Household hacks - 9 easy ways to save a few pennies

Who doesn’t want to save cash without having to make any drastic cutbacks? Try these easy hacks to help slash your spending without any hassle.

Yellow piggy bank
Step 1

Embrace bulk buying

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 like Makro or Costco – there’s a small membership fee but it’s worth it if you shop there regularly. If you’re a parent, bulk-buying nappies from somewhere like Amazon can also save you plenty.

Extra tip: Just make sure you have plenty of storage space!

Step 2

Compare the price of your weekly shop

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Eat seasonally

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. 

Step 5

Walk, rather than drive to the shop

Walking to the shop not only saves on petrol, it means you can only buy what you can carry rather than stocking up on bits you don’t really need.

Extra tip: If you have to drive, make sure you use a shopping basket rather than a trolley – that way you won’t be tempted to buy more to fill it.

Step 6

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 £7.99 a month and you can watch on two screens at once, or you can pay £9.99 for premium and watch on four separate screens at once – far cheaper than four £5.99 basic subscriptions. These prices were last checked on 3 December 2018.

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.