The experts at Good Housekeeping have been giving advice on how to save money for 100 years. People’s lives may have changed a lot in that time but we’re just as committed today as we were in 1922 to giving you the information and tips that will help you get the most out of life without spending over the odds.
To celebrate a centenary of money-saving advice, we’ve rounded up the best of our advice to help you make your money go further.
How to save money
1. Flick switches and switch settings
It may sound obvious, but turning off appliances at the plug, investing in some smart plugs and doing your laundry on a lower setting are simple ways to reduce the estimated £1,042 most of us are spending on energy bills per year.*
2. Neat heat
Wondering how to save money on bills? Prune back the average £450 Brits typically spend on household heating each year. Install a smart thermostat and energy efficient appliances but, most importantly, look after your boiler. Listen out for tapping noises coming from your heating pipes – this can be a sign that sludge has built up and can be cleaned with a power flush, which costs around £400 (much cheaper than a replacement boiler, at £1,000 – £5,000). Bleed your radiators twice a year – this’ll prevent your heating system from becoming wasteful, and you from constantly cranking up the thermostat to compensate. Insulate your condensate pipe with pipe insulation (costs as little as 90p from most DIY stores) to avoid hot taps running cold.
3. Reconsider your broadband package
Having decent broadband and wifi is a must for many of us, especially with more of us working from home than ever before. But do you really need the deluxe package intended for a family of five? If not, reduce your package. Haggling with your supplier is another way you can cut the costs; as the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
4. Are you eligible for lower monthly bills?
If you’re on low income, you could receive Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support payments. Council tax is based upon where you live, but there are certain clauses which may make you eligible for lower costs. Living solo? You’re entitled to a 25% council tax discount. Or do you, or another member of your household, have a physical or mental disability? You’re eligible for a discount.
5. Reduce your water consumption
The average annual water bill in England stands at £408.* Basic steps you can take to crunch the cost include spending less time in the shower, turning off taps when shaving and brushing your teeth, fully loading the washing machine and choosing the dishwasher over the sink. Ask your supplier to install a water-meter free of charge – around half of UK homes have a water meter and it’s estimated that they use almost a fifth less than households without one!
6. Learn to meal prep
Groceries account for a large chunk of most people’s household bills, so being able to cut the costs here can make a real difference. Try to get a weekly meal plan sorted to avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket, as well as preparing portions in bulk, which also helps to reduce waste.
7. Compare suppliers
It’s always worth checking whether you could be paying less by switching to another supplier for your energy. Look for an Ofgem-accredited comparison site that is signed up to the regulator’s Confidence Code. This helps ensure that the prices and information comparison sites offer is calculated in a fair and unbiased way. Money Supermarket, Simply Switch, Comparethemarket and uSwitch are all signed up to the Ofgem code.
8. Pay direct
Setting up a monthly direct debit is likely to be the cheapest way of paying your energy bills, with some energy suppliers offering discounts if you choose to pay for your energy supply this way. Paying by direct debit can also help spread the cost of your energy usage throughout the year.
9. No more boredom buys
You know the drill: you’re checking emails when an ad pops up in your feed and before you know it, you’ve bought something. Here’s a new rule to try before you hit ‘buy’: send yourself the link to the product page and have another look the following day. Ask yourself: is this still a good purchase?
10. Stay on track
Regularly find yourself spending more than you planned? With digital bank, Monzo, you can transfer a set amount of spending money to your card, while prepaid cards from Mastercard Cashplus and Suits Me only let you spend what you load. Too high-tech? Set up a day-to-day spending account with its own card and transfer your weekly disposable income on to it.
11. Do the payday maths
“Pay yourself first – if you do this, it’s a sure way towards financial freedom,” says Emma Stevens from Corinthian Wealth Management. “I’m a fan of the 50/30/20 flexible approach: 50% of your take-home pay goes to your needs (bills, groceries, minimum debt payments); 30% goes towards fun (eating out etc); and 20% goes to Future You (debt payments above the minimums, saving for emergencies and investing).” If this split doesn’t work for you when money is tight, you can adjust the ratios as you go.
