How to Save Money

Spending less and saving more is the New Year resolution of many. But as always, it's easier to promise yourself that you're going to do something, than it actually is to make any changes. For that reason, today I'm going to share with you some of my top saving tips for the four areas where most of us tend to splurge - food, clothing, travelling, and days out - as well as some motivation aids for when you inevitably start to flag!


Food Shopping
  • Check the reduced section of your supermarket for cut price items. Most supermarkets will sell produce that is due to go out-of-date that day at a considerable discount. Hitting up this section, seeking out these items, and popping them in the freezer when you get home is a great way to save!
  • Think carefully about "deals", are they really a good price? Two pizzas from the fresh range for a fiver might seem like a great deal, but not when you notice that you can buy three for that price from the frozen section!
  • Cook in bulk and freeze for later. A slow cooker is ideal for this! Every time I batch cook in my slow cooker, I make enough for four meals. These are easily re-heated later - cheap and convenient!
  • Bulk out meals with cheaper, healthier ingredients. Recently I've been using lentils for this. As well as being super healthy, lentils are also pretty cheap! A can from Tesco is about 60p!
  • Plan out your meals and take a list shopping with you. Doing this when you hit the supermarket means that you'll end up buying fewer unnecessary things "just because" and you'll waste less too.
  • Try living out of your cupboard / freezer for a week. You'll be surprised at how much is in there that you'd forgotten!
  • Make your own lunch! One of my biggest saving sins is associated with lunch. The number of £3 Tesco meal deals I wasted money on when I could've saved a packet by just making lunch at home is shameful! 
  • Sign up for a Tesco Clubcard or Sainsburys Nectar card. These will earn you points which lead to discount coupons!

Clothes shopping
  • Visit charity shops! You might get a couple of items for £40 in Topshop these days, but you can get double (if not triple) that number by shopping in charity shops. And you'll be supporting a great cause too! What's not to love?
  • Ask about student discount. Many stores do offer student discount, but they don't advertise it widely. Always ask as you're paying at the till. The worst the cashier can say is "no"!
  • eBay / Depop any clothes you haven't worn in the last 6 months. Even if you're selling them for 99p, every little helps!
  • Limit yourself to a single new item a month, or every 2 months. This is easier to stick to than a total spending ban and it means you'll really put thought into what item to purchase, meaning you'll wear it more too!
  • Ask for clothing store vouchers as gifts for birthdays / Christmas. That way you can shop guilt-free!
  • Hold a clothes swap party with your friends and switch out your wardrobes! A completely free way of updating your wardrobe.
  • Use online freebie sites. I have a whole post about the best freebie sites to use, which you can find here!
  • Research budget makeup and clothing brands! If there's a good brand out there, some blogger somewhere has probably reviewed it, so find some budget product reviews and consider switching to a cheaper dupe for your high end product when you run out! You can see my review of a budget makeup brand here.

Travelling
  • Use split ticketing for rail travel. On average, people save about 40% on rail fares by split ticketing. To find out what it is and how to use it, click here.
  • Invest in a rail card. Another great way to save on fares.
  • Book train travel in advance. Advance singles can save you a packet!
  • Clean out your car. Lighter cars use less fuel!
  • Take it in turns to be designated driver on a night out. It beats paying for a taxi fare home!
  • Walk or cycle. If you live close to your place of work or college / uni, have you thought of walking or cycling in, instead of taking the bus or driving?

Trips Out
  • Do your research. Your home town probably has loads of free things to do! Look up local museums or art galleries, for instance! Most have free entry. 
  • Take food with you. Eating out can be one of the biggest costs on a day out! Picnic in the park, anyone?
  • Get online savvy. Shop around for cheap days out on sites like Groupon or Wowcher!
  • Keep an eye out for discount coupons in newspapers or magazines. Supermarket loyalty points can also get you money off at attractions! 
  • Get an NUS card. If you're a student, you can purchase an NUS card which will entitle you to discounts at loads of restaurants. 40% off at Pizza Express on Mondays and Tuesdays is a firm fave of mine!
  • Sign up to the mailing list of your favourite attractions. They'll email you when they're running promotions and you can nab a cut-price day out!

For when you need Motivation...
  • Open a savings account and put in a little each week! Seeing the total amount grow slowly but surely is really motivating.
  • If you're saving for something special, print out a picture of the thing you really want and place it next to your computer - when you're next tempted to splurge online, you'll remember what you're saving for and you might think twice!
  • Set yourself a challenge: can you cook a delicious meal for yourself on a set budget? Take up the challenge and you can even write a blog post about how you got on!
  • Allow yourself a little treat budget, this can be as little as the cost of a chocolate bar or a coffee, to be used as a pick me up!
I hope you've found these saving tips useful! If you have any more to share, please comment down below, I'd love to hear them!

Until next time,

A x


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