We all want to know how to save money because nothing is more frustrating than throwing money away. Here are 20 practical ways in which every household could save money instantly. Why not share your ideas by commenting below.
How to save money when organising your finances
Yet most of us are guilty of doing this by failure to organise our finances. By spending a couple of hours fixing your finances, you could dramatically decrease the amount of money you need to spend on the less fun things in life.
Transfer your debt
If you’re making large interest payments on debt, it might make financial sense to transfer it all onto a credit card with a 0% balance-transfer deal.
These credit cards won’t charge any interest on transferred debts for a set period, giving you the opportunity to repay any money owed at no extra cost. However, the interest tends to skyrocket at the end of the promotional period, so make sure you pay off the balance in full before this happens.
The Money Compare credit card comparison tables let you search all available cards, from providers large and small, to choose the best deals, based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits.
Compare credit cards here at www.comparethemarket.com
Organise a free overdraft
Some banks impose harsh penalties on customers who accidentally slip into an overdraft that they haven’t arranged in advance. What’s more, research has indicated that these charges vary wildly depending on your current account provider.
If you regularly go overdrawn, you could benefit from switching to a bank that offers a free authorised overdraft. Our recommended provider First Direct could be a good bet – it currently offers a £250 interest-free overdraft as part of its 1st Account.
Find out more on how to save money: best bank accounts for authorised overdrafts – visit www.comparethemarket.com
Use price comparison websites
Price comparison websites let you compare hundreds of financial products and ensure you choose the best one for your circumstances.
Whether you’re looking to buy car insurance, credit cards or a broadband bundle, there is normally a huge difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers, so it’s worth browsing for the best offers on these websites.
Just make sure that you read the small print conditions to ensure you don’t go for the cheapest while compromising on important financial details.
Find out more on how to save money: visit www.comparethemarket.com as our preferred money saving website
Get a better mobile phone deal
With thousands of mobile phone deals out there, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Providers can often be unhelpful when it comes to offering existing customers a better deal.
Take a couple of minutes to check your bills to make sure that your call, text and mobile web usage aren’t consistently above, or a long way below, your allowance. If they are, you may benefit from asking for a more suitable deal from your provider.
Our advice is to regularly phone your current provider as you near the end of your contract, and say that you are thinking of leaving them. Once they give you the deal, take it to other providers and see whether they are willing to beat it. You will be amazed what they will offer you when you demonstrate that you have shopped around.
Find out more on how to save money: visit www.uswitch.com for the best deals on the market at any one time
How to save money when staying in
Staying in can be expensive! With ever increasing food and heating costs, make sure you take the time to check you are getting value for your money.
Here are tips that could help cut the cost within your home.
Turn down the heat
If you are walking around indoors in a T-shirt in winter, you are burning cash. A simple but effective way to cut heating costs is to take control of your central heating thermostat. Reducing room temperatures by just 1°C could cut your heating bills by almost 10%.
Adjusting your central heating timer to switch off at night and during the day if the house is empty will also minimise fuel consumption.
The best way to keep control on your thermostat is to install a smart meter, which will allow you to control the temperature in your home from your mobile device, whether you are at home or not.
Find out more on how to save money the most efficient ways to heat your home can be found at www.uswitch.com
Up to a third of heat disappears through the roof, so it makes sense to add insulation. Common insulation, such as mineral wool, has been joined in recent years by green options, such as sheep’s wool.
Installing 270mm of insulation in a four-bedroom detached house could cost as little as £395, and could cut your fuel bills by up to £240 a year as a result.
Find out more on how to save money: You can find insulation of any thickness and to suit any budget by visiting Amazon
Ensure your boiler is efficient
Installing a more efficient boiler will lower your heating costs, particularly if you buy a condensing boiler. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a condensing boiler could save you as much as £310 a year – although installation costs can be higher than for a conventional boiler.
Find out more on how to save money Boiler reviews – find out which brand of boilers are rated by Which magazine?
Don’t heat unused rooms
If you have a spare bedroom that is rarely used, turn its radiator down to the lowest setting without turning it off completely. Fitting reflective foil behind radiators on external walls will also help to reduce the rate of heat loss in these rooms.
Don’t dismiss supermarket own brands
Buying supermarket basic and budget ranges can produce significant savings – and you may find that avoiding big brands doesn’t mean compromising on taste.
We advise to shop for alternatives and try some of the budget brands, for example we find that Aldi have probably the tastiest meat and fish products in any of the UK supermarkets. They also happen to be the cheapest!
