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Saving money when using your car

Saving money when using your car

  1. Use a fuel price comparison site

    Find the cheapest petrol in your area by regularly using a comparison site such as All you need to do is enter your postcode and you can see which petrol stations near you currently have the cheapest prices. With prices changing regularly and considerable price differences between locations, it’s worth taking a few minutes to check and it could make you a significant saving over time.

  2. Don’t waste money on premium fuels

    Premium fuels promise better performance and improved economy from your engine. However, for the average car you are unlikely to see any noticeable benefits to warrant the increased price compared to regular fuels. So, unless you are driving a performance vehicle you should save yourself the 10p difference on the price per litre.

  3. Drive for efficiency

    When your car engine is cold take it easy and you will save both fuel and repair costs. By driving your car fast when the engine is cold you will not only use up more fuel but will put a strain on your engine that could lead in time to expensive garage bills.

  4. Regularly check your tyre pressures

    Driving with underinflated tyres will use more fuel and could also damage your tyres, leading to the need to replace them more frequently. A tyre under inflated by just 0.5 bar (approximately 6psi) will realistically add around 6% to your fuel usage, which is a costly difference over time as this equates to losing 26 miles from an average 60 litre fuel tank. A slightly under inflated tyre is difficult to spot with the naked eye, so it is worth regularly checking your tyre pressures with a gauge, either at home or at the garage.

  5. Clear out your boot to remove unnecessary weight

    Driving around with unnecessary items in your car will add to the weight and increase your fuel consumption that can really build up over time. So have a good sort out and remove any unnecessary items to help improve your fuel efficiency.

Spending less on your Electricity and Gas

Spending less on your Electricity and Gas

  1. Use a comparison site

    Whilst prices have risen over recent months with all energy suppliers, it’s still worth shopping around to try to find the best fixed rate deals if you want to have some more certainty over your future bills. All you need to provide are a few details including your normal energy consumption, which you will find on your previous bills. There are definitely less options out there at the moment than in the past but if you are currently on a variable rate you may prefer to switch to a fixed rate to help you to budget more effectively.

  2. Insulate your home cheaply

    Blocking out drafts is a good way to reduce your energy bills as it prevents losing heat by conduction. Whilst buying new thicker curtains may be expensive, you can add an additional thermal liner to your existing curtains for a fraction of the price to reduce heat loss.

  3. Turn off individual radiators

    Whilst you want to keep the rooms that you use regularly warm, there is no point in wasting energy heating your whole house. So, switch off the radiators in rooms that are rarely used as this can have a significant impact on your energy usage.

  4. Run your washing machine on a low temperature cycle

    For most washes a 30 degree cycle will be perfectly adequate to get your clothes clean and can save up to 40% of the energy used each year compared to using a hot wash cycle. With modern detergents the results will be just as good for considerably less cost.

  5. Buy a shower timer

    If you can keep your time in the shower to under 4 minutes an average household can save around £95 over the course of a year. However, it’s easy to lose track of time when you are in the shower so a cheap shower timer can help or you could just set the timer on your phone to remind you when your time is up.

  6. Only boil the amount of water that you need to

    If you overfill your kettle every time you use it you’ll be wasting energy that you could easily avoid. Simply using a mug to measure out the amount of water that you actually need will reduce energy wastage.

Pay less for your holidays

Pay less for your holidays

  1. Travel outside of the most popular times

    Booking flights at less popular times, such as early on weekday mornings, can be much cheaper than traveling at peak times like weekends. If you book your flights separately from your accommodation you can put your own itinerary together to make the most of off-peak savings.

  2. Be flexible over your destination

    Staying just outside of main tourist areas can be much cheaper and you may even discover some new places that you would otherwise have missed. Again, if you book your own accommodation rather than using a package tour operator, you can find some real gems that are only a short distance away from the main attractions.

  3. Avoid expensive mobile phone data charges

    If you keep your phone on airplane mode during your holiday you can avoid some costly surprises when you get home by ensuring that you don’t have any accidental downloads. Roaming data charges can be very expensive so contact your provider before you travel and see what packages they have on offer for the country you are visiting. Also make sure you have downloaded any movies or music that you want before you travel, as well as any local maps or guides, to save on data costs.

  4. Enjoy the local cuisine

    If you eat like a local when you’re away it will be much cheaper than restaurants in the main tourist areas. Look for small local restaurants that are off the main tourist routes, as these will often offer great local food at much more reasonable prices.

