Feeling lazy? We are all looking for ways to save money, but sometimes saving little and often can make a just as much difference to your bank balance than single lump sums.
There are hundreds of ways to save pennies every single day, and the best part is, most of them require little to no effort.
Here are 21 lazy ways to save money on everything.
Some of our favourites:
- Have regular ‘use it up’ weeks
- Turn your receipts into rewards with Curve
- Get a Smart Meter
- Do your Christmas shopping early
- Shop at discount supermarkets and retailers
Set up standing orders
Do you often the best of intentions to save a bit of money every month, but then never end up doing it? Consider setting up a standing order into a savings account every month.
This way, every time you get paid some of it will automatically get transferred. For the lazy streak in all of us, saving like this is easy – and forgettable. You’ll soon not notice the money going out of your account. The best way to do this is to set up a standing order to transfer out the day after you get paid – instead of waiting until the end of the month. Saving before you spend anything makes it much easier to get into the habit.
Even small amounts make a big difference over time, so start will a little bit and slowly increase your standing order amount as time goes on.
sort your Direct Debits
One pretty obvious lazy way to save money is to have direct debits set up for all your monthly expenses. By doing this, you avoid having to pay extra for late fees and/or interest on late payments. It also means you can control and know exactly how much you have left over once the direct debits have gone out.
Setting up direct debits for things like rent, insurance, loan repayments, etc, can really help streamline your monthly cash flow. Many people already live this way, but some don’t and would really benefit from doing so.
A direct debit to pay off your credit card (ideally in full) also means your credit score will improve as you stop missing payments or only pay the minimum each month.
Before you do another grocery shop, make the effort to use up everything you have first. It may seem a silly suggestion, but you’d be surprised at just how many people do a weekly shop regardless of how many tins, cans and packets they still have lurking at the back of their cupboards.
Have a clear out of your larder and make a note of what you have. Then, you can sit and think of meals which are made up of the ingredients you already have. Don’t forget to have a rummage in your freezer, too. You may find some food you forgot you even bought!
Set yourself a challenge – try to use up every single item you have before you do another shop. You’ll be surprised at what you can throw together if you are creative!
‘Use it up’ weeks aren’t just about food, either. Whether you use up the odds and ends of shampoo, conditioner or moisturiser, you will be saving money without even trying.
Unsubscribe to memberships
Most households have some sort of subscription nowadays. Whether you have a Netflix membership, or receive a meal delivery service, the cost of these builds up. Sometimes, we even forget we have them, and are charged month after month for something we don’t even use.
Let’s face it, we have all signed up for a gym membership, vowing to get fit as part of our new year’s resolution. Then, after a few weeks, the motivation is lost, and we never go back.
So, go over your bank statements and make sure you’re not still paying for something you don’t use. If you have subscriptions to multiple streaming services, perhaps choose your favourite and get rid of the rest. It’ll save you money, and you might not even miss it!
Curve is the card that combines all your cards into one. So, you only have to carry one card with you when out and about. Plus, you only have to remember one pin code too!
Not only this, but Curve have a brilliant cashback scheme. When you use your Curve card, you earn 1% cashback on all of your purchases for the first 30 days. Plus, you can get regular one-off cashback offers of up to 20% from top brands. These include Just Eat, Amazon Fresh, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and many, many more.
Think it can’t get any better than that? If you go premium with curve, you get unlimited 1% cashback on three selected retailers of your choice with Curve Black. Even better, Curve Metal customers get 1% cashback on a total of six chosen retailers for an unlimited time.
It literally pays to shop with Curve. It is a personalised experience too, as Curve offer extra cashback rewards on the brands you really love. Obsessed with music? You could get extra cashback by listening to your favourite playlists. Fashion savvy? There are plenty of clothing retail stores on there too.
Don’t waste groceries
The UK wastes around £19 billion of food every year! Make an effort to only buy what you’re going to use when you go shopping. Is this something you’re guilty of? Maybe buy less of these items or use them for their intended purpose.
You can also save a lot of cash by switching some of your regular groceries to own-brand items. Try them out – you might be surprised!
Learn to say ‘no’
While we’re on the topic of lazy ways to save money, let’s quickly talk about saying ‘no, thank you’ to social engagements.
