Feeling the economic pinch? Recently opened your wallet or purse, only to find crumbs, with no sign of coppers? Times are tough – just look at the humble Freddo and his outrageous 25p price tag. I mean – what is this madness?
So for those feeling money strains, here are some up tried and tested ways to save money – so you can spend it on stuff you love!
Befriend everyone you meet – particularly catering staff. They deal with demanding managers and your disregarded lunch remains. Most customers are grumpy or consider eye contact a crime.
So why not engage staff with small talk and a smile each lunch time, it could make a big difference. They might accidentally throw you some extra Baked Beans along the way because they like you.
We love to feel appreciated, so a compliment or chat can make our day. This applies also to bar workers, bus drivers, taxi drivers and shop workers. They may even let you off if you’re 5p short!
Oh and thanks for the free banana the other day, you know who you are 😉
2. Student Cards, Wowchers, O2 Priority Moments, Tesco Clubcard points, Parking Tickets with McDonald’s Vouchers on the Back.
Fancy a meal with loved ones? Or bagged yourself a hot date?
Then I recommend researching which tasty eatery in your area has the best offers that will give your purse a breather. Simply perusing the web beforehand can save often help you save money. I recently had 40% off my bill at Pizza Express due to a flash of my NUS card.
For those dollar-free diners, check out this bad boy : http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-restaurant-deals
3. Drink Water When Dining Out
I know you want Pimms, Prosecco or a Pineapple Juice with your meal, but drinks really add those extra digits to the bill. A main course is roughly about £10, so I recommend hiring a jug of water for your table! It’s refreshing, healthy and helps you digest your food. Tips optional :p
4. Become the Yellow Sticker Warrior
You may have to fight off some fellow bargain vultures, as most supermarkets have a discount section. Find out the time the stafft reduce their stock and get to the aisle for some cheeky reductions.
If you can’t find this area, look out for a pimply teen Tesco worker, equipped with a handheld sticky-label machine. He will likely look terrified whilst surrounded by a swarm of discount-frenzied shoppers.
5. Use your Freezer, Your New Bff.
You can freeze pretty much everything. That 99p mince you bought with the Yellow discount sticker? Bung it into your Hotpoint or Polar G595. Which leads us onto our next tip…
6. Make Mega Meals, and Spread Them Across the Week.
Fancy a good idea to save time, ingredients and energy? I once made a cauldron’s worth of Bolognese. I threw in 2 boxes of mince and 3 can’s worth of chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and sliced onion (not as healthy as the gif above sadly). I then split these into several different Tupperware boxes. I popped these into the freezer to save them for another day or week. Tupperware can be your secret weapon in saving food for another day. There was Spaghetti Bolognese, Jacket Potato Bolognese and even Bolognese wraps. While you’re at it, make a…
7. Food Diary
Plan out what you’re going to eat across the week. This really helps when purchasing ingredients, and thinking what other dinners you can create with them.
This website helps you create new meals based on what leftover bits and pieces you have in your kitchen. http://myfridgefood.com/
I’m having bacon and cheddar potatoes tonight…
8. Buy in Bulk
Take advantage of supermarket offers. Toothpaste for £1 ? Buy 5. Herbal Tea, buy 1 get 2 free? Get 10!
You won’t have to stock up on Toothpaste or Tea for a long time, and you’ll also beat the inevitable inflated rates of Toothpaste of the future. I once scoffed at a friend who had 10 Listerine bottle stocked up, but now I’m thinking he was actually being quite clever.
Caution this does no work on items with short sell by dates. Obvs.
9. Don’t Fool for Supermarket Manipulations
Millions are spent by supermarkets to strategically drain the money out of your wallet.
Whilst waltzing through Waitrose, look high and low to find out supermarket bargains. The items that are most profitable for them tend to be in your direct line of sight, whilst the offers aren’t eye level.
Have you ever noticed bright and nice smelling fresh fruit and veg is stocked near the entrance, whilst essentials – milks, egg and cheese are hidden at the back. Checkouts strategically place cheap small things next to them. These innocent things are part of their big scheme to keep you in there for as long as possible. The longer you’re there, the more you will buy! Stick to your shopping list. Get in, get out, done.
10. Say ‘No’ to Ice
Oh hey. Is that you at the bar crying at the price of a £5 vodka and coke? A lot of clubs and pubs love filling up your beverage with enough ice that could take down the Titanic. It keeps it chill, but heavily diluted and remarkably content free. Even in the sheer cold of winter (or summer in our case), they’ll happily turn your cocktail into a Slush Puppy.
Say no to the ice. If you’re really hardcore, say no to the mixer as well.
(Please drink responsibly by the way!)
11. Become Your Own Personal Accountant.
I know this may seem lame, but keeping track of your ingoings and outgoings can really pay off. You can find where the big bucks are going to. If you collate all your direct debits, your bills and memberships, it will give you an idea on how to keep prices down.
