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Whether it’s how to save more money around the house, money saving tips to lower energy costs, or the best way to save money on food, this post has you covered!
Packed full of all kinds of money saving tips, it covers the best ways to save money on food, home expenses, shopping, energy, travel and transport, banking and more and features the top tips for saving money from some of the best UK money bloggers.
Every individual tip will save money, but combining and implementing more of them has the potential to seriously increase your savings amount and improve your overall finances.
“Every little bit counts, so rather than looking for one big way to save a ton of money, save in lots of small ways and set yourself up for success.”
Whether you’re looking to:
- book a holiday
- buy a new car
- pay off debt
- save for your children
- simply have more money for treats
being able to save more money is what’s going to help you achieve those goals faster!
1. Know Your Money: Budgeting
“A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went”
The first step in being able to save money, is to have a good grasp on where and how you’re spending it. The best way to do this is by creating a monthly budget. If you’ve not made one before it may take a little time, but it’s well worth the investment.
The best way to start is by gathering all your documents together (or opening up your statements if you receive them digitally). Have somewhere ready to write everything down – you can use our free budget spreadsheet here – or if you’re more of a pen and paper person this free printable might help.
First, make a list of all income sources and the amount coming in.
Next, write down all your fixed outgoings with the amounts. This will include things like your rent or mortgage payments, utility bills and other other fixed costs such as phone and television bills, insurance costs and any other subscription costs such as gym memberships or similar. Add your average grocery spend too.
Then add other expenses such as holidays, Christmas presents, and other ‘non fixed’ expenses. You may have to estimate your average spend for these.
Also add in any regular savings you make or donations to charity.
Account for every single penny of your income and know exactly where it’s going. Budgeting is the key to all things financial in a home in particular.
Once you’ve got everything put down, you’ll be able to do the maths (or let a spreadsheet do it for you!) and work out how your income compares to your outgoings. Having a clear picture of where you’re money is going also allows you to gather a better idea of which areas you may be overspending, or identify places you may be able to make further savings.
Top Budgeting Tips from UK Money Bloggers
Speak to your partner and ensure that you’re both on board with savings goals and areas where you can cut back. If you both work you can achieve fantastic goals together.
Pay yourself first each month; set up a direct debit to your savings account for payday.
2. Money Saving Tips for Food and Groceries
When it comes to living costs, food and grocery shopping is one of our most significant and regular expenditures. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest areas to make a few small adjustments to save money.
All it involves is pre-planning meals in advance and shopping according to what you need. A good way to do this is to firstly go through your fridge and cupboards to see what you already have that you could incorporate into your meals – especially dated items that need using up.
Write down a list of meals to have the following week (using those items) and compile a shopping list based on what you’ll need to make those meals. If you’ll snack, make sure to account for your snacking foods and fruit etc as well.
Then go shopping and stick to your list.
Consistently meal planning can be a great way to save money on grocery shopping every month.
Buy in Bulk
Another great way to save money on your supermarket shop is to buy more in bulk. Bigger tubs/tubes/packs of most things are usually cheaper than smaller versions. Good examples of products like this are toilet rolls, shampoo, nappies and baby wipes.
Check food items too: bigger packs of things like mince, sauces, pasta etc are often better value for money than smaller ones. For fresh items that need using like mince you can always cook a bigger portion and freeze some, that way you save yourself money buying it, then save time not having to cook another day!
Don’t shop hungry
A well known money saving tip is super simple: Never shop hungry! You’re more likely to end up with much more food in your trolley than if you shop when full. In fact, bizarrely you’re more likely to buy more non food items as well! A research study showed that hungry shoppers spent 64% more than their less hungry counterparts. Source: Science Daily.
Use cashback and receipt apps
Make use of supermarket cashback and receipt apps where useful. Some apps, such as Shopmium, Checkout Smart, Green Jinn and ClickSnap, will pay you cashback when you buy specific items. If you were buying those things anyway it’s a no brainer to get the cashback. They also sometimes pay you the entire amount back to try a new product, so worth picking those ones up if you like a freebie.
