We’re almost two months into 2018, and we’ll be the first to say that January was a hard month of trying to get that wallet and waistline back on track. If, like us, you’re already bored of hiding from your bank statement in the hopes that your financial state will magically improve, then we come with a little bit of good news for you. No it’s not a cheque for £500… sadly.
We’re all about saving money here at Savoo, which is why we’ve got our heads together and compiled a comprehensive list of savvy tips and tricks to help you make every penny count this year. And once you’ve finished this article you’ll have forgotten all about that hypothetical £500 cheque that never was. We’ll be sharing our very best money-saving tips on some of life’s biggest expenses, including:
- Train tickets
So sit back, stick the kettle on, and have a read of our tips and tricks to help you save money in 2018. Your bank account may be looking pretty sorry for itself at the moment but – trust us on this one – it won’t be for long once we’re done with you.
How to save money on food
- Write a listHave a quick look what you already have in your cupboards and write a shopping list based on this. This means you’ll avoid buying things you already have and risk some going out of date and having to be thrown away.Writing a list and sticking to it also means you’ll be less likely to veer off-track and start throwing anything and everything into your trolley. You can easily see twenty or thirty quid added on to your weekly shop through items you don’t really need but fancy at the time.
- Buy frozenBuying frozen food instead of fresh is advantageous in more than one way. First, it’s often cheaper, which means you can get more for your money. Plus it lasts way longer because it’s frozen – so you’ll save money from throwing food out as well as minimising food wastage.If you have the freezer space, we’d definitely recommend stocking up on frozen essentials, such as vegetables, fruit, and meat. A lot of the time they are already prepared too, saving you precious time when it comes to feeding your hungry rabble of kids.
- Try out some cheaper brandsA lot of the time there really isn’t that much difference between budget and premium brands. When you take away the fancy packaging, advertising, and price – the products themselves are largely similar the majority of the time.Often, there can be huge price discrepancies between high-end brands and supermarket own brands. And recent taste test studies have actually shown the cheaper brands being preferred over the more expensive options quite a lot.
- Make friends with the reduced aisleGo to the supermarket an hour before closing time and you’ll see the reduced aisle stocked full of expensive cuts of meat, prepared meals, fresh fish and more. Supermarkets can’t sell certain foods past their sell by date, so will sell them off really cheap to get rid of them.Sell by date is different to use by date though, and reduced products will often have a couple more days left in them before they turn nasty. Or if they’re looking near the mark, you could always pop them in the freezer ready to eat another time.
How to save money on holiday bookings
- Browse in private mode when looking for flights and hotelsBrowsing online in private mode or ‘incognito’ means your activity and browsing history are kept private. Now, we all know that looking at flights more than once will make the price go up right? Clever, sneaky airline companies use this tactics to make you book before the price ‘goes up even more’.However, this isn’t a problem in private mode as your browsing history isn’t made clear to the airline. This way, flight and hotel prices will stay as low as possible, ensuring you’re never paying extra for no reason.
- Use comparison websitesUsing comparison websites such as SkyScanner and Kayak when booking flights can give you a great insight into flight prices with different airlines. You’ll often find a much better rate with a different airline you may not have considered before.Plus, even if you do stick with the same airline it’s often cheaper to book this way than booking direct. That’s not always the case though, so just make sure you do a little bit of research on comparison sites and airline websites so find the best rate.
- Wait for flash salesAirlines often hold flash sales where the price of seats on particular flights gets slashed for a certain period of time. With flight operators such as Norwegian Air, TUI, Thomas Cook, and EasyJet, you could see prices dropped by up to 70% in flash sale events.The only downside to this is you need to be quick. It can be helpful to sign up to their email newsletters or follow them on social media to find out exactly when these sales are happening.
How to save money on clothes
- Buy out of seasonBuying clothes out of season is a simple way to save money when you shop. This is because retailers put out of season clothing in the clearance section to clear the stock and make more way for the in-season bits. You can save a tonne by thinking ahead and buying certain clothes when you don’t need them.For example – buy your winter coat in May, buy your bikinis and swimwear in October, or your summer holiday clothing in winter. You might have to do a little bit of digging, but this is made easier when you shop online as there are dedicated clearance and sale sections.
- Sell what you don’t wearThere are lots of websites available for you to sell your old clothes. As well as trusty eBay, you can use websites such as DePop and Shpock to get some cash for your old or unworn clothes.Selling your old clothes is a great way to earn yourself some extra pennies as well as keeping your wardrobes and cupboards clutter-free and up-to-date. Who knows, that old sparkly top you bought three years ago that still has the tag on may find a loving home after all.
