How to economise


I have a balcony with one tomato plant.

Considered an allotment, but sounds like hard work.


Well, if ever you change your mind about the allotment, I'd try and find someone to do it with you - a friend or neighbour maybe. Half the work, half the time with two of you. And a bit more social too.

Hope that tomato plant does well!


Juno re. lentils - don't get them from supermarket, but from Asian shops. Its much cheaper.


Aloha, do you have any good lentil recipes?


Asian shops are really good round here, but what's also good are the Polish shops: you can get really cheap sweets like baklava and halva, and dried fruit if you like it.


Try and (this one has pictures so you know what it should look like!)
Recipes look straightforward, but some of the lentils are not commonly known. Write names down and show them to vendor. Otherwise substitute with another.
My mouth is already watering!


Ooh, looks good. Thanks!


oooh, i have plenty of tips i've been a cash-strapped student for so long!

don't eat out

don't go to cafés/buy expensive brand coffees or muffins when you're out

don't drink alcohol, go for coke or something cheap in a pub (if you go)

don't buy brand products

try and shop in aldi

if you're buying new appliances, make sure they're energy efficient

when you're buying new bulbs, get the energy-efficient ones

switch off appliances (tv, hifi etc) when you're not using them, don't leave them on standby

turn down the heating in the winter, have a fluffy blanket for watching tv

don't buy juices/soft drinks etc, just drink water or tea at home

carry a small water bottle when you're out and about in town/at uni and refill it for free


One more money saving thought - if you've got to buy any 2008 Christmas presents, might be best to do it gradually well in advance this year, rather than nearer to Christmas when they hike the prices up! It's so easy to forget and leave it to the last minute and spend a fortune - nearly always happens to me.



take a sandwich/salad/fruit in for lunch

only buy good quality durable clothing (like leather shoes) and then look after it well, it'll last long then

don't buy clothing that can't be machine-washed

check out ebay before you buy things, it's often cheaper, even when new

don't own a car if possible

try and use a (cheap second-hand) bike where safe, cuts down on travel costs and makes you fit(ter)

buy grocery, bread, meat etc in large (and cheaper) portions and freeze what you're not using straight away

eat less meat, it's more expensive than veggies

check out leaflets, ads and bulk-buy when stuff is on offer (toilet paper, canned items etc)

buy birthday/christmas presents throughout the year when they're on sale or on offer and keep them until the occasion comes up (i always buy body shop christmas gift sets for half price right after christmas and give them away as presents the next year...)

bake your own cakes instead of buying them


Does anyone else bemoan the fact that a career in academia means that you can't actually participate in a lot of modern life.

Jeez over half a decade of higher education and we are living worse than shelf stackers...


Wow, has there ever been a time when one could eat cheaply in the UK?? During several years there in the mid 1980's I lived on tinned sardines, potatoes, spinich and mung beans I sprouted myself with the occasional bit of chicken. The irony is, in Australia I can no longer donate blood for fear of CJD (mad cow disease) possibly obtained while eating beef in the UK at that time. Ha!! As if!! Not sure I ever ate any beef (although the Gods only know what was in the occasional late night curry)and it sounds like it's no different now.


If trying to save dosh on meat, try local butchers instead of supermarkets, usually much cheaper. I have since discussed some butcher's market in east London which sells lovely chicken for half the price, and since I only eat white meat it serves its purpose. For the whole month my chicken bill is a humble £10! My fish is from the nearby fish monger - not from the supermarket, its worth saving a few pennies. Also agree with other notes above. I always carry a home made sandwich to work/uni, a flask with a tea bag (I always ask for hot water as a freebie !) though one day I was at LSE canteen and the lady serving suddenly said; "60 pence please"! I said, what, to put hot water in my flask....she said yap it’s the same price as having a cup of tea! I told her to forget it so each time I am at LSE I carry already made tea though its prolonged languish in the flask changes the taste


Yes, here we have those miserable canteen ladies who get the hump if you bring your own food, so you have to eat in your office.


Food and cash expenditures are an obvious place to cut back. There are some things in today's world people think are essential, but are they? For instance, TV. How much does a TV license, and then payment for cable or other TV services cost? I have done without a TV for years,and really do not miss it. If I want to see something, its easy enough to find a friend or family member who wants to watch it.