Monday 29 April 2013

30 Ways to save £1

To mark the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin next month, Money Supermarket have launched a competition to find as many ways as possible to save money.  OK, so this makes me feel incredibly old because I remember getting crisp £1 notes for pocket money, but still, it seems a great idea for sharing tips.

Please note, in the spirit of frugality, some of the links and suggested products below are affiliate links, which means I may earn some pennies as a referral fee if you purchase/sign up.

Here are 30 of mine:

Cashback sites.  Everyone knows that cashback sites offer money back on online purchases, but some of them now offer much more.

1. If you have a smart phone, download the Topcashback app (affiliate link).  This allows you to register debit or credit cards and gain cashback in store now too as well as internet purchases.

2. The Topcashback app also has a nifty feature called 'snap and save'.  Its worth checking the featured products when doing your grocery shop.  If you purchase any of them, simply take a photo on your phone of your receipt and submit it, you'll be rewarded with anything from 10p to £2 back.

3. Quidco (affiliate link) is another one you should get on your phone.  It has a great 'check-in' feature which works with GPS to allow you to earn money when visiting shops.  you don't even have to make a purchase, just click a button on your phone.  Typically you earn between 10-20p per shop, but if you're mooching around town you can easily clock up a couple of pounds per day.  Quidco also offer cashback on in store purchases if you register a card, and a 'clicksnap' feature similar to Topcashback's.

4. Vouchercloud is another useful app to have on your phone. Again, using GPS it will find money-off vouchers for nearby shops, attractions and restaurants for you.

Grocery Shopping.

5. Try and make use of the handheld self scanning machines as you do your in store shop.  It helps you easily keep track of how much you've spend and keep to a budget.

6. Look for downloadable and printable vouchers before you go shopping on products you're likely to buy.  Supersavvymeyme is a good site for personal hygiene and cleaning product offers.  Other coupon sites include My Savings  and of course, Money Supermarket.

7. Work out when your local supermarket discounts fresh items - usually this is on a Sunday afternoon.  It's a great time to go shopping and take advantage of reduced-to-clear items.

8. Sign up to supermarket loyalty schemes.  Each year I manage to do my Christmas food shop using Clubcard and Nectar points I've saved over the year.

9. Follow these instructions to see if you have any 'missing' Tesco clubcard vouchers.  You can ask for them to be re-sent or use the codes to exchange them online.


10. Get into the habit of batch baking on a Sunday afternoon for lunchbox fillers for the week. Cereal bars, bakes and snacks are so expensive and you're paying a premium for the individual wrappers.  A batch of fruit buns or flapjack takes next to no time to make, will keep the kid's lunchboxes filled and cost a fraction of the price.  It's really useful too if you have allergies in the family as you know exactly what's going into them.

11. On a similar note, instead of individual dried fruit packs, invest in some small plastic tubs and use dried fruit from the baking section for a fraction of the price.  Also make up individual jellies and decant yoghurt from home will save you money.

12. When cooking meals that need a lot of oven time, like casseroles, lasagne, pies etc, I always double up to save on fuel.  Cooking two and popping one in the freezer for a later date, saves on cooking time, and means you have a home-cooked meal handy which just needs de-frosting and re-heating.

13. Learn to forage! You don't have to go full-on and live of nettles to be able to enjoy the fruits of nature.  Make like your grandparents and pick the blackberries in the hedgerows.  Check out the amazing interactive map on the Fruit City website and find fruit trees growing near you.  There are a host of community orchards and herb gardens springing up where you can help yourself for free.  Find out what's in your local area.

14. Grow your own.  Again, you don't need to have a whole allotment plot to enjoy homegrown fruit and veg.  A windowsill or some patio pots can still provide salad and tomatoes for the family.

15.  If you are planning on growing your own, join a seed swap scheme to save money.  This could be informally with friends and family, or an organised one - go Google your local area.  Saving seeds from previous year's crops is also a great way to save money.


16. PLEASE don't waste money and resources on bottled water.  Many investigations have shown expensive bottled water has no more benefit than tap water.  Re-use an old plastic water bottle or invest in a water bottle that you can refill, such as these from Sigg which will also keep it cool on a hot summer's day.

17. On a similar theme, buying coffee while out is so expensive.  The mark-up on a cup of coffee in a High Street chain is around 300%, so instead of boosting their obscene profits further, take a flask out an about with you.  No longer the preserve of little old couples on day trips, flasks are hip again, and rather than getting sniggered at, I often get complimented when on the train both for my canny money-saving and my pretty flask.  Check out some of my favourite designs.

