What do pasta, loo roll and meat all have in common? They can all work out much cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Look out for deals in your local supermarket and take advantage by stocking up when offers are on. You could even join a cash-and-carry – there’s a small membership fee but it’s worth it if you shop there regularly. If you’re a parent, bulk-buying nappies online can also save you plenty.
Extra tip: Just make sure you have plenty of storage and freezer space!
Compare the price of your weekly shopping
It’s easy to get into the habit of always doing your big shop in the same place, but it pays to look around. Sites like MySupermarket let you input your shopping list and see where the cheapest place to shop is.
Extra tip: Shopping online can also save you cash as you aren’t tempted to stray from your shopping list.
Start a change jar
Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, or so the saying goes. But it’s easy for pennies to get frittered away or lost down the back of the sofa. Keep a change jar somewhere prominent and empty any loose coins into it at the end of the day – it’ll soon start adding up.
Extra tip: Get the jar off to a strong start by emptying all the change in your coat pockets and handbags into it.
This is one foodie trend that will actually save you money. Seasonal fruit and veg is usually much cheaper as it doesn’t cost as much to produce and transport. As an added bonus, it’s usually much tastier too.
Extra tip: Try your local market – the fruit and veg on offer will usually be seasonal and can be cheaper than at big supermarkets. Here you don’t need to buy a pack if you only need one of something, as you can buy things loose. Cutting down on plastic waste too.
Reducing food waste
This is much easier to do when you plan ahead. It could also save you money. Take a pic of the inside of your fridge and cupboards so you know exactly what you have, so no more guessing if you have it or not.
Extra tip:The average fridge is set to 7’C. Reducing this to 5’C or below will increase the life of most foods.
Share your Netflix account
If you and your friends and family are all addicted to Ozark and Stranger Things, why not share the cost of your Netflix plan? A standard plan costs £8.99 a month and you can watch on two screens at once, or you can pay £13.99 for premium and watch on four separate screens at once – far cheaper than four £5.99 basic subscriptions. These prices were last checked on 12 May 2021.
Extra tip: If there’s a particular series you’re desperate to watch, you can usually sign up to services like Netflix and Now TV for a free month’s trial. Just remember to cancel it or you’ll automatically start paying.
Embrace the 'fakeaway'
Can’t live without your Friday chicken korma or Sunday night pizza fix? Embrace the fakeaway – home-cooked versions of your favourite dishes, only they’re healthier and much cheaper.
Extra tip: BBC Food Collections, Tesco Real Food and Jamie Oliver all have some delicious fakeaway recipes, covering everything from fish and chips to tikka masala.
Fill your freezer
Filling your freezer with leftovers can help cut down the cost of your weekly shop, but it could also save you some pennies on your electricity bill, as keeping your freezer as full as possible makes it more energy efficient.
Extra tip: If your freezer’s looking a bit bare, fill some plastic bottles with water to pad it out a bit.
Try natural cleaning products
White vinegar, salt, baking soda and lemons, all things you might have in your store cupboard and all things that can be used to make natural cleaning products, rather than splashing out on store-bought products.
Extra tip: Vinegar mixed with baking soda and water is a great all-purpose cleaner for bathrooms, windows and kitchens.