Thursday, 20 January 2011

Top Ten Money Saving Tips

Everyone loves some new ideas and top tips for saving money. Well here are mine. I would love to hear from you about your money saving tips. The more we share, the more we will learn from each other.

In no particular order, here are my tips.

1. Cook meals from scratch and cook twice as much as you need, saving half to freeze. For some economical recipes see my Family Meals for Much Less than a Fiver series. Saves electricity as next time you have the meal you only use energy for reheating (it's most economical to defrost the food first)

2. If you shop in the supermarket, try to shop an hour or so before closing time and you will get the fresh produce that they must sell that day at a marked down price. Choose things that can be frozen or that you can use within a day or two. I save £3-£4 a week like this especially on bakery products.

3. Eat veggie, at least some of the time as pulses, eggs and lentils are a much cheaper source of protein than meat. Use quorn or soya mince as a meat substitute in recipes - it's about half the price of good minced beef. For recipes, look at articles in this Household section of the website

4. Try the supermarkets basic range and see which you like. You will save at least one third of the price. For me beans, sweetcorn and tinned pineapple are all fine. 

5. Go on to  'sim only'  when your mobile phone contract runs out, instead of being tempted into a new phone. I save £15 a month doing this and have the same package as before.

6. Wherever possible book your train or coach tickets several weeks in advance. It almost always saves loads. I have just booked a journey from Exeter to Burgess Hill in Sussex and back for £27.50. Read our article on cheap train tickets for more information. Megabus offers tickets for as little as £1.

7. When you need new furniture or larger household items, look no further than freecycle.org. Join your local group and see what is in offer and put in a 'wanted' post. For more information read 'Household Goods for Less'

8. Try Eco Balls for your washing. They can be used for six months to a year and there is no need for detergent. Green and economical. Saves whatever you normally spend on detergent each month.

9. I know its old hat, but switching everything off when you are not using it really does save money, things on standby still use electricity. And you are reducing your carbon footprint.

10.Driving within the speed limit, or slower. Driving at between 50-60mph on a motorway saves at least 10% of the fuel cost as driving between 70mph and 80mph - or more. And you are not vulnerable to getting a speeding ticket. and its kinda nice to take life a little slower.

These are a few of my favourite savings - hope they are helpful, and I would love to hear about yours. Do email at zerocredit.penny@googlemail.com or comment below.

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