Posted 24th Mar 2022
In light of the lacklustre Spring Statement budget on Wednesday and the shocking rise in living costs, we thought we should come together and offer our top 10 tips for saving money in the home and when shopping. After all, this is a money saving community. Please share your own ideas and tips in the comments below.

1. Food shopping

Budgeting for food and household goods has become a challenge for a lot of people, and the tightening of belts can only go so far. But there are a few things you can do to bring that total down a bit:

  • Try going meatless once or twice a week - meat is surprisingly expensive.
  • Buy home brand cans and jars as they are normally half the price.
  • Shop at Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, and Farmfoods to save money on essentials.
  • Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season or on sale.
  • Use shopping apps like Shopmium and GreenJinn to get cashback on your everyday shopping.
  • And whatever you do, don’t go shopping when you are hungry as you will buy luxury treats not on your list!

2. Use voucher codes, loyalty cards and coupons when shopping

This is a no-brainer, when shopping online you should always check for voucher codes from hotukdeals, as even 5% or 10% off helps. Loyalty cards accrue points over time and can save you money in store or online. Coupons can be found in newspapers and junk mail, online, and via specific apps like Honey.

3. Use cashback credit cards, and cashback sites and apps

Cashback is a good way of making some money back from purchases online and instore. Use cashback credit cards to get points or cash on purchases, but be aware you must pay back the balance in full to see any benefit as interest will quickly delete that cashback.

Or use cashback sites like Quidco or TopCashback when purchasing online. Big purchases such as white goods and televisions, and contracts such as broadband or phones will bring in the most money.

4. Use price comparison sites but don’t always click through

Comparison sites are great for choosing the correct products and services that fit your budget and needs, but try going direct to the merchant before signing up for anything. Sometimes, you will find going direct gives bonuses not available on comparison sites. For example, a £50 voucher for signing up to a phone contract.

This also works the other way round, and some offers won’t be available directly but exclusively through the comparison site.

5. Share subscription services - Spotify, Disney+, Netflix

Music and TV streaming sites are becoming more expensive as they create and curate more and more content. However, many of them offer family options — the Spotify Family Plan for example gives a household six accounts in one, which you can share with friends and family. Netflix has similar options, but be aware it is clamping down on password sharing outside the same household.

6. Buy in bulk

If you have the space in your home, then getting a membership to wholesale stores is a good idea. Cash and Carrys like Bookers or Big Box Retailers like Costco offer cheap wholesale prices on many items but you must be a member to shop there. Shopping in bulk with wine merchants can also be a good idea as you will get discounted rates on boxes rather than bottles.

7. Stop eating out or getting takeaways, or cut back on going to the pub

This one is obvious, but probably the hardest one to do. Food and drink in pubs and restaurants is overpriced, but all part of the fun. Instead, try to make delicious dinners at home with a nice bottle of whatever you like. You will save loads of money. Takeaways are also expensive, and fairly easy to make at home with the knowhow. If you do go out for dinner, maybe try to find a Bring your own Bottle (BYOB) restaurant.

8. Walk, cycle, or get public transport

I know that this won’t apply to everyone but as fuel prices skyrocket, using the car less is a good way to save some money. Petrol and diesel are really expensive so try to walk to the shops or on the school run, cycle to work (this will get you fit too), or get the bus or train if possible.

9. Watch free television channels and streaming apps

Freeview, ITV Hub, ALL 4 and more are free to use and you just have to put up with some adverts. Instead of paying for Virgin Media or Sky, even Netflix and Now, you can use and watch some brilliant telly programmes completely for free. Both FM and digital radio is free to listen to, as are some music streaming apps like TuneIn and Jango.

BBC channels and iPlayer need to have a TV Licence, but you can pay that over the year.

10. Save energy in the home

This is a big one at the moment, as energy bills have soared in recent months, so what can you do in the home to save energy and water? Here are some tips:

  • When washing clothes try to fill up the washer with a full load and wash at a lower temperature.
  • In the spring and summer, hang out washing if you have the space as tumble dryers are very costly to run.
  • In winter, don’t heat unused rooms — you won’t need the heating on in the bedroom until later in the day.
  • Insulate your rooms and homes against draughts and escaping heat. Buy some draught excluders, block up unused chimneys and if you can afford to, get some insulation in the loft as you are losing loads of heat through the roof.
  • Turn the temperature down by one degree and you will save money and won’t notice the change.
  • Make sure lights are turned off and invest in LED or energy saving bulbs. They last far longer than halogen or otherwise, and cost way less to run.

There you have it, our top ten tips to save a bit of money in times of crisis. Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below, we need to work together!
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