Tuesday, 17 June 2008

50 Money Saving Tips

Most of us, unless we’re rolling in it, are noticing the rise in prices these days and having to tighten the belt somewhat, like it or not.

One way of dealing with it is to see the situation as a challenge rather than a problem. With the right plan of attack, it’s possible to cut down expenditure considerably and still enjoy a relatively high standard of living.

As I’ve always been a thrifty type of person both through necessity and the belief that there’s no point in wasting money, I’ve picked up a few tricks on the way that help keep the belt a notch or two tighter. Maybe some of them could help you.

  1. Make a list of the contents of your freezer/food cupboard to avoid doubling up
  2. Menu plan
  3. Use leftovers
  4. Bulk buy non-perishables
  5. Look in Aldi, Netto, Home Bargains and other similar stores before heading to the main supermarkets
  6. Make a shopping list and stick to it (unless you find a product you use regularly on special offer)
  7. Use cash rather than a card - that way you’ll see exactly how much you’re spending
  8. If you have online banking, check it every day for the same reason as above
  9. Write down everything you spend for a week. You’ll probably be surprised by where your money’s going
  10. Only use 2 for 1 offers if you really need the products
  11. Use a club card to collect vouchers (voucher codes can also be used when shopping online)
  12. Use eBay, visit car boots and charity shops and make use of Freecycle
  13. Avoid buying designer labels
  14. Buy baby items second-hand. They’ll hardly have had much use and it’ll save them clogging up the landfill as well as saving you money
  15. If you have young children, try joining a toy library. Kids get bored of the same toys so quickly and they’re hardly cheap
  16. Arrange a swap evening with friends and neighbours. Swap clothes, toys, household goods... anything really
  17. If your mail doesn’t have to get there tomorrow, use second class stamps instead of first class
  18. Drive efficiently
  19. When clothes aren’t heavily soiled, use the quick wash cycle on your washing machine.
  20. Wash on 30, maximum 40 degrees
  21. Only use a tumble dryer when absolutely necessary - they practically double the electricity bill of the average household
  22. Use soda crystals and soap flakes instead of washing powder. Cheaper and the soda crystals keep your machine, including the pipes, really clean
  23. Use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner (add some essential oil for a nice scent)
  24. Use cheap cola to clean limescale in the toilet. Just pour it in, leave it overnight, scrub with your loo brush and flush
  25. Use cheap conditioner when shaving your legs. Much cheaper than shaving foam
  26. Clear your credit card debt
  27. Use a cash-back credit card to make larger purchases but only if you know you can definitely pay off the balance as soon as its due
  28. Turn off appliances at the mains
  29. Turn off lights when you leave a room
  30. To minimise heat loss, close the curtains in the evening during winter and chilly periods
  31. Fit heat reflectors behind radiators, especially those on outside walls
  32. Try camping for a cheap holiday
  33. Supplement your dog’s food with leftover rice and pasta
  34. Buy giant bags of pet food. It works out much cheaper than several small ones. Better still, make your own dog food
  35. Only boil the amount of water you need
  36. If you have more bedrooms than people in your house, you’ll most likely be better off with a water meter (more info can be found here)
  37. Learn to do at least some of your own DIY repairs
  38. Learn to mend your clothes (it’s surprising how many people can’t sew on a button)
  39. Don’t leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary
  40. A full freezer is more efficient than a half empty one but a full fridge will use more electricity
  41. The chances of winning the lottery are very slight. Put that money in a jar instead and watch your savings grow
  42. Keep a couple of £1 coins in the car for parking meters. Saves you having to nip into a shop to buy something just to get change.
  43. Look for a home hairdresser. One that comes to your home is generally much cheaper than a salon stylist. Even cheaper, check your local college as those with hairdressing courses generally offer very cheap cuts etc. The same applies to beauty treatments
  44. Check that your phone and utility supplies are the cheapest. There’s lots to be saved by switching.
  45. Check that your getting the best insurance deals
  46. If you regularly phone abroad or to mobiles, consider signing up with 18185.com
  47. Use the library instead of buying books, or buy second-hand from charity shops, car boots or Green Metropolis
  48. Box wine works out cheaper than bottled wine and there’s no waste if you don’t polish it all off in one sitting
  49. Give up smoking (easier said than done, I know). If you can’t or don’t want to give up, consider switching to rolling tobacco instead of tailor-mades as it’ll work out far cheaper
  50. Avoid using cash points that charge you for withdrawing your money. Paying £1.80 to withdraw £20 is the same as paying 9% interest to use your own money

You might also want to read my post about saving water, which is good for the environment and can save a considerable amount of money for those on a meter.

Other posts that may be worth looking at are:
20 Uses for Vinegar
Grocery Shopping - 20 Money Saving Tips

One website that’s really worth visiting is MoneySavingExpert by Martin Lewis. It’s huge and full of useful advice. The forums are also superb for anybody looking for save money!

No doubt you all have your own ways of saving a few bob. If you have, it’d be great if you could share them in the comments section.

Sharon J


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Sara said...

Box wine is great. More than the price, I love being able to enjoy a glass at a time for a few weeks. It fits my lifestyle much better. Of course, with "premium" box wines available, we've got to watch out even on this!

Sharon J said...

I agree, Sara. I can never manage a whole bottle of wine alone but a glass of cool rosè from time to time, now that I could learn to love :)

Pat said...

The cashpoint outside our local shop used to be free but now it has a charge attached. Mind you by the time I pay for the bus to town to take out money there, it's worth paying the extra to use the local one.

Sharon J said...

In your case I can understand it's hardly worth using the bus fare, Pat. It seems to me that it's mostly the local shops and garages that have cash points that charge you for using so I tend to try to take out what I think I'll be needing for the week when I'm close to free one. They'll probably all charge sooner or later though.

Marshall said...

Here's another tip. You can use this site to find restaurant deals (e.g. Entertainment.com, Restaurant.com and Passport Unlimited) easier. Just type in a search term (e.g. Sushi) and a location (e.g. Seattle) and check out the results. The places with green icons have deals.


Sharon J said...

Thanks, Marshall. Hopefully some of my US based readers can use that.

Rosie said...

Brilliant list Sharon J - I manage a lot of them but there is always room for improvement! And here's 2 I would like to add - buy dried beans - cook the whole lot in one go and freeze in suitably sized containers (old marg tubs work well). Plus bake your own cakes - and if you are making one double up the mixture and freeze the second one.

Rosie said...

That last comment wasn't supposed to be anonymous so I'm trying again to see if it works this time. These 'ere computers is all a bit of a mystery to me!

Eco-Gites of Lenault said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eco-Gites of Lenault said...

Grrr - right third time lucky .....

Ah - this time it seems to have worked as long as I publish as eco-gites, not Rosie - but we are one and the same


Sharon J said...

Your post appeared ok, Rosie. Not sure what the problem was from your end.

Doubling up when cooking anything that can be frozen is always a good idea and one I forgot to include so thanks for mentioning it. It's especially important now that gas and electricity prices are soaring.

Nivekic said...

I try not to pay full price when dining out, there are lots of local restaurants offering incentives to customers. A good website to use is www.metroseeq.com

Also, try to bundle your trips so you don't make separate trips for everything. Finding businesses en route to your destination can help save you money.

Sharon J said...

Bundling trips is a good idea, Nivekic. Whenever we go out into the country I always look for farm-shops on the way so that I can stop and buy fresh veg, eggs and the likes.

Thanks for visiting.

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