12. Think long-term
Psychologist Dan Ariely, author of Small Change: Money Mishaps And How To Avoid Them, recommends a trick he calls ‘goals and anti-goals’. You pair up something you like doing day-to-day, such as eating out, with a longer-term aim, such as going on holiday. Set up one account to cover both goals, then transfer a set amount into it each month (say, £100). This forces you to consider the long-term impact every time you go out to eat.
13. Get on top of debt
If your credit card debt is rising, use the Money Advice Service credit card calculator to work out how long it will take to pay off at your current rate and how much you’ll waste in interest. Once you’ve recovered from the shock, switch to a nought per cent balance transfer card, divide the debt between the number of interest-free months it gives you, and set up a monthly direct debit from your current account for that amount.
14. Go paperless
Arrange for household bills, bank statements and insurance policies to be sent electronically. Some companies offer a discount for receiving bills via email, and if you create a folder on your computer (think of it as an electronic filing cabinet), you’ll be able to find things more easily and keep better track of your outgoings. While you’re at it, it’s useful to set up an email address or dedicated folder that you only use for shopping e-receipts, so they’re all in one place, too.
15. Set a weekly budget
A month is a long time if keeping to a budget isn’t your strong point. It’s far easier to keep control and remain motivated if you plan week-to-week. Fixing your budget to run from Monday to Sunday creates an added incentive to be frugal during the week so you have more money for fun at the weekend.
16. Choose a budgeting app to help you
Emma tracks your spending and categorises it to help you understand your habits and show you where you are spending the most, meanwhile, Money Dashboard is great if you want an overview of what’s going in and out of all your accounts.
17. If you download only one app…
Make it one that regularly squirrels away small sums of money into an investment ISA for you, without you even noticing. Check out Plum or Moneybox.
18. Build a financial plan
Working out how to save money across a long period is sometimes hard. It can be tricky to map out a whole year’s expenditure, so why not split the year in half? Break down your income and set a financial plan for the next six months in a diary or chart.
19. A safety net for the self-employed
For anyone who is self-employed, it’s vital you plan ahead. Emma Jones, CEO of Enterprise Nation, says: ‘Record all activity in an Excel sheet to keep track of opportunities and produce a cashflow forecast for the year ahead. That way you can be prepared for any future shocks.’ Find advice and support through the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Business Bank.
20. Contribute more to your pension
New figures from Interactive Investor suggest that, thanks to changed patterns in lockdown, people have been using the money they’ve saved on travel and leisure activities to boost their pension contributions – particularly those in their 30s and 40s. So, if you don’t need your excess money straight away (you’ve paid off short-term debt and built an emergency cash buffer), few things are better value than paying into your pension. Every contribution you make to your workplace pension gets tax-relief and will benefit from compound interest over a long period.
21. Credit where credit is due
If you’re looking after a child under 12 and you’re yet to reach state pension age, you can get National Insurance credits. It doesn’t matter how many hours of childcare you take on (virtually or in person) – a working parent can transfer their National Insurance credits, which are automatically applied with Child Benefit, to you. The scheme isn’t just limited to grandparents and covers other family members, like aunts and uncles, too. The working parent in receipt of the Child Benefit will have to fill out a form to make the transfer, free of charge. Find out about ‘specified adult childcare credits’ via gov.uk.
22. Be more brand savvy
Swapping premium brands for supermarket own-brands will save you hundreds a year. Start by opting for own-brand flour, porridge oats, tinned tomatoes and pulses, spices, cereals, free-range eggs and cleaning products – you’ll hardly notice the difference!
23. Priceless pets
Some retailers, such as Pets at Home and Pet Supermarket, offer money off for bulk-buying food, if you have the space to store it. If your pet needs medicine, don’t automatically buy it from your vet without comparing costs. You could ask for the prescription and order what you need from certificated pharmacies online, such as petdrugsonline.co.uk, often at a fraction of the cost. To find the best-value pet insurance policy, use a comparison site, such as MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare and Compare The Market.
