50 ways to save money including best apps and tips from experts | The Sun
MOST Brits are looking for ways to save this winter, especially now the cost of living is going up.
With the help of some money-saving pros, we've come up with 48 very easy ways to help you make your money go further.
From the best budgeting apps, to the simple things you can do to save a few pounds here and there, there are plenty of ways to save a bit of cash whatever your circumstances.
Some of the tips are thriftier than others but all are useful ideas that you can slot into your routine without much effort.
You could even save hundreds of pounds using some of the pointers, and we've also included a few ways to make a bit of cash on the side too.
It's always a good idea to have some extra money in the bank for an emergency and here are the best ways to help you do just that.
Best money-saving apps
1. Chip – automatic savings
Every few days, app Chip cleverly calculates what you can afford to save – and then transfers that money from your current account to your Chip account automatically.
It works for customers of many major banks and you can set saving goals and targets.
The app is free but there are small fees of between 50p and £1.50 for some automatic saving functions and withdrawals.
You don't earn interest on the money but Chip does plan to offer separate saving account that does pay interest.
2. Monzo – track your spending
Monzo is the banking app which divides your spending into categories – so you can see exactly where you're spending (or wasting) your money.
Helpfully, you can even set targets for each category so you can stay within your budget – and it will alert if you're spending too much.
Opening a Monzo current account is free but there are some charges, such as for some cash withdrawals.
You can also put put your money into savings pots and you can earn interest if you choose a specific pot which is the equivalent of a savings account.
3. Starling Bank – helps with budgeting
You can open a bank account with challenger digital bank Starling in just three minutes using a selfie.
Just like Monzo, the app divides your spending into categories and gives you insights into your habits which can help you to budget.
You can also set saving goals.
Opening an account is free.
In addition to current accounts, there's also joint accounts, euro accounts and accounts designed especially for teenagers.
4. Emma – alerts you to fees
Free budgeting app Emma has a "fee tracker". It helps you sniff out and keep track of any bank charges if you dip into your overdraft and track subscriptions so you can better spot the ones you don't use and cancel them.
You can connect multiple accounts and sync your budget to payday and receive insights into your spending behaviour.
5. Money Dashboard – gives an overview
With Money Dashboard you can see all your accounts in one place, monitor spending and set budgets and saving goals.
The app and website highlights upcoming bill payments and your balance reflects these to help you better see what you actually have to spend.
6. Oval Money – puts cash away
Oval Money has a fun feature which allows you to save cash into its digital wallet based on your habits.
If you’re a serial social media user, for example, you can set up an alert to transfer money to your savings every time you post on Facebook.
The money goes into a digital savings account but you don't earn interest. You can also invest the money, with Oval helping you understand the risks.
There is also Oval Pay, a separate current account with debit card.
7. Plum – free cash
This free chatbot app uses Facebook Messenger to automate savings for you.
Plum lets you automate savings hacks like rounding up transactions, the 52-week challenge and saving a certain amount on a rainy day.
The basic Plum features are free while paid for options Plum Plus (£1 per month) and Plum Pro (£2.99 per month) offer access to more savings challenges, investing and interest on savings.
1. Yellow sticker time
Tesco, for example, often labels its discounted items with yellow stickers.
It varies between shops, but it’s usually between 6.30pm and 7pm or an hour before closing when supermarkets label the best deals.
You might also find reductions around lunch too, so keep an eye out.
2. Compare prices
You can use websites like Trolley.co.uk to compare over 15 supermarkets and their prices.
It checks the shelves at the supermarkets in real-time and gives you the prices.
3. Find brand dupes
You should hunt for cheaper copies of the brands you love.
For example, if you love Aussie shampoo, there's an Aldi version which is very similar, and half the price.
4. Check the unit price
It's always good to look for the unit price (price per 100ml / price per kilo) when you shop so you can use them to check what really is a good deal and what isn't.
