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How to save money: 37 tips to reduce expenses

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What is the best way to save money?

With an unprecedented energy crisis looming across much of the world, people have been forced to make significant changes in how they spend.

Getting the low down on the best money saving tips has never been so important.

So what can we do to nourish our savings accounts, bolster our bank balance, manage our monthly bills, and change our spending habits for good?

Money saving tips and ideas

Saving money doesn’t have to be the sacrifice you might imagine.

It can be as simple as turning down the household heating by 1 degree, walking to the shops instead of taking the car, downloading budgeting apps, or cutting back on daily treats and snacks.

Give yourself even a basic financial audit and make some identifiable savings goals.

It’s time to get inventive in an effort to tether our rising energy bills and stay one step ahead of the posse.

How to save money tips and tricks

Cashback on products you need

Even when you save your hard earned cash, you still face with some unavoidable expenses. Buy products you need and get cashback with every purchase via Monetha’s app.

Love loyalty cards

Stuff your wallet with loyalty cards. As more and more retailers, restaurants, supermarkets, and service providers seek to swap loyalty for rewards, loyalty programmes have grown in popularity. Sign up for a loyalty card from your local grocery store – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda – bakers, or coffee shop and make small savings that all add up. Money top stores like John Lewis and Asda offer money-off vouchers that don’t require spending hundreds of pounds to get rewards or discounts. Check our article about shopping vouchers for more.

Clean up with cashback cards

Does your credit or debit card give you cashback? When you make a purchase many credit cards will provide you with a cashback option of between 1 and 2%. It mightn’t sound like a lot, but over a year of using your card, it all adds up in your favour. And, while we’re talking about credit cards, remember to stay up to date with your monthly payments to avoid outstanding credit card debt.

Reward programmes

Download the app from the Monetha rewards programme and start saving money immediately. Monetha has accumulated a vast network of online shopping partners selling everything from baby clothes to contact lenses. Every time a Monetha member buys from one of the partner shops they earn points that can be exchanged for a huge range of gift cards from stores like Amazon, Tesco, Adidas, and hundreds of other top brands. Or, you can swap your points for cryptocurrency, or even make a donation to help others in need.

Cashback on products you need

Even when you save your hard earned cash, you still face with some unavoidable expenses. Buy products you need and get cashback with every purchase via Monetha’s app.

Dump the direct debit

Check your bank account statements, there’s a good chance that there’s a direct debit in there that you’ve already forgotten about. Maybe you signed up for a magazine subscription service that you no longer use, or a movie channel you no longer watch. If so, it’s time to put that money to work harder for you.

Boss your bank balance with a Budgeting app

Budgeting used to be a hard task, but not any more thanks to budgeting apps. Download a budgeting app like Money Dashboard, Emma, Moneyhub, or Monzo, and start balancing the books the easy way. A budgeting app lets you add all your savings accounts and current accounts to track your spending and manage your outgoings better.

Manage your mobile

Most people aren’t getting the most out of their mobile phone deals. It might be a couple of years since you signed your present mobile phone contract, but the world has changed since then. Mobile phone companies are now offering better bundles, cheaper rates, free calls and wi-fi, and monthly savings, and some are even including tv or sports channel add-ons to your TV subscription services. If you want to save money, talk to your mobile provider today.

Comparison sites can cut the cost

Some people don’t even know that there’s such a thing as a comparison site. Well, there are, and you need to check them out. A comparison site lets you compare tens, if not hundreds of financial products and helps you to find the one that fits your financial goals. 

Some are free which means they earn from affiliate links and many of them could be biased. Example of a trusted free one is Wirecutter. If you don’t mind paying, go for subscription-based resources like Which.co.uk, and don’t forget to cancel the subscription after you get the information you need.

Keep in mind that some products — especially large appliances — have regional specifics, so looking for the best washing machine on US-based Wirecutter won’t help if you live in Europe.

Unplug your energy provider

Energy bills are getting scary, and they need to be managed appropriately. That’s why apps and websites like uSwitch have all the facilities to help you compare and choose the best energy deals on the market. And, they let you compare other things too, like bank accounts, current accounts, and loans.

Get a smart meter

Installing a smart meter in your home or office can help you understand your energy bills and your energy usage. The smart meter will display and record energy consumption, voltage levels, current, and power factor. It may not make a difference to small household expenses but can be invaluable for larger homes and businesses.

Share your subscription services

It often happens that several people in the same household have subscriptions to the same entertainment services, like Spotify or Netflix. It might be worth checking out if the subscription expenses can be shared using a ‘family bundle’ that would give you significant savings.

