65 tips you can use today: The largest list of tips on how to save money in UK give your savings a boost or get out of debt fast
How to save money on clothes, shoes & accessories
1 Buy almost new apparel
You would be surprised at what you can find on internet used nowadays. Some of it is unwanted gifts but mostly it is stuff people want to sell in order to get money for their next branded purchase.
2BUY FROM DISCOUNTERS
If you love your brand but love your money even more than this one is for you. Discounters carry stuff in odd lots so you might not always find what you are looking for but the cost savings on new stuff can be enormous.
How to save money on groceries
3 BUY from hard discounters
Lidl and Aldi are the two hard discounters in UK. The selection they carry is limited but the prices can be much cheaper than mainstream supermarkets. If you are lucky to have a store near you it is worth a visit before you go to your normal supermarket.
Remember: Supermarkets are habit forming, therefore Lidl and Aldi stores make no sense first time you visit. Stick with it and you would soon find a method to the madness.
4 Make a list of things to buy before you go to supermarket
Supermarkets are evil. As soon as you walk in; the gatherer instinct from your hunter-gatherer ancestors kicks in. Before you know you have bought twice the things you you wanted to buy. A few weeks later you are throwing away food which you never got round to eating.
The solution: Make a list before you step outside the home and stick to it.
5BUY own brand products from supermarkets
Own brand products at supermarkets are much cheaper than branded ones.
The reason is that there is little to no marketing expenses incurred by super markets as compared to likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble. But beware of: Buy in small quantities and try first. Not all own brand products are as good as branded ones. It requires a bit of trial before you can work out which ones work for you
6 Accumulate Tesco or Nectar card points
If you loyally accumulate points over the year they can turn into something special. Tesco club card is a great way to accumulate air miles. While this is slow and steady work you are essentially getting paid to waive the right card at the checkout.
But remember: It is always much cheaper to buy from discounters if you can. See point no. 3 above. The benefit from loyalty card points is much much less as compared to price savings you can get by buying from the likes of Lidl & Aldi.
7 Grow your own food
If you have a garden or large balcony and lots of patience than this is one of the most rewarding ways to save money. Spending time with plants is also therapeutic and relaxing.
You can get an allotment which is a very small piece of land to farm from your council. Although waiting lists are long and you do have to roll up your sleeves.
8 Buy in bulk
If you can spare the time you can shop in bulk at Costco. Costco has great quality stuff at good prices. You are only allowed to shop if you fall within one of the required categories of professionals. The membership costs £30 per year so it is only useful if you plan to be there at least twice every three months.
9 Buy from Poundland
Poundland has more than 500 stores which sell all items at £1 each. The quality is comparable to supermarkets but saving on toiletries and general use items such as batteries can be phenomenal.Find your local Poundland store here.
10 BUY LOCALLY
Head down to your local Farmer’s market or the Sunday market and you could fetch yourself some good bargains.
But be careful: Prices are not always cheaper than supermarket although you do get the happiness out of supporting local small business and buying sustainably.
How to save money on interest, bank charges & insurance
11 Go through your bank accounts and cancel any direct debits you don’t need
Over time we accumulate direct debits. It is worth-while having a look at these every month or so to see if the services you are buying automatically are the ones you actually need right now.
12 Compare insurance prices before you buy
This ones goes without saying. Before you buy any insurance you must check your options with comparison websites. However, don’t forget the comparison sites are also middle man and therefore add their commission on top. But since many suppliers just don’t deal direct any way or don’t currently offer cheaper prices elsewhere you are generally stuck with them.
There are however some execution only brokers who charge minimum fees and can be very cost effective. Further sometimes it could also be cheaper to go to Companies who only deal direct such as directline.co.uk.
Highly recommended: Your 1st point of call should be Cavendish Online. Because they don’t charge massive commission the prices of products you can buy through them are almost always cheaper than comparison websites. If that doesn’t work than try the comparison websites.
13 Don’t renew travel insurance just yet
Don’t renew your travel insurance until your next trip is up. You can buy online and it is effective immediately so why pay for the period it wont be used.
14 Avoid extended warranties
Extended warranties are a bit of rip-off. Insurance has to be about protecting against catastrophe not against minor inconveniences. Think about this if you buy extended warranties for all the household durables you would end up paying £30-40 per month. Over the course of the year you have paid about £ 400.
This only makes sense if you are loosing one of the items you insured every year. The possibility of this is remote.
