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15 quick ways to make money by not wasting money

Kamal Khurana 30th Mar 2016 2 Comments

Reading Time: 6 minutes

We’re all guilty of it – the odd £3 coffee, the new clothes we don’t need, the overpriced branded products we could do without.

Every day without realising it we are wasting money on little things that if saved could make us some serious cash.

So lets make some money by not wasting our money with these 15 handy tips.

How many are you guilty off?


1. Make homemade cleaning products

Unbranded spray bottle and fresh lemon halvesWhy pay £3 for floor cleaner when you can pay 50p for lemon juice and still make your floor sparkle?

Not only will making your own products save you money, they are also more environmentally-friendly and contain fewer harmful chemicals.

Take a look at our tips for cheap, green cleaning products you can make yourself here.


2. Use every last bit of food

Tuppaware with leftover curry mealWasting food is a good as throwing your money away, and according to Lovefoodhatewaste.com one third of all the food bought in UK supermarkets ends up in the bin – a horrible waste.

Some of us are guilty of taking expiration dates very literal and throwing away food that is perfectly good to eat.

Of course expiry dates are there for a good reason and you can usually tell by smell or colour if an item of food has gone bad, but can something last one more day?

More often than not the answer is yes.


3. Start packing your lunch

Packed lunchDid you know that the average worker spends about £5 per day on lunch, adding up to £25 each week?

Keep going and you are at almost £1,250 each year.

By the end of your career you would have spent over £47,500 just on buying lunch!

Save money by making your own, and for handy hints on packing your lunch and yummy food ideas see how you can make your lunch money go further.


4. Buy no-frills brands

Tesco Everyday Value Spanish Red Wine CartonBuy the store brand of food items like bread, butter, canned goods, teas and pulses. You’ll be amazed at how much money this can save you.

You can compare the difference between the major supermarket prices on MySupermarket to make sure you’re getting the lowest prices.

For more ways to save money on your food shopping click here.


5. Stop buying bottled water

Water flowing into glassNot only is it expensive and environmentally irresponsible, but tap water is actually cleaner!

It goes through a more stringent filtering processes than bottled water since there are very few regulated standards that bottled water companies need to comply with.

Britain is lucky enough to have some of the cleanest tap water in the world. It’s perfectly safe to drink so steer clear of expensive bottled water.


6. Free phone calls

Young woman using Samsung smart phoneSkype is probably the most well known free call service.

If you’ve got broadband you can phone on the internet for free with Skype.

It can be downloaded for free. Once you’ve registered you just find the username of the person you want to call and then click the green phone.

There you go – free calls to anyone in the world!

Find out more about phone calls for free in this article.


7. Collect points to make money

Stack of Loyalty CardsIf you’re going to spend money you might as well get something back for it.

If you use loyalty cards like the Boots Advantage card, Tesco Clubcard and the Sainsbury’s Nectar card make sure you get the most out of them.

Remember to use them every time you shop, and be sure to check their websites for special offers. Often the deals on there will give you more value for your points than if you were to use them in store.

Find out how to live for free with loyalty cards here. 


8. Make homemade greeting cards and wrapping paper

Arts and crafts materials for greetings card makingSave loads on birthday and holiday cards by making them yourself.

They can be personalised for a special touch, and it also gives you a fun way to spend some quality time with your children.

The website Making Greeting Cards is devoted to this, loaded with design ideas and a whole list of tools and supplies that you can pick up from stores like Staples.

If you’re looking for a great gift ideas click here – You can’t hold, wrap them up or hand them over in a box, but they’re guaranteed to make a big impact and save you a packet in the process.


9. No more shampoo

Woman looking in bathroom cabinetSeriously, if you were to step into your bathroom now and venture into the dark scary recesses of your cupboards, how many unused and unfinished hair, cosmetic and skin products would you find lying back there?

Have a clean-up, throw out all the old, used-up stuff and start using all that forgotten stuff.

Don’t buy any new shampoos, conditioners, make-up or lotions until you’ve used it all up.

Why not challenge yourself not to spend for a whole month, here are 50 ways to live for free to help you out. 

10. Don’t buy books

Stack of booksThere is no real need to buy books at full price any more.

Make use of your local public library, or if you do just have to have the physical copy in your possession, scout around charity shops, book sales, Amazon, and sites like ReadItSwapIt where you can swap the books you don’t want for the ones you do!


11. Turn it down

ThermostatIf you were to turn down your thermostat by 1°C, you could save yourself £30 annually!

By making the most of the heat; drawing your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows, and making sure not to block radiators with any curtains or furniture, it’s unlikely you’ll even notice the difference.

For more ways to save money and make money by being green click here. 

12. Use direct debit

close-up of debit cardSet up direct debit payments to avoid paying late fees on your credit card (a big waste of money), which could result in having your interest rate increase.

Also transfer fees to 0% credit cards – have
a look at our article on the best 0% credit cards for balance transfers.


13. Ditch the gym fees

Man using a rowing machine in a gymIf you have a gym membership ask yourself – do you really don’t need it?

We don’t think so. The internet is full of thousands of fitness videos for you to choose from and best of all they’re free.

So if you like dance, Pilates or cardio, get searching, hit the play button and never pay to get fit again!

Find out more ways to exercise for free with this essential guide.


14. Switch and save

Gas hobIt goes without saying that you could save (or make) £100s on your insurance, utilities and other bills by using comparison sites like ours.

There are so many benefits to switching –  in fact nine out of ten people can save money by switching their provider.


15. Swap your clothes

That new dress, those new shoes or your new bag… do you really need them?

Graphic image of two women trading clothesIf you want a style overhaul get all your friends round and tell them to bring any clothes they don’t wear anymore.

Save on your new spring wardrobes by swapping clothes with each other or even selling them if you can.

Try joining Visaswap too so that you could do a massive clothes swap and get some cool designer gear for nothing.

Take a look at these 26 ways to save here for more tips and ideas.

Which one of these ways are you going to try to save money? Maybe you have another way? Let us know in the comment section below.

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8 years ago

Have gone back to using tap water when i finally added up how much I spent on bottled water for no reason. Also great believer in store reward cards but only if the price is right still check you are getting the best deal.

Sean D. Francis
Sean D. Francis
9 years ago

This was a fun and informative article – thanks. I’m constantly curious in regards to ‘making your own stuff’ like shampoo and cleaning products how the cost savings relates to opportunity cost?

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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