10 Money Saving Tips from Luke Cooper

Picture of Luke Cooper
May 02, 2012 - 10:05

It’s half way through the month...

...the meaty bills have gone out of your account, you’ve budgeted for food and now you’re looking at what’s left of your disposable income. You might be looking at getting that pair of shoes you’ve always wanted or putting this into savings either way bigger is always better in this case. Here are a few tips for making the pennies turn into pounds:

Own brand products

Try looking at your shopping list , can any of the brand names be replaced by the supermarket’s own brand? Sometimes this can halve the price of certain items and save a good amount on your final bill. You might even find they taste better than more expensive alternatives.

Cycling over public transport

Maybe you get the bus or train to work, which can be costly on a daily basis. If you live within half an hour or 45 minutes ride from work then cycling could save you over £25 per week and £100 in a month.


Online Shopping

With the internet making the world a global market place there’s ample opportunity to shop around for the best prices. There are various price comparison websites, which enable you to find the cheapest prices online. Online food shopping can also be a way of really thinking about what you will eat and when. Planning meals properly stops waste of food and wasting money.

Gym Membership

Of course there are some of us who make use of our gym memberships. There are others that let this direct debit eat away at their disposable income. Think seriously about whether you use your gym. Could you be better off taking the occasional run in the park that costs nothing rather than the occasional gym visit which costs you your membership fee every month?
Making online payments and setting up direct debits
Some companies will actually give money off your bills if you sign up to their online payment or direct debit payment plans. Check it out with all your bills to see if you can save anything.

TV & Film

Watching TV is a part of all our lives. Gone are the days of only four channels. We’ve got satellite packages, mail-order DVDs and online streaming. DVD rental can be rather costly especially if you are watching over three films a week. Streaming sites such as ‘LoveFilm’ or ‘Netflix’ and their mail-order counterparts can be more cost effective to sign up to. (And without the temptation of extra sweets and fizzy drinks which accompany all DVD rental shops). Also check out you local library. I am continually surprised with how much I enjoy going to the library and what great movies they have, of course it’s also free to borrow things there.

Online communities

There are online communities where you can register your skills and resources and get access to similar information about others completely free. JustForTheLoveOfIt.Org is a website where you can register your skills and resources and be put in touch with other people who have done the same. The idea is to share and trade in skills rather than money.

Free-cycle (FreeCycle.Org)

This is a website where you can pick up anything from kitchen appliances to garden furniture all for the cost of transportation. If you fancy a change of sofa it might be an idea to register and see what you can get from this gem of a site.

Charity shop shopping & Clothing Swap-shops

It’s always good to keep the wardrobe fresh. Whatever style you’re into intelligent charity shop shopping as well as sifting through vintage shopping districts can really help boost your style and cut your clothing spending. Good quality clothing will last decades but you have to have the right eye for it. Naomi Thompson’s website VintageSecret.Com could be just the kind of styling support you need to help you get to the good stuff out there. Other possibilities to refresh your look can be setting up a swap-shop at your place of work. One day per month ask colleagues to bring in decent quality wearable clothes they keep at the bottom of their wardrobes and see if you can’t swap things round a little.

Vintage shop

Cutting Energy Bills

An easy way to start saving money on rocketing energy bills is by switching all appliances off at the mains before going to bed. They can use energy even in a ‘standby’ state. ‘Which Switch?’ is a free online switching service which allows you to find the cheapest provider of energy and then switch over online. Reflective sheeting placed behind radiators can save money too. Making sure your insulation is as good as can be is also a must. Costly upon first layout but saves money in the long term. Also, if you are only cooking small items in the oven, fill the rest of the space with empty baking sheets and cake tins. This will reduce the amount of space needed to be heated and save money too!

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