24. Get what you deserve
Need to build your credit rating? The Credit Club at moneysavingexpert.com allows you to view your credit score and compare products you’re likely to be accepted for, from credit cards to loans – free of charge.
25. Check your workplace benefits
Your employer may provide benefits such as a healthcare plan, childcare support or local discounts. Know what’s on offer so you can reap the maximum reward.
26. Keep your car costs down
Pay your car insurance premiums upfront if you can afford to. Not only is this likely to get you a better price, but it will also give you access to a wider variety of deals, as some companies only offer annual payment plans.
27. Reclaim your cash
If you have a sneaking suspicion you’ve got an old savings account with money in it, head to mylostaccount.org.uk to track it down.
28. Learn a new skill
Why call a professional to paint your living room or put up shelves when you can do it yourself? If you need a refresher on DIY basics, you can find helpful videos on YouTube. Or go to skillshare.com, which offers thousands of online classes.
29. Have an emergency fund
Life is unpredictable, and having enough in savings to cover the essentials will help you feel far more secure. A good rule of thumb is to have a three month (ideally six) emergency fund so that your rent, bills and food will be covered just in case.
30. Look in the loft
According to eBay, six in 10 people admit to having more than 50 unused items stored away – up to an estimated value of £483. Turn unwanted items into cash by selling them on eBay or preloved.co.uk.
31. Have a zero-spend day
At least once a month, aim to have a day without spending a single penny. You’ll need to plan ahead, but it’s a surprisingly satisfying challenge. So pack your lunch and leave the bank cards at home…
32. Start investing
You don’t need a lot of money to get started. Online investment platforms like Nutmeg, Moneyfarm and Netwealth are a quick and easy way to get started. You’ll be asked a series of questions online to determine your investment goals, how long you’re prepared to lock your money away for, and (crucially) your appetite for risk. One, two, ping – within a few clicks, a computer algorithm will serve you up the investment portfolio they recommend for you.
33. Go incognito
Looking for a flight? Open an incognito or private window so your browsing history isn’t stored. This stops companies tracking what you’re looking at and putting up prices.
34. Save on petrol
Petrol is a huge expense for a lot of people, and there’s no need to pay more than necessary. PetrolPrices is an app where you can compare the cost of petrol and diesel in your area and save up to £200 a year.
35. Perfect parking
Parking fees at popular spots can quickly bump up the cost of a day out. Find the cheapest places using comparison websites such as JustPark or Parkopedia.
36. Cash in on cashback
Websites such as quidco.com and topcashback.co.uk offer money back when you shop online. Simply search for the retailer on your preferred cashback site and click through to buy.
37. Understand food labels
Don’t throw food out when you don’t need to. While it’s considered unsafe to eat food after its use-by date, the best-before date is an indication of quality, such as flavour and texture, not safety.
38. A cup of cheer
Caffe Nero, Costa, Starbucks, Greggs, Pret and many more have schemes where you get money off by using a reusable cup. Only one in 400 disposable coffee cups are recycled, so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!
39. Bag a cheap holiday
Use skyscanner.net or kayak.co.uk to compare flights and find the cheapest deal for your next holiday.
40. Package it up
Package holidays that are ATOLor ABTA-protected give you the best financial protection against companies going bust or if your holidays fails to deliver the promised getaway you paid for. If an ATOL-certified travel company goes into administration, you would be protected for both your holiday and flight. Protection from ABTA covers holidays that involve rail, cruise or self-drive. If your holiday provider goes into administration, ABTA will refund you. If you’re planning a DIY holiday, aim to buy it all from one place (such as Booking.com) in one transaction, if possible, as that will give you the most protection.
41. Time it right
Research shows the cheapest days to book online are between Thursday and Sunday and accommodation check-in and check-out is best on Sundays through to weekdays. If you’re looking for a popular city or seaside holiday, choose accommodation slightly further away. This could result in a lower price and better value!
