Weird and wonderful ways to cut expenses

If you’ve already ditched your daily takeaway coffee and are a pro at bulk buying, why not see how much you can save with these slightly quirkier ways to cut your expenses...

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Step 1

Cook smarter

A few simple kitchen hacks can help you save energy and money while you’re cooking up a storm. Try chopping your food into smaller pieces so it takes less time to cook, or popping a lid on your pan so heat can’t escape. If you’re using the oven, turn it off 10 minutes before the cooking time ends, the residual heat will finish up your dinner while saving you money on energy bills.

What you eat can save you cash too – try being a vegetarian one or two days a week. Or why not try a raw food diet for a while? No cooking costs.

Step 2

Buy all unbranded products

See how much it saves you on your weekly shop if you swap all your usual purchases for the supermarket’s own brand equivalents. You’ll often get an award-winning product for a fraction of the price – it’s just a case of changing your habits.

Step 3

Find BYOB restaurants

If you love eating out but don’t want to splash too much cash, have a look for bring your own bottle (BYOB) restaurants where you can take your own drinks. Being able to pick up a bottle of wine at the supermarket rather than paying a restaurant mark-up really keeps costs down.

Step 4

Try a student hairdresser

Treat yourself to a new look for less by using a student hairdresser to trim your locks. If you’re a regular at a salon, it’s worth asking trainees if they have any exams coming up as they are often on the lookout for practice models and you could end up getting a cut and colour or blow dry for free.

Step 5

Have a no spend week

Could you go a whole week without spending? Leave your cards at home, eat up the leftovers in your freezer and walk to work rather than taking the bus. Even if you have the odd splurge, you’ll be surprised how much money you save.

If you really can’t not spend, try using just cash instead, it makes you more aware of what you’re spending.

Step 6

Go to bed 30 minutes earlier

Calling it a night earlier than usual a few times a week means your TV, laptop and lights are on for less time, leading to savings on your energy bills. In winter, snuggling under your duvet earlier means you can turn off your heating in the evenings.

As an added bonus, you can’t buy anything when you’re asleep, and you’re less likely to need a pick-me-up in the form of a pricey coffee in the morning!