In todays financial climate we are all looking for ways to save money. We want to find easy ways to maximise our incomings and minimise the outgoings, while still being able to enjoy a luxury or two along the way.
Listed below are my favourite 80 ways to save money – broken down into easy to read sections: –
- Saving when shopping
- Saving around the house
- Saving on transport
- Saving on bills
- Saving on luxuries
- Saving on beauty
- Saving on fitness
- Saving on gifts
- Saving on eating
- Saving on clothes
- General ways to save money
They are really quick changes that you can use starting today to make to make your money go that little bit further, and I’m sure you’ll want to try at least one straight away.
So – let’s get started right away – how much can you save? Let’s find out….
Saving when shopping
1. THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
Do you really need what you are about to purchase?
If you buy something in the sale it’s not a saving unless you really needed it and would have spent full price on it anyway.
2. FIND A CREDIT CARD THAT GIVES CASH BACK – FOR A SHOP YOU USE A LOT
Lots of credit cards now offer cash back incentives, and a large percentage now are tied to certain stores.
Shop around and see what deals you can find – and if you do get a good deal attached to a store make sure its a store you would need to spend in anyway – so the money back vouchers go to good use!
3. DON’T BUY BRANDS
Labels and brands cost more. Sometimes it’s worth it – but not always – shop around and look at reviews before you part with your cash
4. SPECULATE TO ACCUMULATE
If you buy a lot from somewhere, and can save with offers, then it may be worth paying more up front to save overall.
Amazon offers their prime members** free delivery on thousands of items once you’ve paid £79 per year (there is a 30 day free trial available** as well to see if it works for you first, saving you even more!).
It could work out to be a huge saving if you do it right! (it’s also usually 1 day delivery, and you get access to the kindle book library for free books once a month as well!).
Another one that I would recommend is Tesco delivery** – I signed up for the midweek delivery saver slot for a year for £30 – and you get unlimited deliveries Tuesdays – Thursdays for this amount. There are others available and if you work out that you would save overall, then it’s definitely worthwhile.
5. COMPARE PRICES ONLINE FOR THE BEST DEAL
Especially for larger purchases it’s always worth doing a little research online first.
With so many online stores available, you may be surprised at the difference in prices that you can find.
When you search in Google for instance, write down the product and then click “shopping” and all the prices at different stores will come up in a list for easy comparison.
6. IF SOMETHING THAT YOU REGULARLY BUY IS ON OFFER AND WILL LAST – THEN STOCK UP
There’s no point in passing over an offer for dishwasher tablets one month if you don’t need them there and then.
If you always use them it makes sense to stock up when on offer. Grab them while you can at the good price and you’ll save in the longer term.
7. SHOP IN SALES
Sales shopping can save you money when done right. Warning – only ever buy what you need and don’t get sucked into offers – they are only a bargain if you need them!
8. SHOP OUT OF SEASON
Buying out of season can save a load of money as well – Christmas decorations/cards/wrapping etc.. get reduced in January, summer clothes in the autumn etc…. A little forward planning can save loads over the year.
9. RETURN THINGS YOU HAVE BOUGHT IN ERROR – DON’T WASTE MONEY
It’s all too easy to decide its not worth the effort to take something back – but you’re wasting money.
Next time you go to the shops take the item with you (for ease keep it in the car for when you are passing).
10. WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE LOOK FOR MONEY OFF CODES
Don’t ever buy online without first searching for a discount code for the shop first. Type in the shop and the words “discount voucher” or “discount code” and there are several websites that will tell you whether you can get anything off.
You may be able to get a percentage discount or free delivery, which is worth the couple of minutes looking before buying.
11. DON’T PAY FOR BAGS IN SHOPS – TAKE YOUR OWN
Now that we have to pay for bags in shops this one can add up quite quickly.
It takes up no space or weight to carry a couple of carrier bags in your handbag when you are out and about.
12. TRY AND BARTER WHEN BUYING – YOU NEVER KNOW!
In the UK we are not very good at asking for discounts, but more and more shops are willing to discount or offer something extra if they get your business.
