Everyone needs to save money here and there and so here at Coffee Money, we decided to pull together a list of our favourite money-saving ideas. Once we started we just couldn’t stop and ended up with 51 ways to save money so we hope you enjoy them. Remember if you look after the pennies then the pounds will look after themselves.
1. Use cashback reward sites
Cashback reward sites are a great way to save money as they reward you in cash, vouchers, or by Paypal simply for doing your normal shopping through their websites.
The amount of cashback you can earn varies from a few percentages of the value of your purchase up to over £100 depending on the retailer you are shopping through.
Using cashback sites such as TopCashback and Quidco can save you hundreds of pound each year so are definitely worth using if you are not already using them to save money. Each has thousands of retailers from a wide variety of sectors such as clothing, holidays, insurance, gaming, and makeup.
2. Be careful with credit cards
Credit cards can be handy if you are able to clear them off monthly and many offer rewards which makes it sensible to use them rather than using your debit card. However, if you are not in a position to repay your credit card debt each month this is an area you need to address as the interest charged on credit card debt is generally much higher than interest on a bank loan.
Different credit card providers often run interest-free promotional periods to entice new customers and if you have credit card debt it is definitely worth looking to transfer your existing debt to take advantage of this interest-free period. Once you have done this make sure to repay your debt and if you have not managed to do this before the promotional interest-free period ends look to transfer your debt again to another offer until you have repaid your debt.
If you don’t trust yourself not to build up a credit card debt then either cut them up or put them somewhere safe in your house to reduce the temptation to spend on them when you are out shopping.
3. Cancel unused gym membership
If you use your gym to keep fit then fantastic but if you are paying to be a member of a gym and only go once every 6 months you could save money by cancelling that membership.
If your gym membership costs £20 a month then you could save £240 by canceling that membership and use the money saved to buy some home gym equipment instead such as a bike or rowing machine.
4. Sign up for loyalty schemes to get rewards
Most shops, restaurants, and retailers have some sort of a loyalty scheme to reward you for shopping with them. The most obvious ones in the UK are Nectar, Boots Advantage Card, Tesco Clubcard, and Costa Coffee Clubcard.
Using these loyalty reward programmes allows you to earn freebies, vouchers, discounts, and special offers which can come in handy when you are looking to save money.
5. Free share trading
The way we buy and sell shares in the UK is changing as new stockbrokers enter the market such as Freetrade and Trading212. Both of these brokers are currently giving away free shares to anybody who signs up with them.
Both Freetrade and Trading 212 allow you to buy shares for free which dramatically reduces the costs you would normally pay a broker such as Hargreaves Lansdown. Even if you are not looking at building a share portfolio just signing up and getting the free share is worth it as you can sell it for free once you receive yours. As the shares are given out randomly it could be a share in any company such as Apple or Tesla and so could be worth anything up to £100. Most free shares are valued at less than £5 but you never know your luck.
6. Reduce your home heating bills
Energy prices just seem to keep on rising year after year. Check your last bill from your energy provider to see what tariff you are on and how much you are paying to heat your home.
If you have never changed your energy supplier then you should be able to save money by switching to a more competitive energy supplier by using a comparison site such as Compare the Market. Generally, a fixed rate for a year is cheaper than a standard tariff offered by energy suppliers but it pays to compare.
Before you go to a comparison site make sure you have your last bill handy so you can enter your usage and costs and then the site will compare the different energy providers to find you the best deal. Signing up to a new gas and electricity supplier is easy and you don’t need to do anything other than a few clicks of your mouse to save yourself some money.
7. Avoid the high street
One of the easiest ways to avoid spending money is to avoid the high street or your local shopping centre. With so many tempting offers it is hard to save money but if you can go for a walk in the country or somewhere else without shops the chances of you having to pull out a credit card to pay for something will diminish significantly.
8 Shop online
If you need to show then shopping online is better than simply wandering into your closest shop to buy whatever it is you are after.