Receipt apps will pay you cash or vouchers just for uploading a photo of your receipts and answering a couple of questions about your shopping trip. It takes less than a couple of minutes to do after each shopping trip, and it all adds up!
Some supermarkets are a lot more expensive than others so it’s worth thinking about where you shop. Obviously convenience needs to be a factor because you don’t want to be going miles out of your way to do your grocery shop, but if you have a Marks and Spencer’s and an Aldi very close, one is going to cost a lot more for your weekly shop than the other.
Swapping to a budget supermarket could make a massive difference to your grocery spend each month.
Look at your shopping to see what brands you buy and consider switching to discount or own brand products. The price difference on one branded item may not seem like much, but the savings across your whole shopping trolley can be significant!
There will probably be some items you’re not willing to compromise on, but experiment and try things out! Some things might be cheaper but be just as good in terms of quality and taste.
Top Tips For Saving on Food and Groceries from UK Money Bloggers
Keep an eye out for money-off coupons and discount vouchers, which you can find on various websites and in magazines. Don’t forget to check the free in-store supermarket magazines, as these often have plenty.
Pick up freebies as much as you can and use grocery cashback apps
3. How To Save Money At Home
Home is where we spend a lot of our time, so it stands to reason that it’s also where a lot of our money is spent! Here are some money saving tips and ways to be frugal around the house.
Ditch your TV Licence
Depending on the programmes you watch, or want to watch, you may not even need one. There are loads of cheaper ways to still watch TV shows and films so it’s worth considering if you really need to be spending that £154 or if you could live without a TV Licence.
Get back to basics with cleaning products
You don’t need to buy expensive cleaning products, own brand products have much the same ingredients, or basic vinegar and baking powder can just as easily get the job done. Try an eco egg for laundry, a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to washing powder.
Repair, don’t replace
If you can repair something rather than replace it, save the money. DIY the jobs you’re able to do yourself and try sewing small holes or tears in clothes or fabrics rather than throwing away and buying new ones.
Use rechargeable batteries
Buy rechargeable batteries and reuse them instead of paying expensive prices for new ones.
Air dry laundry
Save money on energy by not using a tumble drier. Take advantage of warmer or windier days to get more washing dried outside.
Turn off the lights
Get into the habit of switching off the lights when you leave a room. This simple tip alone can save £15 a year according to The Energy Trust.
Replace standard lightbulbs with LEDs
This requires an initial investment to buy new bulbs, but with the amount you can save over the course of the life of each bulb, it’s well worth it!
Unplug things when not in use
Leaving things on standby still uses energy, so unplug things when you’re not using them to avoid using energy unnecessarily.
Use a bowl to wash up
Washing up in a bowl rather than under a running tap can actually save up to £25 a year on gas and £30 a year on water! Source: The Energy Trust.
Only heat where you need to
Turn off radiators in rooms you’re not using to save wasting heat where it’s not needed.
This is a super simple one, but try popping on an extra layer or two before turning up the heating.
Use energy efficient appliances
When it comes to the time to replace appliances, look for the highest energy efficiency rating you can get within your budget.
Wash at a lower temperature
Simply lowering the temperature to 30 degrees when you use your washing machine can make a difference, as most of the energy is spent on heating the water.
Top Tips For Saving Money From UK Money Bloggers
Consider renewable energy sources to save money in the home. There are energy companies such as Bulb who offer 100% renewable electricity and are the cheapest provider in many areas. Solar panels are a great investment to cut energy bills.
Ditch those expensive cable TV bills by cutting the cord and switching to Freeview and cheap no-contract Video on Demand services like Netflix. You can keep watching most of what you’re used to – but you’ll pay much, much less.
4. Money Saving Tips for Shopping
How many times have you bought something and hardly used it, or bought something only to see it somewhere else later for a cheaper price? These money saving tips will help to save money by spending less on shopping.
If you’re on a budget, or serious about saving money, this tip from money blogger Becky Goddard-Hill is gold:
Mindset is EVERYTHING. Consider all these anti-shopping alternatives before you buy something ( make do/ mend/ borrow /do without etc)
Here’s her Anti Shopping list – try using it before you head for the shops and see how much you can save!