42. Boost your spending money
Want to know how to save money on holiday? If you’re going abroad this year, make the most of your spending money by avoiding foreign transaction charges. Banks charge around 3 per cent per transaction when you use your debit or credit card abroad, adding to the cost of your holiday. Take a look at multi-currency travel cards (such as Revolut, Travelex and Fair FX), which can be used anywhere you see a Visa or Mastercard sign, as they come with competitive exchange rates and have zero or reduced charges for spending abroad. You may pay a small fee for the card to be sent to you and some providers may charge for ATM withdrawals.
43. What not to do at the airport
The golden rule is to buy your currency before you travel, and never at the airport, where exchange rates are poor.
44. Read the T&Cs
MoneySuperMarket.com found that more than a quarter of drivers and homeowners/ renters are inadvertently voiding their car or home insurance. Time to read those terms and conditions!
45. Loyalty pays
If you’re a regular at a particular store, it makes sense to sign up to its loyalty scheme. Not only will you rack up credit points, but you may also be entitled to rewards with its partners.
46. Check your payslip
If you’re in a new job, it’s possible that you’ve been put on the emergency tax code. See gov.uk to check.
47. Get paid for working from home
If you’re employed and working from home, you can ask your employer to cover ‘reasonable’ costs that are specifically required for your employment. This might include desks, chairs and tech equipment. You can also claim tax relief as an allowance through HMRC, even if you only work from home on one day in a tax year. How much you can claim is calculated as a percentage of £6 per week, depending how much tax you pay:
- Basic 20% rate taxpayers can gain £1.20 (20% of £6) a week.
- Higher 40% rate taxpayers can gain £2.40 a week (40% of £6).
48. The happiest hour
Download the Dusk app to explore new bars and find the cheapest happy hours, with amazing deals, including free drinks. Currently available in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and Birmingham.
49. There is such a thing as an (almost) free lunch
If you need to refuel when you’re out and about, try the Too Good To Go or Olio app to get a reduced-price meal or snack – using food that would otherwise be thrown away by shops and restaurants.
50. Split bills with ease
The SplitWise app makes it easier to split the bill. Only one person needs to download it – just create a group, pop in who owes what and the app will split the cost.
51. Make sure you’re covered
Only 17 per cent of contents policies and 21 per cent of buildings policies include home insurance as standard, according to financial information service Defaqto, so it’s important to check if you have it. Compare prices for standalone home emergency cover at Go Compare and Money Supermarket.
52. Should I take a mortgage payment holiday?
Before you consider taking a holiday from your mortgage, be aware that missing payments, even as part of a mortgage payment holiday, will show up on your credit report and could affect future borrowing. If you take a mortgage holiday, you may not be able to switch your mortgage to another provider or change rate with your current provider. So, if you’re finding it hard to meet your repayments, shopping around for a cheaper mortgage deal might be a better option.
53. Members only
If you’re not getting your money’s worth from an annual gym contract, perhaps it’s time to consider a lower-cost, contract-free gym? Chains like Pure Gym and The Gym offer contract-free memberships for £14.99 a month. If COVID restrictions change and gyms have to close, being able to freeze or cancel your membership means that you won’t be paying out while you’re at home.
54. Check your phone contract
Are you burning your way through your mobile phone allowance? Start totalling up how much data, minutes and texts you use to find the contract that best suits you – it could save you up to £450 a year!
55. It’s a date!
Put a regular note in your diary to evaluate all your financial outgoings, from bills to everyday expenditure. This will help you track what you’re spending and you’ll be able to see where you can save money.
56. Car-share on the way to work
Drivers bought 12,906 BILLION litres of petrol last year according to the Petrol Retailers Association, and that was during the pandemic. If you’re currently driving to work alone, ask around your workplace and see if there’s anyone you could car-share with or try an app like BlaBlaCar. Splitting the cost of fuel will save you a lot of money, as well as lowering your carbon footprint.
57. Student savings
Studying at college or university? Many students forget about the discounts you can get in store and online. Download the UNiDAYS and Student Beans app or purchase TOTUM membership (from £14.99 for 12 months at totum.com) to access discounts for a range of restaurants, shops and activities.