You won’t know what you could have got if you don’t ask….
13. GIVE YOURSELF A COUPLE OF WEEKS TO COOL OFF WHEN YOU ARE TEMPTED TO IMPULSE BUY – YOU USUALLY GO OFF THE IDEA BY THEN!
How many times have you seen something in a shop that you just HAD to have, even though you hadn’t even thought about it until you saw it!? Give yourself some time to think about it before you buy (I call it the 2 week buying rule…).
14. TRY OUT COSTCO FOR BULK SHOPPING
Costco and similar shops are always worth a look – you can bulk buy and find some great savings.
Saving around the house
15. MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR UNWANTED STUFF
Sell your old mobile phone, sell old DVDs, in fact, sell anything you don’t want anymore. eBay is a great place to start and there are loads of other sites out there that will give you cash for your things.
16. COLLECT SPARE CHANGE
Have a change jar in your home, ideally by the front door. That way, when you come in you can get rid of what’s in your pockets and have it all in one place – you’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up.
17. TAKE YOUR THERMOSTAT DOWN A DEGREE
One degree difference in your home won’t be felt – apart from in your wallet!
18. MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS
Vinegar is a great all round cleaner that costs much less than loads of different cleaning products – and is less harmful to the environment as well. If you have the time you can save loads doing this.
19. USE YOUR DISHWASHER
Running your dishwasher for a full load costs less than washing by hand as it uses less water and detergent.
20. LEARN HOW TO DIY
It will cost a lot less to do minor fixes yourself than to keep getting a tradesman in.
Just make sure you are comfortable doing this, otherwise you may end up paying more if it goes wrong – you could look at asking someone else to do it and swap a skill so you do something for them in return instead.
I totally love making money from the stuff I don’t want anymore – it feels great to get something back for it rather than it just lingering or throwing it out. As such, I’m always looking for places to use….
Next up we’re looking at transport and bills – places that can be real money wasters if you’re not careful – hope the tips that follow help…
Saving on transport
21. WALK WHENEVER YOU CAN (OR CYCLE)
Get fit and save money – its a no brainer really!
22. NEVER BUY CARS NEW
They lose thousands the second they are driven off the forecourt
23. CAN YOU SHARE LIFTS WITH SOMEONE ELSE TO WORK OR TO SCHOOL?
Any time you can use less journeys will save money. If you are going the same way as someone, it just makes sense!
24. CAN YOU WORK FROM HOME ONCE A WEEK?
In todays world, working from home has become a real option for many. If you can, request that you work from home once a week – this would save travelling costs and commuting time.
25. UNLADEN YOUR CAR
More weight in your car means it takes more petrol to get anywhere – make your car as light as you can to conserve fuel.
Saving on bills
26. SWITCH SUPPLIERS
Don’t just keep renewing at the same supplier every time – look around on comparison sites for the best deals and you could save loads. You can even save on insurance when you shop around at renewal time.
27. USE SKYPE WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Free phone calls? Yes please!
28. ARE YOU MAXIMISING ALL SUBSCRIPTIONS?
Whether it be magazines that you don’t actually get time to read, or a digital TV package that you don’t really use all of – see if you can either cancel altogether or cut down on what you are getting charged.
29. CLEAR YOUR CREDIT CARD
If you don’t pay off your credit card each month you are being charged a lot in interest payments – so get into the habit of paying it off asap.
Also – look where you have loans that have high interest payments – pay off these debts first and you’ll save more in the longer term (mortgages for instance are usually a lot less interest rates than other loans, and so it’s not always the best use of your money to pay off your mortgage if you have other debts at higher rates.
30. RETHINK YOUR MOBILE PHONE
What minutes/texts/data do you actually use? Are you paying for too much in your current contract? Would you be better off paying as you go etc…. – all worth asking!
Saving on luxuries
31. CUT DOWN ON NON ESSENTIALS
If you don’t really need something , ask yourself if you will really miss it. Are you just buying some things or specific brands out of habit?
32. SWAP CINEMA FOR FILM NIGHTS AT HOME
An easy swap as you can create a cinema feel at home – get some popcorn and make yourself comfy!
