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Savvy saving tips

Posted on 18 May 2022

Financial

Spending carefully

  • Embrace voucher power: besides your employee discounts app there are plenty more ways to save. If you’re shopping online, have a google around for discount codes before you hit the checkout. Remember that many of your discounts take the form of payment cards, which means you can often ‘stack’ the discount with sales, discount codes or other promotions.
  • Save on prescription charges: if you live in England and you need medication regularly, it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).
  • Get cashback: using sites such as Quidco or TopCashBack is a way to get a little back on money you were planning to spend anyway!
  • Know how to resist impulse purchases: shops and retail websites use little psychological hacks to encourage you to spend more on stuff you don’t need. Once you know how it works, it’s often easier to avoid falling into the impulse spending trap. Take a look at this blog.
  • Join a ‘buying and selling’ Facebook group: most areas have at least one of these. You can use them to pick up a bargain, clear out some clutter, and also keep an eye on what’s going on in your local area!

Keeping your bills down

  • Save money by becoming more energy efficient. Check the settings on your fridge and freezer (fridges shouldn’t be set any lower than 5ºC, while freezers should be -18ºC); use a microwave, rather than the hob, to reheat food if you can; and don’t overfill the kettle. Turn off the radiators in any rooms that aren’t being used, and remember to switch off TVs, laptops, gaming consoles etc – don’t just leave them on standby.
  • Consider installing a water meter. This means you’ll be charged for the amount you actually use – which could save you money, depending on how much water your household uses! There’s a calculator on the CCW website to help you work out if a water meter is right for you. In Scotland this works slightly differently - use the calculator on the Scottish Water website.
  • Check if you qualify for a discount on your council tax (in England and Wales only) and remember if you live on your own or with no other adults you can get a 25% council tax reduction.
  • Shop around for insurance. You could make big savings on insurance by using price comparison websites, so it’s worth putting in a bit of time to get the best out of them. There’s a great guide to this on the Money Advice Service website.
  • Check if you could get a better mobile phone deal. When your mobile phone contract comes to an end it’s always tempting to take the easy option and accept whatever deal your provider offers you. But there’s a smarter way to do it, and it can net you big savings. Sites like uSwitch can help you find the best deal on the phone you want and the contract you need. For example, once your contract has ended and you own your phone outright you could be paying as little as £8 a month for unlimited calls and texts and 3GB of data.
  • Keep an eye on your bank account for subscriptions and regular payments you aren’t making the most of. Do you really need NowTV and Netflix at the same time? Is it time to be honest with yourself and cancel the gym membership you never use anyway?

Cut the cost of the weekly shop

  • Plan your meals – including snacks – in advance for a week or a fortnight, make a list of everything you’ll need…and then stick to it once you get to the shops! Using a shopping list and a budget for your big shop also means you can buy your supermarket vouchers in advance via your employee benefits app.
  • Doing your big shop online is an even better way to make sure you’re not tempted by unnecessary extras.
  • Many supermarkets offer discounts to customers if their shopping could have been bought cheaper from certain rivals, so remember to swipe your loyalty card or register your receipt online after every supermarket shop. (Another reason to shop online – these discounts are often applied automatically if you do!)

What are your favourite ways to save?

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