Monday, 12 January 2015

52 ways to save a pound

My mum always used to say " Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". She was always very canny with small amounts of money, but extremely generous with the larger amounts! I know it's an old phrase, but it makes perfect sense really.

To that end then I thought I'd think of a list of ways to save a pound. Put all these pounds saved in a sealed pot and by the end of the year, there would be a healthy treat!
  1. Always shop with a list and stick to it!
  2. Plan your meals for the week ahead.
  3. Check you cupboards before going out to shop so you don't end up buying doubles
  4. Never shop hungry
  5. Use up any leftover vegetables in a soup at the end of the week to make an extra meal
  6. Use leftovers from the night before as lunches the following day
  7. Overripe bananas can be frozen to make smoothies or banana cake
  8. If you're going to the cinema, buy your treats at poundland beforehand rather than at the cinema
  9. If you're going out for the day, take bottles of water (refilled from the tap) and snacks with you
  10. Use a cash only budget
  11. Only buy petrol at the petrol station - no twix and mocha (you know who you are!)
  12. If you're going on a long car journey, leave early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and hold ups. It's painful to get up, but so much better for travelling, you get to see sunrise and you arrive at your destination with a whole day ahead of you
  13. Cut the tops off shampoo and conditioner bottles to make sure you get every last bit out
  14. Use a large container of bath bubbles to refill your shower gel - it's the same stuff! 
  15. Make your own cleaning products 
  16. Make your own laundry products
  17. Use dried pulses rather than tinned - buy them in bulk
  18. Use frozen vegetables and berries - they are often fresher and cheaper and don't go off
  19. Turn off your appliances at the wall when not in use
  20. Turn off lights when you leave the room
  21. Walk rather than taking the car for shorter journeys
  22. Cut up old Christmas cards to be used as tags the following year. Keep ribbon and bows to re use too
  23. Eat less meat. Beans and pulses are an excellent low fat source of protein and MUCH cheaper
  24. Use shredded paper for animal bedding
  25. Use a little less of everything each time - less shampoo, shower gel, washing up liquid etc. over time this will save you money.
  26. Don't buy books - use your local library instead.
  27. Make your own packed lunches rather than buying lunch out
  28. Make coffee in a flask to take to work with you in the morning
  29. Set up a network of clothes swapping particularly for children's clothes. We are still using clothes passed on from friends many years ago
  30. Share DVDs between friends and family
  31. Set up a babysitting club between friends with younger children
  32. Buy items you need from charity shops. I am a total convert to this! 
  33. Don't take money with you when you go for a walk
  34. Swap seeds and plants with other gardeners
  35. Shop around online for the cheapest insurance deals - it's a pain, but can save hundreds
  36. As a contract for  Virgin/Sky comes to an end, ring them to cancel - they will often offer you a much better deal
  37. Keep your appliances clean and descaled - they work more efficiently
  38. Only use the washing machine/dishwasher when full
  39. Try to line dry your clothes as much as possible - not always easy in this country I know! 
  40. Make as many of your own gifts as possible - this saved me hundreds this Christmas and was great fun
  41. Don't buy any new clothes for six months or a year - you probably don't need them anyway! I'm now on my fifth month of not buying and it's been liberating
  42. Avoid fat laden takeaways and cook your own - much tastier anyway! 
  43. Make your own bread. It's a long process, but the results are additive free and the smell of freshly baked bread is fabulous!
  44. Make you own yoghurt
  45. Make your own jams, marmalade, curds and chutneys - they make excellent gifts too
  46. Try to grow your own. Even if you only manage herbs, salad leaves and perhaps a chilli plant on the window ledge, it will save you money and taste so much nicer
  47. Do as many DIY jobs yourself as possible. These days, you can find instructions for pretty much anything on the internet. I'd draw the line at electrics though! When my dishwasher stopped working, I 'googled' it, followed the advice (tip it from side to side twice) and it fixed the problem and is still working absolutely perfectly. Probably saved me £40 call out charge and feeling utterly foolish! 
  48. Use a bulldog clip to hold scrap paper together as a makeshift notepad for shopping lists, notes etc.
  49. Reuse and repair wherever possible. Shoes can be resoled easily, dye can revitalise clothes, towels and bedding and small repairs to clothes can easily be carried out with a bit of patience and practice. 
  50. If you have the oven on, try to cook multiple things at once and then freeze them. Bulk cook casseroles, divide into portions and freeze. 
  51. Gather up crusts and freeze them in a old bread bag. Once you have enough, whiz them in a blender (from frozen) to make bread crumbs and pop them back in the deepfreeze
  52. Rather than turning up the heating if you're a bit chilly, put on an extra jumper or snuggle up with a hot water bottle. My kids hate this and the two eldest often complain of being cold, but they just need to add more layers! 
I'm not saying I manage these every time, but I am certainly trying! If you were thorough, I reckon this could potentially save you hundreds of pounds across the year, although it's would be difficult to calculate it exactly.
What suggestions do you have? 


  1. Interesting reading, I thought we weren't particularly good at this sort of thing but surprisingly we do loads on this list so I feel a lot better! So now the challenge for us is to work on the ones we don't do - 14 of them! I do buy treats for us but strictly only things on offer, they may sometimes have to wait a while for their favourite ice cream for example but it definitely tastes better when it's half price!!

  2. As I say, I can safely hold my hands up and say we are much better at some than others - the appliances being the worst offender I suspect! Still if you do all but 14 of them, that's a great start. Any others you do that I haven't thought of?

  3. Wow what a great list x