We're all trying to save money day to day as costs rise. These money saving tips, or hacks, may help you save some pennies regularly - which means you'll save pounds in the long run.
We're not going to talk credit cards, finance, swapping utility companies etc. These are tips that we can all do on a regular basis, everyday, chipping away at those bills bit by bit.
There's no order to these money saving tips, and they won't all be for everyone, but everybody's sure to be able to find a few useful ones.
Remove vehicle attachments. Your car has been designed to move through the air in a certain way. When you add attachments, you change the shape, increase friction and reduce how many miles per gallon you get. Remove roof racks, air deflectors, flags etc when not in use to save money.
Keep the windows up. Opening the windows in a moving car changes how the air flows around the car. You get less miles per gallon with the windows open. Close windows to save money.
Remove items in the boot. The heavier a car is, the more fuel is required to get it moving, and keep it moving. Remove unnecessary items from the boot to save money every mile you drive.
Check your car insurance mileage. Use your MOTs to check how many miles you drive in a year, and compare this to how many miles you told your insurer you would be driving each year. Part of your policy costs will depend on this figure. If you drive a lot less than your policy says you can, it might be worth letting your insurer know that you're not driving as much as expected.
BEWARE: Many insurers charge a fee for changes to your policy. It may be best to leave this until you renew or your savings might be wiped out by charges.
Don't assume third party is cheapest. When you insure your vehicle, don't assume that third party will be the cheapest option. Sometimes fully comprehensive is cheaper - and of course you get a lot more cover. Always compare the two to save money.
Check your tyre pressures. An under inflated tyre causes more friction with the road than a correctly inflated one. More friction means more fuel usage. Check tyre pressures regularly to ensure you're not paying more than you need to.
Consider not using the air conditioning. Aircon in a car significantly reduces how many miles you get per gallon. We've seen statistics showing that a 15-25% loss is not out of the question. If you can, turn it off to save money.
Drive smoothly and increase spacing. The most expensive part of driving is accelerating. By increasing the distance between you and the car in front you reduce the need to brake. Of course every time you brake you have to accelerate to get back up to speed... Less braking is less loss - and of course your brakes will last longer!
Repair damaged exhausts. If you're short of money it's easy to put off the repair, after all the car still drives, it doesn't seem essential. A hole in the exhaust can make your car more expensive to drive, this cost can add up quickly. If you can't afford a new exhaust, use the DIY products available to fix the old one. The faster you do, the more money you could save.
Add an experienced driver to your insurance policy. When getting quotes for insurance always consider adding an experienced driver with a clean license. Rather than increasing the policy cost, it may decrease it - instant saving!
See best before dates differently. We're not suggesting that you eat food after it's use by date, but the food that comes with a best before date can be safely eaten after the date. If it's been stored well you could extend this date significantly. Some supermarkets are now removing dates from items entirely. Waste not, want not!
Eat before you go shopping. It's quite simple, if you go shopping after eating a meal you will be less tempted to add things you don't really need. An easy way to save money!
Consider saving meal leftovers. Only eaten half your meal? Kids not eaten all their greens? Consider what you might be able to do with leftovers before binning them. Could you add a few eggs for a scrumptious omelette? Could you use it in a stew or hotpot? The average family in the UK is said to now throw away £60 of food a month!
Smoothie over ripe fruit. If you have fruit that's over ripe, not at it's best, and you can't bring yourself to eat it, then put it all together and make a fruit smoothie.
Assess need vs want. When you're in a shop, everytime you pick something up from a shelf, ask yourself 'do i need this, or do i want this?'. If you need it, in the trolley it goes. If it's a want, think again. If it stops you from buying just a few items each time you'll save...
Collect vouchers and discount codes. Collect all the vouchers you see and keep them together. Each time you leave to go shopping remind yourself what you have and take them with you. Even if you only use one voucher each time it'll help negate the price increases and you'll still save money.
Consider a meat free day. Meat is by far the most expensive part of most meals. You can save every week by having a meat free day, there's loads of choices, and your savings might surprise you.
Swap fresh veg for frozen. Most of the time frozen veg is cheaper than it's fresh counterpart. Studies show there's little difference in terms of vitamin levels between the two, in some cases frozen may win. Substitution is a great way of saving money.