Making your food budget go further

Making your food budget go further

  1. Shop in the evenings

    It’s a well-known fact that supermarkets ‘yellow sticker’ many products that are nearing their sell-by dates at the end of each day. Products are massively reduced so customers can get a good deal and the products don’t go to waste.

    So, going to the supermarkets in the evening rather than in the morning may mean that you can find products that you were going to buy anyway but for a fraction of the price. An extra bonus is that you may find items that you’ve never tried before, and it can be a fun and inexpensive way to try new foods.

  2. Shop online

    One of the issues of going to the supermarket is that you can get very easily tempted by all of the items that are on sale. End of aisles are usually packed with tempting products that are on offer which can lead you to spending more money on your food shop than you planned.

    Shopping online, however, means you’ll only add exactly what you need to your basket as it’s much easier to ignore the products that are on offer. This will mean that you’ll spend less and there may be less food waste as you’re only purchasing the items that you planned for.

  3. Go to the supermarket alone

    If you’re the person responsible for the food shopping/cooking/meal planning in your household, then you should try to go to the supermarket alone. Taking other people with you, especially children, can mean that more items are added to the trolley that you hadn’t planned or budgeted for.

  4. Use Apps to avoid food waste

    Apps like “Too good to go” and “Karma” allow you to access leftover food from restaurants, cafes and bakeries for a fraction of their price. Establishments will list leftover food that they would otherwise be throwing away and you can then use the app to see what is available in your local area. You can even specify dietary requirements to make sure that what you end up with is suitable for you.

Enjoy takeaways for less

Enjoy takeaways for less

  1. Go for collection instead of delivery

    Probably the most cost-effective way of getting a takeaway is ordering directly from the restaurant, either by phone or their website if they have one, and collecting it instead of getting it delivered. Not only will you not have to pay for delivery, but you’ll probably find that the cost of the dishes are cheaper than the price you’d have to pay by ordering through a delivery service like Deliveroo or Just Eat. This is because restaurants have to pay the delivery app a service charge, so they cover this by charging the customer more. Some restaurants will also set a minimum order amount when you use these apps so you may find that you end up ordering and spending more than you want to just to meet the minimum amount.

  2. Look for cashback deals

    Ordering online and getting takeaway delivered is usually more expensive than collecting it, but it might not always be if you can make the most of cashback offers. Websites like Quidco and TopCashback often have offers where you can get a percentage of your money back when you order through places like Just Eat, Pizza Hut, and Dominoes.

    For example, Quidco are currently running an offer with Just Eat which gives new customers up to 25% cashback when you make an order!

  3. Don’t order on a Friday or Saturday

    Everyone, including restaurants and delivery services, know that the most popular days/nights to order a takeaway is Fridays and Saturdays. This means that there are rarely deals on these days and, if anything, prices will be higher as restaurants soak up the demand. If you want to save some money, then try switching your takeaway night to a night between Monday and Thursday as this is when there are usually deals running. If you still want to have your takeaway night on a Friday, then you could always order it on a Thursday night and heat it up the next day!

  4. Don’t just throw away the junk mail

    Most of us get takeaway menus delivered through the door and throw these away without even looking at them, but more often than not they will have coupons attached to them or they will be advertising deals. If you live in an area where you get menus delivered, then make sure to check them before throwing them away as you could find some deals that aren’t being advertised anywhere else.

  5. Consider supermarket alternatives

    Most supermarkets do takeaway inspired ready meals which will be much cheaper than ordering from a takeaway or restaurant. A lot of supermarkets will often run deals where you can get main meals, sides, and drinks for a set price. They might not be exactly the same as ordering a takeaway, but they certainly won’t be far off and you could save a lot of money this way.

Get a better deal with your bank

Get a better deal with your bank

  1. Switch bank accounts

    With most of the major banks now offering an on-line switching service, moving your bank account is far more straightforward than you might think, with many banks offering you a cash incentive if you switch to them. Start by using a comparison site to compare the functions, interest rates and perks offered by different accounts, to choose the one best suited to your needs. You can then apply on their website to switch your account and they will arrange for all your regular payments and direct debits to be switched to the new account. All you need to do is let your employer know your new account details.

Make better use of your credit cards

Make better use of your credit cards

Once you’ve spent money using a credit card, you will be charged interest if you don’t clear the balance off in full when the bill is due. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that. However, there are ways that you can utilize your credit cards to make them more affordable to use.