5. Put five items back
A good trick to stop overspending at the supermarket is to put back five items once you've finished your shop online or in store.
It can be a good way to work out what items are essential and what you can live without.
6. Buy in bulk
Buying items you use all the time, such as dishwasher tablets, could save you money.
Corporate cleaning companies sell their products on eBay for crazy-low prices, according to super saver Tom Church, who co-founded LatestDeals.co.uk.
7. Avoid items at eye-line
Shelves directly in front of your eye-line often have more premium products.
Look down to the bottom shelves for cheaper goodies.
8. Avoid display offers
The products on the end of the aisles are usually set up to display products on offer but they're not always.
Sometimes they're just full-price stock that the supermarket want us to think are on sale, so make sure you check.
9. Write a list and make a budget
It sounds simple but by sticking to a list of items you need, not want, and creating a budget you adhere to, you can save a lot of money.
If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley.
10. Make a meal plan
The free Mealime app helps you find recipes and add the ingredients to a list that you can then take to the shops.
Earn extra cash
1. Fill out online surveys
You can get paid up to £6 per survey – and it’s a great way to make money, according to both Emma Drew of Emmadrew.info and Francesca Mason of The Money Fox, told us.
There are lots of sites you can use, but these are the easiest to navigate: YouGov.co.uk, Prolific.ac and PineconeResearch.co.uk.
2. Cashback websites
Cashback websites do exactly what they say on the tin – they give you cash back when you spend online.
TopCashback and Quidco are two of the most popular and sometimes you can earn hundreds. You have to visit the website and click through it to qualify, though.
They are free to use but there are plus memberships which cost £5 a year which can give you a higher rate of cashback.
3. Get paid for music
Listen to music and SliceThePie will reward up to 10p for every song you listen and rate.
The more you listen to the more they'll reward you.
4. Go mystery shopping
Brands can pay you to shop free of charge for them.
It's a very good way to save money on your shopping, which you can read more about here.
5. Sell stuff online
It sounds obvious but you can easily make some money by flogging your junk online, either on eBay or on another website.
eBay will take a cut of whatever you make from selling your items though so it may be worth looking for other ways to flog your items, such as on Gumtree, Facebook, Nextdoor or local forums.
Apps like Depop, Vinted and Shpock are increasingly popular for selling items, but check what fees may be involved first.
6. Share deals
LatestDeals will hand out vouchers for people who share deals on its website.
You get points which add up to Amazon vouchers for your contributions.
The minimum number of points you have to earn is 5,000 before you get a £5 Amazon voucher in return.
There's a guide to how many points you can earn for different activities on the LatestDeals.co.uk website.
7. Complete easy tasks
Money-earning website 20Cogs gets you to complete 20 tasks over a period of a few weeks, suggests Lynn James.
They can be things like questionnaires and signing up to offers, but all can be cancelled at no cost.
8. Make cash from blogging
You can make some serious cash from blogging.
Emma Drew told us she now earns £100,000 a year after struggling to get a job after university just from blogging.
9. Buy and re-sell
If you’re a bargain hunter and good at spotting good-value items for a cheap price, you should try and sell them on for a higher price, according to Francesca Mason.
It can be a great way to earn some extra cash if you often find yourself at car boot sales or similar, but you’re also not guaranteed to make a fortune.
Compare, switch and save
1. Switch bank accounts
Some banks offer incentives for you to switch accounts and save with them instead.
In the latest switching offers, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland is giving customers £175 in free cash.
2. Bag an extra year on your railcard
If you're eligible for a 16-25 railcard, you can purchase the three year railcard the day before you turn 24 so it'll last up to the age of 27.
There's also the 26-30 railcard that can be bought up until the day before you turn 31, so it'll last almost until you turn 32.
3. Switch energy providers
If you find shopping around for new energy providers a chore, Switchcraft is the answer.
It will alert you to better deals than your current one and even swap your provider for you, saving you up to £518 a year.