Bet beware of: If you have young kids at home you may indeed be better off buying whatever happens warranty as the possibility of water spilling on your new laptop suddenly goes up!
Bonus tip: Do check out John Lewis before you buy electronic or electrical goods as their prices are competitive, customer services is great and they throw in extended warranty for free on many things.
Highly recommended: Co-operative electrical is offering extended warranty at cost! This is much much cheaper than high street. If you must buy extended warranty calculate the total cost of ownership rather than the purchase price and decide on that basis.
15 Avoid Bank & Credit card charges
If you have more than one accounts, schedule a time on the weekend(first things on Saturday last thing on Sunday whatever you can stick to). Look through your bank and credit card accounts and make sure that you have enough money in place in right accounts to ensure you don’t get hit with a penalty for delayed payment or bounced direct debit.
16 Switch your bank and get £100
Firstdirect which has awesome customer services is offering £100 if you switch your bank account to them. And a further £100 if you don’t like them and want to switch back.
Bonus point: They also have consistently great deals on loans and mortgages as they are totally online and only deal direct eliminating the middle man (but you can use HSBC branches for any on-ground services you might need).
17 Get a Cashback or Reward credit card
A slow process but use the right card every time you shop and you can get yourself a nice little surprise at the year-end to help chase away the winter blues.
18 Buy through cashback sites
Cashback sites pay you a little back when you purchase any thing through their site. These are worth checking out before making a significant purchase online. Think of them as cherry on the top. Don’t make purchasing decisions based on availability in sites as you would almost always end up being out of pocket.
How to save money on recreation & culture expenses
19 Swap instead of buying books
If you read physical books regularly you can swap your books with others. All you pay is postage.
20 Listen to your music on grooveshark
Grooveshark has the biggest collection of free music for streaming. They have great variety and the quality of sound is amazing.
21Get rid of cable tv
Admittedly not for every one but if you don’t watch a lot of TV you could just cut your cable connection and move to Freeview, Youview or Netflix.
22 Carry your own popcorn and drinks to movies
This one is for people with thick skin but savings can be phenomenal as the snacks sold in cinemas carry prices which are scarier than the scariest of the movies. You do risk getting caught and being asked to throw the food. This wikihow articles explains the drill with pictures.
23Get unlimited card from Cinevworld
If you are a movie fan than this one is for you. For £16.40 per month you can watch unlimited movies in almost all the Cineworld cinemas in UK. Plus you get 10% discount on all the snacks you have to buy from the theater. Works best if used along with tip no. 22. You can apply for your card here.
24 Get digital editions of magazines instead of paper editions
If you own a tablet or a large phone you can save a bit of money if you go for digital editions of magazines rather than papers ones.
25 Buy discounted event tickets
No brainier but requires some advanced planning.
26 Signup for daily deals email
Not always useful but sometimes you can find gems which can help you experience something which you otherwise couldn’t afford.
27 Book at Airbnb rather than hotels when going on vacation
AirBnB can often work out cheaper than hotels.
Bonus: You can meet some really interesting people and get a window into other cultures and lifestyles. You can search for an Airbnb host at your next travel destination here.
28 Carry your own food for dayouts or vacations
Sometimes you want to experience the local cuisine but many times it is worth making a quick wrap to carry with you rather than going to Macdonlad as a default choice. Here are 54 recipes to make wraps in a jiffy.
29 Rent out your house on airbnb when you go on vacations
It is worth checking if you can let your house when you are on vacation. If you are lucky you could get yourself a free vacation! Remeber you can let your house out up to £4,250 per year tax free(if you earn less than that you don’t even have to file a tax return, if otherwise not required).
But be careful and check the terms of your lease if you live in a rented or leased property yourself.
How to save money on Home Durables
30 Buy used smart phone rather than a new one
With every new iteration of smart phones looking like slightly elongated and thinner version of the last one you could save a bundle if you buy a used phone.
If you quickly do the maths:
|Buy a new iPhone for 600||Buy 2 yrs old iPhone for 200|
|Sell it in 2 years for 200||Resale value 0|
|Cost over 24 months 400||Cost over 24 months 8.3|
|Monthly phone cost 16.7|
31 Buy from United States
Know someone coming from US, see if you can persuade them to buy your next phone, tablet or laptop and lug it for you. The prices are usually cheaper in US as tax rates are lower and VAT can also be significantly lower. Definitely worth a wait for a month or so.
|iPhone 6 64 GB unlocked in silver priced in UK £619||Same phone in US delivered £465|
32 Need furniture or other household odds & ends head down to Ikea
Ikea has taken the urban world by storm. Their products are stylish,easy to assemble and are easy on the pocket.