Don’t pay for something you can get for free
Similar to the list above, consider if there’s a free alternative before paying for something.
Use your library. Free books, free audiobooks, free events, most libraries will also have a play area for little ones with some toys, crayons, Lego and of course books! It’s a lovely couple of hours with your kids that doesn’t cost you a penny.
Always shop around for the best price
Don’t always accept the first price you see as the price you need to pay. Compare between retailers to find the best price. You can use tools such as Pricerunner – a price comparison website or even use the shopping tab on Google to see different prices.
Use coupons and discount codes
It’s always worth checking for a discount code or coupon before you buy. Money blogger Simon Donald, who runs Pennies for the Piggy Bank suggests downloading ‘simple browser extensions to help you save money while you’re shopping online’. His recommendations include Pouch and Honey; browser extensions that will search and let you know if there’s a voucher or discount available on the website you’re browsing and automatically apply them to your shopping basket so you don’t miss out.
Always get cashback if possible
Always, ALWAYS check for cashback when you shop online. If you don’t, it’s like leaving free money on the table. All it takes is one minute and a couple of clicks and you could have a percentage of your shopping basket paid back to you.
Top cashback sites in the UK are Quidco, TopCashBack and Kidstart, each of them offering cashback on purchases at hundreds of retailers. You wont receive your cashback immediately, sometimes it can take a few weeks or months to confirm, and then you can choose to have the money transferred to your bank or PayPal account. You can even opt to have the cashback paid in gift vouchers and receive a slightly higher amount.
Take advantage of cash back or discount codes before you make any online purchase. Those pennies you save can really add up.
Money blogger Lisa Conray from The Beautiful Mama recommends a similar site called Boom25. Basically when you shop through retailers via Boom 25 you have a 1 in 25 chance of winning the entire value of your purchase back. She says “I’ve seen people pay for their holidays through the site and win the full £2-4k back! For every one you don’t win you earn a bonus amount which gets accumulated and you can withdraw when you do win. I’ve won a few times and been paid within a few days.”
5. How To Save Money On Bills And Utilities
The postman puts your letters through the box and maybe for a brief moment you get excited until you see it’s yet another bill. Inescapable and often depressing, bills are just another part of life to deal with. However there are a few easy ways to save money on the amount you pay.
Implementing the energy saving tips from above should help reduce the overall cost of energy and water bills as well.
Always compare deals
When it comes to choosing or renewing for products and services such as energy, broadband or insurance, never take the offered price without checking to see if you could pay less elsewhere.
A lot of companies offer great deals for new customers that are far better than renewal costs for existing customers. An easy way to check is by using comparison sites such as Confused.com or Compare the Market.
Don’t just assume you’re getting a good deal
Nick Daws, financial blogger at Pounds and Sense always thought he was getting a good deal on home insurance because it didn’t seem that expensive. However, when he checked prices and switched he found he could save over £500! Nick says don’t “let laziness or inertia ever stop you from looking for better deals. Even with something as mundane as home insurance…you may be as surprised as I was by how much money you can save!”
Buy a cheap travel insurance policy from compare the market (can literally get one for £1-£2), to get a year’s access to Meerkat meals and movies. Save a fortune eating out and going to the cinema!
Check for cashback
Cashback sites often have some great deals when new customers sign up for contracts, so it’s worth checking to see if you can shave money off the cost by getting some cashback.
When it comes to contracts and subscriptions for things like mobile phones and TV packages, when your contract is up it’s worth a try to call up and try and haggle for a better price.
Top Tips to Save Money from UK Money Bloggers
Never let a contract automatically renew. Always look for a better deal somewhere else or negotiate a better price.
If you get anxious about making phone calls there are still ways you haggle money off your bills – Sky, for example, have an online chat where you can ask for a discount without actually having to phone them.
6. Money Saving Tips for Travel and Transport
Whether it’s just saving money on your everyday journeys, such as commuting to work or jetting off on holiday, these money saving travel tips will help keep more of your cash in your own pocket.
Walk or cycle where possible
This has the added bonus of keeping you fit as well as saving money!
