Friday, 28 November 2014

Making the most of your money this Christmas

December is just days away and the countdown to Christmas 2014 is in full swing. Every shop has its displays out and today has seen unprecedented adoption of the US 'Black Friday' concept in the UK.

Christmas may seem like a massive expense, but there are way to get your loved ones Christmas presents and stick within a budget. If you're a savvy shopper and prepared to shop around, you can grab bargains. Here's our tips for making the most of your money this festive season....

Start building up those extra pennies

  • Sign up for supermarket savings schemes.
  • Sell books, CDs or DVDs on trade-in sites.
  • Start hoarding store reward points early.
  • Head down to a car boot sale to to sell any unwanted possessions and festive treats like mince pies, cakes and homemade decorations.

Draw up a spending plan

As with any financial goal, preparing for Christmas starts with budgeting and savvy spending. Here's how to get organised and avoid last minute impulse shopping:
  • Start by listing all your individual expenses, including presents, food and travel, and estimate a rough cost by looking up prices online.
  • Create a budget spreadsheet so you can see what you can afford and how much money you'll be left with. Based on your incomings and outgoings.
  • Check on your budget each week or so over the next couple of months to make sure you're on track.

Shop smarter

Christmas on a budget doesn't have to mean cutting back on luxuries; it just means finding places to save as you spend. Putting these money saving tips into practice will make it much easier to stick to your budget:
  • Decide on your presents and festive menus early – this reduces the chance of costly panic buys.
  • Use comparison sites to find the best deals on your shopping.
  • Search for voucher codes before submitting online orders.
  • Buy own-brand products where possible and loose veg (it's cheaper).
  • Team up with neighbours to buy from wholesalers to save on delivery costs.

Get creative

There are lots of ways to guarantee smiles on Christmas morning without even having to step inside a shop – give a few of these homemade festive fixes a go:
  • Make your own gift labels from old Christmas cards.
  • Try creating personalised gifts, from festive fudge to upcycled furnishings.
  • Make decorations from holly and pine cones; it's more economical – and fun – than buying them ready-made.

Make the goodies last longer

Long after the celebrations are over, your Christmas goodies can become the gifts that keep on giving, making your money go further.
  • Save old wrapping paper, and do try to reuse it next year.
  • Make the most of leftover meat by making soups, stews and curries.
  • When it's time to take the tree down, use it for a festive bonfire.

If you're gearing up for Christmas you might be surprised how much you can save by shopping around, remember - get creative, shop smarter and make the goodies last longer.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Save £30,000 On Your Mortgage

Shortening the term, or overpaying your mortgage effectively do the same thing - potentially, save you a lot of money! How much exactly? Taking a £200,000 repayment mortgage with a 25 year term at 4.5 percent interest as an example, you could stand to save almost £30,000 by lowering the term to 20 years. If you can afford the hike in the monthly repayment it is really a no-brainer.

Friday, 7 November 2014

5 Unusal ways to cut your energy bills

So the clocks have gone back and the British weather seems to be turning colder by the day. With the regularity of day turning to night, temperatures plummet and energy bills go up.

Everyone is stocking up on items to keep them warm over the winter months, Amazon suggest sales of everything from electric blankets or hot water bottles have gone through the roof.

Whilst these traditional methods of keeping warm are effective, here are some much quirkier ways to heat your home - as well as reduce your bills.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Top 5 Money Saving Mobile Apps

There's an app for everything, as the adage goes. The problem with apps is finding the good ones, those shining jewels in a sea mediocrity. Money saving apps are no different! It's with that in mind that we set about finding the very best money saving apps available, and compiled them in this easy to digest and infinitely useful list. Do let us know if you think we've missed out any gems, we'd love to hear from you.


Free - Android and iPhone

This is much more than just a place to keep a shopping list. This handy app goes one step further and shows you where your desired items are currently on sale across 9 supermarkets, and which supermarket is offering the best price. 

You can also compare prices, set price alerts, get saving suggestions and discover other bargains.


Free - Android and iPhone

One of our favourite budgeting apps. Spendometer allows you to set a daily, weekly, or monthly budget for a number of different items and fill out your spending as you go. Very handy for keeping on top of your spending.


Free Android and iPhone

Onava compresses data that you use on your phone while connecting to the internet. Why would you want to do this? Well, according to the creators of the app, this could save you up 80% on your data plan. Perfect for those of us not on unlimited data plans.


Free Android and iPhone

This app uses crowdsourcing to compile a list of petrol prices across the UK and Europe, and makes that information available to all users of the app. 

Not only can you use this to find out where the cheapest petrol station is in the area, but it will also guide you to that location like a sat-nav.


Free Android and iPhone

You've probably already heard of this one. SkyScanner helps millions of people find the cheapest flights all over the world. It works by comparing the prices of more than 1,000 airlines to find the very best deal.

You can filter results by price, airline and arrival/departure times. Upon finding a suitable a deal you can book directly through the app.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Green Deal Home Improvement Fund Re-Launched

Homes across the UK will be able to apply for up to £7,600 to pay for new boilers, double glazing and wall insulation from November 2014 as part of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF).

A total of £100 million will be made available to households that meet the requirements. This will be the second round of cash up for grabs after the initial £120 million the government made available earlier in the year was understandably very fast to go.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Our Top 9 Winter Energy Money Saving Tips

It may still be sunny and it's not yet freezing cold weather, but if you've received your latest quarterly energy bill, to borrow a phrase from Game of Thrones, you'll know - winter is coming!

As the months approach where your heating will be on full force, the energy companies adjust your bills to cover the extra energy usage. So if you're concious of saving money, it's important to ensure your energy is the cheapest it can be for the amount you use.

1) Don't ever think that "all energy companies are the same" - there are BIG differences with price and service levels. If you're prepared to switch providers then you could make savings, so it is worth investigating the tariff you're on.

2) The energy sector is extremely competitive and companies are fighting to offer you the cheapest 'fixed' price deals. It is possible to cut some bills by over £200 a year. The average usage cost varies by region and amount used, generally the cheapest fixed rate is from Extra Energy and will cost someone with typical usage £991 a year, fixed until 31st October 2015. If you were to compare that to a big six standard tariff you're looking at around £1,180. With the EDF Blue+ price promise you can get a fixed rate until 31st March 2016 at £1,040.

