Some simple changes can make a big difference to your household budget. Swapping everyday products for cheaper alternatives or changing the way you buy / pay for things can all help.
Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
Energy-saving light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and don’t cost much more. Using one can save you around £55 over the lifetime of the bulb.
Use cashback websites
According to QuidCo, one of the UK’s leading cashback websites, the average consumer could be £252 a year better off by making purchases through cashback websites. These sites pass on advertising commission to customers in the form of cashback. The process is really straightforward; simply set up an account with a cashback provider and when you’re ready to make a purchase, make sure you visit the retailer’s website through the link provided on the cashback website. It’s a good habit to get into and the savings soon stack up, especially if you’re purchasing financial products like insurance.
Switch energy supplier
Use a comparison site to compare gas and electricity deals. uSwitch.com says households can save up to £512 a year by switching to the cheapest deal. The Money Savings Team at MoneyPlus can help you find a better energy package, click here to find out more.
Install a water meter
About 40% of homes have a water meter, where the size of your bill depends on your consumption. As a rough rule of thumb, if there are more bedrooms than people in your property you could save money with a meter. Savings vary according to consumption but some households could save £100 a year or more.
Check out freebie websites
Many people give away furniture and other household items for free if you’re willing to go and pick them up. Check out sites such as freecycle.org and gumtree.com or local community Facebook groups.
Prepay for prescriptions
Anyone who regularly buys prescriptions in England could save themselves a small fortune by getting a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). The charge for a single prescription is £8.05, whereas a three-month PPC costs £29.10 and a 12-month PPC £104. Find out more about a prescription prepayment certificate.
Pay bills by direct debit
Ditch paper bills and set up direct debits for all your household bills such as energy, broadband and mobile phone. Energy companies often offer their cheapest deals to customers who pay by direct debit while other suppliers charge extra for sending out bills in the post.
Get your own coffee cup
How much is your coffee addiction costing you? Coffee is a big business with UK consumers drinking 70 million cups a day – a habit which adds up to a £730 million annual caffeine spend. If you buy a lot of takeaway coffees you can save money by taking your own cup to some coffee shops. Starbucks knocks 25p off the price of a drink if you have your own cup. Even better, ditch the takeaway coffees and take a flask with you when you’re out and about.
Some more money saving ideas:
- Swap takeaways for ready meals. A cheese and tomato pizza from Domino’s costs £12.99, while Tesco pizzas start from 50p
- Swap alcohol for soft drinks for a month. Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest the average household spends £15.20 a week on alcohol
- High-end gyms such as Virgin Active and David Lloyd cost up to £90 a month – budget gyms such as Pure Gym have memberships from £10 a month
- Look out for days out deals online. Daysoutguide.co.uk has plenty of two-for-one offers.
- Swap on-demand films from your broadband supplier for Netflix – Virgin Media charges a minimum of £2.99 to watch one film while Netflix is £5.99 a month for unlimited films
- Swap full-price hotels for special deals on booking.com or hotels.com
- According to thetrainline.com, consumers can save on average 43% by booking long distance train tickets in advance compared to paying walk-up fares.