The downside: You have to invest some time in assembling and don’t bet on bequeathing your furniture to your grand children.
How to save money on Children costs
33 Share a nanny
UK has some of the highest child care costs in the world. One way to manage the costs is to share a nanny with a local family.
Bonus: Kids might benefit from having other kids to play with.
This website helps you find local families who might be interested in nanny sharing.
34 Use your childcare vouchers
If your company provides childcare vouchers than using these could mean big savings. However this can affect your eligibility for child benefit so you have to carefully consider if you would be actually better off before going down this route.
How to save money on Healthcare/Medical costs
35 Prepay prescription
If someone is in the unfortunate position of requiring more than 12 prescriptions per year they can save money by buying prepaid prescription certificate. An yearly certificate costs £104.
From this website one can see how much can be saved and order a certificate.
36 Buy your glasses or lenses online rather than from high street
The glasses and lenses prices on high street can be an eyesore. The solution buy online. The process is not much slower than buying from high street shops. You do need to get the prescription from the high street though and there are some technicalities involved but the cost savings can be enormous.
37 Cancel your gym membership
Get out of the gym racket. If you have not been there in last 3 months than what makes you think you would go again? If you do go than all power to you.
Also consider buying a home running machine. Really good ones can be had for £500 and you are more likely to use them while watching your favorite program on Netflix than heading down to gym after a hard day at work.
How to save money on Dining out/Restaurant expenses
38 Carry your own work lunch
This is one of the easiest wins. Say you work 200 days in office and carry your lunch 80% of the time. You could save £800 per year. You would need to be a little bit smart and planned. For inspiration look at the ideas for wraps in tip no 22.
39 Bulk cook
When cooking dinner cook for two times and make a lunch of it next day.
40Search for discount offers at Opentable or otherwise online before heading down to a restaurant
Opentable is a lovely little website where you can book restaurant places online. It always has some offers on and is therefore worth a check before heading out.
41 Buy your own latte machine
Love your latte, well me too. But the expenses can add up. The solution buy your own latte machine and keep in your office. Good ones can now be bought for less than £100.
Bonus: You can choose a really lovely premium coffee as compared to run of the mill coffee from you office cafeteria.
How to save money on Mobile, broadband and land line costs
42 Drop the contract
Mobile contracts are so last decade. Go for contract free cheap deals. These are just same networks repackaged any way.
43 Haggle when your mobile contract ends
This is one of the best ways to reduce your mobile phone costs. I once haggled down from £20 per month to £6 per month for same minutes and calls. The trick is to call your mobile company and say you want to move to another provider and let them come back you with the offer and then bargain hard.
44 Cut down on minutes and data allowance you don’t need
Many people don’t use all their call and data allowance. You can either look at last few months bills yourself and shop for options or use automated tools which can suggest alternatives.
45 Shop around for your broadband
Obvious however don’t fall for super cheap deals with phone line bundled in if you use your land line phone with any regularity. We have generally found that it is better to get your phone from BT and compare broadband separately, as not only BT rates are competitive it throws in free call to 0845 and 0870 number in its free packages.
Further its SmartTalk app allows you to call UK numbers from abroad as if you were in UK. Overall in our experience this option work cheaper than the packages which might appear to be really cheap at the start.
46Don’t buy lottery tickets
Lottery tickets go up when there is always a big jackpot. Sadly the fact remains that there is more chance of someone being struck by lighting than winning the lottery. Skip the lottery but if not go for premium bond investments, that way at least your capital remains intact.
How to save money on Transport costs
47 Split rail tickets
Strangely enough sometimes it is cheaper to buy two tickets for partial journeys to get somewhere than a buy a through ticket.
This article from popular money saving blogger Miss Thrifty explains in detail.
48 Book in Advance
Tickets are cheaper in advance that’s old knowledge. Here is a tip: Set a reminder to book your tickets for next six months at the end of every month in outlook or Google calender. This way you never forget to book in advance and end up paying too much last minute.
The optimum lead time to buy tickets is usually 12 weeks.
49 Cycle to work
If you are an adventurer than cycling to work can save you money and in some cases even time. There is also a government scheme which allows you to buy to a bike from your pre-tax salary. But sadly only if your employer participates. For details check with your employer.
50 Use bus rather than train
Train tickets are expensive specially if you live in London. Some times if you are not fussed about time you can just bus it. Carry your favorite novel and you wouldn’t even know where time went. This also works very well on inter-city trips.
