The last 18 months haven’t been easy on many families and saving money has been top of the list of priorities. So, without further ado, here are our 15 quick tips on how you can save money.
Shop own-brand products
Opting for your supermarket’s own brand on everyday products, from bread and pasta to cornflakes, can save you as much as a third on your weekly shopping bill. For example, if you spend £30 a week normally, a third off your shopping bill saves you £10 a week; that’s £520 a year!
Don’t waste food
Did you know that three-quarters of what we are throwing away is actually edible? Try to ensure that everything you buy you use and the pennies will start adding up in your savings account.
Buy only what you need
This is easier said than done but with a little practice, you can end up saving money. Before you go shopping, plan your week’s meals and make a list of the ingredients you will need. Shop in the evening for potential discounts and go for own-brand products.
Switch energy suppliers
Are you sure you’re getting the best deal for your energy? Ofgem’s research shows that the average household could save as much as £300 a year by switching to a better deal. With energy prices rising fast, check out the energy comparison websites, like Uswitch, and if there’s a better deal out there, get switching.
Still getting your bills on your doormat? Go paperless and save some money. As an online customer, your energy company will charge you less each month or quarter. It may be just a few pounds but over the year, it adds up. In addition, you are more likely to be offered better deals.
Start using free budget apps
Recycle the pen and paper and get into your app store for great budgeting apps to track your spending. Apps, like Money Dashboard, help you to monitor all your accounts on one dashboard and your spending habits.
Don’t leave it on standby, unplug it
Avoid leaving your TV or any other gadgets in the home on standby as it is still using electricity. Even leaving the plug inserted in the socket, although it may be turned off, is using adding to your electricity bill. Unplugging and avoiding recharging overnight could save you around £30 a year, according to the Energy Savings Trust.
Get selling things you don’t use or wear anymore
We’re becoming a nation of selling second-hand goods and it’s making money for many. The clothes in your wardrobe that haven’t seen the light of day for ages or the kitchen items sitting in the back of the cupboard, or old iPhones, dongles and other tech items can be sold on resale platforms, such as Vinted, eBay, Shpock and even Amazon.
Why buy new when you can get a second-hand bargain
Before you buy new, check out the resale platforms, like eBay, Amazon, Vinted and Shpock. You will find good quality, pre-owned items and half the price, it’s not lower than the original retail price.
Make your lunch at home and take it with you
On average, workers spend £6.08 on buying a lunch a day; London workers spend around £15.51 a day! Taking your lunch to work will save you serious money and because you know exactly what’s going into your lunch, you’ll have a healthier lifestyle, too.
Do you really need that coffee shop coffee
We get it, coffee shop coffee always seems to taste so much better; or does it? With the latest at-home coffee machines, you can make delicious lattes or mocha coffee. With a coffee shop beverage costing, on average, £4.50 you could be saving, on average, around £22.50 per working week, which is more than £1,000 a year!
Put any spare change into your savings jar
At the end of the day, if you’ve got any spare change left in your pockets, don’t leave it there; drop it into a savings jar and it soon adds up. You’ll have the funds for that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on in no time, or put it towards a night out, dream holiday or just treat yourself every once in a while.
Transfer credit card debt
If you’ve got a credit card and don’t manage to pay it all off on payday, think about transferring your debt to a 0% balance (can be up to 30 months) credit card and avoid paying interest. Most credit cards offer new customers great deals but read the small print as you may be charged a balance transfer fee. Use comparison sites, like Money Supermarket or Moneyfacts, to find the best 0% balance transfer deals.
Use the 50/30/20 approach to budgeting
To help you save money every month, the 50/30/20 approach to budgeting will stop you from overspending. It works by allocating 50% of your monthly income to basic needs, like food, household bills and essential minimum debt payments; 30% is allocated to entertainment, such as eating out, going to the cinema or your favourite hobby; the remaining 20% goes into your savings. You can, of course, adjust the ratios to suit you.
Loyalty schemes can help you save
Just about every major retailer, hairdressers, coffee shops and restaurants have loyalty cards that turn your everyday spending into points, and prizes. Tesco’s Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar, Boot’s Advantage card, Superdrug’s Health & Beauty card, Starbucks Reward card or Costa’s Coffee Club card – these are outlets we use all the time and the points we earn each time we spend money in them turns into savings.
There are many other ways to save money – the old saying of ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves is more apt than ever today. You might think you’re not saving much but it all adds up over time.