Take your own drinks
Take a reusable water bottle or hot drinks flask with you when out and about to avoid getting tempted to buy expensive drinks. This is also a good idea for long car journeys, as drinks from service stations are much more expensive.
For example, avoid unnecessary braking and keep tyres inflated properly. Also, don’t leave it until the last minute to fill up for fuel. If you’re desperate, you’re more likely to fill up somewhere more expensive.
Make use of bus passes/travel cards
If you’re using public transport, it’s often cheaper to buy a multi trip pass rather than a single ticket. Even a return journey on a bus is cheaper than buying two single tickets.
Be flexible with your travel dates
If you’re not strict with the exact dates you want to be away, searching for the surrounding dates can be a good way to find the same flights or holiday at cheaper prices.
Search Skyscanner to compare prices for flights.
Have you ever noticed when you’re searching that as you continue the prices only seem to go up and you can never find the low price again? This is possibly because of companies using search data to use to influence the prices they show you. Try searching incognito to avoid this happening.
Avoid peak seasons
Prices shoot right up during peak seasons such as school holidays so if you’re able to, try another time to pay less.
If you are free to travel at any time of the year, Take a holiday when others can’t, such as before school holidays in May and June and you’ll get a much better price. Free Child places are released in April for major tour operators such as Tui and Thomas Cook, so always book in April for the following year and not only will you have a year to pay it off, but you can get up to two free child places.
Book in advance or last minute
You’re more likely to be able to secure a good price either by booking really early in advance, or alternatively if you’re flexible with times and destinations, last minute bookings can cost a lot less.
Take your own food
Avoid extra charges for on board meals by taking your own food with you.
If you can manage with less, you can save on baggage charges by packing light and taking your luggage on board with you.
Save on currency exchange
Take out a fee free credit card that doesn’t charge for withdrawing abroad, or make sure to get a good rate on your currency exchange before you go. Exchanging currency abroad can be much more expensive, especially for small amounts.
Save on travel insurance
If you’re planning on travelling more than once in a year, a multi trip travel policy is often cheaper than buying individually each time. Another option is to look at bank accounts with a monthly fee which include travel insurance, as this may work out costing less too. You can also use price comparison websites to seek out the best deal.
Money Saving Tips For Travel From UK Money Bloggers
Take an empty water bottle through security at the airport and fill it up at a water fountain on the other side so you don’t have to buy!
Get a railcard! I have saved hundreds of pounds using a railcard on train travel around the UK. If you’re a Londoner, you can even put your railcard on your Oyster card.
7. Money Saving Tips For Banking & Finances from UK Money Bloggers
Build An Emergency Fund
A common theme among finance bloggers is the need to build an emergency fund. This should be a priority in money management and helps create more financial security.
Money blogger Francesca Henry says: “Save for an emergency fund so that you are prepared in case something goes wrong. The last thing that you want is to be worrying about how you are going to pay for an emergency. The peace of mind of having an emergency fund is more than worth it. You can do the money saving challenge for an emergency fund (with checklist) over on my blog: From Pennies to Pounds.”
Get A Bank Account With Benefits
Shop around when choosing a bank account to see what benefits they offer, such as loyalty points or reward schemes. Some may give cashback on purchases, or offer a monthly monetary reward.
Cash in on cashback. I claim cashback whenever I’m shopping online, use a cashback credit card to pay, claim loyalty points whenever they are on offer and have a current account that pays cashback on my household bills. The free money really adds up on spending I’d do anyway.
Switch Bank Accounts For Free Money
There are lots of bank accounts that will pay you to switch over to them. It’s a really simple process, you just sign up to switch to your chosen bank via the offer, fill in your details and they switch everything over for you, including any direct debits.
Get free money and other benefits from switching current accounts and max the interest on your savings with the linked savings accounts.
Are You Getting The Most From Your Mortgage?
Housing is likely to be your biggest expense: consider remortgaging to get a better deal and take advantage of a rise in your property’s value or any improvement you made. I have remortgage my flat after a year and ended up paying £300 less every month. Within 3 months I repaid the new mortgage fee and then it went all into savings!
