money Feature

50 money saving tips

Top 60 money saving tips



The more we have to scrimp and save, the more inventive we become! At MyFamilyClub we’ve spoken to 300 parents and asked them to share their best money saving tips (we've also added a few of our own favourite tips, too). So if your own inventiveness has dried up, borrow some of the ideas below to make your family budget go that little bit further.

1. Shop around

Use meal planners to plan the family’s weekly meals so you don't end up throwing away food that’s past its use by date.

Use money saving websites (MyFamilyClub… hint hint), comparison sites like uSwitch and forums to find the best price before you buy. There are real deals to be had if you look around, from buying holidays to insurance.

2. Budget, budget, budget

Assess your income and expenditure and create a budget. That way you’ll be less likely to spend more than you can afford and more likely to stay within your means.

3. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Save money – or make money – by buying and selling second-hand on auction sites like eBay and in charity shops, and take advantage of hand me downs that are often as good as new. Remember to save the packaging from new items to give you better second-hand resale value.

4. Knock over £900 OFF your energy bill…

No, '£900' wasn't a typo. We've rounded up 14 shockingly simple ways to cut your energy bill that really can knock literally hundreds of pounds off your energy bill. And they're all quick and simple to do, too!

5. Food glorious food

Use meal planners to plan the family’s weekly meals so you don't end up throwing away food that’s past its use by date. And always cook more than you need so you can freeze a few portions for another day. Plus try reusing leftovers the next night in a new dish. If you’re inventive, the kids will never know.

6. Trolley dash

Do your grocery shop online so you’re less tempted to buy more than you need. If you have to shop in store, draw up a list before you get there and don’t deviate. If you can, leave the children at home, so you don’t end up with more in your trolley than you bargained for! Also, consider a trip to the supermarket just before it closes, and you could save heaps buying reduced items including due date food.

Consider buying value brands for some items, from school uniform to nappies and wipes, you’ll save money and you’ll never notice the difference.

7. Buy in bulk

Stock up on offers, deals and bargains of items you use regularly. If you have a baby or toddler, take advantage of the special baby events at supermarkets where they heavily discount bulk buys on items like nappies and wipes; you’ll be sure to save money!

8. Never pay full price

Before you buy, always look for a relevant voucher or discount codes online, and use cashback sites too. And don’t forget to cut out coupons from magazines and newspapers they can be quite generous.

9. Name drop

Consider buying value brands for some items, from school uniform to nappies and wipes, you’ll save money and you’ll never notice the difference.

10. Savvy saver

Open a savings account (make sure you use your tax-free ISA allowance) and pay into it as regularly as you can. If you don’t have any spare cash try saving your weekly family allowance or child benefit. A little saved week by week will mount up in no time.

11. Credit crunch

Only use credit cards if you know you can pay them off each month - otherwise you'll end up paying costly interest charges. If you're in debt, see how to get out of debt in 10 simple steps.

12. Know your worth

Keep a close eye on your finances so you’re in control of your funds. This way you’ll be less likely to incur bank charges. Use internet and telephone banking for quick and convenient ways to check your account status.

13. Life lessons

Teach your children the value of money by making them work for pocket money, doing household chores for example. Teach them how to save money, and also learn to say no sometimes – it’s a valuable life lesson for them.

14. 999

Set aside funds for an emergency situation, whether it’s for a leaking pipe or busted boiler, it’s always helpful to have something in reserve so you don’t have to rely on costly credit arrangements.

15. Forget the Joneses

Don’t feel under pressure to have what other people do. And teach your children not to worry about peer pressure either, so they don’t feel the need to have all the latest gadgets and brands.

16. Make the most of freebies

From free make-up to free cinema tickets, every week we search high and low to round up the best freebies so you don't have to. Check out this week's freebies.

supermarket offers17. Get more from your supermarket

Use supermarket vouchers and loyalty points against family days out instead of against your shopping. You get up to four times the value. Also, make sure you get wise to the 10 sneaky supermarket tricks that make you spend more than you planned!

18. Ruffle a few feathers

Keep chickens they can lay up to 320 eggs a year – which is around one box of eggs a week.

19. Supply and demand

Contact your broadband/TV/energy/insurance suppliers and tell them you’re thinking of leaving, they’re likely to offer you a better deal. And check your energy and utility bills and request any overpayments.

20. Use local services

Make the most of free and subsidised public services like libraries, parks and leisure centres. With library services under threat from Government cutbacks, there’s never been a better time to go there. With some children reading more than 100 books a year, this could save you a small fortune over their lifetime.

21. Double-glaze for less

Properly double-glazing your home can cost thousands, but there is a cheap alternative that can create a DIY double-glazing effect by trapping in hot air. Ask for ‘stretch wrap’ at your local hardware store and use a hairdryer to fix to the window. Six square meters of Stormguard Secondary Glazing Film is £7.99 at B&Q.

