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Thrifty Ideas for saving money


The Aldi super-six this week are closed cup mushrooms (350g), fun-size apples (7), mixed peppers (3), satumas (600g), kiwi fruit (6) and large vine tomatoes (450g). They are all 69p each and the offer lasts to the 6th of November.

Thursday specials

The Thursday special buys at Aldi includes a lot of tools. There is a slow cooker for 17.99, which might be useful. I’ve seen the price of electricity, so I won’t be having that…  When I cook I like the cooker to warm my kitchen up in winter – waste as little as possible.

Sunday specials

The Sunday special buys include luxury crackers at 9.99 for 6. I’m sure people will be queuing up for those. I expect a few more luxury items will be going on the shelves before Christmas. I hope they have the dandelion and burdock pop again! I might treat myself…

Electricity

I went to Curry’s yesterday and bought a Vax cleaner (69.99). The power can be varied and the motor is rated at 2000 watts. That means it will take 2 units of electricity in an hour on full power. It doesn’t need to be on full power most of the time so I think it probably takes 1/2 a unit in an hour of normal cleaning. My electric kettle is 3000 watts and that will take 3 units in an hour. The shower takes more like 6 units in an hour so I don’t hang about! These financial experts who tell you not to leave your TV on standby to save electricity will save you a unit a month; hardly worth worrying about. An electric blanket switches on and off depending on how cold you room is, but they’re quite economical and might take a unit in a week or two. A 60 watt light bulb will run for over 15 hours on a unit, but it’s worth using the 8W low energy ones. They will run well over 120 hours on a unit. They are a bit dim though, just like the people who promote them…. I have a 5 fluorescent in my kitchen and bathroom so they’re quite bright, just like me… The main thing to remember is, if it gets hot, it uses a lot of electricity. Things that run cool usually use very little.

Christmas

I shop around for shares on the stock market and the Royal Mail shares are giving me £447 profit so far. That’s not too bad. I won’t be selling them yet, but it gives that little more financial security so I might buy myself a new cell phone for Christmas. I’m going to start buying my Christmas presents this week and then next week book my car in for a service and MOT to get it through the winter. A small local garage has been doing that for me for the past 9 years and they don’t overcharge or do unnecessary work.

Surviving the winter

The energy companies are putting up prices again. I’m not sure what the wholesale price of gas is, but they are ripping us off on electricity. The government tells us to switch, but we know that the company that we switch to will bang their prices sky high next year and so we will be out of the frying pan and into the fire. The websites that compare companies make money, the energy companies make money, the companies selling dodgy solar panels make money, the wind farms make money and the government take a 5% slice in VAT. We pay for that gravy train to keep on running.

I read a ‘confidential’ report yesterday that said private companies might be running clinics in hospitals soon and you might have to pay to see the doctor, the same as paying for prescriptions. Even people who now get free prescriptions might have to start paying a reduced price. We might need a few quid put away as things get worse…

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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