- Buy second-handBuying used clothing always comes with a smaller price tag than buying brand new – it’s a fact. While a lot of people don’t like the idea of wearing somebody else’s clothes you can often find fantastic bargains on clothing resale websites and charity or vintage shops.These places are a great place to look if you’re after basics such as jeans or jumpers, and you can also find other, quirky pieces which you wouldn’t have found at Topshop or New Look too.
How to save money on bills
- Call your supplier and ask for a better priceWhen you call your supplier directly and ask them if they’re willing to put your price down, they will say yes the majority of the time. Think of it from their perspective – you are a loyal, paying customer. They would rather put your tariff down 20% each month than lose you as a customer altogether.To them, the money is no big deal, whereas a 20% monthly saving is huge for you. If you haven’t rung up and asked in the past year or so we’d recommend doing so – it doesn’t take long and could save you hundreds in the long run.
- Use a price comparison website to see if you can find it cheaper elsewhereThere are tonnes of price comparison websites out there to help you find the cheapest rate for your electricity, heating, and household bills. Just put in a few details about your current tariff and they’ll provide you with prices from up to 40 different suppliers.This is a quick and simple way to find out if you are being overcharged by your current provider. You can often save hundreds by switching to a new energy provider, and comparison tools are there to do all of the hard work for you.
- Take a look at your usage and see if you can downgrade your tariffIf you have been on the same energy or heating tariff for years, it’s worth reviewing this and seeing whether your usage or needs are still the same. It might be that you don’t need as much broadband speed as you used to, or perhaps switching to a smart meter may be more beneficial.Think about it, if your kids have recently moved out or you’ve moved to a smaller house with less bedrooms then what you need from a tariff is going to be different. Once you’ve figured out where you can cut back just ring up your supplier and see what’s the cheapest price you can negotiate.
How to save money on electronics
- Ask yourself if you really need oneIt seems pretty silly to spend hundreds on a brand new laptop or phone just because you’re bored of the one you already have. Maybe your friends have got the latest iPhone or MacBook and you’re feeling the little green monster called envy creeping up on you.Either way, buying a brand new device should be the last option once you’ve exhausted every other option. If you’re bored, consider a new case, screensaver or theme. It may seem small but an overall refresh of your devices can make them seem brand new. If it’s running slow or freezing, consider cleaning up your hard-drive or deleting old files, for example.
- Don’t buy the newest modelWhile the latest models of phone and laptops always seem super snazzy and cool, in reality there’s usually very little between it and its predecessor. Yes, the newer may have a slightly better display or longer lasting battery life, but is it really worth spending an extra couple of hundred pounds just for that?Consider what it is you’ll need the device for – chances are you might not even need all of the features the newer model is offering. With influential advertising and marketing campaigns, it can be easy to feel like you need the newest model. But keep in mind what you will be using it for.
- Sell your old devicesWhen you’re looking to buy a new phone, laptop, or tablet, it’s also worth thinking about selling your old devices too. Not only will this free up your cupboards and drawers or old electronics, but the money you get could bring down the cost of your new purchase too.Even if your old iPhone 5C that has been shoved at the back of your drawer for the past few years no longer works, they’re still sellable on places like eBay and Gumtree as people buy these cheap for parts. You won’t get as much as if you’re selling a working iPhone 7, but it all adds up in the long run.
- Buy at the right timeWith Black Friday and Cyber Monday getting bigger and better each year in the UK, you can often find the latest and greatest in tech and gadgets with huge discounts applied. If you can wait a little, it could save you hundreds.It’s not only these dates you should remember either, the January sales are a great time to look for new electronics. A lot of retailers have a newsletter you can sign up to. This way, you’ll be the first to know about any upcoming sales or promotions.
We hope our tips can help you save your way through the year. Whether you’re saving money for something in particular or would just like to see your bank account in less of a sorry state, our tips are available to guide you through taking those first steps. For more saving tips from our thrifty experts, be sure to follow us on social media too.
Don’t forget that we have thousands of voucher codes and deals that can help you save money when shopping online too. Whether you’re upgrading your kitchenware at John Lewis, buying the kids birthday presents at Argos, or are jetting off with TUI – we’ve got your covered. Plus, when you sign up to support a charity through Savoo we’ll donate to them on your behalf every purchase you use making one of our codes. Find out more or start shopping now.