33. MOVE HOUSE
OK so your home isn’t necessarily a luxury – but where it is located may well be.
Are you spending lots of money for location? Could you lower your mortgage and bills by living a couple of miles from town? Are you driving too far to work/school and could you relocate nearer to save travel costs? It’s worth looking at for potentially huge savings.
34. EAT OUT LESS OFTEN AND MAKE SPECIAL MEALS AT HOME INSTEAD
Eating out has become a lot more common nowadays – but why not substitute at least one meal a month for a lovely meal at home? Light candles, get a nice bottle of wine and create a great atmosphere – you can usually make great savings this way.
35. QUIT SMOKING
Or at least cut down….
Limiting drinking as well will save a lot over time.
36. BUY FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES FOR THE HOUSE FROM ONLINE STORES
37. DO THINGS WITH YOUR CHILDREN THAT ARE FREE
Often a trip to the park, a picnic, feeding the ducks, window shopping in town etc.. are all as good as anything you could pay for in your childrens eyes.
Don’t feel you have to spend on expensive days out to have fun…
38. USE GROUPON FOR TREAT HOLIDAYS AND DAYS/EVENINGS OUT
Voucher websites offer great deals – so subscribe to a local one and see what they have to offer. The offers could make great presents, or treats for you – just don’t overdo it!
39. HOLIDAY OUT OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN
Even if you have school age children, sometimes their holidays don’t fall in peak travel times (as they could be a slightly different half term week than most for example) – so do your research!
40. IF YOU ARE A REGULAR PUB GOER – HAVE FRIEND TO YOUR HOUSE AND GET THEM TO BRING A BOTTLE
Socialising at home means you can usually hear yourselves talk a bit more as well! (and a bottle of wine at home costs less than a glass at the pub more often than not!).
41. USE THE LIBRARY
Don’t spend loads on books – the library can often order the book that you want in if you can’t find it on the shelves – take a look and see what they have to offer. (an added bonus is you don’t end up with book clutter after you have read it either!).
42. TRY A STAYCATION RATHER THAN A HOLIDAY
Holidays can cost a lot – so why not just stay at home instead?
Turn off all the usual distractions and take a look around your locality with a tourists eyes – you will see things in a new light, explore places you’ve been meaning to, and get to sleep in your own bed each night – bliss!
Saving on beauty
43. USE TRAINEES FOR HAIR CUTS AND COLOURS
Haircuts and especially colours can cost a load of money. Often trainees have slots where you can get a bargain – and as they are monitored by the hairdressers you are usually in safe hands – and it can amount to a massive discount. (If you have 7 or 8 cuts a year this is a huge saving).
44. EEK OUT TIME BETWEEN TREATMENTS SUCH AS HAIRCUTS AND WAXING
Leaving it an extra week/day or two could mean significantly less appointments over the year – and significant savings too!
45. BUY PRODUCTS ONLINE FOR DISCOUNTS ON RRP
There are some great online shops that offer discounts on beauty products – my favourite at the moment is Gorgeous.
Saving on fitness
46. IF YOU DON’T LOVE THE GYM, THEN CANCEL IT
The gym is a great place if you use it often and get your moneys worth – however for a lot of people it just doesn’t add up. You end up spending a lot on a monthly membership only use it once or twice.
Work out what your average visit is actually costing you to see if it is worth it – and you may be surprised at the results!
Why not look at a pay as you go gym, or individual fitness classes local to you, or even just walking/running more for free?
47. GO OUT WITH FRIEND FOR A WALK INSTEAD OF MEETING FOR COFFEE
I have just switched to walking and running with friends to catch up – as it not only gets us fit, but stops us spending money on coffee and the inevitable temptation of biscuits and cakes!
48. BUY A FITNESS DVD RATHER THAN ATTENDING A CLASS EVERY WEEK
This is a simple trick that saves a fortune as a DVD is often as much as just 1 or 2 classes. Get more out of them and change your routine by swapping DVDs with friends as well.