58. Keep the kids entertained
Apps such as Kids Pass and websites like Little Bird give you access to discounts on days out, meals and cinema entry when you take out a membership (Kids Pass is £39.99 a year; Little Bird £3.49 per month). Both offer a 30-day trial for £1, so it could be worth signing up to the trial period and cancelling once the school holidays are over. Just make sure you set a reminder in your phone to remind you to cancel.
59. Make cash from your spare room
Renting out a room could give you a cash boost. You can earn £7,500 a year tax free under the government’s Rent a Room Scheme.
60. Be a snoop
The Snoop app helps you save money in a number of ways. It lets you see all you bank account and credit cards in one place, so you can keep a closer eye on your money and will also keep an eye on your utility bills and will let you know if payments are creeping up, suggesting you may need to review your provider and switch to a better deal.
61. Keep your cool
If you’re after a new product or service, don’t let salespeople pressure you into taking a deal on the spot. Always walk away or hang up and think about it.
62. Become a dog-walker
If you love pets and want to stay fit, sign up to become a dog-sitter at uk.dogbuddy.com or tailster.com. You could earn yourself £30 a day.
63. Become a mystery shopper
Sign up with a mystery shopping agency that’s registered with the Mystery Shopping Professional Association, such as Mystery Shoppers or Store Checkers. Rewards from your shop range from a freebie to £30.
64. Be a discount queen
Don’t shop without checking the regularly updated list of vouchers and codes for major UK retailers at moneysavingexpert.com.
65. Buying more for less
Buying in bulk can save big on some things, but always compare the price per unit rather than the ticket price to check if you’re really saving money. If mental arithmetic isn’t your strong point, mysupermarket.co.uk will do the work for you.
66. Too good to be true?
Check pricerunner.com and camelcamelcamel.com to make sure you really are getting a deal. In the Amazon app, click the bell to see upcoming deals. Select the ones that you’re interested in to be notified with price drops.
67. End of day discounts
Wait until early evening to bag fresh food being marked down by as much as 75 per cent at the supermarket. Save up to 70 per cent buying groceries approaching or past their best-before date from approvedfood.co.uk, or try the Too Good To Go app, which flags up places offering discounts on leftover food.
68. Never go into your overdraft again
Emma is a budgeting app that aims to help you avoid going into debt. Once you connect all your bank accounts, the app tracks your spending and categorises it to help you understand your habits and show you where you are spending the most. And if you’re always going into your overdraft, this app will alert you.
69. Walk away
Fill your online basket but don’t check out. If a store spots items sitting there, it will sometimes send a discount code. This is no myth – we’ve tried it and it works!
70. Get paid to move
Get paid to walk with smartphone apps, such as Sweatcoin and BetterPoints, which exchange your steps for store discounts and freebies.
71. Job swap
If you have a skill to offer, from putting up shelves to teaching Spanish, trade your talents for those of others without parting with a penny. Use the Nextdoor app to post jobs and find others or the neighbour group chat.
72. Be suspicious!
If something is much cheaper than everywhere else, be suspicious. Check customer reviews by googling the company – don’t rely on the ones from the seller’s site. Protect yourself using PayPal, or a credit card if the item is over £100. Never pay by bank transfer, as – like paying by cash – it’ll leave you unprotected.
73. Save without noticing
The Chip app automatically shifts money into a savings account every few days by analysing your spending and using artificial intelligence to work out what you can afford to save. The savings will really add up over time — Chip says users save an average of £221 a month, although you can set goals to save more. You can also cancel any auto-saves if you do not want the money to move.
74. Start small
If the thought of not having money to invest is stopping you from actually investing, then take a look at MoneyBox, which rounds up your spending and invests the ‘spare’ change for you.
75. Get savvy with your savings
If you haven’t already, maximise your £20,000 tax free ISA allowance. You can either put money into a cash or investment ISA. Admittedly, rates for cash ISAs aren’t great at the moment, but you’ll get more the longer you are prepared to leave the money untouched. Check out www.gov.uk/individual-savings-accounts for more information. Check for the best cash ISA rates at Moneyfacts.
