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 does this list work?
We know that not all the tips would be useful for every one. The list is therefore divided into sections, for example how to save money on utilities, on textbooks, on education etc . Read and use the ones you like. Even if you implement 10-15 you should be able to shave 5-10% from your monthly expenses.

How to save money on clothes, shoes & accessories

Liketwice webite

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.

Where to buy stylish almost new items?

Find used apparel on Ebay The biggest source if you are ready are to bid and wait.

But beware of:  Large postage charges. Many times you can offer to collect things from seller, useful if you have time on your hand but money is tight. 

Oxfam Save money while doing good. Oxfam has all sorts of apparel for sale at really good prices and with standard delivery terms.

Liketwice Great brands at good prices.  Another site worth checking out.

Note: The site by default shows US options which you can change to UK from drop-down on top left.

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.

Our favorite 3 discounters of fashion merchandise in UK
TK Maxx Tk Maxx’s slogan “Big labels small prices” says it all. They have more than 277 stores in UK & Ireland.  In addition they also sell online. They claim to sell big label merchandise at about 60% less.

The downside: Grab it quick. Once it is gone it is gone.

Vente-Privee Vente-Privee has prices which are up to 70% less than original prices. They operate a daily sales model via an email (with time-limited offers) delivered in your inbox.

Bonus: Check their awesome website.

OMGFashion OMGFashion sells great looking own brand products at great prices with next day UK delivery.

Bonus: Up to 25% student discount.

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.  

Is there a Lidl or Aldi near my house?

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.

Not for faint-hearted. This is how my allotment looked at on allocation.
Not for faint-hearted. This is how my allotment looked on allocation.

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. 

Useful links
BBC guide on growing your own food
Buy your seeds online at Rocket 
All about allotments: This website has a collection of useful links on allotments including how to get one and suggestions on what to grow.

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.

My direct debits app from BACS
This app gives you an overview of all your direct debits so you can cancel the ones you don’t need and ensure you have enough funds in your bank accounts for the ones you do need.

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.

Top 3 financial comparison websites
ComparetheMarket.com The website with cute Meerkat toys

Moneysupermarket 

Gocompare Remember the fat annoying singing guy

 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.

Compare cashback and reward credit cards
This article from moneysavingexpert has all the information you need to make an informed decision.

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.

Top 3 cash back sites

Topcashback UK’s highest paying cash back site

Quidco Brand you know-Rewards you’ll love

These two sites are neck to neck in delivering value and are best paying.

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.

Useful links
Readitswapit is your best bet. Works best with best seller paperbacks

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.

Top 3 alternatives to Cable TV

Youview Watch 70 channels plus catchup and on demand programs

You have to buy box for one time cost of £140. If you want on-demand programs you also need a live internet connection.

Freeview  Watch 50 channels

You have to buy the box for one time cost starting from £100.

Netflix All you can watch for a flat price of £6.99 per month

As long as you have fast internet!

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.

Top Link
Here is  timeout website explaining how to get cheaper theater tickets.

And here is lastminute.com page with discounted theater tickets

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.

Top websites
Groupon 

Bownty This is a daily deal aggregator i.e. it pulls together deals from other daily deal websites. 

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.

Better off calculator
The HMRC website provides the details and a calculator which shows whether you would be better off using child care vouchers.

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.

Checkout this lovely Delonghi machine at Amazon

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.

Best contract free options for mobile phones
Giffgaff For £10 you can get 500 minutes, 1 GB data and unlimited texts. What’s not to like.

Three For £13 you can get 600 minutes and 1 GB data.

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.

Analyze your mobile bill.
Mobilife Find mobile deals which are suitable for your usage

 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.

Where to compare your broadband options

Gocompare

This seems to be only option which allows you to compare the broadband deal without bundling in phone calls.

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).

How to compare options for inter-city travel
Rometorio.com is an awesome website which allows you to compare travelling options by flight, train and bus along with cost.

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.

Buy vs rent calculator
This rent vs buy calculator can come handy in making a decision.

 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.

Where to get home emergency cover
You can compare the home emergency options at Gocompare.com.

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.

Compare energy prices
Here are 4 options for you to compare energy prices and get the best deal. It is advisable to try at least two of these websites as not all have the same deals. Better if you do more.

Comparethemarket.com

Moneysupermarket.com

Uswitch.com

Confused.com

 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.

Water Meter
This handy calculator helps you calculate if you would be better off with a water meter.

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.

 

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Written by Rajkanwar batra