Sunday, 14 April 2013

Diary of a Spendaholic 30 / 30 ways to save £1 (or more)

Once again, I just can't face working out what I've spent this week. But that's allowed, it's the final week of the Easter holidays. Instead, behold, a money saving post!
MoneySupermarket sure know how to come up with a good challenge!  This time, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the £1 coin taking place on the 21st of this month, we've been set the task of thinking of up to 30 ways to save £1 or more.  I've said it before, but blogging can become an expensive habit.  It's so easy to get caught up in the fuss over the latest "must have" product, that spending habits quickly spiral out of control.  Money saving tips are always welcome.  I've broken mine into categories, so without further adieu, here they are...

Fashion & Beauty
  • Always try and find a review before buying anything to make sure it'll live up to your expectations/suit your needs.
  • Shop with somebody who has student discount!
  • If you have a Boots Advantage card, always check the kiosk before buying anything.  You'll be able to print vouchers that'll give you more points and/or save you money on certain purchases.
  • Just because there's an offer on, doesn't mean you're getting a better deal!  It's so easy to walk into Boots and spend £15+ because things are on 3 for 2.  Stop and think.  Do you need that extra mascara and lipgloss?  You'll save more money by just buying what you went in for.
  • Visit places like Bicester Village and other outlets to get designer discounts.
  • There are lots of fantastic blogs out there which can inspire you to get crafty with your wardrobe.  I love checking out Gwen's blog for DIY tutorials on how to spruce up unloved items in my wardrobe and turn them into something much more current and fashionable.

Entertainment
  • Only take cash on a night out and leave your bank card at home to avoid getting carried away at the bar after a few drinks!
  • Sign up to restaurants' newsletters.  I'm always getting emails from Frankie & Bennys, Zizzi and Las Iguanas telling me about their latest deals or with a voucher to get money off a meal out.
  • Shop in charity shops for books.  They've usually only been read once and (depending on your shop) will cost you around 50p!
  • Alternatively, share books with family and friends rather than all buying the same.
  • Take advantage of Orange Wednesdays (if you can) to save on cinema tickets.
  • Cinema tickets are always much cheaper during the day.  So if it's an option, go to earlier screenings rather than peak time evening ones.
  • Sign up for magazine subscriptions.  I've got a 2 year InStyle subscription which works out at less than £1 an issue, rather than the £4ish they cost in shops each month.

Food
  • Plan meals for the week in advance and then buy ingredients that can be used in more than one to avoid wastage.
  • Don't go food shopping when you're hungry.  You'll end up buying far too many, unnecessary snacks.  I'm saving your waistline and your money with this one.
  • Alternatively, do your food shopping online.  That way you won't get sucked into buying extra items just because.
  • Shop around the supermarkets for branded items.  A lot of the time they'll be on offer, just rotated across different shops.  For example, Tesco one week and Sainsbury's the next.

Online shopping
  • Never hit the checkout for an online purchase without looking for a discount code.
  • Register with topcashback.
  • Avoid buying from brands such as River Island from their website.  Asos stocks them, so check if they have what you're looking for.  They regularly have discount codes and you'll get free delivery!
  • Look for things on eBay.  You'll find most stuff much cheaper on there.
  • The Google "Shopping" tab can be your best friend.  When I bought my Michael Kors watch, I spotted the one I wanted in store and then googled it to find a cheaper deal online.
  • Cheapsmells.com is a favourite of mine for perfume, hair and make up products at really low prices.
Being a grown up
  • I never pay full price for washing powder (have you seen how much that costs??)....always go to Lidl where it's far cheaper for a foreign alternative!
  • Lift share journeys to cut down on petrol useage.
  • Cut down on your gas bill by only using the heating when you have to.  I much prefer wrapping up in a blanket anyway!
  • Pay for your gas and electricity by Direct Debit.  I'm sure most people do this anyway, but by paying the same amount over a year you'll find yourself in credit because you use less gas (for example) in the Summer months, and this way you won't get a nasty bill every three months.
General
  • Take a set amount of money out of the bank for your "unnecessary" purchases for the month.  You'll probably be more reluctant to spend "proper" money.
  • Keep a spending diary (so this works most of the time for me)
  • If you can, book train tickets in advance to get a cheaper deal.
And the best part of this challenge?  Anyone with a blog can enter, and MoneySupermarket will give you £1 for each tip you come up with.  But wait, there's more!  The winner of the best list will win £1000, and if they receive over 1000 ways to save £1, then that figure gets doubled and the winner receives £2000!  To find out more, click here.

I'm always on the lookout for more ways to save money, so if you have a tip or two for me that I've missed, then please leave it below.  Alternatively, if you're giving this competition a go then leave me your link so I can go and check out your list!

8 comments:

  1. Great ideas, I always read blog reviews before buying beauty products! No. 31, enter this competition!

    xxxBxxx

    http://hummingbirdxxx.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. I've become a little more carefree when I buy make up, I remember religiously checking reviews before a splurge when I first started blogging! x

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  2. Such a good post and brill ideas :)

    TaiBea xx

    just done my sunday update post - taibeablog.blogspot.com

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    1. Hopefully some of them were useful to you! x

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  3. Oh I love your spending/money posts. So many people just seem to throw their money away so carelessly. I've had to learn how to be wiser with my money since I moved out of home.

    My tips -
    Managing bills; keep a seperate wallet for bills and food. My boyfriend and I put aside a certain amount each week for bills and food shopping so that we aren't struggling to pay them off.

    Health; Ditch the gym and buy a couple of work out DVDs. Its the same thing just without the weird feeling of people watching you and being able to do it at home.
    Also there are some great workout routines on line, I love blogilates.
    Groupon/Cudo/coupon websites occasionally offer some good deals on classes.

    Food; Buy coffee sachets for work instead of buying barista coffee. Plunger coffee is also pretty damn good and the cost of beans and the plunger is only about 2 or 3 coffees compared to how many you get out of a bag of coffee beans.
    Oh and dinner always tastes amazing the next day during work as left overs!

    Please keep up these types of posts. I love reading them. Its always nice to know that not every blogger has unlimited money funds!

    Take care, Paris x

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    1. Gah I wouldn't say I'm particularly good with my money! But I pay for everything myself, never spend what I don't have and, in the words of Destiny's Child...I depend on me! I say do what makes you happy, but don't be reckless with your money. Know when to draw the line!

      These are great tips...I originally did this post as part of the competition, but seeing as you like it I might try to incorporate more money saving tips into my regular Diary of a Spendaholic posts :)

      Thanks for commenting x

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  4. These are SO good! So guilty of the shoppign when hungry one. Another REALLY easy one is taking a packed lunch to work, and a bottle of water EVERYWHERE with you. Then you don't end up buying a sandwich/ drink and all the extras you inevitably see when you're hungry. I REALLY need to start keeping a spending diary! x

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    Replies
    1. Ooh yes, that's a good one! I dread to think how much money I've wasted these last few weeks off work by buying lunch :( x

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