3) Before doing a comparison, you should understand that the cost will be different depending on where you live and what you use. The prices we've already mentioned are just averages, so you may well be below or above these consumption levels. Doing a comparison means you can not only make saving but often get cash back for switching. Log on to a comparison site, put in your location and bill info and see if you can get a better deal. Ofgem has more info at, or has a special ‘top pick fixes’ comparison.

4) The levels of service you will receive vary greatly between providers, its a VERY competitive market place, so if you're not happy switch. You're already likely to be paying a lot of money to your provider so make sure that at least the service is good.

5) Are you on an electricity-only tariff or Economy 7? Those with no gas can still get all the tariffs above – and all comparison sites allow you to compare electricity only. If you’re on Economy 7 it can be far trickier, see guide for how to work out your winner.

6) If you're moving house, most fixed rate deals you have are portable, so if you move you can take them with you.

7) If you're on a prepayment meter don't think you're locked into one provider. It's possible to switch even if you're in debt as long as its no more than £500.

8) Another way to cut costs is paying by direct debit, this knocks around £70-90 a year off your bill. The provider will estimate your annual usage and divide it by 12. It is essential to take regular meter readings to make sure you aren't overpaying though.

9) And finally don't worry if your struggling to pay the bill. Help should be available, if you're seriously behind with your payments act immediately before the higher winter energy bills kick in. British Gas, EDF and Npower and several other providers often give grants to help people who're struggling.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Escape The Rat Race, Go Freelance!

It's 10am, you're settling into your morning routine, performing the same mundane tasks you have done day in day out for months, or even years. The robotic, hollow nature of your 9-5 existence is painfully apparent, but you put it the back of your mind. You think about the weekend, those brief few hours where you are free to do as you please with your hard earned cash. Your job is just a fact of life, an unfortunate necessity. A means to an end, you power on through. Who knows, if you keep your head down maybe, just maybe, you'll get that pay rise at the end of the year.

Lunch time, and you are dining on your home made sandwiches (got to save those pennies!), this is the highlight of your day. You glance over at your boss, who is thoroughly enjoying sumptuous feast from the nearby delicatessen. Anger starts to build inside you, your own pitiful home made sandwiches begin to mock you. This just isn't fair, this isn't the dream you were sold. Is this all you will amount to? The peak of your achievement in life; nothing more than disposable accessory to another man's dreams.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

10 practical tips to save money on driving

Driving is expensive. Cars are expensive to buy, insurance is expensive (check out our blog about saving money on car insurance). Then, after all that, there's still tax and fuel to worry about!
Whilst we all know that the real way to save on fuel is to walk or to cycle, sometimes that just isn't practical. So, rather than suggesting that everyone moves to within walking distance of their work, we've compiled a short list with some tips on how to drive as cheaply and ecologically as possible.

The first five points in this blog relate to techniques to use whilst driving. They focus on using as little fuel as possible whilst also remaining safe.

1. Turn your engine off – If you're in standstill traffic, there's no point in leaving your engine running. If it is safe to do so, and you will be stationary for more than about a minute, just switch your engine off. Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they’re re-started without pressing the accelerator so you won’t waste lots of fuel turning the car back on.

2. Keep in the highest suitable gear –
Driving at lower engine speeds helps to keep fuel consumption to a minimum. As a very general guideline, aim to shift to a higher gear at between 1800 and 2000 revolutions per minute (RPM). Don't forget to keep safe though. keep in mind that depending on the car and the driving conditions this might not be suitable.

3. Close your windows if travelling at 60mph or more – The aerodynamic drag on your car of an open window at speeds of 60mph or more adds to your fuel usage. Keep your windows closed at high speeds. 

4. Slow down – Those speed limits are there for a reason! Avoid excessive speeds. Driving at 85mph uses approximately 25% more fuel than 70mph. 

5. Smooth acceleration, gradual braking – This is about anticipating the road ahead. Pull away steadily and smoothly and start decelerating early so breaking doesn't have to be abrupt.

The next five point relate to the upkeep of your vehicle.

6. Check your tyres regularly – It is recommended that at least once a month (and before long journeys) you check that your vehicles tyres are at the correct pressure. Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous and but also increase your fuel consumption. While you're there you should check the level of tread on the tyres, this is not only to ensure your vehicle is legal to drive but also because worn out tyres can be hazardous.

7. Cut excess weight – Keep only necessary items in your vehicle. We've all been guilty of leaving stuff in the boot for too long, but the extra weight will be costing you petrol. Travel light wherever you can.

8. Air conditioning – use air conditioning sparingly as your engine has to work harder to power the air conditioning machinery. If driving at low speed, open the window instead.

9. Remove unused roof boxes and bars – Roof boxes can be a great way to extend the storage space in your vehicle, but they create a huge amount of drag. Drag means that your engine will have to work harder and that means using more petrol.

10. Only start your engine when you're ready to leave – Modern engines don’t need to be warmed up, so idling before you start a journey simply wastes precious fuel.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Back to School Money Saving Tips

Kitting the kids out ready for Back to School can cost a small fortune. There seems to be a list as long as your arm of essential kit to buy. To help, we have put together some fab money saving Back to School tips, which can make the start of the school term a little easier on your wallet.

Back to school tips:

Stick to a list - Write down a list of everything you need. Then don't veer from your list. There
will be plenty of pretty extras crying our for you to pick them off the shelves (and little voices pleading too) so resolve not to budge and stick to your guns.

Do an inventory first - Before you hit the shops, check if you have any items on your list around the house. It can be tempting to just head out and buy the whole caboodle brand new but it's worth a look first. Have you got pencils and rubbers hiding in drawers? Have you got t-shirts and jogging bottoms that you can use as gym kit? Can last year's lunch box be washed and used again?

Pre-loved can be as good as new - All it takes is a quick clean and nearly new items can be as good as new but will save you a small fortune. Our Nearly New boards are a great place to look for expensive items, such as school coats, logo-ed uniform and blazers, branded P.E kit etc items. If you don't see any listed then post a 'wanted' ad and you might be in luck. Before you hit the shops with your credit card, make it your first port of call.

Check the charity shops - Try charity shops near your child's school, which often have uniform in stock.

Does the school have second hand uniform sales? Ask other mums (or on the noticeboard) to see if they do. Often there are fab second hand sales near the start of term, selling hand-me-down and unwanted uniform and you can find some real bargains.

Hunt down bargains - At the end of the summer holidays supermarkets and high street stores are often tripping over themselves to tempt you with cheap uniform deals and BOGOFs. If you find a multi-pack going for a song or a great deal then buy in the next size up too and stock up.