To get from London to oxford on Oxford bus service called Oxford tube costs £18 return while the cheapest train ticket for any time day return is £59(Train tickets are cheaper if you book in advance but that is not always possible).
51 Coincide your car fuel fill with your visit to supermarket
Many supermarkets also have a fuel pump close by. A lot of times they have deals going such as buy x amount from us and get 5p off your petrol. Further the variability in fuel prices can be enormous withing a five mile radius.
This website allows you to search for cheap fuel prices by your post code.
52 Tricks to reduce your car insurance bill
Did you know that sometimes adding your partner to the car insurance can actually reduce the premium amount. Crazy but true. Definitely worth a check.
Can your profession be described in more ways than one. Some times just changing job title can reduce your premium.
Beware of: Make sure your title is not misleading, as if it is you, could loose your insurance cover if you have to claim.
How to save money on housing costs
53 Buy your own house
This one could prove controversial with some people but buying your house as compared to renting can prove to be one of the best financial decision you make. The trick is to realize two things:
– Don’t compare rent with total mortgage payment. Compare it with interest repayment only, as the remaining portion is principal repayment which is a form of saving.
-Subject to the risk you take of increase in interest rates, when you buy your house you fix your monthly repayments while rents would probably go up in long term by the rate of inflation.
The key risk lies in the fact that house prices can go down but if you are buying to stay in for long term you can sit out any short term fluctuations.
You can find many blogs on internet on how to save money. Buying your own home if done rightly can give you enormous savings over your lifetime.
54 Prepay your mortgage
If you have a mortgage prepaying it will start saving you interest from the same month. And remember this saving is interest free as compared to an amount left in the bank account. Many mortgage providors allow over-payment up to a point.
On the flip side once money has gone against mortgage you can’t withdraw it back. Make sure you keep enough for your other commitments, a rainy day fund and other investment options.
55 Compare before getting your mortgage
This one is a no-brainier but don’t forget to check if you can get mortgage with Firstdirect as their rates can be much cheaper in some cases.
Also their offset mortgage can be a very good deal as it allows you to pay no interest on amount of money in your bank account. You retain the flexibility to withdraw and prepay as much as you want.
Goes without saying that if you affairs are complicated consider seeking professional advice.
56 Downsize the house
If you are renting and don’t need the second bed room than just move to one bed room house or flat. Good if you don’t have many guests, and if you have occasional visitor you can always put them up with an Airbnb host around you.
57 Cut your council tax bill
You are entitled to 25% deduction on council tax if you are a single person living alone. Remember students are exempt so if you or your partner is a student you could still get that reduction!
58 Get insurance to guard against home emergencies
This one is counter intuitive but you could save yourself a money shock if you buy a home cover so you don’t have to worry about being suddenly out of pocket.
59 Dial back your thermostat by 1
According to energy saving trust website just by this one act alone you can save £75 per year.
60 Compare energy prices
Find out when your contract for gas and electricity is ending and set a reminder to yourself to compare your options one month before it expires. Once your contact is up you would be put on standard tariff and this can be significantly higher than what you can get on a contract (you get after some research).
The other trick to be aware of is that if you do buy both gas and electricity from same supplier and pay by direct debit you can get further savings.
But beware of: Getting into a contract which extends beyond your rental period can be problematic. Check what happens if you have to move out before you sign on the dotted line.
61 Replace your bulbs with energy saving lighting, as they give up the ghost
According to this article by Uswitch you can save £6 per year by replacing a legacy bulb with a CFL bulb.
62 Insulate your house
If you are lucky enough to own your house and if it is not newly build than getting it insulated can really help with energy bills.
Here is uswitch again offering detailed advice on insulating your home and savings you can expect.
63 Upgrade you boiler to save money
About 60% of your gas bill go towards boiler and upgrading it can reduce your energy expense by about 35%. Further there is actually quite a bit of help available for people on lower income to allow them to modernize. This article explains in more detail.
64 Get a water meter
If you don’t have a meter your water usage is estimated. This means in certain situations you can save money by asking for a water meter to be installed.
65 Get furniture and household appliances for free
Yes you read it right. Freecycle is a movement dedicated to reducing the cost and environmental footprint of modern day living by giving away the stuff you don’t need for free.
But beware of: Remember any body can be a member of this group so consider your personal safety first before inviting a member to come collect your spare sofa
You can find your local freecycle group to join from free cycle website here.