12 ways to save money
The Money Dashboard has these twelve tips on saving money during the cost of living crisis
- Go food shopping with flatmates, with friends, or with neighbours. You can take advantage of multi-buy options, and can buy in bulk with more people to carry the bags.
- Cooking for yourself is cheaper than buying takeaway or fast food. There are countless recipe websites online, and many specialise in food that is either easy-to-make, cheap to prepare or quick to make, so search for what you need.
- Always be budgeting and don't allow yourself to spend money when you don't need to. Use Money Dashboard to see your transactions and monitor your spending.
- Public transport is usually cheaper than driving on your own, plus no parking costs. Save even more by getting a bike and cycling there, or leave early and walk.
- If you're looking for books, CDs, DVDs, blu-rays or video games, check used or pre-owned prices. The listings usually describe the quality and often you can get barely used items at a much lower price than brand new. Also check your local library, you can often search their catalogue online for free and order books or other media from other branches.
- Don't be too fussy with large items like furniture. Check furniture charity shops or websites like Freecycle and Gumtree for low cost or free furniture. If you don't have your own transport, ask a friend with a car to help you collect it. You may have to settle for a style you wouldn't have chosen, but new furniture is expensive and you can always cover it with pillows or throws.
- Instead of choosing well-known brands of products, try supermarket budget brands and generic alternatives. Common pharmaceuticals such as painkillers are often much less expensive if you buy lesser known budget brands.
- Most grocery items are cheaper from discount supermarkets like LIDL or Aldi. Try to do your regular shopping in stores like these.
- Electricity usage goes way up in the colder months. Make sure your family wear jumpers indoors and leave the heating turned down by a degree or two. It takes a lot of energy to heat your home. Turn off lights when you're not in the room and turn off appliances at the mains.
- Make your own snacks. Sliced carrot dipped in humus, cheese on crackers, or a bowl of popcorn flavoured with salt or paprika, all are cheaper and healthier for at-home snacking than pre-packaged crisps or snack bars.
- Look up voucher code websites to try to find discounts before confirming any online transaction. There may be a way to get money off.
- Always use price comparison websites when shopping online. For best results, use two or three different sites before making a purchase. If you're in-store and you have mobile Internet access, see if you can find the items cheaper online before buying.