Discover how easy it is to cut the cost of everything from rent to commuting, with our big list of money-saving tips and tricks on how to save money. A penny saved is a penny made!
How to save money fast
Saving money can be just as effective as making money if you’re trying to boost the cash in your bank account. These are the best ways to save money:
1. Legally buy stolen goods
Yes, we’re putting heavy emphasis on the ‘legal’ part here. You may have seen police auctions in American TV shows, but they’re a great way to save money in the UK too. So how do they work? Well, when the police are unable to track down an item’s rightful owner, they’ll auction it off and give the proceeds to worthy causes. It’s all legit, it’s all above-board, and you can bag a bargain if you submit the winning bid.
2. Buy past ‘best before’ dates
Unlike ‘use by’ dates, ‘best before’ dates are solely recommendations about food quality, not safety.The Approved Food website can help you cash in on this – they legally sell groceries close to (or past) their best before dates that are still safe to consume. It’s one of the best ways to save money. We slashed £55 off one shop, so there are great savings to be had!
3. Food shop in the evenings
After about 6pm, most supermarkets start heavily reducing prices on items they need to shift by the end of the day.You should still make a list, but if you’re flexible on brands and flavours, you could bag fresh produce that’s still perfectly fine to eat, just a lot cheaper. Just don’t shop on an empty stomach, otherwise you’ll end up buying food on impulse.Read more money saving tips for supermarket food shopping.
4. Join secret sales websites
There are a number of sites which run limited-time flash sales, on everything from designer clothes to holidays. The savings are significant but you need to be signed up to hear about the sales.Most sites rely on word-of-mouth and are not heavily promoted (these are the ones we follow).However, big retailers also dabble in this market to help clear surplus stock – a prime example (pardon the pun) being Amazon’s Today’s Deals section.
5. Have at least one ‘no-spend’ day each week
Having a no-spend day is both an incredibly simple and surprisingly difficult way of saving money. When you stop to think about it, you probably spend money on at least one thing every day, even if it’s as small as a bus fare or a small snack while you’re out and about.Exercise some self-restraint and try to have at least one no-spend day each week (we’ll let you pay for travel if it’s absolutely necessary – otherwise, walk and get paid to do it).It’ll take some forward planning (like buying food in a weekly shop), but the psychological impact of learning not to spend money should mean you become a lot more careful with it in the long term.
6. Find cheap flights
Assuming the first getaway deals you find are actually the cheapest is a rookie mistake, especially as prices can change in minutes. Set up price alerts with momondo if you have a destination in mind, or use Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ tool to find bargain-bucket seats on flights to anywhere! Complete holiday packages can sometimes (although not always) work out cheaper overall, so compare your prices with sites like lastminute.com. And don’t dust off your bikini until you’ve read our tips on getting cheap flights.
7. Get cash back on almost anything
Every time you shop online, get some of your money back by learning how to use cashback sites.TopCashback, Quidco and Swagbucks are worth joining, and between them they cover almost every online retailer in the UK. You’ll be amazed at just how much you get back.But it’s not just online shopping that offers cashback. Free food (and occasionally some cleaning products and pet food, too) can be nabbed through supermarket cashback apps.
8. Haggle on your rent (and everything else)
When it comes to figuring out how to save money, you’ve got nothing to lose by asking for a rent reduction – if you can show you’ve been a good tenant, the odds are in your favor as it’s usually cheaper and less hassle for your landlord if you stay on.Other tactics for getting cheaper rent include paying in advance or asking for a slightly shorter contract than the usual 12 months to account for the summer holidays.
9. Get cheap phone insurance
Whether you’re a serious butter-fingers or you’re just worried about someone nicking your phone, getting insured could save you a packet in the long run. Insurance obviously costs money, but compared to the cost of a new phone or getting your existing one repaired, it’s nothing at all. So if you’re notoriously clumsy, have a pricey device or you’re locked into a lengthy contract, getting insured is often worthwhile. And don’t just go with the policy that’s bundled with your gadget – you can get cover for pennies.