Buy plain and jazz things up - Plain supplies are often much cheaper and you can add your own personal touch with stickers, badges and colourful doodles. Pound shops are a good hunting ground for plainer items, which you can then customise. Use fabric marker pens to add dots or doodles or pictures to a pair of plain white plimsolls or stickers to transform a plain lunchbox or water bottle into a one your child will be excited to show off to his friends.

Stock up throughout the year - Whenever you spy things in sales or going for a bargain then stock up throughout the year. Make a drawer of 'spares' for when your child goes up a size in clothing or you need to replenish pencil box supplies.

Biro power! You can buy some really colourful and fancy labels but if you want to save a few more pennies on the last leg of your Back to School buying trip then you can use a biro or fabric marker to write your child's name on washing labels and on their pencil cases and lunch boxes instead.

Good luck!

Friday, 22 August 2014

6 Shopping Hacks for the Money Concious Fashion Lover

1. Get cash back on purchases.

When purchasing items online instead of purchasing directly through the sellers website, click to the company via a cashback site and you get paid for it. Although it does sound too good to be true, all parties benefit: the referrer gets a commission on your sale from the retailer, the store gets your business and you get cash back on your purchase. Find a list of various cashback sites here.

2.Ask for a discount.

Store managers usually have the ability to give up to a 15% discount on an item at their discretion, so if you're going to ask make sure you're speaking to the manager first! If the item is slightly defective and you believe you could fix it at home, tell the manager you would like to take it if you can have a discount. If you’re too embarrassed to ask for a discount directly, ask about upcoming promotions or sales. Try the line, “I’d love to remain a loyal customer, but I don’t have the budget for this now.”

3. Find out when the best discounts happen.

If you know retail, you know that certain items go on sale during very specific months, as long as you're prepared to wait you'll be sure to bag a deal. For example buying summer items in July and August will lead to massive discounts.

4. Don't buy stuff online straight away.

If you aren't in a hurry to purchase the items, put them in the websites shopping cart and leave them for a few days. Several retailers will email you a coupon code to entice you to go back and spend. It's in no way guaranteed buy doesn't hurt to be patient!

5. Get to the front of the queue for discounts.

Most stores usually do their reductions and mark downs on a certain day of the week. Make friends with someone at the store, and if you're lucky they'll let you in on the day this goes into effect. Armed with this knowledge, you can be the one to come back with a haul of goodies first.

6. Check out the price of items, even after you've bough them.

Almost all stores will refund you the difference if the item you recently bought is reduced, especially if they want to keep you as a customer and maintain a good image. If you bought an item at full retail price and it goes on sale within a certain time period (check individual store policies), you can get the difference refunded. There are several apps available that can keep you alert to prices changes in items you're after and can be useful in this occasion too.

Monday, 18 August 2014

7 Money Saving Tips for Students

The chances are if you're a student, you're poor. Unfortunately, unless you invent Facebook from your halls, the two go hand-in-hand. Plus if you're going to go out 4 nights a week and spend all your money on junk food, the student lifestyle can be detrimental in more ways than one.

To help us make your money go further, we've put together some handy tips to get the most out of your student loan...

1) Travel Cards

The 16-25 Railcard is designed for young people in full-time education (although all students should be eligible). It gives you a third off rail journeys all across the UK and can be purchased for one or three years at a time. It also allows you to gain partnership offers and competitions, including west-end theatre discounts and holiday offers.

A one-year card costs £30, and a three-year card costs £70. You can buy it at: This is worth looking into even if you're not a student as there are various deal for people travelling in pairs or groups.

Most big city bus operators also offer travel cards, they may not be specifically for students, but they offer a discount by buying for a month or a year at a time. If you travel into university by bus, it's almost guaranteed that the travel cards will save you cash in the long run.

2) Watch TV for Free 

The BBC license fee stipulates that you must pay the license fee if you watch or record television as it is broadcast. This means you don't need a license if you're just watching on-demand TV over the internet. The simple way around this is to buy a cable and connect your laptop to your TV, you can then get lots of free, good-quality viewing without spending anything. There is loads of amazing TV content that you can watch on demand through your laptop, from paid services like Netflix to all the terrestrial channels catch-up services. If you happen to have a license already, make sure you claim back a quarter of the fee for the summer months you're probably not in the house.

3) Bulk Buying

If you've been following this blog at all, you should know by now that cooking from scratch is not only more fun, but also much much cheaper than buying one-off meals at the supermarket. Admittedly it is more effort and involves some trial-and-error to get it right, but it's much better for your health and your bank balance in the long run. Buying in bulk makes sense especially when you're purchasing non-perishable foods like pasta and tinned foods, which you could buy as a flat or household. It lasts longer and works out so much cheaper.

4) Your NUS Card Makes Everything Cheaper

Make sure you take your NUS card everywhere you go, it can make your money stretch further than you'd think. Many shops do discounts but don't actually publicise this fact, just make sure you always ask if they do student discount. You'd be surprised where actually does a student discount, from coffee shops to swimming pools and more. There are also several specialist student money saving and discount sites worth investigating.

5) Get a Job at your Favourite Shop

Do you have a favourite shop that you keep going back to time after time? If you like shopping there that much, you should try getting a job there! Most students rely on flexible part time jobs whilst they're at university to keep them afloat financially. Most importantly the majority of retail jobs will give you a great discount, jobs at Topshop for example could bag you 25% off. In some stores like New Look and The Body Shop you can get up to an amazing 50% off! If you love and know the company, this passion will probably help you in the job interview too. Make sure you research your favourite shops and find out what staff discount schemes they offer.

6) Contents Insurance

Before buying fresh contents insurance for your student house, its worth checking with your parents first. The 'contents away from home' section of your parents' policy might already cover you, or you could possibly extend it at a small cost. Although, as with any insurance its worth ensuring the full value of your items is covered.

7) Pre-Drinking is Cheaper

Even the cheapest student bars and pubs can be expensive if you drink there several nights a week. Although it might not sound exciting, drinking at home is the cheapest way to drink with your friends before a big night out. You can even make it even more fun by playing drinking games or making your own cocktails. If you want to underline how expensive it is, just think of how much a beer or a shot and mixer is at your local, and then consider the price a whole bottle costs at the off-license at the end of the street.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

5 Money Saving Tips For Exchanging Currency

So the summer holiday season is upon us, if you're heading abroad it's easy to get hit with extra fees and expensive exchange rates when changing up your money. 

