Monday 13 June 2022

5 Cost Saving Hacks to Help You Save the Pennies

 **Collaborative Post**

As the cost of living continues to skyrocket across the nation, million of households are trying to find ways to save money and make ends meet. Whilst there is not much you can do to beat the squeeze completely, there are lots of easy swaps you can make to free up some extra cash.

Here are 5 simple things you can do to ensure you are maximising the money you have coming in.

1. Be savvy with your food shop

We can all make adjustments to bring down the cost of our weekly food shop.

Planning what you’re going to have for each meal across the week in advance is the first step to ensure you only buy what you need and don’t waste money on unnecessary ingredients or end up with too much food waste.

By turning this meal plan into a shopping list, you can reduce the chance of making impulse purchases - those little items you don’t need but which often find their way into your trolley. It also means that you can work out exactly how much of each item you need so if you only need 1 onion, you can buy one instead of a multipack that will go to waste for example. 

If you are still finding that your food shop is becoming a bit tight on the purse strings, opt for a cheaper supermarket. Each shop will have its own branded products, so choose these instead of purchasing brand names that are significantly higher in price.

2. Make your coffee at home

For many of us, a caffeine fix is the perfect way to kick off the day, but if you're opting for takeaway coffee every morning it could be seriously impacting your budget.

Recreating your favourite coffee shop drinks at home is easier and more affordable than you may think. You can even purchase a frother second hand to get the same taste whilst saving the time and money that would otherwise be wasted waiting in line for takeaway coffee. If you own a coffee machine (or are thinking of purchasing one to help save money in the long run) many of these now offer branded "coffee pods" so you can get the exact coffee blend at home too!

If you still can’t kick the habit, many coffee shops now offer loyalty schemes which can help your money go further. Pret a Manger offers best value, charging £20 for up to five coffees every day for a month. McDonald's, Costa, Cafe Nero, Greggs and Starbucks also offer coffee loyalty schemes, so decide which is tastiest for you.

3. Find new ways to keep active

The UK's average gym membership costs a whopping £40 a month, which works out at £480 per year. However, you could save your cash by finding new ways to exercise at home.

There are plenty of free online resources where you can find everything from HIIT workouts to yoga poses, or you could hit the pavement and take up running as a great way to keep fit without having to spend a penny.

If you find yourself missing the equipment at your favourite gym, recreate it at home with your own equipment. A folding treadmill, some weights and a bench are enough to create an effective setup at home to ensure you still get in a great workout. 

4. Use public transport where possible

We all need to get around, but if you’re savvy about it, there are lots of things you can do to save money on your monthly travel costs.

Public transport is likely to be cheaper than driving and, by getting rid of the car, you can not only save money on fuel, but you will also be saving on car insurance, MOT, and tax.

To get the most mileage out of your daily bus journey or train ride, get a rail card which will save you a third off on many routes. Whilst this does mean forking out more upfront, you’ll often find the cost of a railcard pays for itself over one or two long trips, ideal if you commute for work or travel a lot.

5. Sell unused items

If you still have gifts lying around from Christmas, or your loft is full of items gathering dust, consider reselling your unused belongings and recoup the money.

According to research from eBay, a typical household could easily net £1,000 selling unwanted belongings. From old clothes and furniture to books, musical instruments and laptops, you could significantly boost your bank balance by rehoming your items elsewhere to extend their lifecycles.

I think almost everyone is feeling the pinch of rising costs right now so hopefully these simple but helpful tips can save you some pennies too. Do you have any top tips or hacks that you have found are saving you money? If so please do share them in the comments, you never know, you may help someone else save more money too. 


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