Find the cheapest parking with a parking app

Finding cheap parking spots in large towns and cities can be next to impossible. That’s where a parking app like the UK’s Parkopeida can help you save money. Parkopedia and other parking apps can help you find the cheapest spots and can even integrate with your phone’s navigation apps.

Treat yourself to some tax relief

Taking to the tax office is not usually the first port of call when people are trying to reduce their living expenses. But there’s a good chance that you’re not claiming all of the tax relief that you’re entitled to. From rent-a-room relief to marriage allowances or work-from-home allowances, you might be entitled to a lot more obscure tax reliefs than you ever imagined.

Everyday savings for home and family

In the not-too-distant past, people went to great lengths in their homes to lessen their ongoing household expenses. From reducing food waste and the weekly shopping bill to using second-hand and thrift shops, there are hundreds of ways to massage your savings account without even thinking about it.

Supermarket own brands

We’ve all grown up with household name brands that we’ve come to trust and love. However, these well-known brands are often far more expensive than the supermarket’s own brand alternatives. Many of the products we choose can easily be swapped with own brand versions without compromising on taste. Goods like tinned fruit, pasta, rice, soft drinks, cooking oil, detergents, mayonnaise, and chips are often great value, come in bulk, and often taste better than the original.

Shop smarter with rewards

Shopping online can often reveal savings and discount deals that aren’t available in-store. By matching these special offers with the store’s loyalty scheme can save you quite a few pounds. Shop around and use a retailer with the best points for cash spent system to really unlock the power of your pound.

Have a no-spend day

Is there really such a thing as a no spend day? If there’s not, there should be. Try to set aside one day per week or month where you don’t spend money. Instead of spending money, try to find ways around how you would normally have splashed out. Instead of going to the cinema why not stay home and play a board game? Instead of going out for pizzas try making your own at home. It might not fill your savings account, but it will definitely save you money, and you might just spend some quality time with family or friends.

Cheaper deals in food

Fillet steak is nice, but so is a piece of beef that has been slow braised (preferably using an always-on oven) served with some homegrown potatoes and veg. Or you could spend wisely on a slow cooker and save on energy bills along with your food bills. Also, by choosing cheaper cuts of meat, and different types of fish, and avoiding fruit and vegetables that are out of season you can increase your monthly savings amount by more than you’d imagine.

Flatten the cost of smoothies

Smoothies, fruit blends, and health drinks are a convenient way of getting all those extra vitamins you need. But have you noticed how expensive they are? If you don’t have a blender or a smoothie maker now might be a good time to make a worthwhile investment. Not only can you use up excess fruit and vegetables – from your garden preferably – but you can also buy over-ripe fruits from your local supermarket at a fraction of the original cost.

Farm your garden

If you’re lucky enough to have even a small garden why not make it work for you? It’s amazing how much fruit and vegetables can be grown in a small area. Potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, sprouts, peas, tomatoes, and more are easy to grow and often taste a whole lot better than their shop-bought alternatives. In fact, you can even have an indoor garden.

If you have a little more space, you might even have room enough to keep a small flock of hens. Along with having fresh eggs every day, the hens will keep your garden free of insects and pests and will help to reduce food waste.

Beware the dodgy discounts

Just because the sign says SALE it doesn’t mean that you’re always getting a bargain. Some unscrupulous retailers will artificially hike prices in order to reduce them and capture more sales. Also, beware of so-called BOGOF deals – buy one get one free – if you’re going to buy something in bulk be sure that it’s something that you already use a lot of, like toilet rolls, washing powder, or tea bags.

Check the discounts aisle

Here’s a piece of financial inspiration, while we’re in the supermarket let’s pop around to the reduced goods aisle and see what’s on offer. The reduced aisle often sells food about to go past its expiry date, at the end of a limited promotion, or even a discontinued line. If you’re sure you can use the goods before they expire you can make huge savings by shopping in the right part of the supermarket.

Never shop hungry

How many times have you gone to a grocery store on an empty stomach and ended up making purchases that weren’t on your shopping list? You know the story, you go to the shop to buy a carton of milk and end up coming home with 6 mangos and a 12-pack of crisps. And yes, you probably forgot to buy the milk.

Make friends with the freezer

Fridges and freezers can be a great ally in the practice of money saving in the home. Having a freezer in the home means that you can buy meat in bulk at reduced prices, freeze vegetables and fruits you’ve grown in your garden, store leftovers, and will give those about-to-expire bargains a longer shelf life.