Everyone should know the places to avoid when changing up cash. It's worth remembering that the worst places to exchange money is at an airport - it's a captive audience and they take advantage of this. Also some credit cards and banks can add fees when you buy on your card.

Your best bet is to bring a credit card that won't charge currency exchange fees and some cash for backup, just in case. You should make as many purchases as possible on your credit card, as you'll then be protected against fraud. As we all know, when you lose cash or it gets stolen, you won't get it back. Lost credit cards, or fraudulent charges are easily replaced or restored.

Basically, in 2014 walking around with loads of cash and a money belt is as archaic as a pager!

Here are five tips to maximise your money:

1. Smartphone Apps

Before going on holiday, grab your smartphone and download a currency converting app. That way wherever you are, you can open the app and see if you're getting a good deal on the money your exchanging. You simple type in the amount you want to exchange and it calculates the figure in the new currency. There are several free apps available including XE Currency and GlobeConvert.

2. Double Check Before You Exchange

Be wary of currency exchanges that say they don't charge fees or advertise really good exchange rates. Often, they will offer a worse exchange rate to make up for the low fees or have caveats that they only tell you about on exchange. Ask how much you'll be getting for your cash before you exchange and then assess whether you're getting a good deal. It's also worth remembering, going to a currency exchange in the country you're visiting makes it more likely you'll get a better deal than doing it at home.

3. Get the Right Card

As I said above, it's important to get a credit card that doesn't exchange a fee for foreign currency exchange. Some can even charge a 2 or 3 percent fee for every purchase made with a foreign currency. However, there are many that don't. There are many comparison sites online which you can find with a quick perusal of Google.

Not sure if your card charges a fee? Call and ask.

If your card does have fee's, its probably worth applying for one that doesn't charge. Some cards even offer air-miles or points towards future trips.

Another benefit: credit cards often will offer exchange rates that are an average over the past month. That could be helpful if you are travelling to place where the currency is volatile.

Finally: call your credit company before travelling, that way they know you're going and won't leave you stranded without access to money - because they think you're being defrauded.

4. Hotel No Go

Sometimes hotels and other businesses like restaurants ask if you want to convert your bill into your own currency, ALWAYS decline. The exchange rate is often terrible, always pay the bill in the country's own currency and let the credit card to the exchange.

5. Check Your Debit Card 

As with your credit cards, make sure your bank doesn't charge you if you use your debit card abroad. For example, some banks charge a fee for using a foreign ATM as well as a percentage for currency exchanges. It's always best to call your bank and check to see what fees apply to your account, then you know whether it is a good idea to use your card or not.

Friday, 11 July 2014

4 Free Ideas for your Kids Summer Holiday

The summer holiday season is upon us, all parents know that entertaining the kids for the whole six weeks can be a stressful and expensive business. Bearing that in mind, we thought we'd write a post that compiles some free activities and days out that can occupy you and the kids for the day.

1) Free Toys

Every month in Lego stores across the UK you can take children aged between 6 and 14 to build sessions which are free to attend. These sessions are great fun, you don't have to book (although stocks deplete quickly, so get there early) and the best thing is that the kids get to take their creations home too. 

These sessions take place after school on the first Thursday of every month, between 4pm and 6pm. So there will be a few opportunities to go over the summer. At every session, the children are given a new model to build.  

Click here for more details. If you've never been to a Lego store before, it is a new religious experience for children and Lego enthusiasts alike. Although Lego stores are lots of fun, they can be expensive places if you have Lego obsessed kids. If you are going to spend however, make sure you sign up to Lego's VIP Programme: Lego’s equivalent of the Tesco Clubcard.

2) A culture trail at the museum

Museums - especially the big, old ones - are full of excitement for children of all ages. More sedate art galleries are perhaps best saved for older children but like so many places these days the flagship city museums have a relaxed policy towards children and welcome visitors of all ages. Not only that but many museums are free of charge - including some great ones in the capital, such as the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum and Tate - so if you find the experience is lost on your children you won't have wasted any money.

But most children will be fascinated by the varied collections - think dinosaurs, Egyptian relics, Roman coins and stuffed animals! Furthermore, your local museum may also fun specific activity days or culture trails for children, to help the exhibits really come to life, and some have special areas for children, with books, toys and colouring sheets. Your local museums are just a Google search away. 
3) Visit the farm

If you live in the city it doesn't mean your children can't experience a day at the farm. There may be a city farm in your city - Bristol, for example, has several and London has a whopping 17! They're usually free of charge and you and your children can wander around, looking at and feeding the animals.

Some farms have nice cafes attached, or play areas, and there may be a programme of activities or opportunities for children to take part in feeding time. Details of local farms can be found here.

4) Free Online Guitar Lessons

Finally, if the weather is rotten this weekend, could free guitar tuition be the beginning of something special? I know from experience that although there are lots of guitar tutorial videos on YouTube, most are aimed at adults and are, shall we say, somewhat dry…
Kids Guitar Zone is dedicated to teaching children how to play guitar, with free video tutorials set out in an easy-to-follow format. Lesson 1 begins with the parts of the guitar; by Lesson 10, students are playing ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Gangnam Style.’ The lessons are all led by the same, friendly teacher and some are accompanied by free PDF downloads. (Thanks to Latest Free Stuff for the spot.)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Five Ways to Save Money on Your Weekly Shop

Before the widespread adoption of the Internet finding bargains for your weekly shop was the stuff of dreams or game shows – Dale Winton’s supermarket sweep, anyone?

However, these days the Internet has opened up a wealth of money saving opportunities to make sure you’re getting the best value and saving money on your weekly bill.

So here’s our top five ways to save money on your weekly shop:

Mysupermarket – This app is invaluable and you’ll love it. Simply put, it lets you compare the prices at all the main supermarkets including Waitrose, Tesco’s, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Morrisions. Using this app you can find out where you should be doing your shop before you even leave home. If the things you want to buy are cheaper at one supermarket or there is a great deal on you’ll know in advance and can make plans accordingly. The average saving by using this app is £17 weekly!

Quidco - A lot of people aren’t aware of this site, but you should be! It gives you money back for doing your shopping online. It’s as simple as logging into the Quidco site before shopping and then clicking through to your chosen retailer. Even regular users of the site don’t realise that you can also get cash back on several item’s you’ve purchased in store – all you have to do is upload a scan of your receipt and Quidco will pay out cash back on those items too.

