Whether you're trying to save for something special or would simply like a bit of extra cash each month, just a few simple tweaks to your routine could help save an impressive amount of money over the course of a year. The experts at Good Vibes show us how…
How to save money on food and drink:
- Write a shopping list: Avoid the temptation of supermarket offers and spontaneous purchases by planning your meals and following a strict shopping list.
- Make a packed lunch: A daily £5 lunch adds up to £1,300+ over a whole year, so prepare your food at home instead and save while you eat.
- Don't buy pre-prepared food: Are you guilty of buying ready-chopped and pre-prepared vegetables? These can cost five times more and contain 84% less vitamins than regular vegetables.
- Choose supermarket own brand: Even just buying your basics such as milk, butter and bread in the supermarket's own brand ranges could save a significant amount of money over the course of a year.
- Prepare your meals in advance: Save money and time by spending a few hours each week preparing your meals for the days ahead. These can be frozen and reheated throughout the week for an easy dinner, and to save the temptation of eating out when you're too tired to cook.
STORY: How to save money on your coffee and do your bit for the environment
How to save money on energy and bills:
- Switch energy providers: You could knock an average of £300 off your bills just by switching energy tariff.
- Invest in a water butt: Keep a water butt in your garden that will conserve rain water to use for watering the garden. Not only will this help to keep your metered water costs down, but it will also help the environment during plant-watering season.
- Turn your heating down: Dropping 1 degree of heat could cut 10% off your heating bill! This can save around £55 a year.
- Use energy-saving lightbulbs: These last ten times longer, are brighter, more energy efficient and can save you around fifty pounds over their lifetime.
- Be more washing machine efficient: Overloading can damage your washing machine and also means your clothes won't be properly cleaned. Avoid re-washes and repairs by ensuring your clothes fit comfortably inside the drum.
How to save money on leisure:
- Loyalty pays: Get gift vouchers, deals and money items off with a loyalty card for the places you visit most regularly, including supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants.
- Adjust your television: Reducing the brightness and contrast on your television could save up to £100 per year.
- Sell your unwanted items: Clear out your home and sell any unwanted items such as clothes and books on eBay or find a 'Cash for Clothes' company that pays you an amount for every kilo of clothing you want to recycle.
- Quit the gym: If you don't make regular use of your gym membership, quit. You could save an average of £348 by doing home workouts instead.
- Keep your trusty mobile: Sim-only deals are much cheaper than regular phone contracts. There's no point getting one if you don't need one.
STORY: All you need to know about child tax credit changes
- Get on your bike: Cycling into work could save you hundreds or possibly even thousands of pounds each year compared to commuting by bus, tube or train. It will also keep you fit – even more reason to cancel that gym membership!
- Fix that leak: A leaking toilet can waste 757 litres per day, which could cost £45 per month.
- Check your taxes: You might be one of 400,000 homes in the wrong council tax bracket. Check your local government site to find out.
- Get a season ticket: A season rail pass could save you an average of £445 for monthly tickets or £878 for weekly tickets over the course of a year.
- Go natural: Instead of buying expensive cleaning products, try using natural products such as white vinegar, lemon and baking powder that you probably already have at home.