Naturally, we want to spend time with friends and family. However, next time your colleagues gather for ‘one drink’ after work, which we know turns into four or five, consider saying no. Think about the savings.
We’re not suggesting becoming reclusive and never going out for a drink with co-workers and friends but try cutting down on such events. Even if it’s by one a month.
The money you save might surprise you!
Smart meters allow you to wave goodbye to estimated billing. They are self-reading gas and electricity meters, that show your usage in pounds and pence. These are an extremely useful tool for saving money.
Firstly, you can keep an eye on how much energy you are using on a daily basis. From this, you can see if you need to make an effort to reduce your usage, saving you money.
Secondly, you are only charged for the energy you actually use. No guessing or overcharging here!
The best part is, most providers install them for no extra cost. It’s a win win!
Time your showers
Yes, it can be tempting to stand in the shower for a while, relaxing under the warm droplets and washing the day away. But according to Which, the average Brit showers five times a week, for at least nine minutes at a time. That’s 45 minutes of having the shower running.
By cutting your shower in half, you could save £8 per person, per year. So, if you are a family of 4, you could save £32 a year on your water bills. It may not seem much, but it all adds up.
You could even challenge yourself to spend as little time in the shower as possible. Time yourself and see if you can reduce the duration of your shower each time. You will be surprised at how much you can save.
Plus, if you turn your thermostat down by just one degree, you could save up to 10% on your energy bills. You probably wouldn’t even notice the change in water temperature.
Switch energy supplier
It may seem easier to stick with the provider you already have, but it takes little effort to switch. Plus, it could also be costing you hundreds every year. It’s a perfect lazy way to save, as you can put your feet up, make a cuppa, and shop around whilst you catch up on Corrie.
Many firms reserve their best deals and lowest prices for their new customers, so have a browse and see what is out there.
Use comparison websites
On a similar topic to the previous tip, using comparison websites is a great way to save money on all of your household and personal bills, not just energy bills.
Whether you are looking to switch mobile phone provider or want to go somewhere new for your car insurance, using a comparison site is a good route to take. It’s also low effort and doesn’t take much time to search around.
Of course, the well-known websites MoneySuperMarket, Go Compare and Compare The Market are great for comparing types of insurance, mortgages and broadbands available. However, there are some websites such as PriceSpy, which allow you to compare prices on health and beauty products, fashion items and technology.
Trolley.co.uk is also a brilliant website that allows you to compare over 130,000 products from 7,000 brands from supermarkets across the UK.
Borrow instead of buying
Do you have a function to attend and need a new outfit? Do you also know your sizes and know that you could buy what you need online in a heartbeat?
We know the temptation to buy something pretty online is overwhelming, but how many more times are you likely to wear that one outfit?
If it’s only once before it gathers dust in your wardrobe, consider asking friends and family if they have something suitable for you to borrow. If you and they are a similar size, you could both help each other this way.
You can also rent dresses and suits from rental services. A quick google search will show you the services near you. However, there are some online stores which allow you to rent clothes, such as Hire Street.
Use/sell your gift cards
Love them or hate them, gift cards are a pretty convenient cop-out for lazy gift givers.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that out of nearly half of Brits who receive gift cards every year, don’t end up using them. This leaves an estimated £300 million spent on gift cards wasted every year. People either forget they have them, or simply don’t care.
So, next time you receive a gift card, be sure to keep it somewhere close by, so you don’t forget about it. You never know when it might come in handy. It may also become something you can re-gift!
However, if you’re sure it will never get used, then consider selling it on a platform like CardYard Of course, you won’t be able to sell it for the value that’s on it. But it will be better than nothing. This online and mobile gift card marketplace provides a secure and easy way to sell unwanted vouchers and gift cards
While it may not be a lazy way to save, it’s effective!
Find coupons and vouchers
The beauty of the internet is you can get it anytime anywhere (with very few exceptions). This includes vouchers and coupons. Gone are the days of sitting at the kitchen table carefully trimming coupons out of the newspaper or magazines.
Now, they are available at your fingertips, with a few taps on your mobile or laptop. There are hundreds of websites which provide free coupons, vouchers and codes for a multitude of things.