76. Ask for a price match
Some shops have a policy that if you find a lower price, they will beat it. While this isn’t the case at all retailers, it’s always worth asking. Just do your research online first so that you can back up your claim.
77 Make the most of resale platforms
Did you know that the average British woman accumulates an estimated £22,000 of unworn clothes over a lifetime? It’s time to make money while you spend it by exchanging your old clobber for cash via resale platforms such as Depop, Vinted and eBay.
If your fixed term mortgage deal has come to an end you may be paying a ‘loyalty’ penalty of high interest which could add up to as much as £1,000 a year. So, talk to your mortgage broker about remortgaging to the best deal for now, or find an independent mortgage adviser at unbiased.co.uk or vouchedfor.
79. Never miss out on a deal
Use the VoucherCodes DealFinder plug-in on Chrome to be instantly alerted to the best deals when shopping online.
80. Top up your savings
One in four UK families have less than £95 in savings at any given time. The last year has been riddled with uncertainty, so it’s never been more important to have a rainy day fund just in case you need it. Putting aside just £20 a week will add up to £1,040 a year, and it’s definitely worth it to have a safety net. For long-term saving goals, a low-risk investment such as a stocks and shares ISA should outstrip inflation. Unbiased allows you to research your investment and savings options.
81. Money off childcare
If your children are aged 11 and under, you can use your tax-free childcare allowance on any Ofsted-registered nursery or childminder. For every £8 you pay in, the government will top it up with an additional £2 – check out gov.uk for more information.
82. Know a scam when you see one
Scammers are getting cleverer by the day, pretending to be your bank, parcel delivery service and even the NHS. Never give out your PIN code or password over the phone. Your bank will never ask for this, so if a caller does, hang up. A legitimate bank will also never ask for you to transfer money from one account to another.
83. Save on trains
Booking train tickets 1-3 months in advance could save you more than half the usual fare. Alternatively, split your journey, compare the difference in cost between two single tickets versus a return, use your railcards a (16-25 or 26-30 railcard will get you 30 per cent off tickets on London’s Oyster card, too). A new Flexi Season ticket offers 8 days of travel in 28 days between two stations.
84. Pay with a card
To be sure your refund is hassle free, always pay with a card. ‘If goods and services are not provided, you can make a claim under Section 75 on your credit card or ‘chargeback’ with a debit or credit card,’ says Martyn James from money advice service Resolver. Contact your card provider to ask how to make a claim. ‘Never pay using a bank transfer as you will lose this protection. Just give your long card number for a hotel or airline to take the payment,’ Martyn adds.
85. Practise money-mindfulness
You may have heard about mindfulness, the practice of acknowledging your feelings in the moment without judgement. As well as helping you relieve stress and sleep soundly, mindfulness can also be used to help you manage your finances. ‘Five minutes of visualising your debt getting smaller or your savings increasing actually changes your neural pathways,’ says Sarupa Shah from The Soul Agent Blog. ‘The brain doesn’t know the difference between actually doing and visualising so, when you visualise, your brain chemistry creates neural messages that this must be “done”.’
86. Don’t ditch the piggy bank just yet
The decline of cash has been accelerated by COVID and, if current trends continue, we could be living in a cashless society as soon as 2025. But don’t abandon your piggy bank just yet! Keeping a little cash around still has its benefits.The physicality of cash makes it harder to part with compared to the ease of tapping your card or phone. Withdrawing a set amount every week also helps you budget – you know that when it’s gone, it’s gone, so you’re more likely to make smart decisions.
87. Reassess your lifestyle
If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that nothing is guaranteed. ‘These unprecedented events have shown up different aspects of how we engage with our finances; sometimes good, sometimes bad,’ says Simonne Gnessen, founder of Wise Monkey Financial Coaching. ‘People may have tracked their spending in a way they haven’t before and been surprised, or noticed they used shopping to regulate their emotions. There are many lessons to be learned. We’ve had a chance to pause and it’s an opportunity to consider if we’re on the right track.’