There are lots of these type of automatic switching services around too, like Look After My Bills which is free.
4. Switch phone and broadband provider
Ofcom has a website called Boost Your Broadband to tell people what broadband they can get in their area, and to give impartial advice on how to find the best deal.
You can also use websites such as uSwitch and moneysupermarket.com to compare prices of phone and broadband providers.
Make sure you search more than one comparison site as there will be some differences in companies they list and the deals they offer.
5. Compare supermarket prices
Compare prices on your shop with the Latest Deals app.
Search for items and it will show the price at Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Ocado – you can then choose the cheapest.
6. Split your train tickets
Instead of buying one ticket for your journey, you can book separate tickets for parts of the same journey to save some money off your fare.
There are even online tools which do all the work for you – for example websites such as Trainsplit and Ticketclever.
If you're booking your ticket with the Trainline app it will tell you if a split fare is cheaper automatically.
7. Compare train prices
National Rail's website also has a cheapest fare finder which gives you the lowest possible fare across all train operators.
There's also websites such as RedSpottedHanky, Trainline and Megatrain but these all charge a booking fee.
8. Compare Amazon prices
Francesca Mason recommends using Amazon price tracker CamelCamelCamel.
You can add products to it and it will alert you when the price drops.
Hunt for bargains
1. Loyalty schemes
Loyalty schemes can be a great way of earning extra cash or rewards from brands you love.
We reveal the supermarket ones that are worth signing up for and the best and worst value supermarket loyalty schemes.
2. Virtual loyalty cards
Stocard collects points on to your phone.
Ask the cashier to scan the relevant barcode and points will be added automatically.
Stocard works with hundreds of schemes, including Tesco Clubcard, Nectar and Boots.
3. Home Bargains trick
The price tags at the discounter reveal how long an item will be in store for.
The bargain shop uses different codes on price tags to indicate whether a product will be back in stock or if it’s a one-time only offer: REG for regular stock, and ONE for one-off specials.
4. TK Maxx tips
There are also lots of ways you can save money at TK Maxx, if you know how.
These include picking the right time to shop and hunting for gold label designer items.
5. B&M bargains
Insiders have also shared their thrifty tips for visiting B&M.
These include having your shop delivered to using an app to find the best buys.
6. Save on Amazon
Tom Church has revealed there's a hard-to-find pages on Amazon that shows you everything on sale on the website under £15.
Free ways to save
1. Money-saving challenges
Save £520 a year by putting away £10 every week.
Or you could save £1,500 with the more challenging 365 day challenge.
2. Skim your change
If you skim your bank account so that the total is always an even number, you could save hundreds in a year.
We've listed the best apps that help you do this in a guide.
3. Pay off your debts
The interests on your debts is almost always higher than the interest earned on your savings, so you should consider paying off any debts with your savings to be better off.
4. Open a savings account
The first steps to saving is actually opening an account that will give you the most benefits.
You can find the best options in our guide.
5. Find a saving account with free money
Check if your eligible for accounts that offer free money in the form of a government bonus.
You can get £200 in some cases if you switch accounts, like Nationwide and TSB.
6. Cook once, eat twice
Get in the habit of batch cooking.
If you make more meals than you need in one sitting, then you will not only save money on the cost of cooking with different ingredients, but also on the cost of keeping the oven on.
7. Give something up
Try giving up something non-essential and start counting your savings. For instance, even one less glass of wine a week, costing £4.05, would add up to an impressive £210.60 per week
8. Cancel unused subscriptions
Check your bank statements and see what exactly your paying for but not actually using. With life changing drastically in the pandemic, there are likely to be things which you no longer need and probably some you forgot you had in the first place.
Here's how to budget for holiday treats without feeling the pinch.
Plus, here's how to get out of debt as households now owe £15,400 each.
And Martin Lewis reveals how to cut ALL your debt costs in seven steps.
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