Take a trip to the supermarket when many items are being reduced – usually at the end of the day.

22. Check out the reduced aisle

Take a trip to the supermarket when many items are being reduced – usually at the end of the day. Grab what you can and stick it in the freezer for another time.

23. Childcare vouchers

Find out if you’re entitled to childcare vouchers. You could save £1,000s in tax a year. Valid for children up to the age of 15 they can make a huge difference as it enables you to pay for childcare out of your pre-tax and National Insurance income.

24. Turn old mobiles into cash

With mobile phones quickly going out of date, you probably have a couple lying in the back of your cupboard gathering dust. You could be sitting on a £100 for a smartphone, and all you have to do it send it off in the post. You’ll receive a nice little reward in return.

25. DIY

Check out our readers' best DIY money-saving tips. Discover how to save money on tools, quick ways to add value to your home, and lots more. And if you're really keen, by taking an inexpensive DIY course at your local college you could improve your skills and save £100s.

26. Cut the cost of train journeys

Did you know you can often get 50% of your ticket cost back if your train is delayed by half an hour? Or that you can get multibuy ticket discounts without buying a rail season ticket? Find out how you can cut the cost of getting the train with our top 10 ways to get cheaper train tickets.

27. Don't pay full price for days out

If you're treating the kids to a day out at a family attraction, don't pay full price at the gate. Find out how to get:

28. Lift sharing

If you work with colleagues who live in your neighbourhood, it seems silly to all be spending money on petrol and car costs when you could share a lift. You could work out a system and swap lifts throughout the week; you will soon notice a difference to your fuel bill. Do the same for the school run.

29. Make homemade cleaning products

Save on pricey cleaning products by using natural products you already have at home. Lemon juice and vinegar are fantastic and can be used to clean your home pretty much from top to bottom.

grow your own money saving tips30. Grow your own vegetables

Imagine if instead of a trip to the supermarket, you could just wander down to the bottom of the garden for your vegetables. You can get your green fingers out, harvest a selection of your fav veg and have some fun in the process.

31. Save greeting cards

Last year’s gift cards and Christmas cards can be reused as gift tags. That cute robin on your card from Great Aunty Joan can be recycled for next year. Far more unique (and savvy) than just buying lots of new gift tags every year.

32. Refill your ink cartridges

With the kids printing out reams from your home printer, buying new printer cartridges every time you run out is annoyingly expensive. Refill your cartridges instead and you could save yourself around 70% on the cost of a brand new one.

33. Home-made beauty products

We all wish we could grab some time at the spa, but (sigh) we often don’t have the money to treat ourselves. But what if we could get glowing skin without the price tag? The secret is right under your nose – and possibly in your fridge. Eggs, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, spices and salt are inexpensive household items that could transform your skin for less.

34. Clothes swapping party

That dress you’ve hardly worn, those shoes that are too high for you, all those old baby clothes... don’t just throw them away! Swap them at a clothes swapping party and you could come back with a whole new wardrobe. Try Googling 'swishing' to find a clothes swap party near you.

You can also make money by selling your second hand clothes.

35. Library films or music

Libraries aren’t just for books – pop along to your local library and see what films you can hire out for free. There is often a wide selection to choose from and you don’t have to give it back the next day. Plenty of music CDs on offer too.

Baby food36. Make your own baby food

When babies move on to solids it can be a big strain to factor in those little jars. Making your own in bulk and freezing in ice cube trays can save you time and money.

37. Make savvy cinema savings

A family trip to the movies is a costly affair these days, especially when you think about popcorn and treats too. But we've rounded up the best cinema discount deals. It's possible to get two tickets plus free drinks and popcorn for £10, plus kids' films for under £2 if you know where to look.

38. Get paid to shop

Getting paid to shop? Surely not! But when you sign up to a cashback website like Topcashback.co.uk you can do just that. That means that with certain purchases you can get money back. See our full guide to cashback.

39. Fuel costs

It might sound silly, but you can actually save dosh with the smallest change to the way you drive – for example reversing into, rather than out of a parking space. You’ll burn up to 30 times more fuel reversing when the engine is cool, than when warm. If you’re parking up 10 times a week that could be around an £8 a month saving.

It’s almost always cheaper to shop local – fruit such as a pack of strawberries can be £1 on the market and £2-£3 at the supermarket.

40. Shop at the local market

It’s almost always cheaper to shop local – fruit such as a pack of strawberries can be £1 on the market and £2-£3 at the supermarket.

41. Cut your water bill by 10%

Our 10 simple water saving tips can cut your water bill by 10% or more. And don't forget to check out our top 10 water saving freebies as well!

