Tuesday, 23 April 2013

30 ways to save money..

Anyone that knows me well knows I don't like to waste money. I love bargain hunting and will always, always shop around - I simply cannot understand anyone who isn't rolling in it that wouldn't want to save money! Does anyone else get that good "feeling" when you find a real good bargain?!
Anyway..! Money Supermarket are holding a competition for bloggers where £2000 is up for grabs if you write about and list your favourite ways to save money.. Say no more, count me in! For all the details click right here! Let's get into it, it could be a long one...

1. Use comparison websites for things like car insurance. Aarons dad was with the same person for years and was sure it was a fantastic deal until I entered his details on a comparison website and found several insurance companies offering more for half the price!

2. Always write a shopping list and stick to it. That way you only buy what you really need and won't over spend when you don't need to.

3. Shop around for your food. We get our fruit and vegetables from the market, some meat and tinned products like tomatoes from Lidl and everything else from Asda. We're saving around £20 a week which is £80 a month or £1040 a year.. That's your holiday paid for!

4. Shop around for everything! From holidays and hotels to household appliances and garden furniture to household bills and everything in between and more..

5. Always check your bills. If you think you're paying too much, ask around your friends and family for an idea or what they're paying compared to yours, then phone your supplier or even change suppliers for a better deal. Aarons parents were paying double what we pay, I suggested they ring up about it and they're now paying the same as us!

6. Consider moving from contact to pay as you go. If you're not using all of your minutes, texts and internet allowance then ask yourself if you really need to be on contract. I was on contract, paying £35 per month (plus £5 insurance) but wasn't using everything up. I changed to pay as you go, top up £10 per month and still get a text and internet allowance.. So I've saved £30 per month, that's £360 per year.

7. Check bus ticket prices against train ticket prices. Or get off a stop early and walk? Buses take a little longer than trains but a lot of the time they're cheaper - not always though so be sure to check in advance. Getting off the bus a stop earlier can save you pennies and help lose a few lbs for summer!

8. Haggle, haggle, haggle! It can be quite fun and it's always worth an ask. You could get the price knocked down a bit or some freebies chucked in, or both if you're lucky! When we wanted a new bed, we shopped around until we found one we really liked then haggled the price down (it was already on sale too) AND managed to get free delivery. We saved between £100-£200.

9. Use Ebay, Facebook selling groups, Gumtree, Preloved, carboot sales etc. We bought a nearly new double bed with matress and headboard for £40 on Ebay for our spare room. Our 6 seater dining table and chairs (clear glass top with cream leather chairs) was £80 and the 3+2 seater leather reclining sofas were £300 - also fantastic Ebay bargains - they looked like new but were less than 1/4 of the price. Look out for free insertion fee weekends when selling on Ebay.

10. Save on fuel by making small changes. Make sure your tyres are always properly inflated, you're not carrying more than you need in the car, only using air con when you really need to, take off roof racks when not in use, drive smoothly - avoid over accelerating and breaking when you could just take your foot off the accelerator.

11. Have a night in instead a meal out. It can be just as nice staying in.. cooking a nice meal together, sitting down and having a nice chat then cuddling up on the sofa with a blanket and some chocolate! Give me that over a fancy restaurant any day.

12. Have a night IN with the girls. Call your friend/s over, get a few drinks in, do some face masks, paint your nails, have some chocolate, watch a girly film or put music on and talk about anything and everything. Again, I'd rather this than wasting £80 in a club.

13. If you're on O2, download the O2 priority moments app. There is always some good deals on there and sometimes even freebies! Restaurants, hotels, holidays, days out, high street shops and loads more deals and offers. I'm always checking on there when we're out!

14. Use the library. If you like to read, instead of paying £10 for a book you'll read once before it's sitting on the shelf with the rest of them taking up space, why not visit your library instead? You'll save money and space!

15. Get rewards cards. Places like Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Beefeater etc. all have them and they're free to get. If you shop there anyway then it's totally worth it, you can save up your points then treat yourself for free!

16. Save your loose change. I used to have 2s and 1s sitting about all over the place, in every pocket, on every side.. Now I collect it all in a jar and when it get's full I change it up and treat myself.

17. Look online for vouchers and discount codes. You can get them for supermarkets, days out, restaurants etc. It's always worth a look beforehand.

18. Keep a record of your expenses. You'll be shocked how much money you actually waste and it will help you know where you can save.

19. 2 for 1 days out. If you've been meaning to go to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, wait until the 2 for 1 tickets are floating about (in newspapers, magazines, online etc) then rope another couple into going and you'll save on entry tickets and fuel getting there!

20. Cook at home more often. Do you really need a take away every weekend? Do you really need to have a meal out every time you see friends or family? Why not try out new tasty recipes at home instead?

21. Take a packed lunch to work. You don't need to buy from the vending machines, cafe or sandwich van every single day and you're more likely to eat more healthily if you take a pack up.

22. Avoid ATM machine fees. Do this by planning ahead, nobody likes paying to get their own money! Make sure you have some money before you go somewhere or know where you can draw money out for free.

23. Get a more fuel efficient car. Next time you change your car, look on Autotrader at the fuel consumption. Diesel cars are usually better on fuel but petrol is cheaper at the pump so it's worth weighing it up.

24. Get a haircut at the local college. Getting a haircut at your local college is a lot cheaper than going to a salon, don't worry there are always professionals on hand too.

25. Switch from top food brands to the next one down. Most of the time, the products are all made in the same place so are exactly the same product just with different packaging and a higher price tag. Obviously some things will be lower quality (like meat - sometimes) but not everything.. frozen peas are frozen peas!

26. Shop at discount stores for household items/decor. Places like B&M  Bargains often have some really nice bits and they're so cheap. Whilst Next do have gorgeous items, similar things can often be found in discount stores for more purse friendly prices.

27. Why pay for the gym when you can exercise for free? Go for a bike ride, walk more, buy a fitness DVD or even buy a piece of gym equipment second hand, all of these are a much cheaper option than the gym.

28. Make things for cheaper than you could buy them. For instance I really wanted a nail rack so Aaron made one with MDF from B&Q and spray painted it white for under £10.

29. Put a jumper on and snuggle under the throw! You don't need to pay to heat the whole house when you're sitting in one room watching tv, put a jumper on and put a throw over you to take the chill off instead, heating bills soon add up.

30. Give up a bad habit. I gave up smoking 4 years ago next month, I have saved myself £80 per month (£960 per year) and feel much better for it.

Do you have any money saving tips? xxx

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