I have also started finding fitness classes on Youtube – so you could always check that out as well – just an extra idea!
So – we are well into the money saving ideas now – hope you’re finding loads that you’re going to try – for the next set I want to look at gifts and presents – another money sucker!…
Saving on gifts and presents
49. CONSIDER MAKING PRESENTS
If you are a great cook it would be lovely to bake some cupcakes and wrap beautifully for a present, or what about a piece of art – if you are good at something , use it to your advantage.
50. CONSIDER GIVING A HOMEMADE VOUCHER FOR A PRESENT
If you can do something for someone, then a voucher for that would be well received and only really costs you your time. What about an offer to babysit for a new baby present for example.
Giving presents that you have received but don’t want/need can be a great way to save pennies – but a word of warning – label clearly so that you don’t end up giving it back to whoever gave it you in the first place!
52. SECRET SANTA?
Most people who work in offices utilise a secret Santa over Christmas – where you put everyones name in a hat and then take on each – you have to buy one present for that person only. That way everyone buys one present and everyone gets a present.
This would work really well to keep costs down in a large family – and you could have a high budget for that one present so that they get one great present – but it would still cost less than getting something for everyone.
53. ONLY BUY PRESENTS FOR THE KIDS IN THE FAMILY AT CHRISTMAS
Once kids come into the picture, families naturally get bigger very quickly. Why not just buy for the children from now on?
54. HAVE A BUDGET FOR BIRTHDAY / CHRISTMAS PRESENTS – AND STICK TO IT
I’ve mentioned this before – but its worth repeating!
When you have large families but still want to get something for everyone, why not set a present limit per person?
My family has a £15 limit on Christmas presents and honestly we have barely noticed a difference apart from to our wallets!
Presents can be a really tough thing to save on – especially when you want to give something lovely – but thinking outside the box (as these points have hopefully helped you do) can really help you save without losing out on the fact that the gift is gorgeous!
Now, do you eat? – Of course you do! – it’s something we can’t avoid and usually love – but food can be one of the biggest bills we have each month – let’s look at a few ways to save on food right now….
Saving on food and eating
55. SWAP TAKEOUT FOR HOME MADE TAKEOUT
It can be just as easy to prep a homemade takeaway. For instance – swap takeout pizza for a frozen or fresh one from the supermarket – you won’t notice the difference!
56. BUY FROM CHEAPER SUPERMARKETS AND DON’T BUY BRANDED FOODS
Some supermarkets are more expensive than others, so when budgeting look for the best value for money for your regular shop – and try and buy the own brand options rather than the more expensive alternatives.
57. BUY LARGER POTS OF THINGS RATHER THAN INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS
If you read the labels on the supermarket shelves they normally do the maths for you and give you a price per 100g or the appropriate measure – you may be surprised at how buying larger portions on what you use daily anyway may save money (yoghurts, milk etc…).
58. USE LEFTOVERS FOR A MEAL THE NEXT DAY – COOK WISELY
Have pasta with Pesto for tea? It works really well with a salad for a cold lunch the following day as well. What about roast meat for sandwiches – the list really is endless!
59. MENU PLAN – MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU BUY
If you plan your menu for the week then you can more easily use your food sensibly.
For example – you buy a large bag of carrots one day and use them for a casserole one night, then crudités for lunch the following day, and then as a side the day after. You use up all the food that may have been wasted if you planned for completely different meals each day.
60. DON’T ALWAYS BUY FRESH
Frozen fruit and veg is often more nutritious, you get less waste as you only cook what you need, and it costs less usually than its fresh equivalent – triple bonus!
61. GET BAKING
Do you buy cakes and biscuits a lot? Why not bake them for much less cost, and freeze ready for when you need them – much healthier too as you can pick what goes in them!
62. HAVE A SOUP NIGHT
Soup costs pennies to make – use up leftover veg, stock etc… and create a really nutritious meal once a week. It let’s you get creative as well!
63. BUY A FLASK
OK – so you are buying a flask and that will cost money – but if you make your morning coffee up before you leave the house you will spend a lot less over the course of a month on your coffee hit each day – it all adds up.