42. Turn off your TV

A TV left on standby can use around 90% of the same energy as a switched on TV. Turn off at the mains to save on electricity costs.

43. Hair cut at a college

Head to your local hairdressers or hair college to get cheap cuts from trainees. They will be supervised and you’ll get a big discount.

44. Get your news online

Do you really need to buy a newspaper everyday? Get your daily fix by looking online or download the goss using an app on your phone.

45. Find the best petrol prices

Petrol prices can be a nightmare and vary greatly station to station. Check out petrolprices.com before you fill up to get the best deal near you. And don't forget to check out these 10 ways to cut the cost of your car.

46. Split delivery costs

Share out the cost of delivery for your food shopping by coordinating your grocery shop with your friend or neighbour. Charges can be £8 a time so you could save over £100 a year.

47. Get a family railcard and book in advance

If you travel by public transport you can save a third on adult and 60% on kids’ rail fares, for just for £30 a year. That’s on every train journey you take as a family so the savings will be going straight in your pocket.

48. Start a babysitting circle

Paying out for a babysitter is often the downside attached to heading out for a lovely evening with your partner. Friends will be in the same position as you, so why not start a babysitting circle? You can take it in turns to babysit and you’ll get a night out for free.

Looking for something? Try freecycle before you try eBay and you might just get it for free.

49. Freecycle

Looking for something? Try freecycle before you try eBay and you might just get it for free. Many people advertise their unwanted second hand treasures for free collection. Well worth a look.

50. Don’t throw away your batteries

One third of batteries thrown away may still have up to 67% of usable power left inside, but some power hungry devices like your digital camera will pack up before it’s all gone. Use them in less demanding devices like your alarm clock or TV remote instead.

51. Claim refunds on your Tube journeys

Bag some cash from your frustrating underground delays in London and save big. ClaimMyRefund is a clever service that you can sign up to for free (then just £1.99 per year) and it will monitor your Oyster account and generate refund claims for you automatically (no effort required!)

So if there has  been a delay on the tube line for more than 15 minutes you’ll be issued a refund automatically.

52. Always buy own-brand medicine

When you buy expensive big brand medicine, you’ll pay up to 11 time MORE than those who buy own-brand tablets and treatments. (For example a 16 pack of 200mg Nurofen costs £2.10 from Boots, compared to Boots’ own-brand 16 pack of 200mg ibuprofen tablets that are just 40p!)

Chemically, supermarket painkillers are exactly the same product as advertised brands.  So save your dosh and beat that cold for less!

53. Skip call centre queues with these secret tips

Skip call centre queuesThere's nothing more frustrating than being put on hold... especially on a helpline that charges through the nose!

Luckily, we show you how you can call pretty much any company for free - AND the trick that lets you skip past the robot menus and speak straight to a real human being.

54. MOT your car for less

Using a council-run MOT testing station is a great way to save money on your MOT. They usually charge around £55 for the MOT - but because they don’t actually do repairs themselves, they’ve got no reason to find faults with your car that you will then need to pay them to 'fix'.

You can find a list of council MOT centres here, but it's not exhaustive. Check your local council website if you can't find one near you.

55. Magic ways to make your clothes last longer

From removing sweat stains to taking the shine off old suits and jackets - most people don't realise how easy it is to prolong the life of their clothes.

These 15 simple tricks will prolong the life of your wardrobe.

56. Have a fabulous frugal wedding for under £840

A wedding needn't cost the earth - MyFamilyClub blogger Amanda Danells-Bewley shows you how she and her husband organised their big day for under £840!

57. Amazing toys you can make for under £1

We've rounded up some amazing homemade toys that are a) great fun to make, and b) cost less than a quid!

In fact, making these toys is half the fun. Get inspired with these brilliant homemade toy ideas.

58. Have a spa experience at home

If you fancy a bit of pampering but can't afford to splash out on a spa break, don't worry. We show you how to create a posh home spa for under £15.

59. Crafty ways to get cheap flights

bargain family flightsWant to know how to get cheap family flights? Then you need to read our 10 crafty tricks to get bargain flights - they'll save you money EVERY time you jet off somewhere sunny!

We also have a guide on how you can claim up to £500 compensation if your flight has been delayed.

60. Discover the best times of year to bag a bargain

For a month-by-month guide of when you can expect to bag the biggest bargains for different products, have a look at our budget-buys calendar!

There are many products that cut their prices depending on the time of year.

For example, you could bag that gym membership for less after the January rush has died down, and gobble up cut-price chocolate after the Easter holidays in April. See what other seasonal bargains lie in store.

And don't forget you can MAKE money, too...

As well as saving money each day it's possible to make a bit on the side as well. Have a look at:





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