Get rewarded for your spending
When shopping for treats, choose retailers that offer good reward schemes. Tesco and Waitrose typically perform very well in satisfaction surveys. They offer a credit card reward scheme for customers that gives one point for every £1 spent in its stores, and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere.
Click to make supermarket shopping cheaper
The website MySupermarket.co.uk features a brilliant tool for saving money on groceries. You can compare the price of a basket of goods at the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets, Tesco, Asda, Ocado and Sainsbury’s. It instantly shows you what you could save by shopping around.
If you’ve selected your items at one retailer and discover another is cheaper, this nifty site will transfer all your choices for you, while its price and health checkers also suggest money and healthy-eating tips.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is a simple way to save. If you own or manage your own business, it’s worth signing up with a wholesale retailer or membership club such as Costco, which has 28 warehouses in the UK.
There is an annual membership fee of £26.40. Other wholesale retailers to consider include Makro and Bestway.
Use price-match promises
Tesco, Asda and Ocado all offer discounts to customers if their shopping could have been bought cheaper from certain rivals, so make a habit of swiping your loyalty card or registering your receipt online after every supermarket shop.
Keep food fresher for longer
Make the most of your fridge and freezer. Freezing leftovers instead of binning them will save you money and time, as you’ve got an instant meal for a day when you don’t fancy cooking. And storing food properly in your fridge will give it a longer shelf-life.
For example, cucumbers turn soft because the fridge is too cold – wrap them in a tea towel to keep them crisper. And avoid putting milk in the door rack, as it’s warmed whenever the door is opened.
Find out more on how to save money: fridge reviews – see which fridges were rated by Which magazine
How to save money while out and about
Who doesn’t like getting out of the house and socialising. Whether it’s the costs of driving or going for a nice meal, it can often be expensive leaving the house.
Here are simple tips that could slash the cost of going out.
Click and print restaurant vouchers
Many restaurants offer online promotional vouchers. For example, Pizza Express regularly runs 2-for-1 deals on main courses.
Check newspapers for vouchers regularly and make sure you visit websites, such as HotUKDeals and MyVoucherCodes, to check for discounts and deals before you go out.
It can be worth checking daily-deals websites, such as Groupon and Wowcher, for restaurant deals too.
Sign up for chain restaurant discounts
Joining some chain restaurants’ own clubs can save you a lot of money. These tend to be free to sign up to via email, and are run by large chains such as Chez Gerard, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, La Tasca, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
Once you’re on a company’s mailing list, you’ll get details of special deals sent straight to your inbox as soon as they are launched.
You could even try Tastecard, where for a yearly membership fee you can receive discounts on dining at various chain restaurants. you can sign up to Tastecard here.
If you regularly eat at a particular chain or have a favourite restaurant, then sign up to its Facebook or Twitter account. That way, you won’t miss out on any special offers or deals.
Don’t buy expensive bottled water
Establishments that serve alcohol are now required by law to give customers free tap water, so don’t be shy about asking for it. Some restaurants charge more than £3.50 for a bottle of mineral water, so twice-monthly diners could save almost £100 a year by switching to tap.
How to save money on motoring
Find the cheapest fuel prices in your area
Have you ever paid attention to the prices of each of your local and UK garages? You will be surprised with how much of a difference there is, and if you are paying more than you need to, this can amount to a significant increase in your yearly fuel costs.
Cut the cost of your MOT
There’s a maximum test fee of £54.85 set by the government for car MOTs, but service centres often run half-price deals. Check what’s on offer in your area before you book.
Some garages try to attract customers by offering reduced prices. To avoid the cowboys, choose a garage through a personal recommendation.
Buy your car insurance online
If you’re looking to save money on car cover, it makes sense to buy online. Our last survey showed that it’s generally much cheaper than buying over the phone.
Also, be sure to review your insurance costs each year and switch to a Which? Recommended Provider for the best cover and service.
Find out more on how to save money: click the banner below to visit comparethemarket.com
Join a car-sharing scheme
Joining a car-sharing scheme could halve your fuel costs. According to liftshare.com, sharing a daily commute can save you more than £1,000 a year.
Grab a green car
Cars with the lowest CO2 emissions are exempt from car tax charges, while the worst gas guzzlers could incur annual fees of up to £515.
Thank you for reading our article on how to save money. Read our article about great money saving app’s here.
High & wise