I love money saving tips. I love reading them and I also have plenty of my own! So I actually enjoyed writing this list of 30 ways to save (at least) £1, which is also my entry into this MoneySupermarket.com competition. I hope you find some new inspiration here…
1) Shop around and know your prices, especially for your big ticket items, and don’t assume the typically cheap shops will have the best deals – do your research.
2) Sale shopping is actually a minefield where many a £1 is wasted rather than saved by buying items you’ll never wear. When sale shopping try to stick to buying classic items or things you’ve already identified as being missing from your wardrobe. Save yourself pounds as well as those “why on earth did I buy this?” moments.
3) Try shops like Home Bargains for items like toilet rolls, cleaning products and dry goods, but know your supermarket prices too before you go so that you know if it’s definitely a bargain.
4) And buy in bulk! It works out cheaper in the long run.
5) Make use of the loyalty schemes – Boots Advantage card, Superdrug Beauty card, Tesco Clubcard and Nectar card to name a few (you may be surprised at all the places you can collect Nectar points so check their website)! Then use the points to save money on your shopping or on vouchers for meals out and day trips etc.
6) Buy own brand. I love Superdrug cosmetics for having great prices and being cruelty free. And I actually prefer supermarket brand biscuits like digestives and jaffa cakes.
7) Before deciding you need to buy new clothing items check your wardrobe for forgotten gems. I spent ages hunting down the perfect dress for Christmas last year when I realised it was exactly like one I already had! Saved myself £50 there!
8) Maintain a small collection of birthday cards. Keep your eye open for nice ones at decent prices or multi-buy deals. This will save you getting caught out and having to fork out at Clintons.
9) The best tip I’ve got is that it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it, want it or know you’ll use it. Twice now I’ve wasted £15 on Living Social for “deals” I didn’t get round to using. Yes these sites have some fab deals, but only if you wanted them anyway or will definitely use them!
Day to day
10) Shop for new mobile phone contracts in stores like Phones4U, and shop as a pair! My boyfriend and I got a fantastic deal because there were two of us and the store tried extra hard to get us the best price because they knew they were getting two contracts out of it! In addition to getting a better deal on our iPhone 5’s than anyone else we are aware of, we also got a couple of phone covers half price.
11) Buy monthly travel passes. I save at least £23 a month on tram travel with my monthly Metrolink pass. The saving is even bigger if I use the tram at the weekend as well.
12) Make lunches to take to work rather than buying. Pasta salads, sandwiches, tins of soup and even bowls of cereal work out to be far cheaper.
13) If you do treat yourself to buying lunch during the week, know where the cheapest spots are. There are dozens of places selling fresh soup within 5 minutes walk of my work, but only in one of them will I get a choice of 4 freshly made healthy soups and where it only costs £1.
14) Make double quantities when cooking meals like chilli, curry and stir fry so that you can save money on the energy you’ll be using and also by making your ingredients go further. Save the extra portions for a quick and easy meal another day.
15) Take drinks out with you in your bag. Either refilled water bottles or multi-pack soft drinks are much cheaper on day trips.
16) If you’re driving somewhere, find out in advance where the free or cheapest places to park will be.
17) It sounds simple but save your small change. Drop your brown coins into a jar and watch them add up. The most literal way to save £1!
18) Books aren’t cheap, even if you’re dedicated to shopping in 2nd hand shops. Instead, rotate your book collections with friends and family and read each others’ books for free!
19) Never pay full price for Alton Towers! Use the vouchers that inevitably appear on cereal packets or book in advance for a discounted entry price.
20) Cut back on buying expensive magazines and read more blogs for inspiration!
21) Spend your free time doing free things like walking around pretty parks and enjoying our national museums and galleries.
22) If you want to visit the theatre and aren’t too fussy about what show to see there are so many deals to be found. Try LastMinute.com or WhatsOnStage.com, or if you’re in London try the Tkts booth in Leicester Square.
23) Check sites like Trip Advisor for recommendations on the best value places to eat in your holiday destination. The forums are full of people giving out this kind of money-saving advice.
24) Don’t spend a fortune on beach towels or your holiday wardrobe. I just found beach towels for £3 in Primark (and let’s face it, beach towels end up getting trashed anyway). And look through your wardrobe for clothing you can make work on holiday. Your suitcase can’t fit everything in it anyway and it’s much better to save money and wear items you know you’ll be able to use in regular life!
25) Buying holiday souvenirs always seems like a great idea at the time, but if you stick to the plan of “only items that are both useful and beautiful” you probably won’t end up wasting your money.
26) Save those freebie samples of toothpaste, perfume, makeup, shampoo and shower gel for your mini-breaks. The cost of buying miniature cosmetics really does add up!
27) If you’ve been somewhere you’re likely to return to and/or have been somewhere in the Euro zone, don’t feel the need to use up all your holiday currency – save those last few Euros for next time!
28) Getting your craft on can result in some lovely items for the home or nice gift ideas. I made some teacup candles which made cute gifts and would normally cost £12-£15!
29) For fancy dress costumes unleash your creative side – think of what costume you can build around items you already own or items that can be easily and cheaply sourced!
30) “Mend and make do to save buying new”. I can’t take all of the credit for the old wartime motto, but I think it’s something we should all try to do more of. It’s much cheaper to sew up a tiny hole in a top than to buy a new one!