching on TV to warrant it? You can get most of the decent shows on the catch up programs like iPlayer anyway.

5. If you're a student, check out StudentBeans.com. Monday-Thursday, get 2-for-1 on Cinema tickets each week. And find various discounts on eating out. Why go out for a meal on a Friday or Saturday, when you can pay half the price by eating out on a Saturday?

6. For non-students, simply sign up to restaurant mailing lists by visiting their websites. They'll routinely email you with offers. Also, get familiar with happy hours and make the most advantage of those.

7. Keep an eye on the deals and buy in bulk when long-life products are on offer. Canned products and tea lasts forever!

8. Make the most of anything free. Take away the free sachets of tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar from cafes!

9. If you go for a day-trip to London, don't buy ice cream from the ice cream trucks. Go to McDonald's and get a much cheaper McFlurry.

10. Travelling long distances? Buy train tickets as far in advance as possible to get cheap prices. Buy from the 'official' places if possible, rather than something like raileasy.com because those places don't charge booking fees. My favourite is eastcoast.co.uk, which offers further online discounts. Don't be mislead by the name - it sells train tickets for all over the country.

Use those tips to survive on low income until that novel is finally published!

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