The reason for this is that shopping online allows you to compare prices using price comparison websites and to compare reviews to ensure the product is worth the money. It also gives you time to think as you are not being pressurised by a salesperson to spend your cash.
9. The National Lottery
If you play the National Lottery in the hope of scooping the jackpot you already know the odds are stacked against you winning. The odds of winning the Lottery are 1 in 45 million so pretty unlikely it will be you.
It would be better to put save your money and or to use it to pay off any debts you have. If you currently spend £5 a week on the Lottery that is £260 that you could a year and over 10 years that would be £2,600. Once you add interest on top you could be £3,000 better off if you stopped playing the National Lottery.
If you do feel the need to be in it to win consider buying Premium Bonds as you have a chance to win a £million but do not lose your capital invested.
10. Stub out the cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is an expensive habit that if you can quit would save you a small fortune. If you’re smoking 20 a day and spending about £10 on a pack of fags that is £70 a week or £3,640 a year.
As well as being expensive smoking cigarettes have potential health implications. Smoking also increases your life insurance premiums so makes it even more expensive.
Quitting smoking takes a bit of effort but is a great way to save money and improve your health at the same time.
11. Before you shop write a shopping list
One of your biggest monthly costs is likely to be grocery shopping at supermarkets. Tesco, Asda, and the other supermarkets are all trying to get us to spend as much money as possible when we are in their stores and so a great way to avoid doing this is to write a shopping list.
If you write a shopping list and stick to it you will prevent yourself from giving in to impulse buys as long as you stick to your list and only buy items on it.
Creating a list allows you to plan your meals so you don’t end up forgetting something. It also helps to prevent you from buying too much and wasting both money and food if things do not get used or go out of date.
12. Shop around for the best mortgage deal
The biggest loan you ever take out is likely to be your mortgage for your home. You will have spent a lot of time looking around for your home so it only makes sense to spend some time looking for the best mortgage deal to save you money.
Whilst it is easy just to apply for a mortgage through your current bank you will likely save more money by shopping around to find the best deal using a price comparison site such as moneysupermarket.com or gocompare.com. Staying loyal to your bank is unlikely to save you money.
Even if you are not moving house it is worth comparing mortgage rates to ensure you are getting a good deal on your mortgage. The costs and rates you pay for arranging your mortgage will vary from lender to lender so cast the net as wide as possible in order to catch a good deal.
If you are paying your mortgage company’s standard variable rate you are most likely overpaying hundreds of pounds a year that you could save by switching providers. Always make sure you check the small print and look for any additional costs or charges and do not just base your decision on the headline rate they advertise.
Another way to save money on your mortgage is to try and make regular overpayments if you can afford to as this will allow you to pay off your mortgage quicker and save thousands in interest payments.
13. Install a water meter
Your water bill is either charged on a fixed rate or the amount you use. If you believe you could save money by installing a water meter then you should contact your water company and they should install a meter free of charge.
A water meter is likely to save you money if there are only a few people in your household and you live in a large house.
14. Do you really need to buy this?
Before you make a purchase of any kind ask you should ask yourself if you really need the item, will you use it, can you afford it, and is it worth the price.
Answering these questions should help you decide whether to make the purchase or not. If not sure then don’t buy it as you can always come back the following day once you have had a chance to think about it.
It is too easy to give in to temptation when browsing online or in stores and so you need to think before you buy if you want to save money.
15. Do you really need those designer labels?
It is amazing how much the price of anything from a pair of jeans to a handbag will increase just by swapping a designer label for a cheaper label. The product itself has not changed all that has changed is the label so why pay more for a name?
Celebrities all seem to wear expensive designer labels and it is not unusual to want to dress the same as your hero or even just to buy something because it is expensive to make yourself feel better or to show off. However, is it worth it if you are only going to wear the dress once and your bank account will take a long time to recover?
