Sunday, 21 April 2013

My Money Saving Tips

If you've been reading my blog for a while you will have seen that I've posted several money saving posts. I love a bargain - who doesn't? It's always great getting something you've wanted for less or being able to put a few pennies aside so that you can afford that one special thing. These are some things that we do in our household to save a few pennies and I thought I would share them with you.

1) Sign up for reward cards, whether its Boots, Superdrug or Holland & Barrett, if you shop there regularly, collect the points. You never know just how quickly they mount up and you'll soon be able to get something for free.

2) Switch expensive brands for cheaper alternatives, whether its make up or baked beans sometimes you find that the next brand down is just as good or sometimes better.

 3) Start a "penny jar" we have an old coffee jar we use to save up any change that is less than 50p. Separate the change into the right coins, bag it up and take it to a bank and they'll pay it into the account of your choice (don't use one of the coin machines you see in the supermarket as they charge a commission).

4) Sell your unwanted items on eBay or Gumtree. It's free to set up both accounts but use Gumtree if you don't want to be charged for your listing.

5) Search for local deals on eBay. Change your search settings to list items in distance order. You'll find that items that have a local pickup sell for less, enabling you to get a great bargain!

6) Use the Amazon Discount Finder to find the best deals on Amazon. Amazon have special pages which have major discounts these include Beauty & Fragrance and electrical items. Some have discounts of up to 90%!

7) Buy second hand items from charity shops and car boots sales. I have at least 5 charity shops on my local high street full of donated items (including mine!) Obviously these aren't great if you're looking for something specific but they're great for books, CD's and DVD's.

8) See if your workplace has a forum or area where you can buy items. My place of work has an online "swap shop" where our two sites list all sorts of things they want to sell or sometimes even give away for free! You never know what is going to pop up on there, I've seen cars, pet accessories, furniture and childrens toys so there is definitely money to be saved!

9) Rent out your parking space - if you're not using it why not rent it out to someone who needs it. Sites likpark at my house allow you to advertise your car parking space or driveway for someone to use. It's a great way of getting those extra pennies.

10) Blag a discount - if you have to purchase an item which is a little on the expensive side why not ask if the store can throw in a few extra "freebies" as well. When we purchased our new TV last year they threw in an expensive extension cable and tv cleaner as well! You never know your luck and you don't know what they'll say unless you ask.

11)  Don't buy an item from the first place you see it, shop around. You never know if the next shop you go to will have an offer or sale on. I always check out a few shops first before I buy anything to check i'm saving the most.

12) Check online for discount codes or vouchers. There are lots of sites now that offer discounts or codes for free delivery. A quick search on Google will help you find them. I don't think I have ever bought anything online full price as I always look for a discount code first.

13) Use search websites such as Find DVD or Find Book before buying these types of items online. The websites search hundreds of retailers and are updated daily so you can always be sure you are finding the best deal.

14) Join your local Facebook selling group. You can post photos of items you wish to sell and people comment underneath the photo to say if they wish to buy it. You can arrange for them to collect it easily because they should be close by. Lots of areas now have these and I belong to both the Bournemouth and Christchurch pages.

15) Check the price tickets in shops for weights or price per item as things that look like deals may not necessarily be the best price.

16) Think - do I really need the extra item in an offer. Will I use it? If it's something you use regularly then thats great but do you really need that 2 for £2 offer on shoe polish or would you just be better off buying one for £1.50 and saving the 50p?

17) Visit shops after seasonal periods. My husband and I bought our Easter eggs the day after Easter as they were all half price! Stock up on suncream when it begins to turn to winter and buy Christmas crackers for the next year in the Christmas sales.

18) Use local shops within walking distance rather than visiting the larger supermarket. You can support your local high street and not waste money on petrol.

19) Make meals from scratch instead of buying ready made meals or takeaways. They are a lot better for you and sometimes you can make a meal such as a lasagne, eat half and freeze the other half to have another time.

20) A lot of supermarkets are jumping on the dine in bandwagon which means that you can get a meal for two for £10 or similar. Most of the shops that offer this are in competition with one another so there are lots of great dine in deals to be had. M&S have a great one and I've also seen one in Tescos and CO-OP.

21) Collect clubcard points in Tesco. If this is where you normally shop you can collect clubcard points which you can convert into vouchers (for sometimes three times the actual value) my family enjoyed a day out at Chessington for free because of the vouchers and we even used some in Goldsmiths to go towards my engagement ring!

22) Use freebie sites like Magic Freebies UK to try items before you buy. I get all my freebies from this site. Sometimes you can build up quite a collection, I use my shampoo freebies when I go on holiday instead of carrying around my large bottles of toiletries or buying expensive miniature bottles.

23) Take a look at Books for Free. We have a space in our local shopping centre where you can donate your old books and also pick up new books for free! You never know what you might find and you can save a few pennies not buying new but recycling old.

24) Utilise your families skills. My Mother in Law made our Wedding cake! You can see a photo of it here. I made all our Wedding invitations and i'm currently making some for another couple.

25) If you fancy a trip to the cinema, go on a Tuesday or Wednesday. My local Empire cinema does a saver Tuesday night where tickets are £4.95 each or even better my local Odeon cinema does Orange Wednesdays so tickets are buy one get one free. If you take a friend and halve the cost of one ticket between you it's even cheaper!

26) If you're travelling somewhere by coach or train and definitely know the date you are travelling on, you can use The Trainline or National Express Coaches cheap fare finder to find the cheapest fares to your destination. You can book from three months in advance. I've travelled from Bournemouth to London on the coach before for just £5!

27) Walk or cycle instead of drive. I walk to and from work everyday which is a total of 4 miles. It's great exercise and I save myself £60 a month in bus fare!

28) If you do need to drive find someone you could car share with. It helps protect the environment and can save you money as you take it in turns to drive and therefore save money on fuel.

29) Have a night in instead of going out. We all know its much cheaper to stay in and have a few drinks rather than go to an expensive bar, especially if you're the designated driver. I recently heard that the mark up on soft drinks is as much as four times the original price! Avoid going out on nights such as New Years Eve as well as sometimes places that are usually free to get in charge you just because its a known busy period.

30) If you're staying in a hotel, try booking a secret hotels deal. Sites such as Expedia have these deals. You don't find out the name of the hotel until after you have booked but there are only hotels of a certain standard available. If you don't mind not knowing where you're staying until you've booked then its a great way to get a great hotel at a great price.

So these are my money saving tips. I hope you find them useful. This also counts as my entry into the Money Supermarket 30 Ways to Save £1 blogger challenge which you can also enter here.


  1. Hi, just stopping by after tonight's #lbloggers chat! This post is amazing - so glad I found it! I'm pretty good at saving but it looks like there's even more I could be doing! Off to check out that Magic Freebies UK website now :)

    Caz x

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by, i'm glad you like the post! Let me know what you think of the Magic Freebies site! x