Listen to music – A trick that supermarkets use that you might not be aware of, is to play music on the in store P.A system. This may not seem too influential to your shopping habits, but the trick comes with the type of music played. Listen to it next time you visit, it’s always slow and reflective, the intention is make you linger in store and therefore spend more on your shopping. So next time you’re doing the weekly shop stick the gym playlist on your headphones and you’ll speed around the isles at a rapid pace, avoiding spending and just as importantly their awful music to boot.

Always read the small print – Every supermarket has headline deals that great you as you enter the store, but they’re not always the best value. By reading the small print underneath you can work out the price per 100g or price per unit etc. Often you can find cheaper deals per unit on products that aren’t on offer, so it always ALWAYS worth comparing and contrasting before you buy. Bigger isn’t necessarily cheaper and the offers aren’t always going to save you cash

Supermarket own / value brand savings – Supermarkets often portray their value brands as a cheaper and lower quality alternative to well known name brand products. The implication is that they’re so much cheaper because they’re of a lower quality. However, this is often not the case.

You may wish to stay loyal to your well known name brand, but you might be able to find a tastier AND cheaper alternative. Food critic Martin Isark is on a mission to change the perception that generic brands are always tastier than supermarket own brands. He has eaten his way through thousands of own brand products and rated them out of 10.You can see his ratings here The Supermarket Own Brand Guide and then decide whether to take a punt on them.

Do you have any tips for saving money on your weekly shop?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Five ways to make the holiday cash go further

Going on holiday is likely to be one of the biggest outgoings of your entire year, so even if you shop around and get a great bargain deal it is worth making sure you don't over spend whilst you're away. To make sure you don't do this we've compiled a few tips that won't impact on your holiday experience and save you cash at the same time.

1) Buy essentials before you go - 
Anything you buy from a holiday resort aimed at tourists is likely to cost more than it would at home. Take sun cream as an example, in our cold wet British homeland it is pretty cheap to buy. So you'd think - due to economies of scale - it would be even cheaper to buy where they actually need to use it regularly! But if you've ever run out of sun cream abroad and seen the prices you'll never not pack it again. So do yourself a favour and stock up on £5 bottles of sun cream and put them in your suitcase before you go, otherwise you could be stung at up to 25 Euros a bottle whilst in your resort.

2) Make the most of your money - 
Much like getting cheaper sun cream, to make the most of your money whilst abroad you need to sort it out long before you even think about leaving for the airport. You should be aware that withdrawing from ATM's abroad is generally a no no and if you want to be a thrifty traveller you should sort your holiday money before you go at the cheapest exchange rate available. To do this use services such as MoneyMax, this site compares all the online currency sites in seconds and then works out which is the best deal for you. Another great feature is that it takes into account the various fee's that exchanges charge and gives you the best overall deal.

3) Eat where the locals do - 
Not only does this offer you the best value for money, but it also likely to enrich your holiday experience too. To put it simply: wherever the locals eat their dinner, make that your local too. The restaurants on the main strop of a holiday resort are often over price and catered towards tourists. Ask a local in the shop or hotel and get them to recommend you somewhere to go. This way you can be sure you're not being ripped off and you'll likely to get the best and most authentic food the place has to offer. It will allow you to really get to grips with the place you're staying and probably have a much more memorable night too. You can also find recommendations for places to eat online with not much effort.

4) Rent out your house - 
This one won't be for everyone and it may be impractical for you - especially if you're only taking a short break. However, if you live somewhere that tourists regularly visit like country towns or big cities, it could be a great way to make enough money to cover your own summer break. Thanks to sites such as AirBnB it is now very very easy to rent out your home or even a room to make an extra income.

5) Turn off your network roaming - 

Before you leave the airport in the UK turn off the 3G/4G and roaming capabilities on your phone. Unless you have expressly set up a package with your provider, this could save you hundreds. Every summer there are stories about the poor souls who have wasted hundreds - if not thousands - on a phone bill they didn't realise they'd accumulated.
Don't let the kids stream TV on your iPhone and don't check the football results on the internet. It will cost an extortionate amount!

Make sure you've downloaded any films etc before you go and only use the Wi-Fi connections you can find whilst abroad.

Sop do you have any other tips on how to make your holiday money go further?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

10 Cheap And Romantic Date Ideas For Couples

It won't have escaped any couples notice that dates these days can be very expensive, especially if you stick to conventional activities. This doesn't have to be the case, if you're creative and prepared to try a range of things, you can have an amazing time and it doesn't have to cost the earth. Sticking to budget on dates can be easier than you think. In a lot of cases these can be more fun than the standard meal in a restaurant or any of the other dating clichés.
1) Cooking Together

It is often said that the way to a person heart is through their stomach. If you both love cooking, this can be a great way to spend an evening together. It's a change to test out each others skills and create something you'll both enjoy. You get the sense of satisfaction from creating yourself and it's a much cheaper option than going out for a meal!

2) Movie Night  

An old fashioned movie night is one of the go to 'cheap' dates and the next best thing to going to the cinema. Although, if you think about it, it might even be better! There are no other members of the public to deal with and being in alone in the dark is much more romantic than being surrounded by 50 noisy eaters! Not only that, buy you get to watch a film you both want to watch (assuming you agree) and can choose your own treats to eat. All in all the experience can be a lot more relaxing and fun.

3) Hiking and Bike Riding

Maybe physical activity isn't you bag, however, if you like getting out the house and exercising either of these could be a great option. Not only are they both healthy, they're free to do and you get to see some lovely sites together and get those endorphins pumping. On bikes you can take a ride along a nearby lake, beach, hills or see the sites of your city. Obviously this requires a level of fitness, but start small and building it up will keep you fit as well as saving you money.

4) Art Exhibition Openings 

This isn't one for everyone, but they're worth a try. The openings of galleries are usual free to attend, but not only that they usually provide free booze and food. Maybe the art won't be your bag, but you can get the start of a free night out and the chance to meet some interesting people you may never usually speak to.

5) Local Gigs

Depending on where you live, there can be a lot of places to go to see free music. Check out the local listings and see if any bands are playing at a pub / club / bar near you. These small venues can be pretty cheap to drink in and often the acts may not draw particularly big crowds. So during your cheap night out you may spot the next big thing! When you're old and grey you can bore the grand-kids with the stories of how you saw them before they were famous!

6) Test Drive your Dream Car!