16. Buy supermarket own-brand goods
When you are doing your shopping it is often worth buying a supermarket’s own branded products such a bread or beans as it is unlikely you will be able to taste the difference.
Some own branded products do taste different but most taste the same allowing you to save some money when doing your weekly shop.
The main difference between generic products and branded goods is the advertising and marketing costs spent by the companies rather than any major changes to the products themselves.
17. Watch out for subscriptions auto-renewing
When you sign up for various things online whether it be antivirus software, music or whatever make sure you don’t click auto-renew.
If you do this then you may not get a chance to cancel and shop around for a better deal from alternative sites as your subscription auto-renews and ties you in for another month or year.
This is especially bad for your finances if you do not use the service or if you signed up because it was free and are now paying for something that you do not use.
If you want to save money do not auto-renew.
18. Save tax-efficiently
If you are looking to save money then take advantage of the tax benefits offered in the UK by saving up to £20,000 tax-free in an Individual Savings Account (ISA).
An alternative is a Lifetime ISA which lets you save up to £4,000 a year until you are 50. Doing so will entitle you to receive a bonus from the government of 25% up to a maximum of £1,000 a year.
If you pay into a pension then you will receive tax relief at the highest rate of income tax you pay. So if you are a basic rate taxpayer you will receive 20% pension tax relief whilst a higher rate taxpayer will receive 40% tax relief.
19. Never accept your household insurance renewal quote
Every year your house insurance provider will send you out a quote to renew your home building and contents insurance and 99% of the time if you phone them up to complain about the price increase they will be able to reduce the price for you.
Before you phone your existing household insurance company it is worth shopping around using price comparison sites to see if there are better offers out there. You can then use these offers when you contact your existing provider to negotiate a better price.
If your existing insurance company refuses to lower its price then you can simply move to another company and save yourself some money.
20. Turn off the TV
An easy way to save money is to reduce the amount of television that you watch. Not only does this reduce your electricity consumption but it also cuts down on your exposure to adverts and reduces the need for you to pay for all those extra channels.
By watching less TV it frees you up to do something more constructive with your time such as getting fit, learning a new skill, or working on a side hustle to make you some more money.
21. Sell your clutter
Go through each room in your house and look in all the various cupboards and drawers to identify any items that you have not used recently and are unlikely to use in the immediate future. Once you have identified all your clutter why not sell them to someone who could use them by selling them on eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook.
Decluttering your house will free up room, make your house easier to clean and may even improve the value of your house.
22. Switch off the lights.
Having the lights on all the time can cost you money so why not switch the lights off in rooms where they are not needed or even better throw open the curtains and let the sunlight in. The heat from the sun can warm up your house for free saving you money on your electricity bills.
23. Save on life insurance
As a nation, we are all living longer in the UK and the cost of life insurance is actually reducing. If you haven’t reviewed your life insurance for a while it might be worth spending 10 minutes looking it over to see if it needs to be amended and whether you could get a better deal by shopping around.
24. Switch your bank account to save money
The banks regularly increase their interest rates to attract savers and then reduce them just as quickly so it is worthwhile being money savvy and checking to see if your bank is offering you a good rate.
Competition between the banks has increased of late and several are offering to pay you up to £100 to switch your account to them. This is well worth it if you are not getting a good deal from your current bank. Remember loyalty does not pay when it comes to banks.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
25. Avoid lifestyle creep
As you earn more money it is easy to spend more money. However, you can save a lot of money if you do not try to keep up with the Joneses and instead only buy what you need not what you want because your friends and neighbours have something.
26. Trade down your car
Do you really need a cabriolet or convertible in the UK? We do not get much sunshine and is it worth paying for this type of car if for most of the year you will be unable to have the roof down? The same goes for sports utility vehicles that seem to be the rage right now they look great but they are expensive and you could save a fortune by trading down your car.
27. Shop around for breakdown insurance
The big names in the UK breakdown insurance market are the AA and RAC but there are lots of other players in the market who will provide a similar service for a cheaper price.
