SAVING money could be easier than you think and give you the extra cash to spend on things you really want.
Here are 10 ways you can save, from cutting back on household bills to claiming money back – and even tricks for getting money for free.
Stop buying branded groceries -£1,353
Buying own-brand goods at discount supermarkets can save you a basket load of cash.
Consumer group Which? found the price of 45 items – based on both branded and non-branded goods – cost just £42.67 at Lidl, compared to £68.69 at Waitrose.
This means you save £26.02 per shop at Lidl. Multiply this by over a year and you’ve saved £1,353.
One single mum told The Sun how she cut her household bills by switching to a cheaper supermarket and saved £1,300 over a six month period.
A couple who were in “sickening” debt and spending £1,300 on food a month saved over £1,000 with some nifty tricks.
Exactly how much you can save depends on how much you spend now and the cheaper items you go for, as well as the supermarket.
You can use the LatestDeals app to compare the price of items at most of the major supermarket.
Switch bank accounts – £140
HSBC is currently offering a sweet bonus if you move your current account to them, though you need to pay in at least £1,750 a month to get it.
These “bribes” are often available from banks – though they do vary in when they are available and how much you’ll get.
Banks often offer these bonuses to get customers to sign up to their accounts.
One man managed to make £4,000 from switching banks.
You’ll need to make sure you’re eligible for an account if you spot a switching bonus – and be sure the account suits your needs too with all its other features, like interest rates and customer service.
Refer a friend – £100
Many services offer a “refer a friend” programme and even give you money to do it.
If you get someone to sign up, you get some money as a reward.
For example, AJ Bell is currently offering anyone who uses the platform £100 if you spread the word about its investment platform YouInvest.
Meanwhile, invite three friends to Transferwise and you’ll get up to £50 and introduce a friend to Sky and you’ll both get £75.
It’s worth checking this out with any service you use and getting friends or family on board if they also want to use it.
All these offers have different terms and conditions to get the money, so read it all carefully,
All these offers have different terms and conditions to get the money, so read it all carefully first.
For example with AJ Bell the person you refer has to be new to the platform and with Transferwise, each friend has to transfer £200.
Claim tax back for working from home – £500
Martin Lewis recently reminded people that they can claim money back if they are working from home.
Even if you’re now returning to the office, you can claim tax back worth up to £125 a year on household expenses for time you’ve worked from home
You can backdate a claim over four years which adds up to £500 in total.
How much you can claim will depend on your tax rate, and if you worked from home in those previous four years or not.
You’ll get this year’s tax back throughput the year through your pay, but for previous years it will come as a lump sum.
Get council tax bill exemptions – £1,818
You could be eligible for up to 100% off your council tax bill if you’re on a low income or on benefits, including Universal Credit.
How much you can get your bill cut by will depend on your circumstances and where you live as each council runs reduction schemes differently.
Whether you get a discount or not – and how much – can be based on your income and number of children you have and the benefits you are claiming.
With the average Council Tax bill for a band D property standing at £1,818, there are big savings to be had if you are eligible for a complete exemption.
Even if you’re not on a low income or benefits, anyone living on their own gets 25% off.
Students are exempt from paying and if you live with someone who is exempt you can cut your bill too.
You can apply for a council tax reduction through Gov.uk and find out more about exemptions from Citizens Advice.
You could also cut your council tax bill by checking your property is in the right band.
If you’re in the wrong band and paying more than you should you could get thousands of pounds back.
Use a food waste app – £630
Using a food waste app can stop you spending money on food that you end up just throwing away.
Or it can get you food thrown away from restaurants and supermarkets for cheap.
For instance Kitche keeps track of the food you’ve bought and suggests recipes to use it all up.
It promises to save households as much as £630 a year by ensuring food is put to good use and doesn’t end up getting thrown away.
Many restaurant, café and food brands have partnered with Too Good to Go and will provide a “magic bag” of unsold food to users at the end of the working day.
One shopper recently revealed £50 worth of food for only £2.50 using the app.
How much you can save depends on how much you use the apps as well as what you normally throw away, but we’ve rounded up the five food apps that could chop hundreds off your grocery bill to get you started.
Apply for a packaged bank account refund – £3,500
Brits could be owed thousands of pounds from fees they paid for having a bank account.
Many accounts that came with fees were mis-sold and banks have to pay back customers if that’s the case.
But, anyone affected must apply to get the cash back. If you’ve ever paid for a bank account it’s worth checking if you were mis-sold.
This might have been because you weren’t told about the fees, or because you ended up paying for something you couldn’t use, like insurance.
One bank account owner recently wrote to Martin Lewis to say he had managed to claim back £3,500 for fees they forked out back in the 1990s.
Here’s how he made a claim – and how you can too.
Sign up to free trials – £290
Brits save as much as £290 a year by getting free trials first, according to Barclaycard.
Before signing up to a new service or subscription you should check first if you can get it free for a period of time.
Free trials you can get right now include Amazon Prime, Amazon Music, Apple TV, Now TV, ClassPass, Pret and Graze.
Usually trials last a month, but can be longer or shorter. Whatever you do make sure you cancel before it ends if you don’t want to continue paying for it.
Switching energy company – £250
Switching energy companies could save you hundreds a year.
And Martin Lewis has warned that it could be worth locking in a good deal now because energy prices are set to rise this winter.
Sticking with the same energy, company can mean you end up on the most expensive tariffs, even when there are better deals out there.
Give The Sun’s 10-minute energy switch challenge and you could save £250 a year.
It’s fairly straight forward to switch energy provider, but check you are not fixed into your current deal as you might have to pay to leave it.
Shop around to find the best prices using a comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com.
The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you’ll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.
When you’ve found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.
It helps to have the following information – which you can find on your bill – to hand to give the new supplier.
- Your postcode
- Name of your existing supplier
- Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
- An up-to-date meter reading
It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.
It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won’t be interrupted in that time.