Discount vouchers, coupons and apps top the list of the nation’s favourite money saving tips, with half of UK adults using them to cut the cost of goods and services.
But why cut costs when you can get things for FREE without paying a penny?
Take a look at these 15 things that you should stop paying for now and get them for free instead.
1. Books and DVDs
It’s free to register at all local libraries and prices for DVD rental are usually more than 50% cheaper than from your local Blockbuster.
Plus if you want to keep it for a bit longer, you can often just renew the item online, rather than paying hefty late fees. Libraries also offer free internet facilities so take advantage of this and find your nearest facility on your local council’s website.
Find out how to make money from your old books and DVDs here.
If you could get free petrol, would you continue to spend so much on it? We didn’t think so.
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 the bottled water and save money.
Don’t pay for new furniture. Instead give old chests of drawers, wardrobes and covers a new look instead of replacing them. All you need is a lick of paint and new inexpensive handles. They will really change the look of your furniture without changing the look of your bank account for the worse.
If you don’t have any old furniture to use at home Gumtree is a great place to start when looking for free stuff. Yup, free! Also your local Freecycle.org has furniture offered for free every day.
You can snatch up dining room tables, beds, futons, sofas – basically anything and everything can be found on these sites. All for just the inconvenience of having to pick up the items yourself. Best either to try and get a friend to help or go to Anyvan.com to get the cheapest delivery guy you can find.
4. Paper statements
Direct debits and electronic statements can save you money.
Paper bills now incur extra charges from some services.
Mobile phones are a prime example, with companies charging up to £3 more for a paper itemised bill. These bills are often available online free of charge.
So if you really need one on paper, you can just print it off.
5. Use your computer as a TV
Instead of buying extra TVs for every room of the house, use screens you already have. The major television channels now let you watch their programmes online, so if you have a computer in a room you don’t really need an extra TV in there.
Don’t panic if you’ve missed your favourite show. You can catch up with programmes online with the BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 oD (on demand).
With the BBC iPlayer you can play programmes on the website simply by pressing the ‘Click to Play’ button. You can also download them and store them on your computer for 30 days. With 4oD you can catch up on the last 30 days’ TV online and watch thousands of classic programmes and films. ITV has a similar system called ITV Player for catching up with programmes you’ve missed for up to 30 days after and Channel 5 runs Demand5 where you can watch all their catch-up for free.
You still have to pay a TV licence fee if you watch live TV but if you just watch catch-up you don’t technically have to have one.
Also have you got Sky? If so, it’s worth bearing in mind that the basic Sky package is very similar to the service you’d get with a freeview box. You can get one of these for as little as £5 one-off fee. Plus, there’s no monthly fee so what are you waiting for?
6. Cleaning products
The free part is finding stuff around the house you already have instead of buying it like vinegar, lemon juice or cola. Lemons to ditch greasy microwave stains, use vinegar to deodorises and act as a mild disinfectant, olive oil can be used sparingly as furniture polish and cola is a great toilet cleaner
If you want to get fit ditch the gym and enlist the help of a friend, or write up your own plan and stick it to the fridge. It’s amazing what exercises you can do in the comfort of your home with a few tins of baked beans, water bottles or elastic to help.
YouTube has 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!
Go to Musicovery to listen to music for free online. You get to choose what you listen to by mood (such as energetic, calm), or by year or genre and the site forms a playlist for you. Last.fm is another site that allows you to listen to music for free by creating your own personalised streaming playlist.
Spotify is another great website – a streaming service which allows you to listen to millions of music tracks online completely free (and completely legally!) – all you have to put up with is the occasional 30-second advert every five minutes or so – a pretty small price to pay for free tunes.
9. Free sweets
If you have a sweet tooth then check out Sweets for Free. Big brands pay them when you take take a survey or enter a competition. Then they buy sweets super cheap in massive bulk and send them on to you! Everyone’s happy!
Enter a competition or complete a survey and you’ll get free chocolate and sweets for simply not doing much. What are you waiting for? Sign up now.
(Also, of course, you can make your own, thanks to the fab recipes you get for free from our lovely Food Blogger, Sarah Lockett – see her above with her two girls)
10. Free beauty products
Get free goodies to test out for Toluna. They have loads of products they need to have tested so if you sign up for the testing side you can get new things every month.
In the past they’ve given away Garnier Hand Cream, Nivea lipbalm and Dove beauty cream bar. So you can see the kind of things you could get to try for nothing. Click here to join up now and get all these great freebies.
11. Cinema tickets
Sign up to See Film First and you could get the chance to see films before they’re released for free. Once you’ve signed up you’ll receive emails with a screening code which you can enter into the website to receive the free tickets.
Free Cinema Tickets offer similar preview screenings so it’s worth signing up to both to get as many freebies as you can.
12. Free entertainment
Go to the BBC website to apply for free tickets to your favourite TV show, tour, and live and promotional events for new music.
You can also try Lost In TV where you can apply for tickets to other TV programmes like The Cube and The Apprentice: You’re Fired. Add yourself to their mailing list to receive updates on any new dates of upcoming shows, and check out the websites for regular updates.
ApplauseStore – Get tickets to see big shows like The X Factor and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
SRO audiences has tickets for Mock The Week, Alan Carr: Chatty Man and All Star Family Fortunes, to name just a few.
Go with trusted hair salons like Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy – which offer free hair cuts (and mega cheap highlights).
You will need to book early, you must be comfortable with a student cutting your hair, and be warned that it could take a few hours to get your hair done! Both salons only offer the services on specific dates and times so you need to book in advance. It is well worth the effort as most salons easily charge £100 for cuts and highlights.
14. Free calls
Skype 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.
You’ll need earphones and a microphone although some computers have microphones already built in but if yours doesn’t then Amazon.co.uk has a good selection of headphone and microphone sets here with several choices for under a tenner.
To make video calls you’ll need a webcam – again many computers have these already built in but if yours doesn’t you can buy them from Argos for around £10. You can also chat for free using online instant messengers like Windows Live Messenger or AOL.
Find out more by reading our article phone calls for free.
15. Financial help
Just compare all the best financial products on our comparison pages and make sure you switch to the best credit cards, insurance policies, utility bills and bank accounts.
Also don’t forget to sign up to our free newsletter. We send an email once a week to thousands of people full of money-making and money-saving tips plus a whole host of bargains and freebies. You’ll also receive a FREE eBook on how to make £80 in an hour. Sign up now!