A THRIFTY dad has shared how he’s saved thousands of pounds, including by reusing tea bags and watering down milk.
Anyone who enjoys a good cuppa might wince at the extreme cost cutting measures.
But Al Baker from Aldershot says it’s one of the ways that he has saved more than £10,000 over two years.
The 48-year-old was plunged into £300,000 business debt in 2017 and was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Ever since, the dad-of-two has been on a mission to cut costs.
Al previously revealed to The Sun how to get up to 90% off groceries with yellow sticker bargains.
And that’s not his only tips for being frugal, though some like reusing loo paper, may not be for the faint of heart.
Al – who shares money saving tips on his blog The Penny Pincher – has revealed some of the other ways he saves cash that could help others cut back too.
Reuse your tea bags
It’s safe to say that as a nation we all love a cuppa, however would we all go as far as reusing our tea bags to save that extra bit of cash?
Described by Al as the ‘most un-British thing you could do’, drying out used tea bags to reuse them for a second brew is one tip for frugal people.
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Al said: “I’ve tried it, and it is kind of OK… obviously, it’s a weaker cup of tea than the first cuppa, but more or less passable.
“I think it would be better for making iced tea, as you don’t need quite so much flavour, and based on that, again, it’s on the list as an extreme frugal contender!”
So if you’re happy with a slightly weaker cup of tea, then this extreme cost cutting hack could be one for you.
A 20-pack of Twinings Camomile teabags rocketed by 32% from £1.70 to £2.25 in Sainsbury’s.
But as ever, it depends where you shop. According to price comparison site Trolley.co.uk, you can get the same pack in Asda for £1.69.
It always pays to shop around, and switching from branded tea bags to supermarket own could cut the cost too.
The Sun put tea bags to the test and found one supermarket version costing £1.20 beat Tetley and PG Tips.
Water down your milk
To save money on milk, Al advises buying a full carton of whole milk and it’s once half used, filling it back up with water – the idea being you get double the amount of milk for your money.
Al said: “The logic is reasonably sound. I did try it, and it isn’t something I would want in my cup of tea, but it works ok when making sauces or puddings.
“It’s a bit extreme, but if used for the right thing, it’s a yes from me!”
Milk prices have shot up along with other grocery items as inflation soars to 9.4%.
Farmers have said that it now costs around 44p to produce a litre of milk compared with 28p a year ago.
Shopping around could save cash again, as could going for own-label milk instead of branded.
Parents with young kids could get free milk from supermarkets like Iceland and Tesco through a little-known scheme.
Flush your loo once a day
Al advises you could reduce flushing your toilet to just once a day.
This tip may not be for everyone, but there are still other ways to save on each flush.
He said: “If you want to flush as normal, invest in a hippo bag that fills up space in your water cistern, which means your toilet will use less water to fill up the cistern.
“You could also consider filling up a larger fizzy drink bottle with water and popping that in your cistern, which will do the same job as the hippo bag.”
You could get one of these bags for free along with other water-saving devices that shave pounds off your bills.
Contact your supplier or check out savewatersavemoney.co.uk.
You could also be eligible for a cash grant up of up to £800 – check all the water bill help you can get here.
Use leftover veg to grow more
By growing your own fruit and veg from leftovers, you could save yourself quite a few pennies on your food bill.
Al said: “This is very achievable and is something I already do.
“For example, take a spring onion, cut off the root, and place it in water or soil, and it will re-grow, which you can then use for food, and re-grow again!”
You can do the same with onions, garlic, leeks and shallots, cabbage, beetroot leaves (so long as root ends are still attached), fennel bulbs, carrots, turnips and radish tops.
Simply prop them up in a shallow dish of water with the root sections submerged at the bottom and leave on a sunlit window sill, changing the water every two days.
When fresh roots begin to grow, plant them in soil with their new green shoots in the air.
For potatoes, drill holes in the base of an old bin and fill half full with compost.
Plant one or two dried chunks of sprouted potatoes, no more.
Point the sprout upwards. When green shoots emerge, cover with a bit more compost and keep doing that until the bin is full.
With regular watering, your potatoes will be ready in ten to 20 weeks.
Green-fingered gardener Lucy Taylor told The Sun how she saves £300 a year growing her own food – and shared her top tips so you can too.
Reuse toilet roll
Although Al himself thinks reusing loo roll is a step too far, he shared that people have been known to use this trick to help save cash.
Instead of toilet roll, some thrifty people use pieces of cloth, which are cleaned by storing them in a container of bleach and water and then placed in the washing machine.
Al said: “It’s not a million miles away from washing babies’ nappies, but I suspect the contents may be a little worse, and I get that loo roll is expensive, but I think there are other things I would be happy to lose before losing loo roll, still thousands of people are now doing this, and if money is tight then fair enough!”
However, with the added cost of extra bleach, plus the electricity and water used to wash the cloths, it could be argued that this extreme tip may not be saving you as much as you think.
Mum-of two Kelsey Leverton told The Sun how her family have been using homemade, reusable toilet wipes for years.
More ways to save
Al also recommends tips such as freezing leftovers, cancelling subscriptions and avoiding eating out to cut costs.
It’s always worth looking out for freebies too.
Al said: “If you go and stay at a hotel, make sure you nick the complimentary tea and coffee from the room, as well as the guest shampoo and soap.”
We spoke to a bargain expert who explained five freebies and discounts that could save you £466.