18. I can't talk about drink without mentioning alcohol!  I've recently tried out making my own wine, and this little venture is going to save me lots of money.  The kits are great for starting out, and will give a reliable finish, but then you can get more experimental and save even more money by using foraged fruits and herbs in your beer or wine making.

19.  Cheap supermarket vodka and gin can be made infinitely more drinkable by infusing with fruits or spices, and also make a lovely Christmas gift.  Check out these great recipes for Limoncello , Spiced Vodka and Sloe Gin.


20.  It seems so obvious, but join your local library to save yourself a fortune.  Brand new books are so expensive, so borrow them for free and have an ever-changing book shelf.  Many libraries now also loan games, music and DVDs.

21.  Seek out your local toy library.  Many are run by Sure Start Centres of local family centres, but a quick internet search should find you one nearby.  There you will be able to borrow toys and baby equipment for free or a nominal charge.

22.  Many kids enjoy craft activities, but the supplies can be expensive.  Encourage them to use natural materials and things found around the home.  We have a junk modelling bag where we store up loo roll tubes, boxes and bits of plastic which will be useful for making with.  Check out great blogs such as Red Ted Art which has a wealth of ideas and inspiration for free or low cost activities.

23.  Get back to nature and do more outdoor play.  The old fashioned activities such as tree-climbing; kite flying; den building; pooh sticks are all free and so much better for you than playing computer games.  There are some great blogs and resources to give you play ideas, and my favourite is Family Days - Tried and Tested.  She has some incredible ideas for outdoor play that you'll want to rush out and try.

24. Birthdays can be very expensive, and once your kids start school and get invited to parties it seems like you have to come up with a present a week.  Stock up during the sales and on BOGOFs, and keep a small stockpile of gift items ready.  I set a budget of £5 per child (30 kids in a class that's £150 a year!) Most parents seem to spend more than this in our school, but with careful shopping and buying things at good value, I can stretch my £5 to get a very decent gift.

25.  School uniform time can also be a drain on the bank account.  Check with the PTA to see if your school does a uniform sale of outgrown second-hand uniform.  If they don't, why not suggest one?


26.  Transport is another big bank account sucker.  Where we can we walk or cycle for short trips.

27. Look into car-share schemes if you drive to work.  Buddying up with someone and taking it in turn to drive, will cut your fuel cost in half and be better for the environment.  Check out sites such as Car Share or Car Pooling.

28.  If travelling by rail, try to plan your journey as far in advance as possible.  If you can travel at specified times, book a discounted fare which stipulates which train you must take.  Also remember to book through a cashback site, or use a discounted ticket site such as the Trainline.


29.  This has to be one of our biggest monthly bills.  Make sure you're regularly checking for the best deals and switch provider if they offer a better rate.  Money Supermarket and other comparison sites can help.

30.  If you have an open fire place - use it!  Get the chimney checked and swept and burn solid fuel.  A woodburner is more energy efficient than an open fire, and burning wood is considered to be 'carbon neutral'.  We often take a large bag with us on dog walks and fill it up with free wood in the form of sticks and branches we find on the ground.  We find wood in skips (careful it's not been treated with harmful chemicals before you burn it, and ask permission before taking it); are given unwanted bits from family and friends, and Freecycle is a great source for free wood to burn.

Well, that's my 30, I could go on all day, but hopefully you've found some of those useful.  If you have any that I've missed, please do let me know.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  Money Supermarket are also paying £1 per tip posted up to £30.


  1. Thanks for linking me.There are oodles of ways to save money i just think some people are either just lazy or just don't want to try.

    1. I agree Aly. It takes a little effort, but once you're in the habit it's easy isn't it. x

  2. Your explanation is the best I have seen so far

  3. What a great round up! I do a few of these, especially birthdays, Im a big believer in sales and a BOGOFF ;)
    Thank you for linking up to me too.

    1. No worries! Loved your spiced vodka and your gingerbread syrup, it was a big hit at Christmas x

  4. Oooh GREAT money saving ideas!! Thanks for the shout out!

    1. Thanks Red Ted Art, and you're very welcome x

  5. Great money saving tips. Although that fruit city thing only showed London (and I'm nowhere near London, although in the UK.) :-(
    Are there any of those type of schemes anywhere else, as I'd LOVE anything like that!

    1. Thanks Wendy. The Fruit City site are encouraging more people to plot trees in their area, so hopefully it will grow. Meantime, check out Incredible Edibles or Google Community Orchards in your area. Good luck x

  6. Thanks for that, sounds great will have a look! :-)

  7. thanks to share this step for save money with the help of voucher saving codes