Drink more water. Water is free, we need it to live and stay healthy. Swap a few juices and squashes for water. When the healthy option is also the cheaper option you have to consider it. Every glass you drink saves money!
Shop by unit price, not product price. Many of us look at, and compare, product prices. But the unit price gives you a better comparison if you're trying to save money. Always look at the per 100g/100ml prices. Packaging can be really deceptive, two similar size boxes may not contain similar amounts of food.
Put 3 back / Swap out 3. This is a popular suggestion. Do your shopping as normal, then before you pay choose 3 items put back on the shelf. A guaranteed saving every time. If you can't manage this, choose 3 items to swap out for a cheaper brand.
Dilute your fabric softener. Simply dilute the fabric softener you add to your washing machine with water. It's certainly not a cheap product. You could go as far as doubling it. You'll not only save money but the drawer will stay cleaner in the machine too. More than 1 washing machine manufacturer recommends this.
Bulk buy with family & friends. We all know that you can often get big savings for buying in bulk, but we don't all have the cash laying around to get ourselves started. See if your friends use the same toilet roll, coffee, printer ink, nappies or any other expensive items and then team up with them to save you both money buying bulk.
Use the benefits calculator. If you're not working you'll probably already be in receipt of some benefits, but there's an alarming amount of working people on low wages that assume they are not entitled to any help. Use the governments benefits calculator to see if you're entitled to any top ups.
Open and close your curtains. At night your curtains form an extra barrier between the glass and the room, it helps insulate. Closing them at night saves you money. Opening them during the day does the same, it allows the sun to warm the inside of your house, so you need less heating to stay comfortable.
Reduce drafts. Don't ignore drafts, if you have cold spots, or notice your candles flicker like mad, try to find the entrance point of the draft. Draught excluders and similar products are not that expensive, and are generally easy enough to fit yourself. Stopping drafts is a real money saver!
Don't leave post in the door. When you have post inside your letter box cold air is able to enter your home. Always take post from the door as soon as you notice it to save money.
Turn off light as you leave the room. An obvious one, but many of use are regularly guilty of not doing it. Don't assume you'll be back in a few minutes, those minutes add up. Getting into the habit of doing it will help you save money.
Check the way you pay. Look at each of your bills and check that you pay with the cheapest method. Don't assume paying by cash or card is the same as paying via direct debit. Sometimes you can save several pounds by paying with a different method. Example: at the time of writing this if i paid for 6 months tax on my car with a debit card it costs £90.75. This money comes direct from my bank. If i set up a one time direct debit payment, from the same bank account it would cost me £86.63. A saving of over £4 for paying with the same money from the same account.
Check for a paperless option. Some companies give a discount on your bill if you opt for a paperless account. You won't get statements or bills in the post, it'll all be managed digitally. Cheaper for them and cheaper for you.
Turn electronics fully off. Many of todays appliances use more energy than you might think when they are on standby or 'asleep'. The term 'vampire electronics' seems to be sticking. Often it's not just that glowing red light using power. Turn appliances off at the plug and you will save money.
Keep your fridge / freezer full. The food in your fridge or freezer holds the cold more efficiently than the air does. A full fridge or freezer therefore costs less to run than an empty one. While you're thinking about your fridge, check the seals. An easy way to do this is jam a piece of paper in the door as you close it. Once sealed the paper should be hard to remove. If it slips out, the seals need some TLC or replacing. try a few different places.
Use incognito mode on your browser. There's 2 reasons for doing this. Firstly, it stops companies tracking what you're searching for and putting the price up before you see the page (yes, this happens). Secondly it makes it harder for them to serve relevant adverts to the page, meaning less temptation to spend.
Kettle Habits. Check how much water you're boiling. Only boil the amount you use, kettles use a lot of electricity. Alternatively keep a thermos flask on the counter, boil the kettle once when you make a coffee, then put the leftover water in the flask and use it when needed.
Turn the oven/ring off early. If you don't open the door your oven is good at keeping the heat in. Try turning off the oven 5 or 10 minutes before you normally would. Your food will continue to cook and you'll save money. You can do the same thing with your vegetables, when the water boils, pop the lid on and turn the ring off.
