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Katie Morley asked Money Means readers to share their best tips for smart spending and saving money on everyday expenses.
The best tips for savvy spending - and saving money - often come from our friends. That’s why I’ve been asking Money Means readers to spill the beans on the everyday steps they take to keep a handle on their purse strings.
1.“Make big batches of food and freeze it” Anna, London
“I make big batches of chili or casserole at the weekends, then freeze them to eat during the week. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and there’s also less waste as fresh ingredients tend to go off before I can eat them. It also stops me buying takeaways if I know I have a home cooked meal to enjoy after work.”
2.“Use a good, old fashioned piggy bank” Louise, Middlesbrough
“Before my wedding, I used a giant bottle as a piggy bank. Every time my fiancé and I had spare change we’d throw it in there. After several months we took it to the bank and were surprised by how much we’d saved.”
3.“Have nights in instead of going out” Kerry, West Midlands
“My girlfriends and I take it in turns to host ‘Come Dine With Me’ style dinner parties instead of going out, and we’ve found it’s much cheaper - and more fun! Our rule is, the host buys the food but the guests bring the wine.”
4.“Go online shopping - then wait a day before buying” Andrew, Brighton
“I’ve found that loads of websites will email you with a 10% or 20% discount if you put something in your online shopping basket but don’t go ahead and buy it. It’s really worth waiting a day or two, especially for something very expensive. Just make sure you’ve registered so they have your email address.”
5.“Grow your own herbs and vegetables” Sally, Derby
“I started with a little herb garden on the windowsill; I loved it because it looked pretty, and I could grab sprigs of basil or thyme whenever I wanted. That inspired me to start a vegetable patch in my garden, and now I grow my own vegetables, including runner beans, cabbages and cauliflowers. It saves money on my supermarket shop whenever they’re in season.”
6.“Be cheeky - ask for discounts” Daniel, London
“It’s getting more common for people to ask for discounts at big shops and supermarkets - and it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. They might say no, but that’s about the worst that can happen: it’s worth trying.”
7.“Do a clothes swap” Gemma, London
“Instead of going shopping, I ask friends who are a similar size to me if they fancy doing a clothes swap. It’s fun and a good excuse to clear out my wardrobe. I’m quite sentimental, so I hate selling stuff, and this way I can ask to trade back if I change my mind.”
8.“Pay big bills at the start of the month” Felicity, Surrey
“My rent and bills go out of my account within a few days of getting paid, so I always know how much I’ve got left for the month. Then I track the rest of my spending using an app.”
9."Use loyalty schemes" - Holly, Gloucestershire
“I sign up for every loyalty scheme going - at the supermarket, at my beauty salon and in coffee shops. Over the years, I’ve earned enough for plenty of little treats and discounts.”