...on your finances
- Hold back on £20 worth of treats each week. This means not splashing out on morning coffees or a Friday bottle of wine, which soon wipes out your money. Visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/cutback to see how much cash you can save.
- Use cash instead of cards so you’re aware of how much you’re spending. You’re more likely to reassess an impulse buy if you pay for a new dress with cash! Limit how much you take out of the ATM each week.
- Keep a spending diary – it’s guaranteed to shock you into spending less!
- Pay off high interest debt - “Switching a £2,500 credit card bill charging 18.3 per cent to a 0 per cent deal for the next 12 months will save £38.12 per month or £457.50 per year,” says Andrew Hagger of Moneynet. Find 0 per cent deals at www.moneyfacts.co.uk or in newspapers’ money sections.
- Never accept the renewal price for home or car insurance. “Shopping around for a cheaper deal only takes 20 minutes and can save you £20 or more,” says Andrew.
- Keep a spending diary to see where you could cut back further. It’s guaranteed to shock you into spending less!
...on going out
- Eat out for less - never go to a restaurant unless there’s a voucher or meal deal offer. Check your local newspapers or websites like www.5pm.co.uk. Lunchtime menus are often cheaper, too. Eating in is cheaper still!
- Don’t take a break unless there’s a deal Check out websites like Vouchercodes.co.uk for discounted hotel breaks or theatre tickets. Use your supermarket reward points to pay for days out and breakdown cover.
...on your health
- If you’re under 60 and need regular medication buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). A single prescription costs £7.65, while a three-month PPC costs £29.10. Call 0845 850 0030 or complete form FP95 in pharmacies.
- Buy beauty products from the baby section For instance, we found Tesco White cotton wool pleat (100g) for £1.38 compared with Tesco My Baby’s cotton wool pleat (200g) for 88p, so you get double the amount for 50p less!
- Over-60s can now receive ten Boots Advantage Card Points for every £1 spent on Boots-branded products which can then be redeemed in stores or at www.boots.com. “Everyone else gets four points per £1 spent. In addition, you’ll get a 25 per cent discount on spectacles when spending £79 or more, and a 15 per cent discount on hearing aids,” says a spokesperson for Boots. Sign up in store.
...on your bills
- Keep energy costs down. Turn the thermostat down one notch to save around £60 per year. Set your heating timer to come on ten minutes later and go off ten minutes earlier – that way you’ll save 30 hours of energy costs in just three months.
- Switch to a better energy deal to save up to £398 a year. Ask your energy supplier if it has a cheaper plan. If not, compare gas and electricity deals using Yours Switching on 0800 008 7777 or visit www.energyhelpline.com/Yours
- Save up to £100 a year on water bills by taking showers instead of baths and using a water-efficient showerhead; only running the dishwasher and washing machine when full and not leaving the tap running, advises Jane Symonds of www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
...on your car
- Check out www.petrolprices.com to locate the cheapest petrol garage near you. Even though fuel costs are at a record level, it still helps if you can save 2p or 3p per litre.
- Drive for less It costs £6,600 a year to keep a car on the road, says the RAC, so reduce your annual fuel bill by £31 by removing extra weight (like golf clubs) from your boot. Save around £46 a year on fuel by checking your tyre pressure is correct (visit www.tyresafe.org or refer to your car handbook).
- Set your heating timer to come on ten minutes later and go off ten minutes earlier.
...on your shopping
- Reduce your food bill by switching to budget versions of everyday essentials. Morrisons new M Savers everyday range offers 80 teabags for 27p. Find out more in stores or at www.morrisons.co.uk/msavers
- Try discount food websites such as Approvedfood.co.uk for food at knock-down prices, says Jasmine Birtles of www.moneymagpie.com. “You can get items from soup to biscuits at a fraction of the normal price.”
- October brings new models of tumble driers and dishwashers so older models are discounted. It’s also a good time to buy discounted digital cameras as new models are brought out for Christmas. Stock up on garden items, too, as retailers want to get rid of these before winter, according to consumer guide Which?