  1. Set up a direct debit

    When you have any unpaid credit card balances, it’s really important that you set up a direct debit to your credit card provider. In most cases you can set it up to take the minimum required repayment each month. This will prevent you from ever missing any payments which is one of the most important things when it comes to using credit cards. Missing payments will incur additional fees and they will be recorded on your credit profile which could lead to fewer borrowing options and higher interest rates in the future.

  2. Consolidate your credit cards

    Take advantage of any interest free transfer offers. Credit card providers may offer you an interest free period on any balance transfers from other cards, which can save you a considerable amount in interest payments, particularly if your balance is quite large. But make sure you read the small print to check what fees will be charged for the transfer – it’s usually a percentage of the transferring balance.

  3. Remove your payment details from shopping websites

    Storing your payment details on a website after you have bought an item may seem like a good idea to save time on future purchases. However, it can encourage impulse spending by making the shopping process too quick and easy. In just a couple of clicks you can have spent money that you might not have done if you had taken a few moments to consider if your purchase was really necessary. Removing your payment details means that you will have a little more thinking time before making any future purchases and can reduce the temptation to make expensive impulse buys.

Save money on your loans and mortgages

Save money on your loans and mortgages

  1. Consolidate loans

    If you have a number of loans with different providers, you may want to think about consolidating your debts into one loan. Whilst interest rates have increased over recent months, if you are struggling to make your repayments then consolidating your loans over a longer term can really help. Repaying your debts over a longer period may mean that you pay back more overall, but will bring down your monthly outgoings and avoid missing payments. This is really important for your credit score as you may struggle to get credit in future if you have missed payments.

  2. Compare fixed rate mortgage offers

    If you are approaching the end of your current fixed rate mortgage, then it is worth comparing what options are available to you. The number of fixed rate mortgages have reduced in the current market, but there are still deals available. Having certainty over your outgoings in volatile times can really help with budgeting so it is worth exploring what options are open to you.

Cost effective mobile phones and internet

Cost effective mobile phones and internet

  1. Cancel your landline if you no longer need it

    Many of us are still paying for a landline even though we use our mobile phone most of the time. Whilst you will still need a physical phone line to your home for most broadband providers, you don’t actually need to keep a landline telephone.

    Some broadband providers will include the cost of a landline connection with your broadband package (Sky, Talk Talk and PlusNet). However, for other providers, including BT and EE you can sign up for a broadband-only package and reduce your monthly outgoings. There are some providers who don’t actually require you to have a landline at all if they use an independent network, such as Virgin Media.

    The key thing is to review your current contract and make sure you aren’t paying in addition for a landline phone if you no longer need one.

  2. Only pay for what you need

    There is no point in paying for unlimited data if your actual usage is quite low. Contact your provider to see how much data, texts and minutes you are using each month and you can then review your package to make sure it fits with your needs.

    You may even find that you are better off on a pay as you go tariff rather than a monthly contract if your regular usage is quite low. This also gives you the freedom to change your phone without being tied into a fixed term contract.

Save money on entertainment

Save money on entertainment

  1. Utilise voucher schemes

    Voucher schemes, such as Tesco Clubcard, are a great way to fund outings and entertainment. Regular shoppers at Tesco can collect points on their purchases which they can convert into money off vouchers with one of their “reward partners.” Places including Alton Towers, Legoland, Odeon cinemas and Thorpe Park are part of the scheme and will often triple the value of the vouchers that you have, meaning that £5 in vouchers will get you £15 off of your tickets.

  2. Look for free days out

    When looking for ways to entertain the kids look for free days out. Lots of museums still offer free entry, making them a great option for a low-cost day out. Large attractions such as the British Museum and the Imperial War Museum in London offer free entry, as well as numerous regional museums and attractions. Google the current list to see what free attractions there are in your area.

    Beaches and parks also offer great destinations for free days out.

  3. Invest in a Kids Pass

    Kids pass is a great way to save money when looking for ways to entertain your kids. For £4.99 for a monthly pass, or £39.99 for an annual pass you can get up to 57% off a wide range of days out and attractions. The pass also includes 30% off adult and kids’ cinema tickets and up to 25% off family holidays, making it a cost-effective investment.