64. HAVE A MEAT FREE NIGHT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
Meat is the most expensive part of the meal usually – so going without can make a difference to your spending. Try bulking your food up with lentils or beans instead.
65. SHOP FOR FRESH FOOD AT THE END OF THE DAY
Often, supermarkets and shops discount fresh produce at the end of each day – so you can grab a real bargain if you time it right!
66. DRINK WATER RATHER THAN JUICES ALL THE TIME
Water’s free – enough said!
67. DON’T BUY PRE-PREPARED OR READY MEALS
You are paying for the convenience – but in reality is can be just as easy to make batches of stew/bolognese etc.. and reheat those when you can’t be bothered to cook.
68. GROW YOUR OWN
If you can, try and grow some of your food yourself even if it’s just a herb tray on the kitchen windowsill – it can save you loads!
69. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST AND STICK TO IT
Don’t get tempted by the special offers – if you didn’t have it on your list – you didn’t need it!
70. TAKE SNACKS WHEREVER YOU GO OUT
Whether it’s to work, the gym, for your children – whenever you are out and about ensure you have some snacks with you.
If you bulk buy in your weekly shop then the same product can cost significantly less than if you buy individually on the go (think multi packs of crisps, or packets of biscuits, or grapes and other fruit)
Food is a big category – and it is potentially the place where the biggest savings can be made – so pick one of those tips to try this week and see how you go.
We have now reached the last few tips – arguably the most effective – and these are based around clothes and general tips – so keep going as I am sure you will find some great ideas…
Saving on clothes
71. SHOP AT SECOND HAND STORES
You can pick up great individual items that no-one else will own, and for a fraction of the price of the high street. Look at charity shops as well.
72. FIX CLOTHES OR ALTER THEM IN RATHER THAN BUYING NEW
If you have lost weight, paying someone (or learning how to do it yourself) to take in that dress you love will cost a lot less than buying new.
Try and fix holes, sew hems back, reheel shoes etc… before you look to buy new, and you can save money.
73. DON’T BUY CLOTHES THAT NEED DRY CLEANING
Dry cleaning costs money – your clothes will therefore cost you ongoing – worth thinking about!
74. AIR DRY WASHING WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Use the washing line – or an airer rather than your tumble dryer whenever you can to save a load of cash.
75. WASH CLOTHES ON THE COOLEST POSSIBLE TEMPERATURE
There are lots of detergents that work well at 30 degrees now. Also don’t use quite as much conditioner – you’ll barely notice in your clothes but it will last longer.
76. WASH CLOTHES WHEN THEY’RE DIRTY
I mean visibly dirty! How often have you washed clothes that really don’t need to be washed – be honest!
General ways to save money
77. LEARN TO BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Probably the most important advice I can give is that its not worth trying to keep up wit the Jones’ as they will always have something bigger and better than you.
The grass is always greener, isn’t that the saying? Buying more isn’t always the answer – so questioning whether you really need something is the first way to save. If you don’t spend then you save!
78. CUT OUT THE “IT ONLY COSTS A FEW PENNIES” MENTALITY
A few pennies every single day soon adds up to many many pounds.
If you manage to cut your spending down by just a pound a day – that could pay for a holiday by the end of the year – think big and you’ll save loads.
79. HIDE THE CREDIT CARD AND PAY CASH
If you only pay by cash then you are much more likely to be able to save money.
You won’t have the means to overspend as easily, and paying by cash has been proven to make you think more about what you buy, as it feels more like real money when you see it leaving your purse.
80. MAKE A BUDGET – AND STICK TO IT
Creating a budget is one of the most important things to do when trying to save.
If you can balance your incomings and outgoings then you should naturally be able to save a little extra each month, and you’ll be more in tune with what you have.
There are loads of ways you can save money without even really changing your lifestyle that much -so why not try a couple this week and see what a difference it makes to your pocket – you may just be surprised! I am going to be tackling loads of ways to save money in my own home this year and writing some more posts on it – I want to challenge myself to save as much as possible – so watch this space!