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Saving money to buy preps - Geordie_Rob - 3 March 2015

Not sure about anybody else on here, but I'm pretty much always skint & having money at the end of the pay month is a luxury. That said, we live a fairly comfortable life, spend money on kids, hobbies & buy a lot of material crap for the kids, so I won't say I'm poor. I've been poor (for the 1st 18 years of my life) & it's awful so I know I'm definitely not now. However like I say, there's never much left by the time next payday comes around 28 days later. Maybe between £5 & £10. Feel free to put it down to bad money management or whatever, I just put it down to that's life.

As some older (been here a while, not age) members might remember me saying, my mrs previously thought prepping was stupid & was a waste of time. She's slowly coming around. She has a winter "just in case" bag in her car boot, we have a berkefeld filter with spare candles for all our drinking water, a few extra bits & bobs for food & she even shocked me by suggesting we cut back on our hobbies a bit to save up for a wood burner installed to save the gas bill & also incase there was any cut to the gas supply.

I'm sorry this is a bit long winded, I promise I'll get to my point eventually. Hopefully it'll be worth the extra reading.

Anyway, I want to increase the amount of foodstuff, add waterbutts at the allotment & most of all, get myself a frontier stove. Trouble is, money is tight as I've said & my wife said we can't afford the extra as we're cutting back already to save for the wood burner. We came to an agreement that any money I can save without cutting back further, I can have for preps. I'm assuming she thought I'd just give up & leave it at that - she still mustn't know me very well after 12 years.

1st stop, Martin Lewis website. Switched my energy prepayment supplier & going to save £10 a month. And this is cash in hand since we have to top up at the shop (we could go to bill meters to save more, but I don't like not knowing what I'm using or more importantly, how much it's costing me).

During my switching, we found out we are very high electricity users (4 tv's - 2 are either switched on or are on standby 24/7, 4 set top boxes switched on 24/7, iPads, iPods, phones, games consoles etc..). Infact we use almost double the uk national average. There was a lot to do to save cash there. 1st thing I done was bought some plugs with a remote controlled kill switch built into them. 5 plugs & remote was £20 from amazon. Savings (my own calculations) are going to be about £130 a year. So now I'm upto £250 savings.

Next I done a very geeky thing & done a lightbulb audit. Counting all my lightbulbs, the total wattage came to 830w. Because I'm now an energy nerd, I worked out this costs me £182 a year. I've looked at led lightbulbs & from a uk supplier I can get all bulbs for £121 (going to borrow the money from the wood burner fund), 98w consumption & cut my lighting bill to £31 a year. It'll save me £40 or so this year & then £150 a year for the following 4 years as they have a 5 year warranty. So my £250 from before + £40 this year means I'm going to save £290 this year & then upto £400 a year afterwards. Incase anyone is thinking of getting led bulbs, look at the lumen output rather than the wattage to find out which bulbs are brightest. The higher the lumen output, the brighter the light. Also cold white = a blue kind of light, while warm white gives off a more traditional bulb type light.

I'm estimating I will cut the amount I top up my electric meter by £30 a month (currently topping up £65-£70 per calendar month). It'll take 4 months to repay the wood burner fund & then after that, I've freed up an extra £30 a month I can use for preps.

£30 x 12 months = £360. More than enough for everything I'd planned & then the extra food items aswell. I'm also hoping by having the extra food, it might also cut the amount of times we go to tesco & in turn cut the amount of impulse buys we get, that'll easily save us another couple of hundred quid over a year. Once I've got everything I wanted, plus extra food preps, I'm going to save up for a new gas cooker rather than the current electric. For those not in the know (I didn't know until the other week), gas cookers use about the same energy units (kwh's) as electric cookers. It's just a gas unit is roughly 1/3 of the price of an electricity unit. The payback period for a new gas cooker is about 6-7 years mind so don't rush out & buy one to try & save cash quickly.

Just thought I'd post it incase anybody else is looking to cut back without actually cutting back, and in turn, freeing up cash that you can use elsewhere like preps. Apologies again if it's a bit long winded, I'm not a natural born writer.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Midnitemo - 3 March 2015

led bulbs are a fiver in asda....replaced all mine over the last 6 months one or two at a time starting obviously with the lights most used....didn't notice it at all buying piecemeal managed to offset buy hunting out better shopping deals in asda at the same time.....pre payment is very expensive compared to a standard meter.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - SecretPrepper - 3 March 2015

All the material stuff that no one uses can go on eBay to save cash.
I just grabbed some stuff from work that was going to the skip. They will be going to eBay later

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Geordie_Rob - 3 March 2015

Mo, prepayment is expensive but I know where I stand with usage. About 6-7 years ago NPower had been under-estimating my dual fuel bills for over 3 years & by the time it got sorted, I got a bill for over £800. Thankfully I got most of it written off as they have an obligation under law to read & inspect the meters at least once in a 24 month period. I cleared the remainder (ended up paying about £250) & switched to prepayment. They did try to shift the blame into me for saying I should've provided them with readings, however they declined my offer to read them once a month in exchange for 1hrs pay at minimum wage for each reading. I might switch again once there is more evidence the new smart meters are safe & don't emit radiation. With regards to the £5 led bulbs in asda, how do they compare in brightness in comparison to the old bulbs they replaced?

SP, we use gumtree now. Cash in hand, no faffing with postage & no chance of PayPal charge backs. The things we buy are things like DVDs, xbox games, books & so on. The desire items rather than necessity items.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Mortblanc - 3 March 2015

Alright, so exactly how much have you saved so far to spend on preps this month?

All I am seeing is expense dipping into the present funds and projections having 3-4 pounds per month extra at some point.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Geordie_Rob - 4 March 2015

You're right, so far I'm down £121. Once my energy supply is transferred (8th march) I'll be saving £10 per month through lower prices & once the bulbs are delivered, I'll be saving more through less electricity usage. I already have the kill switch adapters so I'm saving right now with those. Overall once the supply is sorted, led bulbs are in use & continuing with the kill switches, I'll reduce my costs by about £30 every month rather than your suggested £3-£4. Obviously I need to recover the initial expense so I won't see a positive change until month 5.

Maybe I should've clarified in my original post, you won't save cash immediately & you'll have to spend extra cash initially in order to make long term savings. I apologise for not stating this earlier.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Midnitemo - 4 March 2015

the £5 led bulbs were the 4w and 6w bulbs...not super bright but passable for hall stairs landing littlest room and lamps etc but you need the 10w version for anywhere you are going to read sew do fiddly work....10w which is roughly equivalent to a 100w old style bulb are currently a tenner but are often reduced to £8 or two for £15.

what I have noticed is they only throw light down/forward or up but not all around as a conventional bulb does and there's no heat given off at all...4w on a par with a 40w , 6w = 60w ......420 lumens and 610 lumens respectively.....I'm happy with the results as I can see in real time by my electricity usage monitor the difference the bulbs make.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Stewart - 4 March 2015

Don't get a smart meter.they use them to spy on u and sell the information to marketing companys

Don't get a smart meter.they use them to spy on u and sell the information to marketing companys

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Geordie_Rob - 4 March 2015

That's another thing I had worried about Stewart, however a simple letter withdrawing legal consent would cover that. To be honest, after the health fears, my biggest worry was they can remotely turn your supply off or ration it. At least now they need to send someone to the local area, if not to your actual home.

RE: Saving money to buy preps - Devonian - 4 March 2015

(4 March 2015, 13:16)Stewart Wrote: Don't get a smart meter.they use them to spy on u and sell the information to marketing companys

Don't get a smart meter.they use them to spy on u and sell the information to marketing companys

They can also remotely cut off your supply.....