Begin early achieve dearly

To save money is to actually begin the saving process. The more days you keep on delaying, the less savings you will have.

Clean up on cleaning bills

Did you know that you most likely clean every corner of your house using white vinegar and baking soda? Both ingredients are cheap and can restore even the grimiest of surfaces to almost new – sometimes with even better results than the shop-bought counterparts. When baking soda and vinegar are mixed acid is released, and the resultant carbon dioxide can remove dirt from almost any surface in the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere around the house.

Upstyle your life

From time to time we need to buy new clothes for ourselves or new furniture for our home. If you happen to be any way skillful with your hands and can handle a needle and thread, upstyling old clothes, and upstyling old or second-hand furniture can be both rewarding and fun, and even save you money. People even throw out perfectly good items of furniture that with a little TLC can be restored to life looking even better than the original.

Out and about with your savings account

Outside the home, there are other ways of saving money. From gym subscriptions to public transport there are multiple life hacks that could save you money, and time, and might even enhance your lifestyle.

Pedal and foot power

It might sound like a no-brainer but walking or cycling wherever you can add up to significant savings. We’ve all gotten lazy into the bad habit of taking the car to the corner shop or taking a bus a half dozen stops when we could easily walk or cycle. Not only is shirking taxis and public transport like getting free money, but it’s good for your physical and mental health too.

Give your gym subscription a good workout

Gym subscriptions can be an expensive monthly outgoing, especially when you don’t make use of the facilities as often as you should. Instead of spending money on not using a treadmill every month, why not take up hill walking, jogging, cycling, or some other free outdoor pursuit? In the long run, a healthier lifestyle could save money on medical procedures or expensive medications.

Share your car

If you want to make a little extra money, or at least save a little extra cash, joining a car-sharing scheme can as much as half your fuel costs. You’ll probably have to do that maths yourself, but several comparison websites reckon you can save more than £1,000 a year as part of a car-sharing programme.

Get a green car

No, not the colour of the car, but its impact on the environment. A green car with almost zero CO2 emissions is at present exempt from car taxes, a situation that is only going to further benefit eco-car users in the future. Plus, with the price of petrol going through the roof at present, electric cars seem to be the future of cheaper and cleaner motoring.

Save on car repairs

Ok, this one is a bit hit-and-miss unless you’re a mechanic or pretty knowledgeable about car maintenance. Finding cheap car parts has never been easier since the arrival of online used car parts finders and apps. Having said that, there’s a good chance that your regular mechanic is already using a similar service but whether he’s passing on the savings to you or not is anyone’s guess.

Big savings on your heating

As the cost of energy is the main reason behind the current financial crisis, it makes sense to reduce your energy bills.

Turn down the heat

This one isn’t rocket science, but even turning down the heating by one degree might be enough to make a significant difference. Leaving windows and doors open in your house is an invitation to waste money. If you have a heating timer, use it. If not, perhaps you should think about installing one.

Insulate your home

Depending on your home and how and when it was built, most of the money you spend on heating might simply disappear out through your roof and windows. Insulating an entire home might sound like a costly business, but there are many government and local grants and incentives available to ease the pain. If you have a cavity block-built house, it might be worth thinking about having it fully insulated with a polystyrene filler.

Saving is wise

When you save money wisely, you open up more opportunities. Maybe there’s a costly product you need, or a dream vacation you desire – better to prepare for such situations.

Tackle the draughts

A draughty house is a cold house and a cold house costs money to heat. Tackling draughts is an easy problem to remedy. Fill the gaps around doors, windows, and pipe outlets using draught excluder strips or expanding foam. If your house has an attic, the loft hatch should also be sealed and insulated as much as possible.

Turn off the light and heat where it’s not needed.

Using energy in places where it’s not needed is like using cash to fuel a fire. If you don’t need it, don’t use it.

Money up the chimney

If you have unused chimneys in your home it might be worth having them blocked up. There’s no point in heating a room only for a chimney to do a job it was intended to do. If you want the crows on the chimney top, that’s your business.

Managing your household bills better

As humans, we form habits, good and bad. It’s as easy to get into having good habits as it is to have bad ones.

Saving money can become a good habit without taking all of the joy out of your life. Simple measures can reduce your monthly expenses and that additional money can help to improve your lifestyle, reach previously restricted goals, and create better opportunities.

We all waste money on a variety of things we don’t even realise, but by doing a complete lifestyle audit you’ll be amazed at how much money there is to be saved.

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