Whether you are doing your weekly shop, want to go out for dinner with your friends, fancy a romantic trip away, or just want to treat yourself, you can find vouchers for practically anything you want.
Here at Money Magpie, we love VoucherCodes, which has discount codes for thousands of brands. Coupon Follow also provides the newest codes in real-time, and favourites Groupon and Honey provide wonderful vouchers.
Looking for the lazy way to save on Christmas shopping? We have one tip: start early. Really early.
In fact, you can start as early as Boxing Day with a lazy scroll through your favourite online stores. Or, take advantage of January sales and keep the gifts until the end of the year.
There are bound to be great deals shortly after Christmas. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for change-of-season sales. Plan for Christmas at the start of the year, then relax for the rest of it, as well as making some savings.
It’s not really a lazy way to save, but a rather clever one.
Batch cook your meals
Cooking up a big batch of Bolognese sauce is great – mainly because it’s much cheaper to buy the ingredients in bulk. A big pack of meat is much cheaper per kilo, and all the other ingredients will be too.
So, it will work out cheaper overall despite the bigger initial spend. It’s also great as you can make several meals at one time and then pop extra portions in the freezer. This saves time in the future when all you’ve got to do is defrost a few portions. This works with loads of dishes, including curry, so try it out!
You are also less likely to spend money on takeaways and ready meals, as you know you have a prepared meal that is ready to heat and eat.
Sign up for customer loyalty and reward cards
Nowadays, most supermarkets and shops have customer loyalty cards. Most of the time, customers are rewarded with vouchers or points which they can use in exchange for goods. Every time you shop, you collect points. They add up faster than you think!
Do you pop into Tesco Express multiple times a week to buy items, or go to the Sainsbury’s Local on the corner of your road when you fancy a glass of wine and some chocolate on a Friday night? Get a loyalty card, and use it every time you go, even if you just pop in for milk and eggs.
It’s not just supermarkets who have loyalty cards, either. Superdrug, Boots and The Body Shop all use rewards programmes. Many companies also have apps, so you can carry your loyalty card with you on your phone wherever you go. You can view a list of some of the best customer loyalty cards here.
Car sharing may seem like an obvious way to save money, but it really can cut your costs significantly.
Not only does it take cars off the road, which is great for the environment (and for your commute time) but splitting the cost of the journey between you and someone else saves you money.
It doesn’t have to just be commuting either. If you are going to a football match, the theatre or even just to the shops, try and share the ride with the people you are going with. It will save you big bucks over time.
Block your drafts
Sure, this isn’t a really lazy way to save, but it should only take a few hours, and then you don’t have to worry about it again. It will allow you to save money all year round.
20% of the heat lost is through drafts and poor ventilation. Small insulating measures such as draft excluders or thicker curtains can really make a difference.
You could even get up to £2,700 in government grants to help you make your home more efficient.
Once your drafts are blocked, more heat will stay in your home. Thus, the thermostat can be turned down a few degrees, saving you hundreds on your energy bills.
Create a budget
Again, this tip may require a little time and effort initially, but once you have created a budget for yourself, the savings will happen automatically – making it a lazy way to save.
Make a note of all incomings and outgoings so you know what you are left with after rent, mortgage and bill payments.
Then, create a budget for the month encompassing everything you are willing to spend money on. For example, you may limit yourself to spending only £20 on eating out at a restaurant or try and stick to a budget of £50 per food shop.
Make sure to budget for essentials such as fuel, debt repayments or upcoming events such as birthdays. It may be tricky to begin with, but when you get into a routine, and are strict with yourself from time to time, the savings will build up!
Aldi and Lidl have become firm favourites across the nation. They offer great quality products for lower prices than their competitors. The truth is, there is not much, if any difference between most of the food stuffs sold in such discount stores. It’s a lazy way to save, as if you are already going out to do a food shop, going somewhere cheaper adds no more effort to the task.
Similarly, bargain shops such as Home Bargains and B&M offer food items, toiletries, homeware, garden ware and even school supplies for a fraction of the price of other shops.
There are even online pound shops nowadays, so you can get the best bargains from the comfort of your own sofa.
Please note this is a paid partnership between Curve and MoneyMagpie.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.