88. Avoid the “pink tax”
A Good Housekeeping investigation found that the price of products aimed at women are often more expensive than the male equivalent. Toiletries in particular (especially razors) are often pricier when sold in ‘feminine’ packaging, despite being a very similar product. The easiest way to avoid this extra cost is just to buy the men’s product. The other option is to make your voice heard about the “pink tax” to brands.
89. Save on show tickets
Going to the theatre or cinema can be very expensive. Use points on your Nectar card to get money off tickets at Vue, which also has Super Monday deals. Consider becoming a member of other local picture houses and reap loyalty rewards and members-only screenings. Theatres also have schemes and concessions: the Royal Court offers £12 shows on Mondays, the National’s Friday Rush programme releases £10 tickets across all three of its theatres and there’s reduced price previews and midweek offers at Stratford-Upon-Avon’s RSC. Or, become a seat-filler with Central Tickets, offering West End and Outer London shows from just £4.
90. Check the reduced section
While doing your weekly shop, have a look at what they have in the reduced section. It’s not all dented cans of beer and eight-packs of baked beans, and you may find a bargain. Just make sure to check the use-by date.
91. Shop the sales responsibly
Sales can be a great way to get a bargain but we often end up spending money we wouldn’t have otherwise. Gareth English, consumer psychologist, explains ‘the way our minds work is that we look at the size and the proportion of reduction so if we see a big discount we are taken in.’ Try to ask yourself if you really want a product, or if you’re starry-eyed from the discount.
92. Know your cuts of meat
Knowing your meat can help you save money. Often ignored cuts like skirt, shin and top rump can still be high quality without the high price. If you want to save even more money, however, consider reducing your meat consumption and save £209 a year. Be mindful about reaching for the meat substitutes automatically – it’s far cheaper to use veggies and canned goods like lentils and beans for curries, wraps and pasta.
93. Trade in old tech
Many retailers will let you trade in your old gadgets for cash or gift cards. Though the amount will depend on the condition, even broken tech should earn you something.
94. Deal with money problems head-on
By putting off dealing with our financial troubles, we often make things worse and can build up debt. Steph McGovern, host of Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, says: ‘My best advice is to face your finances head-on. Don’t avoid dealing with any financial worries you have or assume things are going to get better. Deal with any money problems you have now and get help if you need to.’ If you need help, contact a charity such as StepChange.
95. Want to get into free events?
Any festival-goer knows that tickets are expensive, not to mention the overpriced food and camping supplies. To cut the cost, why not volunteer at a festival of your choice? Lots of festivals provide free travel, accommodation and food for people willing to hand out wristbands, clean up rubbish or oversee the campsites.
96. The one-in, one-out rule
To avoid buying things you don’t need, entrepreneur and businesswoman Deborah Meaden recommends the shopping rule she lives by. “About 10 years ago, I introduced a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy in my home. So, I’m not allowed to buy anything new unless I am replacing something else. It really does make you think.”
97. Save on takeaways
If there’s one thing the UK loves, it’s a takeaway. But ordering in regularly definitely adds up! Why not try making your own curry or veggie burger? Find our best fakeaway recipes at goodhousekeeping.com/uk.
98. Ditch delivery costs
When shopping online, you can often avoid that £3.99 delivery charge by opting for click and collect. Your parcel will be sent to a collection point of your choice such as a local store, an Amazon locker or post office.
99. Save as you shop
If you like splitting your budget into envelopes or jam jars, then the HyperJar app is for you. The free app lets you put money into digital jars – allowing you to dedicate a weekly or monthly amount spend to groceries, holidays, entertainment and so on. You can also create dedicated jars to spend at some of your favourite retailers such as Not on the High Street, Shell and Boden and earn around 4.8 per cent in interest. You put in the money into the dedicated jar, but will earn around 4.8 per cent interest on the cash.
100. Go back to basics
Simply writing down your budget with a good, old fashioned pen and paper can give you a much clearer picture of what you’re spending and where you can cut down. Split the sheet of paper into two columns: In and Out. Or do it on the computer with MoneyHelper’s online budget planner.
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