In today’s straitened times, with clients cutting their budgets, utility companies increasing their bills, higher food prices and a general squeeze on our wallets, here are a few money-saving tips to help your well-earned money stretch that little bit further.
Most of these are common sense but, hopefully, will serve as a reminder to you:
- Get in the habit of buying your fruit and vegetables from markets as they are much better value than supermarkets.
- To avoid impulse purchases, write a shopping list and stick to it.
- Go for supermarket own-label items as they are cheaper than branded goods (and don’t usually taste any different).
- If you have flatmates, introduce a kitty for buying the essentials so you don’t have several jars of Marmite or five boxes of Weetabix in the cupboard.
- Cook meals from scratch rather than buy convenience foods. It may take a bit more effort but they will be cheaper and won’t have the levels of salt and fat associated with meals you heat up.
- Collect store loyalty points and coffee store loyalty card stamps.
- Make use of any money-off vouchers or coupons.
- Use price comparison sites like Kelkoo and Pricerunner, so you can be sure you are always getting the best deal.
- Look for clothes at charity shops, vintage shops and on market stalls. Charity shops in well-heeled parts of town often have some great things. I got a Paul Smith shirt for a tenner in a charity shop a few weeks ago.
- Sell any unwanted items you have on second hand and auction sites like Preloved and eBay or even start your own eBay store.
- Make use of ‘swap shop’ websites and those like Streetbank where people offer second hand items and services for free.
- Cycle or walk rather than take the bus, tram or Tube.
- If you have a car but don’t use it that much, consider selling it and signing up to a car-sharing scheme like Zipcar.
- Take advantage of any ‘2 for 1’ offers or special discounts at cinemas, restaurants and clubs, such as Orange Wednesdays where Orange customers can get ‘2 for 1’ cinema tickets and ‘2 for 1’ pizzas at Pizza Express.
- When you go out, only put as much cash in your purse or wallet as you can afford to spend. Don’t be tempted to use cards.
- Save money on eating out by arranging for each of your friends to bring round a food dish.
- If several of you are going out together, ask if you qualify for a group discount. It can work: a group of 10 of us went to Wimbledon Theatre and got stalls seats for half price.
- Use online discount sites. Here’s an article that reviews the main discount sites.
- To avoid receiving huge gas or electricity bills, put on an extra layer or two and turn the thermostat down.
- Dig out your old books and DVDs and sell them on Amazon.
- Get free haircuts – check out this page on Gumtree’s site.
What money-saving tips do you recommend?