12. Buying Online?
Here’s an interesting technique to save money whilst online.
Add your purchases to your online basket, and click through the various stages of the checkout process. Before you click BUY – stop, maybe even go to bed. Chances are, you may receive an email from the website, who are flummoxed by your indecision. They will send you a discount to make sure you follow through and complete your transaction!
13. Haggle With Your Providers
If you’re thinking of leaving an Internet, Satellite or Insurance service provider due to increasing high costs, then play hard ball. Contact them to say that regretfully you will be looking elsewhere for a cheaper deal with a rival company.
In a lot of cases, they will try to keep you on board by cutting your current price down and possibly throwing in extras. You have proved your loyalty to them, and they won’t want to lose you to a competitor.
14. Compare the Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerkat
Thank you Sergei! Always check your comparison sites when looking up contracts or buying big purchases. This works with all types of contracts and insurances, I think it’s a fantastic idea to shop around. Don’t be be fooled by advertising such as DON’T MISS OUT and LIMITED TIME ONLY – it’s marketing twoddle that convinces you that offers are urgent.
15. Online Shopping
If you’re buying something online, a Google Image Search might do you great steed. An identical product on Amazon might be cheaper on Ebay. Simply right click and choose ‘Search Google For Image.’ On the search, it will come up with a list of different websites to buy from.
Take Mr Root’s sauce above for example, right click on that Saucy stuff.
With a Google search by image, one retailer offered it at £1.60, another £1.49 and one supermarket has it at just £1! It doesn’t hurt to be a little crafty!
16. Have a Dinner Party, Bring a Dish
Instead of going out for a meal with friends, why not have a little cook off session at home? Get all your guests to bring something to contribute to the dinner (perhaps a bottle of Blossom Hill Wine or a box of After 8’s) and you can cook something truly wonderous for a fraction of the price.
You can choose the furniture, the music, and there is no tip required! Some friends might even be open to do the washing up after.
17. Don’t Use the Gym, Park It!
Don’t fancy being tied into a scary gym contract? Then channel your inner Phoebe!
Many people I know are still in year-long contracts, and end up going twice. Instead, I recommend turning your outside world until your own fitness kingdom. Most London parks have equipment which you can use, whilst there is plenty of greenery (or beaches if you’re really lucky) where you can run through and build up your stamina. It’s a lot more exotic than literally going nowhere on a treadmill.
18. Share Lifts With Colleagues
This is a good way to shave petrol costs and bond with Arnold from Administration. Share rides to work with a colleague, and contribute towards the mileage. As long as there’s no impromptu singing whilst in a traffic jam, it’s a fantastic way to half the costs of driving and save fuel and resources.
19. Get On Yer Bike.
Another way to save petrol is to get a bicycle. Drivers may hate you, but as well as saving you cash, it is keeping you fit.
Just make sure to take off the stabilizers once you’ve mastered it.
20. Book Train Fares As Far In Advance As Possible.
We know train privatization is an absolute bugger, and some fares are horribly expensive. Bournemouth to London single fare at £54? No thanks. Well, unless I can go using First Class or actually have a go at driving the train myself.
You can get much better prices if you book in advance. Some trains journey even have 75% off their price if you know what time and date you’re going. Also, consider National Express coaches for a sometimes cheaper alternative. All aboard the Coach Trip!
21. Track Down Cheap Parking
Cheap parking is a road based miracle. Luckily these guys have constructed a website which lists paid parking spaces in your area, as well as how much they cost.
22. Feeling Penniless at the Pumps?
Again, the Internet has saved the day. Find out which Petrol Station is cheapest in your area, by researching who is giving you the best rates. It finds you the cheapest, average and most expensive price for your petrol needs. https://www.petrolprices.com/
23. Sell Old Belongings Online.
Remember that old Tamogotchi you bought for a £5 at Toymaster back in the Nineties? Some oddball out there might pay you over £100 if it’s in mint condition. Collectors love all sorts of stuff, and the better the state, the more they’ll spend. Classic comics, McDonalds toys, Pogs, Furbies, Movie Posters… someone out there might want to splash their cash in the stuff lingering in your attic.
Also, there are some interesting people out there who like to buy well-worn and battered old shoes… click if you dare.
24. Never Buy Food at the Cinema.
Avoid those tasty treats being promoted outside Screen 9. Prices are often trebled for the luxury of being in close proximity to your movie. Consider getting some cheaper snacks beforehand (we’re talking Costcutter Toffee Popcorn 200g)
This also applies to expensive snacks in trains, planes and events. Beware their ‘tax.’
25. Go Dutch on Dates.
Splitting the bill 50/50 is a fantastic way to save some cash. There is no need to splash away your fortunes when sharing a romantic evening with candlelight. You shouldn’t need to treat someone to a full-blown meal when your company is amazing enough….right?
