SHOP SMARTER:

  1. Plan your grocery shop. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Shop on a weekly basis, just topping up with essential fresh items in between. Perhaps most importantly, don’t shop hungry!
  2. Go compare! Shopping around can really pay off. Find out which are the cheapest supermarkets and shops in your area. Local shops and markets can work out cheaper than supermarkets for certain items. Try switching to own brands rather than branded products, most of them are great quality.
  3. Cut down on waste. Make a note of what you usually waste, and buy less of it. Buy loose fruit and veg where possible, to avoid buying large prepacked quantities. If you have a lot of food in the fridge make a big soup or bolognese, and freeze portions for later.
  4. Check out the 2Good2Go app. The app lists daily bargain boxes and parcels of unsold products from your local shops and cafes, as well as simple, affordable recipe ideas.
  5. Go vegetarian for a day or two each week (if you’re not already a veggie!). Meat can be expensive so reduce your quantity or replace it with pulses or vegetables.
  6. Support your local charity shop. You would be amazed at what you can pick up at charity shops, but don’t get carried away! Look out for quality labels in good condition, and try them on before you buy. Children’s clothes can be especially good value as they tend to get less use before they are outgrown.
  7. It sounds obvious, but taking a packed lunch to work can deliver huge savings even compared to those enticing meal deals. Just make sure you plan ahead when you do your shopping, and use up any leftovers.
  8. Take a flask of coffee instead of buying from a shop. We all love a coffee on the go, but swapping just two shop-bought coffees a week for homemade will save you around £250 a year.
  9. Eating out can be expensive, especially with kids, so look out for places that do cheap or free meals for children. For example, kids eat free in Morrison’s cafes after 3pm as long as you spend £4 on an adult meal. Swap restaurant meals for the occasional takeaway, but if the delivery cost is high and the takeaway is nearby opt for collection instead of delivery.

LIVE SMARTER:

  1. Insulate your home. It may be getting warmer but most of us still put the heating on from time to time, so make sure your home isn’t letting the cold in. If you can’t afford bigger jobs such as insulating your loft, you can still take small steps such as getting a draught excluder for your letter box, or even making a retro snake draught excluderfor your door:
  2. Have a clearout! Selling your unwanted items can really reap rewards. Apps like Ebay and Vinted are great, but selling local can be even better. Check out local selling groups on Facebook, but don’t be tempted to buy more than you sell. Make sure you take good photographs and provide a full, honest description.
  3. Beauty need not cost the earth. Try switching from bottled shampoo, conditioner and shower gel to solid alternatives. They may seem a little more expensive at the outset but they last around three times longer, and they’re better for the environment too.
  4. Don’t dust off your old Sony Walkman, when you could combine your subscriptions. If there is more than one person in your household paying for subscriptions such as Spotify, you can combine them into a family plan and save yourself a tidy sum.
  5. Repair don’t replace. Think twice before you throw away items that could be repaired. There are video tutorials out there for everything from mending clothes to changing a plug. And if DIY doesn’t appeal to you, look out for a local handyman or seamstress. Getting your items repaired by a professional could still work out cheaper than buying replacements.
  6. Gym memberships can be extremely costly, so why not save a few pounds by mixing up your exercise routine? Get out walking, do some gardening or join in with one of the thousands of free exercise routines on YouTube or TikTok.
  7. Use your local library. Libraries are an amazing local resource that can be very under-utilised. They are a great place to spend a cosy afternoon without spending any money! Check out your local library website for a full list of services such as free-to-use computers, classes and events.
  8. Claim Working From Home Tax Relief. If your employer asked you to work from home in the last year, make sure you claim Working From Home Tax Relief. You could be eligible for up to £125. Find out more here.

DRIVE SMARTER

  1. Don’t drive around looking for cheap petrol or diesel, there’s an app for that! Petrol Price is an app that covers 98% of the UK, and compares around 8500 petrol stations. You can download it from the App Store or Play Store for Apple or Android phones.
  2. Cut down on the cost of parking by parking a bit further from town. If you set off a little earlier you could find free or cheaper parking just a short walk further away. Plus the extra exercise is great for your health. Of course, if you car share you can cut your parking and fuel costs in half!
  3. Drive sensibly – cut your speed to reduce your fuel consumption. The typical car is most efficient at around 45-50mph on the open road. You can save even more fuel clearing clutter out of your boot, driving in the highest gear appropriate gear for your speed, and making sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. Find more driving efficiency tips from the RAC here.
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