If you don't have a problem with the mild embarrassment, head down to your local sports car dealership and ask to test drive the car of your dreams! You run the risk of annoying the staff, especially if they don't think you can afford one, but it's worth it for the fun and can act as motivation for both of you to get one for real!

7) Sight Seeing in you Own City

Sometimes you become so used to your home town or city that you forget what draws tourists to it. Take a day to go site seeing and rediscover your love for your home. If all goes to plan, you may even get yelled at by an angry local who has mistaken you for a tourist.

8) Amateur Comedy

These type of comedy nights happen in a lot of cities, they're usually free or quite cheap. It's the chance to catch the next generation of comedians and maybe even spot a future star. Even if the comedian happens to bomb and get heckled, that's a potentially funny situation worth watching as well.

9) Star Gazing

So this might not be the best idea if you live in a smog infested city, but star gazing is a brilliant date idea. Take along a bottle of wine (or a hot drink in a flask) and a blanket, then lay back and marvel at the beauty of the universe. You can spend some quality time with your other half and enjoy each others company.

10) Go to the Beach

In Britain there are a lot of limitations on this one, but it is brilliant. First you need to live near a beach that you'd like to spend time together on and secondly the weather has to be good. At the moment it's the perfect whether to spend a lazy and romantic day at your local beach. You can spend the day enjoying the sun and swimming in the sea.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Why Online Security is so Important to your Credit Rating

Since the widespread adoption of online shopping and the electronic transactions used to pay for it, online identity fraud has been a potentially profitable endeavour for criminals. These days fraud is rarely a confidence trick which happens in person, the majority of it occurs by stealing your identity and going online to spend your cash. It doesn't take much to have your identity stolen, but if you're not careful you could have thousands of pounds stolen.

An example of just how widespread identity fraud can be was highlighted earlier in the year by the Association of Chief Police Officers, they say unsuspecting consumers handed over a total of £3.7m to online ticket fraudsters in 2013 alone. This is only one area of identity fraud, but it shows just how much this despicable practice has risen in popularity in the UK and around the world.

It's not only losing your money to a fraudster that's infuriating, it's the time spent on the phone and in your bank trying to reclaim your money too. You also run the risk of damaging your credit rating when your accounts are compromised, imagine that you're desperate for a loan or mortgage in the future and you're denied because you fell for an online identity fraud scam a few years previously.

However, you don't have to be an expert in online security or computing to know the basic rules of how to protect yourself online. If you follow these simple rules you should be able to shop online with peace of mind...

1) Use trusted website only - This is probably the most important one on the list - Don't give your account details out to websites you don't trust! Make sure you're buying from established shops and businesses with online reviews and a visible customer base. You could even try typing the companies name into Google to make sure lots of negative reviews don't pop up in the results.

2) Check for the padlock - Make sure there is a padlock image in the top left of your browser address bar, this indicates the site you're viewing has the relevant security certificates and is safe to shop with.

3) Passwords - It's important to be sensible with passwords and follow the two golden rules. Firstly, don't leave them lying around or share them with others. Secondly, use different passwords for different sites - this is important because if one site is compromised your details can't be used in multiple places.

4) Social Networks - It is important to be careful with your social network profiles, by keeping your privacy settings high and not revealing too much personal information. If you're name and personal information is widely available on networks like Facebook, fraudsters can use it to get through security questions and answers on your accounts.

Online credit fraud is rapidly becoming the most common type of fraud committed in the UK. However, if you're careful online it's not difficult to avoid falling for a scammers tricks. It is worth staying vigilant by checking your bank accounts regularly in case you spot any irregularities. Log into your online banking weekly and you can also check your credit rating at Experian and similar sites. By staying alert to the potential issues around online shopping and making some small changes to your habits, you can potentially save yourself lots of money, hassle and keep your credit rating intact.

Friday, 23 May 2014

5 Ways to Save £1000+ on Travel

Train Travel

Saving: Hundreds of Pounds

12 Weeks before you travel, when tickets first go on sale for your journey contact the rail company selling your ticket or use  If you book this early it is possible to save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds a year on regular travel. 

For example, travelling from Manchester to London can cost in excess of £100, if you book in advance you could get the same journey for under £50 and in some cases as little as £12.50.

Even Cheaper Train Travel

Saving: £100+

Again contact either the train companies or use Instead of asking for peak-time tickets between your destination stations, try asking for separate tickets to stations en route. This "split-ticketing", is a completely legit practice and save you even more money on travel.

Generally it works better on the really long journeys, for example Newcastle to London, you would purchase separate tickets from Newcastle to Peterborough (and back) and then Peterborough to London (return), instead of a standard open return for next-day travel.

The only thing to watch out for, is that your tickets mean you actually stop at the station you've purchased for en route.

Buying a Car

Saving: £1000's

An easy way to make a significant saving on purchasing a car is to go for a nearly new one. The first thing you need to do is get a copy of the motor trades price comparison guide Glass's Guide (, then check the prices of a one-year-old-car. Once armed with this data hit the showrooms and be prepared to haggle for the best price. Tell the salesman you're after a nearly-new car with the majority of the manufacturer's warranty in place.

Doing this can give you brilliant savings, its possible to slice thousands off original lists prices. Car's depreciate in value rapidly and even the year makes a huge difference to price.

However, avoid cars with short warranty lengths remaining, it is important to be covered if you have any difficulties for as long as possible.

Get a Brand New Bike, Tax-Free

Saving: £100+

A lot of companies participate in the government's Cycle to Work Scheme, a simple call to your companies HR department could save you a ton! You could easily knock £100 off the overall cost of a £250 bike, if your bike is more expensive, the saving can be massive.

It worth remembering though, with this scheme the bike isn't technically yours to start with, as you're in effect paying back a loan for up to two years. Only at this point, when you can then buy your not-so-new bicycle at a very fair price, does it really belong to you.

You'll also have to buy the bike from stores participating in the scheme. Your local bike shop may not be a member, so double-check first at

Reduce your Petrol Costs

Saving: £100+

This tip takes slightly more discipline and thought, but is well worth the effort and you can save hundreds of pounds. Basically, change your driving habits and you can cut your petrol bills significantly.

For example:
- Changing up a gear in a petrol car when you reach 2500 revs per minute (2,000rpm in diesel cars) and driving smoothly will use less petrol.

- Slashing your speed on a motorway from 85mph to 70mph saves almost a litre of petrol every 20 miles — over a year, that can easily add up to hundreds of pounds saved.

