Monday, 6 January 2014

Is it possible to save money in an hour?

An hour is longer than you think and you can change a lot in an hour. So if you have a spare 60 minutes, we've come up with some practical ways you can save money.

1. Change Energy Suppliers
With consistent price hikes across the big six energy suppliers, adding to the pressure on households this winter. Make sure you're not paying more than you need to, and switch deals if you are not. You should be able to fill in the questionnaires and find out in under an hour.

2. Plant some crops
It can take literally seconds to plant some seeds in soil and it can save you money on your weekly food outgoings. Buying a packet of mixed lettuce seeds costs about 99p and can be planted in a window box. If you have a garden take advantage by planting onions, shallots, spring cabbage, garlic and broad beans. There is a wealth of information online to help guide you and who knows it may even turn into a full on hobby too!

3. Plan your meals!
Planning your meals ahead of schedule can save you a heap of money. Use a meal planning website or a couple of cookbooks to decide what to eat this week. This should allow you to use up stuff you already have and means you won't buy more than is needed when you hit the shops.

4. Check your tax code
If you're in the wrong tax code you could be paying thousands more than you need to. Read the guide on HMRC's website. If you think you're on the wrong code, let it know.

5. What's going on Locally?
Many businesses now provide their biggest discounts to social media followers. Follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook. This especially applies to local independent local businesses, many will offer customers the best deals on social media and local websites, rather than the well-known UK-wide discount sites.

6. Check direct debits
Go through your accounts, checking online or via your statements. If you have any unnecessary payments cancel them.

7. Fit water saving devices
A lot of water companies offer free water saving devices. These can lower the amount of water you use from your showers and toilets. Phone your company or check its website to see if it gives anything away, and place an order.

8. Don't Overpay on Council Tax
Council tax is ordered by banding and could cost you a significant amount if you're in the wrong one. Check you're paying the correct amount. Contact your local council if you think yours in wrong and claim the reduction.

9. Sign up for peer-to-peer lending
Are your savings accounts earning you almost nothing? Why not try a peer-to-peer lending scheme like The site links lenders to borrowers with good credit ratings. There's currently a 4.4% projected return after fee, for up to five years.

10. Bleed your radiators
Make sure your central heating is running as efficiently as possible by bleeding out trapped air. If you don't know how to do it, watch a video first – Homeserve's website has a guide.

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