Spend less on travel costs

Spend less on travel costs

  1. Buy a family and friends rail card

    A good way to save money if you regularly use the train as a family or with a group of friends is to invest in a family and friends railcard. This gives you 1/3 off train travel for adults and 60% off for kids for just £30 for an annual card or £70 for a 3-year card. The card is valid for up to 4 adults and 4 kids, with the average annual saving of £150.

Reduce your tax liabilities

Reduce your tax liabilities

  1. Check your tax code

    If your tax code is wrong, you could be paying more tax than you need to. For most tax codes the number within it will show your personal tax allowance for the year, that’s the amount you can earn before you pay tax. For the current tax year the default code will be 1257L, meaning that you can earn £12,570 before you pay tax. If you receive any taxable benefits in kind, then your tax code will be lower, but if you aren’t receiving any taxable benefits your tax code should reflect the full allowance. If you think you may be paying too much tax then contact HMRC and check it out.

  2. Utilise any employee benefits

    Many employers offer perks such as cycle to work schemes, medical cover or additional pension contributions, which you can pay for via a salary sacrifice scheme. The advantage is that by giving up part of your salary in exchange for the perk, you will be paying less tax. However, you need to be careful if you are intending to apply for a loan or mortgage as this will be based on your salary after the salary sacrifice deduction has been made.

  3. Review your Council Tax

    Take a few minutes to review whether your property is in the right Council Tax band. Due to the way the bandings are calculated many houses are in the wrong band, which could be costing you considerably more each year. Start by checking what banding your neighbours are in and the value of your property compared to theirs. You can then go to to see what evidence you will need to provide to challenge your current banding.

Get a better deal on your insurance

Get a better deal on your insurance

  1. Use a comparison site

    Spend some time reviewing your various insurance policies using a comparison site to make sure you are getting the best deal for your car and home insurance. Staying with the same company year on year can mean that you are paying more than you need to, so it is worth investing the time to shop around as it could save you a considerable amount.

  2. Home care cover

    Paying each month for home cover might seem like an unnecessary expense but it could save you thousands of pounds if something major went wrong. Having a policy that covers your boiler, hot water system, plumbing and other appliances means that if something breaks down you won’t suddenly be faced with a large, unexpected bill.

  3. Only pay for the cover you need

    Many home insurance policies will have add-ons such as legal expense cover or cover for contents taken outside of your home, that you might not actually want. Make sure you read the policy documents from your insurer and ask to only include the items that you want as you may be paying for cover that you don’t actually need.

  4. Increase your policy excess

    By choosing to pay an additional voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess set by your insurer, you can bring your monthly premiums down. But remember that you will have to pay the excess on any claims that you make so ensure that it is still an affordable amount.

  5. Install additional security to your home

    Whilst upgrading your locks or adding an alarm will initially cost you money, in the longer term you may save money on your home insurance if you have increased the security of your home. But remember to contact your insurance company first to make sure any items that you fit will qualify for a discount on your premiums.

  6. Don’t overestimate your mileage for car insurance

    Make sure you give your insurance company an accurate estimate of your annual mileage as you could be paying more than you need to if you overestimate. However, be careful not to underestimate otherwise you could find yourself without cover if you go over the agreed mileage.

  7. Get a black box insurance policy

    Some insurers will offer lower premiums for drivers who have a “black box” fitted in their car. This device monitors your driving, looking at things like how smoothly you brake and accelerate. The insurance company can then adjust your premiums to reflect you as an individual driver rather than basing your premiums on industry averages.

Save money on your direct debits and subscriptions

Save money on your direct debits and subscriptions

  1. Audit your direct debits and standing orders

    Go through your bank statement and check each direct debit and standing order to make sure you know exactly what each payment is for. It’s easy to overlook payments that may be for things that you no longer need.

  2. Check recuring payments

    Check to see if you have any recurring payments set up (known as Continuous Payment Authorities). These are like a direct debit but where the money is taken using your debit card number rather than your account details. This means that the payments won’t show up on your bank statement as a direct debit but will just appear amongst your other payments. Check to make sure you know exactly what these are for and cancel any that are no longer needed, or you that can live without.

  3. Subscriptions

    Review all of your regular subscriptions to ensure that you still use / need them. If you are paying monthly for a gym membership that you only use on an ad hoc basis then look at pay as you go gym options that could work out a lot cheaper.

  4. Streaming services

    If you pay for more than one streaming service, check that you aren’t paying twice for the same content. Cutting down on which services you subscribe to could save you quite a bit each month.


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