This will take a while to get used to and requires patience, however, if you want a shorter term fix try, a website that finds the cheapest petrol for sale in your area.

Monday, 12 May 2014

5 Of The Easiest Vegetables To Grow At Home

There's no better feeling than eating food that you have grown yourself. It's fun, healthy and will save you money. With a little know-how you can be eating fresh, delicious produce in no time. The best part is you don't need to be a farmer, you don't even need a garden to get started!

Let's kick things off with something literally anyone can grow.

Salad Box

A salad box is simply a small container that can support several different varieties of lettuce and other greens. What exactly you fill yours with is up to you. You can find attractive pre made wooden boxes at garden centres or you can make one yourself to fit your own requirements. They will thrive outdoors but can also do very well perched on your kitchen window.

There are hundreds of varieties of lettuce with which to fill your box. Most are easy to cultivate and can be picked throughout the year. This is one of my favourite things about growing lettuce, you won't ever experience waiting three months for harvest only to have your plant succumb to a disease at the last moment - leaving you with nothing.

Lettuce does well indoors and out, and in positions that receive five or more hours of sunlight a day. Afternoon shade is ideal as they lettuce will wilt if it is exposed to long periods of heat. Water frequently, but make sure you have adequate drainage!

You don't have to confine yourself to lettuce either. Coriander, dill and parsley will also do well in your salad box.

New Potatoes

Not a salad person? Potatoes are easily grown outdoors in large buckets or sacks.. They are not too fussy about the kind of soil used, and not too sensitive to over watering, needing a steady supply of water throughout the season.


This most versatile of fruits is used across the world in all kinds of dishes, and is also packed full of goodness. There are hundreds of varieties to try, but unless you are an experienced gardener it is best to stick to the 'easier' and more predictable varieties, at least for now.

Tomatoes like a lot of sunlight, and can be grown indoors or out. Soil should be kept moist, with daily watering on hot days. A greenhouse is advised if growing outdoors due to our notoriously unpredictable and often wet weather.


This superfood is not only delicious and nutritious,but very easy to grow. Spinach thrives in similar conditions to to those outlined above for the salad box, and indeed, you can add some to your box if you wish.

Leaves can be picked between late May and October for summer cultivars, and between October and April for winter cultivars.


As with most root vegetables, you will need greater soil depth than you can generally provide inside for carrots, although it can be done. Carrots should be sown outdoors between March and July and harvested in late summer and Autumn. Watering should be kept to a minimum once seedlings have emerged from the ground.

Friday, 9 May 2014

10 Tips To Get The Best Deal On Car Insurance

Car insurance can be prohibitively expensive for a lot of people, particularly the young. Many of us are paying well over the odds, but it doesn't have to be this way! Take a few minutes to read these tips and you could potentially save a sizable chunk on your car insurance.

1. Car Comparison Sites

If you haven't heard of these sites then you must have been living under a rock. The annoying adverts have been infiltrating our TVs and radios for many years now. Our favourites are,, and It is worth remembering when you use these kind of comparison sites that they do not compare prices from Direct Line or Aviva. Don't forget to check those too.

These sites do not compare the same insurers, if you just use one of the above comparison sites you will not be getting the full picture and may end up losing out on a cheaper deal.

2. Check Specialist Quotes

Whether you're young, old, female, male or drive a specific type of vehicle, you may be able to find a great deal from a specialist insurer.

3. Get Quotes For Third Party And Comprehensive Policies

Don't always assume that third party fire and theft will be cheaper than comprehensive insurance. If you have the time it is worth checking out all the options, you might be surprised.

4. Add A More Experienced Second Driver

Try adding a second driver to your policy. Particularly if you're a younger driver it can sometimes actually lower your premium.

5. Consider Multi Car Policies

If you're living with your parents you may want to take a look at multi-car policies, they often work out cheaper.

6. Getting 'The Right Car'

If you haven't already bought your car then spend some time researching the models that will be cheaper to insure. Typically smaller, less powerful cars are the way to go. The Fiat Panda, Citroen C, Ford Ka and Volkswagen Fox are the kind of things you should be looking at. Sorry to burst your bubble if you had dreams of driving a brand new BMW or top of the line Range Rover.

7. No Modifications

If you wish to slam your ride, fit some new alloys, change the sound system, exhaust or perhaps even the engine then you will certainly end up paying more for it when it comes to insurance! Avoid the temptation.

8. Get Additional Driving Qualification

Most of us don't bother, but for those that do a higher qualification such as Pass Plus can make a big difference to the cost of your insurance. 

When you've just passed your test it might seem like the very last thing you want to do, especially considering the additional cost - but it will make you a safer, more competent driver and with the savings you will receives in insurance it will pay for it faster than you might think!

9. Pay Yearly

If you can afford the upfront cost it is usually best to pay for a whole year rather than monthly. This way you avoid the monthly interest charges that insurers slap on top.

10. Increase You Excess

Opting for a highly excess can often result in a significantly cheaper quote. Remember though that if you are involved in an accident that that same excess you opted for doesn't cripple you financially.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

More Is Less

We are bombarded each and every day by a thousand adverts. Television, radio, billboards, buses, magazines, newspapers, websites, email, social media. The assault is incessant, relentless, inescapable. From every angle, at every given opportunity we are presented with temptation and reminded of our inadequacies.

Still wearing last years fashion? Loser. Driving around in a beat-up old car? Life must have dealt you a bad hand. Leaving the house with no make up? Have you no self respect? These are the types of messages that are drilled into us by society. This is a modern phenomenon. Marketers of the 20th century have not only conquered our cities and towns, but also our minds. Go back just a few generations and the attitude of modern man would have been considered wasteful, flippant and downright crazy.

As a society we are more reckless, more lazy and more demanding than ever before. Those who see the insanity in what has become the new norm are regarded as insane themselves. Could it be though, that those who are more reserved with their spending, more cautious with their possessions are actually on to something?

I think so. If you are able to filter out the noise of modern life, able to stop judging your success by measure of your possessions, able to stop comparing yourself to others, you will likely find a greater contentment. You will find that it is much more rewarding to concentrate on the things you really value, and strip away that which you do not.

I'm not saying you should reject all forms of consumption. I am just saying; take a step back and think about why you choose to buy what you buy. Chances are, many of your purchases don't actually add anything to your life. You might get a short lived buzz upon indulging in a new pair of shoes or a new car you didn't need, but the real winners in this situation are the companies that have persuaded you to buy these things.

