To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin, MoneySuperMarket are asking UK bloggers to come up with their best money saving tips. With 30 tips per person, they are aiming to collect a total of over 1000 fantastic ways to save some cash.
Here are mine!
Savings For Days Out
- Using loyalty card points to pay for days out. With Tesco Clubcard you can exchange your points for upto 4x their value in rewards vouchers, which include all of the merlin parks and loads more. You have to get organised and order your tickets in advance, but once you have them they don’t have to be used on a specific day.
- With Nectar, you don’t have to order the tickets in advance you can just pay directly with the points on your Nectar card – so suitable for those last minute trips! You will get double your points value when using it on days out
- Look out for Kids’ clubs at the cinema, such as Odeon where certain children’s screenings are only £2.50, or Vue for £1.75 or £3 for 3D. These tend to run on weekend mornings or school holidays.
- Many bowling places also have cheap offers in the morning during school holidays – such as bowling for as low as £1, so make sure you have a look and time your visit accordingly!
- Taking a picnic rather than buying meals out at attractions. You could end up saving a lot and often it may be much healthier too.
- There are lots of days out which are absolutely free, for example the Science Museum in South Kensington or many of the other London museums. We go on a Sunday so no congestion charge to get there, and free parking!
- Look out for free weekends at the National Trust where they open many of their properties for free, making a very thrifty day out.
- Look out for local fun days or events run by the council. Sometimes there will be activities on in the library during half terms, or for toddlers during term time and these tend to be free or very cheap.
- Days out in the woods, park or countryside tend to be very cheap or free. You can also use the chance to collect stones, twigs or leaves for the children to use for crafts when you get home – so a 2 in 1 money saving opportunity, as well as a chance to get some exercise and fresh air.
- If you use trains, think of a Family Rail Card which gives you 1/3 off adult fares, 60% off child fares. When we used this, it paid for itself in just a couple of trips and also guaranteed us a table seat on the train, which can be a life saver while travelling with toddlers – enabling you to do activities at the table rather than fruitlessly trying to keep a wriggling little one in their seat.
- Plan your days out in advance – that way you have time to get all your vouchers and offers ready, and you will know the cheap places and tips for the place you are going. When you go last minute,I find it always costs more.
Money Saving Online
- Use cash back websites, such as Quidco. For those who do a lot of online shopping, these websites work out almost like just free money! For things you were going to buy anyway, you can get a percentage back by clicking through from Quidco then over time your cash back builds up and is paid back into your bank account or paypal. Since joining Quidco a couple of years ago, we have earned nearly £500 in cashback!
- Use voucher codes. Always have a look through the newsletters you get sent from companies. Sometimes we may be too quick to delete them as junk mail, but hidden inside could be discount codes and savings to get you a great deal. You can also try googling for codes before making big purchases, as you never know there may be codes on the internet which are fine for anyone to use. Some of the best places to look include MoneySavingExpert and HotUKDeals
- Use daily deal websites, like Groupon for away breaks or general shopping deals or Zulilly for kids deals. There are loads more similar sites too if you have a look around. You can save upto 90% off the RRP, meaning you get great quality things for bargain prices.
- Get free samples online. If you follow the companies you like on Facebook, or visit their websites, often you can find free samples being given out especially for things like perfumes or moisturisers, so you can see if you like it before you buy – potentially saving you money on purchases as you will only have to buy it once you’re sure! You can even get full sized samples of grocery products, from pages like this, which will of course save you money from your supermarket bill!
- Have a look on Facebook for local buying and selling groups. Similar to E-bay where you may get some great bargains but as it’s local, you won’t even pay postage. It also gives you a chance to sell some of your own unwanted or children’s outgrown items and earn some money back.
- If you do decide to use e-Bay, to reach a wider audience or browse a wider range of goods – have a look out for their free listing days to save you that little bit extra.
- You can also connect your nectar account to ebay, earning you money for nothing every time you shop, enabling you to have free days out at premium attractions as mentioned earlier!
- Join all the loyalty schemes, and if you have a baby then all the baby clubs. Boots is one of the best – when joining the baby club you can get a free changing bag! Aptamil also give you a free polar bear toy, and cow and gate a free cuddly cow. They will also keep you up to date with offers and money off vouchers which can come in really handy.
- Use price comparison websites and always look around before committing to a big purchase. It may take time but you will do the best to have a look at several comparison sites, and then also double check the prices on the companies own website, and check those who have not included themselves in the comparison. For larger purchases such as car insurance, this extra bit of effort will normally pay off.
Every Day Money Saving
- Meal Planning. This is something I really need to do, I keep meaning to start. Plan your meals and stick strictly to your shopping list. I have heard from my friends who do this, that it ends up saving a lot and also cuts down waste too – so more eco friendly!
- Related to the above – cooking in bulk and freezing some can end up working out cheaper.
- Eating more vegetarian meals can save a lot of money, as meat is expensive and many other forms of protein such as pulses are much much cheaper.
- Write down what you spend. It will help you keep track and cut out any unnecessary spending patterns that you might not have been as aware of.
- Enter competitions! Whatever you win, is something that you don’t have to buy so potentially saving you loads! Of course only entering for useful things that will be suitable for your family. Those who know me, will know that I am always on the look out for great competitions and I have been lucky to have plenty of lovely prizes over the years. Just this morning I won a dvd for the kids from All Baby Advice blog. We also have some great competitions running here at In The Playroom so click here and have a look!
- Walking wherever you can – saves on petrol or transport costs. Also healthier and gets the children into good habits.
- Recycling packaging to use for children’s junk modelling. You can save all sorts of kitchen roll tube, sweet wrappers, bubble wrap, ribbon and tissue from packaging and it will keep the children occupied in an educational activity, for absolutely free.
- Downgrade your branded food to supermarket own, or supermarket brands down to basic. On some items you won’t always be able to tell a lot of difference, and can save quite a bit!
- Always try to pay off your credit card balance in full each month – any interest paid is just a real waste of money
- Always be generous to others, give to charity and never let money saving turn you into a stingy person. I truly believe when we give to others, it comes back to us in one way or the other and I have seen this so many times in life.
My links Quidco and Zulilly are referral links, all that means is that if you sign up after seeing it here and use these websites, I will also get a little extra as a thanks for introducing new members. They are genuine recommendations from me as websites I do use myself and find good.