When your breakdown insurance is up for renewal don’t just auto-renew instead shop around using a price comparison site and see if you can save some cash.
28. Annual travel insurance
Annual travel insurance can be a great way of saving money if you take several holidays abroad each year. Generally, they are cheaper than taking out individual policies for each trip you make.
However, do not renew the policy automatically if you do not think you will need it in the coming year. If you do think you will use it then remember to shop around using price comparison sites to see if you can beat the renewal and save yourself some money.
29. Do you need all those TV channels?
There are so many different ways you can watch TV in the UK with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky, and Virgin all offering different packages. If you have signed up for these and additional movie and sports channels you could probably save yourself some money by reviewing the channels you watch and ditching the rest to save you some money.
30. Investment charges
If you have an ISA or a SIPP or any sort of investments then it is probably worth having a look at the charges you are paying and looking about to see if you can save money elsewhere.
Some platforms charge a percentage management fee whilst others charge a fixed fee and depending on the value of your investment it may be worth switching between these.
If you are just looking for a diversified investment then it might make sense to consider a low-cost tracker fund rather than going for an expensive managed fund.
31. Do you need to buy that latte each day?
Cutting down on unnecessary spending such as buy a latter on your way to work can have a small impact on your weekly spending but long term it can really add up.
Instead of buying your coffee from Costa Coffee, Starbucks or Caffee Nero you could save some money by making your coffee at home and taking it to your work in a flask.
32. Read online and save costs
If you buy a newspaper or magazine each day you could save a fortune by keeping up-to-date online. Not only will this save you money but it is better for the environment as it reduces the amount of paper that needs to be recycled.
33. Insulate your house
Insulating your loft, having cavity wall insulation fitted, and installing double or triple glazing all help to keep the heat in your house and save you money.
There are grants available for insulating your home so if you are interested in doing this it is worth having a look online as in the long run insulating your home will save you money.
34. Use a budget
If you really want to save money then create a budget to allow you to see where you are spending all your hard-earned money.
Once you know where your money is going it is easier to focus your attention on the big items and save money quickly by focussing on those first.
35. Reduce your home phone bills
Not many people use their home phone lines anymore so if you do not use it you could consider getting rid of it altogether.
If you do use it then there are lots of companies offering this service and some will no doubt be cheaper than BT or whoever your current provider is.
Sky and Virgin all offer tv, broadband, and telephone packages these days so shop around, get yourself a better deal and save some money.
36. Use pay-as-you-go mobile
If you are not using all the minutes and data on your mobile phone contract then you could probably save money by switching to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone and taking out a cheap sim-only deal.
36. Claim all your benefits
Make sure you are claiming all the benefits, tax credits, and Universal credits you are entitled to. In the UK the government is willing to pay benefits to help people so please make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to.
To find out more about benefits contact your local council or visit Entitledto.co.uk.
Make sure you are not suffering needlessly as there are benefits available for people who become ill, change jobs, have a baby, move home and experience a drop in income.
37. Do It Yourself
If you want to save money then a great way of doing this is to learn to do things yourself rather than paying a tradesman to do things for you.
DIY is hugely popular in the UK and there are lots of online and offline courses available if you want to learn to do your own car maintenance, plumbing, decorating, or gardening projects.
38. Book early
In general, if you want to save money it is best to book early. If you are booking a hotel room or a flight or almost anything those who book early pay lower prices and also get the best pick so book early.
If you can’t book early and are not bothered about which specific hotel you stay in then booking something at the last minute can save you some cash but you might not always get what you want so I would prefer to book early than late but there are deals to be done either way.
39. Book your own holiday online
If you book a holiday online you normally receive online discounts which make it cheaper than visiting the travel agent on your local high street.
Booking online also gives you more options and the chance to compare reviews to make sure there are no unexpected surprises on your holiday.