If you adopt this mindset it becomes easier to save, and less stressful to live. Saving money doesn't have to be a painful experience, it can actually be quite liberating. It gives you time to re-evaluate your spending. It gives you time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Our most cherished memories are not of things, but of people, of places, of experiences. The rest is really just trivial.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

7 Frugal Travel Tips

Many of us love to travel. It is often regarded as a luxury, something we do once a year if we're lucky. Travel needn't be crippling expensive, though. Over the years I have discovered many ways to save money while travelling,

1. Save On Flights

Using sites like Skyscanner can save you a whole lot of money, not to mention time, when it comes to booking flights. You'll get the most benefit from these kind of services if you are a little flexible with flight times and dates.

2. Find Bargain Accommodation

There are many fantastic deals to be had on sites like, Trivago and Trip Advisor. Whether you're looking to get a discounted rate on a four or five star hotel, or need help finding the cheapest options possible, these have you covered.

3. Fly Indirect

Sometimes time is less important than money. If that's the case it can you may want to consider an indirect flight. This doesn't always work out cheaper but it's worth a look. And who says you can't do some sight-seeing on the way? It's all about the journey after all!

4. Picnics On A Plane

You could buy overpriced and oddly sized food on the plane. Or, you could save yourself a few quid and come prepared.

There are no rules against taking food onto the plane, and you won't exactly be missing out on much considering the reputation of airborne cuisine.

5. Wear Your Stuff

With many airlines charging exorbitant amounts for the pleasure of hand luggage, why not simply wear it instead?

Do you really need a whole bag of stuff for your 2 hour flight? Maybe you do, but in some cases you probably don't. Be creative and take what you need on your person rather than paying for the privilege of overhead luggage.

6. Package Holidays

To some travellers the phrase package holiday is tantamount to blasphemy. You may relish the idea of planning every aspect of your trip, and that's fine - but it actually works out cheaper to go with package deals in many cases.

They aren't all your typical family trips to Benidorm either, if you look around you are likely to find a package deal that takes your fancy and comes in under budget.

7. Book Car Hire In Advance

If you know you need to hire a vehicle abroad then it will often pay to book it well in advance, not when you arrive. This has the added benefit of being able to reserve a suitable vehicle with the features you need (such as adequate seating, storage and extras like air con).

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Small Banks have the Best Deals for Savers

Recently it has become clear that savers who are willing to tie up their money for one or two years are likely to get better deals with smaller banks.

Shawbrook has a one-year fixed-rate bond at 1.95 per cent before tax, while it's 18 month bond pays 2.05 percent.

If you're prepared to put your money into a two-year fixed rate bond, Close Brothers can offer you 2.4 per cent and Shawbrook Bank can offer 2.3 percent.

You can access these accounts by post and your money is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

These new rates have made them the most lucrative two-year savings accounts around, previous top rates included the 2.1 percent offered by the State Bank of India and the 2.05 percent offered by Britannia. 

The experts impression of saving trends, backed by Bank of England figures, show that savers have been giving up on fixed-rate bonds in droves. With money held in fixed-rate bonds down £40 billion on a year ago.

Conversely the amount in easy access accounts has risen by £52 billion, mostly down to the awful bond rates offered by large high street banks.

Lots of the high street giants pay less for one-year-fixed-rate deals than they do for easy access accounts elsewhere. 

HSBC pays just 1 per cent, NatWest 1.15 per cent and Barclays 1.2 per cent.

Halifax, Santander and Nationwide all pay just 1.4 per cent.

Two-year deals are not much better, at as little as 1.25 per cent with HSBC, while the best deal is 1.7 per cent from Nationwide.

The main consideration before embarking on a fixed-rate bond is that you're sure you are happy to tie up your money in the long term.

During the period your money is in the bond, you usually can't make any withdrawals. Although some bank or building societies will allow this, if you're prepared to pay a hefty fee, which can be anything from a penalty fee to a loss of the interest you've accrued over the last month. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Are you Haemorrhaging Money Daily?

1) Do you keep track of your cash?

If you're not making ends meat and you don't know where its all going, track your cash!

Whether you use one of the number of apps available, a spreadsheet or you simply collect your receipts, it is essential to write down your daily outgoings. Look at where your cash is going and you should have a much tighter grasp of your finances. Knowing where and when you can spend is the key to reducing your outgoings.

2) Coffee-rich, Cash poor

This ones quite simple, if you're spending £2-3 plus a day on take-out coffee that's between £10 and £15 a week. Which is between £500 and £750 a year - It soon adds up!

Getting a latte from the local coffee shop on the way to work might not seem like much individually, but throughout the whole year that is a pretty big outgoing for anyone. Its time to grab that Thermos!

3) Cigarettes and Alcohol

The average British family makes £489 a week to spend on everything, but more than 12% of this is spent on cigarettes and alcohol. The taxes applied to both will generally always rise, with smoking in particular becoming a massively expensive habit. 

You can save cash on alcohol by entertaining at home rather than going to your local bar or restaurant. Not to mention, the obvious benefits cutting down on the deadly cigarettes will have on your wallet and health.

4) Make Meal Plans 

As well as cutting back on expensive coffee, make sure you pack a lunch to take to work. Buying your lunch rather than bringing it in from home could cost you more than £1300 over the course of a year. 

People also throw away a huge amount of the food they buy, if you're fond of a big supermarket order and don't plan out your meals for the week, the chances are you'll end up chucking at least some of it away. Planning where your food goes will save you a lot of money and reduce waste at the same time.

6) Auto-saving Isn't just for Computers

The best way to save money is to do it without thinking. Automatic transfers from your current accounts to high interest saving accounts you can't touch, will allow you to build up your savings fairly quickly. It also means you'll have to tighten your belt to accommodate it.

7) Credit Card Interest

Don't pay too much for your credit card debt, switch to lower-rate cards. A balance transfer credit card can give 0% APR on transferred debt for increasingly longer periods. Failing that call your credit card provider and tell them you're planning to swap provider and see if they will reduce your interest rate. They may just want to keep you that much!

8) Home Heating and Electricity 

With ever increasing utility prices, this is an easy way to save money and cut back. Wearing warmer clothes and lowering the heating by a few degrees could save you 10% on a yearly heating bill. Make sure your house is insulated and make sure you turn off items that are on standby. Unplugging can save cash.