Make use of Regular Savings Accounts
Consider taking out a regular savings account as you can often get higher rates of interest than with normal savings accounts. Quite often to qualify for these you will need to hold an account with the bank that offers the regular savings account, but it’s worth opening one as you may be able to get interest rates of around 5%.
Declutter Your Finances
Go through all your standing orders and direct debits to see if you can declutter to make savings.
Subscriptions to things can burn money each month, so cancel anything you don’t need anymore. Make sure nothing is coming out of your account unnecessarily.
8. Money Saving Apps For Your Smartphone
There are loads of money saving apps you can use on your phone to help with personal finance, budgeting, saving money, getting cashback and finding deals. Here’s a list of some of the best by category.
Money Dashboard is known as one of the best personal finance apps and is completely free. You simply join it up to your accounts and it helps you monitor and finances and keep control of your spending.
It’s simple to use, and contains a calendar which you can use to see upcoming expenses and project your finances for the next six months. It will also give insights based on your money habits and suggestions of how to save money.
Yolt is another free personal finance app. It allows you to see all your banks accounts and credit cards in one place. It helps you manage your finances by offering insights into your spending habits and also includes a comparison service to help you find better deals.
MySupermarket is a money saving app for shopping, which aims to save you 30% on each supermarket shop. It’s great for helping to organise shopping lists and comparing prices at different supermarkets for the items you need so you can easily see which supermarket will be cheapest for your shop. It also keeps you posted with new deals on the things you need as they go live.
Probably the two most well known and popular cashback sites both offer a mobile app version to use on the go. With Quidco and Topcashback you can earn a percentage of cashback on your online shopping purchases when you shop via the link on their website. Similar to the websites you can search for retailers, see whether any cashback is available and use the cashback link to shop. You can also view your account details and see the progress of your cashback.
Supermarket Cashback Apps:
Shopmium is an supermarket cashback app that pays you a certain amount of cashback when you buy specific items during your supermarket shop. You can browse the app to see what offers are available (you can sort by your preferred supermarket) then if you fancy any of them you can claim that offer.
Then you simply purchase that item, scan the barcode and upload a picture of your receipt. Once approved you’ll be paid the cashback amount into your PayPal account.
Some items are fully refunded – so free, others are reduced by 50% or offered as a buy one get one free deal.
Sign up with code z6e89 to receive a free jar of Nutella.
Apps that work in much the same way as Shopmium include:
Receipt apps are consumer research data gathering apps that pay you to take photos of your receipts after your shopping trips and answer a couple of quick questions. They are simple to use, and once you’ve snapped enough receipts you can request to cash out your earnings in the form of Amazon vouchers or other gift cards.
Receipt apps you can download and use include:
- Receipt Hog
One of the most popular voucher apps, Vouchercloud will search for the best savings local to you and give you vouchers for shops, restaurants, days out entertainment and loads more.
Similar apps include:
Groupon is a discount app that is best for offering discounted prices on experiences such as spa days, dining deals, and getaways. It also offers discounts on products and shopping. You can search Groupon by filtering by location to be shown the best deals local to you.
Similar to Groupon, Wowcher is an app that searches for the best deals and saves you up to 80% on deals locally and nationally.
Saving And Skimming Apps:
If you’re not familiar with concept of ‘skimming’ it simply involves moving small amounts of money out of your account and into savings. The idea is to move small affordable accounts that you wont miss. These savings will then accumulate until you’ve built up a good sum.
You can, of course, skim your own accounts manually, but there are a few apps out there that take the hassle of of it, by analysing your spending and working out what’s realistically affordable, and moving the money into savings for you.
Each of these apps work by artificial intelligence – clever bots that work within Facebook messenger to communicate with you about your finances. Savings can be paused and resumed as you wish, and you can withdraw back from your savings at any point.
You can also use these apps to monitor your accounts, receive breakdowns and insights into your spending habits and for help with budgeting.
Three of the most popular apps that offer this are:
So there you have it – SO many easy ways to save money in so many aspects of life, and there are are probably plenty more that could be included. Saving money doesn’t have to mean just scrimping or struggling, it could be as simple as just making some small changes. I really hope some of these money saving tips are useful!
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