Use energy saving bulbs. Each time you have to swap a bulb, ensure that the new one is energy saving. If you can afford to replace them all, even better. You can run a whole house of good energy saving bulbs for the cost of just 1 or 2 old fashioned ones! That's a big saving over a year.
Turn the heating down 1 degree. Turning your thermostat down by 1 degree can save you a massive amount of money. It's not unusual to see suggested saving in the region of £50-80 a year. If you're heating is set to above the 18-20 degree range, and everyone in the house is fit and healthy, you should do this.
Wear a jumper. Don't allow yourself to turn on the heating if you're wearing just 1 layer. Put a jumper on instead.
Bleed your radiators. Radiators can collect air inside them. This air goes to the top of the radiator, meaning the hot water can't. Bleeding your radiators will ensure the whole radiator gets hot, giving out more heat. You'll need a radiator key to do this.
Broadband sharing. This won't be possible for everyone, it's best for those living in terraced houses. Most of our devices these days connect via Wifi. If wifi is all you need consider talking to your neighbour. Ask if you can share their wifi and pay half the bill. It's a win win situation, both parties save money.
Search for free stuff. People say you don't get anything for free, we agree if something appears to be too good to be true that you should think twice, but they're not always right. Many companies give away free samples, or freebies. It's a great way for them to introduce you to their products. There are several sites online that will show you were to look. We have our own free stuff section, to give you a start.
Don't throw away ruined clothing. It's easy to re-use old clothing if it's in good condition, but when it's been ripped, stained or shrunk it's too easy to bin it. Would that old shirt make a kids apron? Could those old trackies become car cleaning cloths? That branded top with a tear in the arm? A Timberland cushion cover perhaps! You can make dozens of different items from material, each one saving you money. Oh wow, i love your adidas peg bag, where did you get that from?
Look for attractions with free admission. Many online travel guides will let you know what's free, i'll bet there's more than you think local to you. Nature reserves, ruins, forests, country parks, lakes and beaches are often free. Be careful with parking charges, these can add up. We have 2 guides for those local to us: free days out in Suffolk and free days out in Norfolk.
Drink before you go out. If you're going to be partying it up then get your friends together at home first and have your first few drinks there. Alcohol is much cheaper from a supermarket than from a pub or club.
Think about what money to take out. Set yourself a budget and only take the money with you that you're happy to spend. It's far easier to go overboard if you have more money on you.
Don't buy rounds. Get an agreement from your friends that people should buy their own drinks, don't get tangled up with buying rounds. It rarely ends up being fair, and means people may end up feeling forced into drinking more than they want to.
Prepare food before you go out partying. You can have all the best intentions in the world, but once you've had a few drinks it's easy to deviate from your plans. Walking past fast food shops isn't always easy, that end of night burger or kebab is almost traditional! If you know that there's food at home, prepared and waiting for you, it changes your whole mindset.
Research free events before you plan. Many public events are free - fun days, open days, fairs, fetes, festivals and more. These are usually advertised months in advance, can be great fun and fantastic value for money. We have a free event guide for those living in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Help to save scheme. Help to Save is a type of savings account. It allows certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years. Help to Save is backed by the government so all savings in the scheme are secure. You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month. You do not have to pay money in every month.
Supermarket reward schemes. Schemes like Clubcard and nectar can offer substantial savings, both with the price you pay on the day, and in reward points earned. Always use your card, and try not to use the points during the year. Often you'll find your yearly shopping will generate enough reward points to cover the Christmas food shop.
Start a change jar. Put a large jar aside. At the end of each day put the small change in your purse or wallet in the jar. You won't miss the 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins - but by the end of the year you will have saved a usable amount of money. 28p per day would give you over £100. That's a big Christmas present covered.
Remember to plan to save. Lots of people write down their monthly outgoings, a list of things that have to be paid for. This helps people to visualise what they will have left, and what they can do for the month. You need to include your savings on this list, it needs to become as important as a bill, remembered every month. Even if you can't save your target amount each month, any amount is better than nothing because you forgot to save.
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