26. Stockpile Sachets, Hotel Soap, Freebies and Samples.
Take advantage of every free little thing you receive. Hotel shampoo and bodywash mini bottles can be taken home, and condiment sachets can be stockpiled so you don’t have to fork out for a bottle of Heinz.
27. If Travelling Through London, Rent a Boris bike or Get an Oyster Card
When going to London, you will be faced by many things – blocked traffic, swarms of tourists and possibly a rotating Boris Johnson. Yet the most scary thing you will discover is how expensive everything is.
One common mistake new travellers make is to fork out for a All Day Travelcard, which is a hefty £12. Instead, buy yourself an Oyster Card, which will give you a lot more control over what you spend and a lot of the journeys prices will be capped.
Another idea is to rent a Boris bike to ride across London. An activation free costs £2, and the first half hour on the bike is free! It is £2 per half hour thereafter.
28. Get Friendly With the Neighbours.. Split the Internet bills and Share the Wi-fi Costs/Netflix
This is an interesting one. Providing you have a good relationship with your neighbours (consider not buying a drum kit) then you can save money by sharing the connection costs. As long as the Wi-fi signal is strong enough, you could share it and pay a certain amount towards it. Netflix accounts allow up to 5 people to sign in, so again, maybe you should make a deal with the people next door.
29. Run Out of Call Credit? Skype, Facebook Calling and Facetime Provide Free Calls.
People often forget that video calling on the above channels is free. Just don’t forget to put some clothes on first before your call Auntie Glenda in New Zealand…
30. Youtube Teachers- Music Instructors, DIY, Recipes etc.
Instead of forking out for a teacher, plumber or chef, consider using YouTube.
There is literally a video on how to do anything – from how to apply makeup, or how to dance in a nightclub, and even how to make your own origami Yoda.
Try must you should!
31. Shop Out Of Season.
Buy your Christmas decorations in January, and your Halloween goodies in November. (Caution: Don’t try this with Valentine’s Day, the other half might not be amused)
A good time to buy your coats and jackets for the Winter is on the cusp of Summer, where clothing companies are trying to clear this stock.
32. Learn to Sew
Instead of replacing clothes that have formed holes in them (what have you been doing?) then simply stitch them back up again. Clothes can be given a new lease of life despite some accidental wear and tear.
What happens if you don’t know how to sew? Look for a YouTube tutorial of course!
33. Marry a Rich Person
‘Fall in Love’ with a wealth Oil Baron or Rich Property Developer. Simply marry them, get a quickee divorce and don’t sign a pre-nutial agreement.
Only joking about this of course, we all have morals. Yet I’m sure we’ve all thought about it, right?
34. Libraries: Your New Entertainment Hub.
Have you been to your local library recently? All the cool kids hang out there.
There are thousands of free books to borrow, so instead of buying your latest Mills and Boon novel, head down to the local library to rent it out for free. This also applied to CDs, games and DVD’s. Heck they’ve even got free Wi-Fi if you haven’t managed to cut a deal with your neighbour yet.
35. Charity shop
Yes, if you live in England, no doubt they will be a charity shop somewhere within the next square mile. Who needs TopMan when you have Oxfam ?
Yes, the shops often have a musty scent, but a lot of them have hidden treasures that someone used to love. You might even find a nice suit there if you thinking of dressing like Dr Who.
36. Fancy Free Education?
No, I’m afraid Tuition fees haven’t been scrapped
However, you can do a variety of courses online for free. From Physical Theatre, Film Making to Robotics, there’s something to learn for everyone, and you can go at your own pace. Have a look yourself at https://www.futurelearn.com/
37. Use a Spare Change Piggy Bank
Keeping your spare change in a box or piggy bank is a great way to save some money if you need some coins urgently. A technique I used was to empty out a Whisky bottle (not hard) and use it to hold the coins I had collected for a few years. Eventually, it amounted to over £50, which I was very pleased about.
Even if it doesn’t amount to anything, having a bundle of coins is great for parking ticket machines or for buying a bus ticket.
38. I am the VIP / High-Vis man
Ever wanted to get into a club or event for free? Then play dress-up and pretend you’re part of the action. Whether that be coming with a professional looking camera, or wearing a lanyard or sexy High-Vis vest, bouncers or staff don’t often bat an eyelid if you look official enough.
39. Print Me Baby One More Time.
If your printer is depleted of black ink, then just change the text color of your document to dark blue. This method means you’ll be able to print a few more times before you need to replace the ink cartridge
40. Get Cashback When You Spend.
Some sites offer cashback when you spend money. An example is Quidco, a website which takes the commission usually paid for by retailers and referrers, and instead gives is straight to you!
Have a look yourself: https://www.quidco.com/
What else do you recommend to save money? Comment below:
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