40. Walk more
Walking to the local shops saves you money on petrol of you drive or bus fares if you take public transport. It also helps to make you a bit healthier and fitter which is a great side effect of saving money.
41. Cut your own hair
Depending on how fashion-conscious you are cutting your own hair can save you some money.
Cutting your hair with a pair of clippers like everything becomes easier the more you practice. A lot of people have learned to cut their own hair and saved themselves a small fortune. As long as you have a simple hairstyle you should be fine just don’t try anything too adventurous until you have had some practice.
The clippers will pay for themselves after a couple of cuts so anything after that is a bonus.
42. Use a library
If you are looking for books to read whether fiction or non-fiction then you can get a free supply from your local library.
The library should have a selection of books on different topics but if it is a specific book you are after then you can always ask them to order it for you.
Libraries do not just contain books they also normally have newspapers, magazines, and some CDs as well. They normally also have a few computers that you can use to access the internet if you are struggling to pay for broadband or have to share a family laptop.
43. Avoid extended warranties
An extended warranty can give you comfort that if something happens to your new purchase whether it is an electrical item or a new car that you are covered for repair costs.
If you buy a new TV and it stops working within 6 months then you can take it back to the shop under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and have them replace it as it was not of a satisfactory quality and should have lasted longer than 6 months.
Most manufacturers offer a 12-month warranty period anyway so if it breaks down during this period they will fix it for free.
If the staff in the shop are pressurising you to buy an extended warranty then you have to wonder why as either they are getting a big commission or the product is of poor quality and has a history of breaking down. Either way, I would probably avoid taking the extended warranty as it is highly unusual for a new product to break down so quick and if it did you might actually be cheaper buying a replacement than forking out for an extended warranty.
44. Buy items stuff in the sales
There always seems to be a sale on somewhere whether it is Black Friday or a blue cross sale at a high street shop so if you are looking for some new stuff why not put off buying it until the sales are on.
If you are looking for a new barbeque then the best time to buy is at the end of summer as everywhere looks to get rid of the summer stock and get the next season’s stock in.
45. Take a packed lunch to work
Making a packed lunch and taking a packed lunch even for just a couple of days a week saves you money but also gives you a break from your traditional lunchtime sandwich or meal deal from Greggs, Boots, or wherever you normally shop.
Making your lunch at home allows you to use up some unwanted food items to create a decent meal and save some cash.
46. Invite friends over rather than going out
Going out with friends for something to eat or a few drinks can be expensive so why not save money by inviting your friend over. This way you still get to have fun but save on the expensive food and drink costs as you can buy these a lot cheaper at your local supermarket.
47. Repair your clothes
Don’t throw away your favourite blouse or shirt just because it has a button missing or a pair of socks because one of them has a hole in it. Instead, dig out a needle and thread and darn those socks and replace the button.
Repairing your clothes can make you feel better as well as saving you the time and temptation from having to go onto Amazon or an online shop to buy a replacement.
48. Use public transport
Taking the bus or the tube is far cheaper than the cost of owning a car and paying for all the costs that involves such as petrol, insurance, road tax, MOT’s and servicing.
If you can get away without owning a car then it is definitely cheaper to use public transport.
49. Use coupons to save money
An easy way to save money on groceries is to look out for coupons. These could be online or offline. Most supermarkets have apps or leaflets where they give away coupons to encourage people to buy stuff.
Do not buy something just because you have a coupon instead use the coupon to buy the stuff you need and save yourself some money.
50. Make your own beer or wine
Making your own beer or wine at home is a great way to save money and also a great hobby to have.
It is fairly easy to buy a home brewing kit from your local supermarket or Amazon and then brew your first batch. It is a great reason to have your friends over to taste your latest creation and also a great way to encourage your friends to do the same.
51. Drink more water
Water is not only good for your body it is also great for your body. Drinking water is better for you than drinking beer, wine, or fizzy pop. It is also a lot cheaper too since it comes out your tap for free.