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How we need to prepare

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Making the most of your money

When I’m spending my own money I’m concerned about the price and value for money.

That is one reason I like shopping at the end of season sales. This is where the summer, or winter, lines change over for the seasons and the old stuff is sold off for a discount. After all who wants a heavy coat as we enter the summer? So when the winter comes around again, as it does every year, then you are stocked up on your winter gear and are now looking at buying next summers gear at a discount as you enter winter confident that summer will come around again.

The main way to save money though is to try not to buy branded or brand new, either brand new kit or brand new updates. The Apple iPhone v4 is a lot more expensive than the v3 version yet for most of us the v3 will do everything we need. A second hand v3, v2 or v1 is even cheaper and as long as they do what you need you have a good deal. There are also several competitors in the market that can sell you a phone a lot less than Apple. Again, if the specs are there then you have saved yourself even more. Sometimes these competitors, knowing they are fighting a brand loyalty, have additional features that the branded version does not. For example the iPhone Software Developers Kit (SDK) costs money and has certain restrictions. The Google Android SDK is free to download and you can do what you want with your apps. (It is rare I say anything good about Google due to their policies so make the most of it.)

For many items we can make do with used kit. We think nothing of buying used cars and houses but insist on new phones, washing machines, fridges etc. We can buy many items second hand which will do us just as well. We just need to be careful about what we are buying and where from. Testing what we can; either ourselves or with someone who knows what they are doing. Clearly fridges are not bought from car boot sales but many other things can be. Pay particular attention to someone who is clearly having a spring clean. They have some good bargains on stuff that is hardly used and in some cases new. I always set a price in my head and won’t exceed it. I’ll wait. There are a few car boot sales going on at the moment. In addition there are places like Freecycle(mentioned previously) and your local newspapers usually have a few second hand items and some can be very cheap. I always have a look in shop windows as well. Some bargains can be had there also.

For more everyday items, food, toilet rolls, etc. shopping around is a good policy. I go to Lidl for some items, Aldi and ASDA for others and occasionally I’m told about other places with deals or discounted buys where they have bought an end of line or something and are selling it off as a one off. Aldi do this a lot as well.

Another big way to save money it to buy in bulk. Not many main street shops do this but there are a few wholesalers who do and some will sell to the public. I don’t find them particularly cheap though and the hidden costs, such as VAT, that needs added make them not worth while in my view. Try going into smaller shops and asking.

One place I have gone to and most won’t is a friendly trader. Sometimes they can get goods cheaper because they have access and if they are friendly enough they will sell to you and make a few quid themselves. You save, they make some money and everyone wins. Just don’t tell the taxman.

One thing to be clear on there sometimes is no option but to buy an expensive item. Cheap sometimes is a false economy and for our needs we do not want to take the risk. Find the cheapest you can of the quality and utility you need. It may be that the iPhone v4 is what you need.

Look around and if you find someone selling bulk at a good quality and price then let us know.

9 comments to Making the most of your money

  • moosedog

    As you know I like Freecycle despite it’s drawbacks and I also love a bargain in the sales but sometimes only the best will do. I’ve just upgraded my headwear to a pair of Tilley hats: one for summer in a tough hemp material and one for winter which was reduced in price as it’s out of season. I’d previously bought cheap hats which turned out to be false economy, I rarely wore them as although they were the correct size they just didn’t feel right. The summer Tilley is a definite success so far, very comfortable with an SPF of 50+. “Because I’m worth it” to quote somebody.

  • Skean Dhude


    Good point and absolutly correct. That is what I meant by ‘if the specs are there’ and ‘as long as they do what you need’ but I should emphasis that. I’ll mod the text to make that understood.

  • tinkertytonk

    Go to Aldi for bulk long term storage of Spaghetti!!!!

    1KG @ 40p with two year expiry date. One KG = 3650 K/cal which provide half of what you need each day to keep you alive. Buy as much as you can and it will provide the backbone of your survival needs.

    So you don’t go mad eating the same stuff every day should the SHTF buy lots of OXO type stock (they do wide variety)and add this to the spaghetti (the stock blocks also have long expiry date).

    In the pat month I have bought 60KG that’s only £24 and thus I have half a three month emergency food supply sorted that will last for at least the next two years.

    As the food gets near its best before date I will move it to Maylar bags add an O2 tab and the food will be good for another 20 years. Over the next month I’m buying another 60 KG.

    Cheap, efficient & piece of mind.


  • maddog

    tinkertytonk, I have pasta bought nearly 10 years ago that still comes out right i keep it stored in the pantry where it is dark, dry and cool. i dont use o2 tabs or maylar

  • tinkertytonk

    Thanks for that; will take the advice on board about life of pasta. The Maylar bags are needed for other stuff as well that I will be storing.


  • Skean Dhude

    I have pasta about 7 years old which I’m consuming now. It is fine. Can’t tell the difference. I’ve stored mine in the loft where it is dry, dark and mostly cool. Warm in summer though.

    That and rice seem to last a very long time.

  • tinkertytonk

    I think one of the issues with food storage is actually moving it when things go wrong. Large/huge supplies in house are OK but what happens if you have to bug our permanent/semi-permanent?

    I’m in the process only first stages of preparing six months supplies that can be buried and forgotten about. I have got three locations yet to decide on which where I will bury it. All buried stores will be within five miles of each other but there lies another problem; an exciting one.

    Burying it in the dark without being spotted 🙂 Its bit of a lads own game but has a very serious point to it 🙂 My gut instinct is that when it goes bad its going to happen quick and on a big scale. I don’t think for a year or so that permanent veg-gardens could be set up or camps. I’m preparing for a nomadic existence living off the land with squirrel like food stores strategically located.

    However, if you get a few like-minded people on the same wavelength that you can trust a team effort at surviving could be achieved. I hope over the years that this could be the place to find such people.

  • Skean Dhude


    You cannot mitigate for every risk and be 100% sure. You can only do what you can. Your solution brings with it its own problems as you point out. As your stores are not under your protection 24/7 then they may be found by a third party. Someone may observe you burying them etc. Someone may build a house on your storesor if TSHTF someone may even set up camp on your stores.

    Your theory about not having crops for a year is part of my 15 months philosophy. So I’m looking at enough food for 15 months in my stores.

    The contact database is intended to get a few of us together and once people start to get to know each other it may be the place to meet like minded individuals.

  • tinkertytonk

    The 15 month idea is a good one as GMO seeds in a few years will make it impossible to replant your garden year in year out without having to buy new seeds each year from, ‘Big Agra’.

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