Cheap life tips seem to make a lot of sacrifices. That is not true! But it may be more necessary.
As a nation we are largely and largely beyond our budgets. One-third of all Britons spent more than they earned in April 2019. If you have bad spending habits that can lead you into a deep hole of debt and cause complex financial problems. Taking the most affordable approach in terms of cost and your finances can save thousands!
Cheap life sometimes comes with negative meanings, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss things. Instead, it is an attempt to make more prudent and informed choices in your daily expenses to reduce unnecessary expenses and save money in the long run. Living very frugally can reduce your monthly expenses by at least a third, so we have put together 15 tips to guide you towards a frugal lifestyle.
1. Vacations at Home
Instead of flying, vacation at home this year to keep costs low. The UK has beautiful countryside where you can explore the outdoors by camping or traveling, while maintaining a sense of adventure without breaking the bank, taking a break from the norm. If the countryside is not your thing you can take the city break instead. Go to popular destinations like London, Manchester or Edinburgh for a cheap trip away for a weekend away.
Read different sort of articles for more ideas on how to have a cheap vacation in the UK.
You could also save a great deal on your vacation by changing houses. Stay at someone else’s house during the holidays and have them stay with you. This does not apply to everyone, but when you have accommodation and facilities not provided by hotels while you are staying, you have free accommodation around the world.
2. Purchasing in Bulk
A bargaining chip should not motivate you to buy things unnecessarily, as buying non-perishable items will actually save you money in the long run. When everyday items like toilet paper, toothpaste, pasta or tin cans are discounted, it is not a bad idea to take some on the store shelf.
Check out the supermarket tips to help you become an avid shopper.
3. Renewal of Insurance
Don’t automatically renew your insurance policy without shopping first, as the chances of finding a better deal are very high. Insurance is a very competitive business and unfortunately your loyalty has nothing to do with insurers.
Shop using the comparison tool to find the best quotes. Take such cheap quotes back to your current provider – they are more likely to retain your preference or offer a lower rate.
4. Try to Keep your Utility Bills Low
Don’t spend more money than you spend on bills! First, make sure you get a good rate. Switching suppliers through the Energy Helpline is easy and free. You can also look at changing introductory contracts. For example, Pulp offers loans ranging from £20 to £80 for existing customers and the person they sign up for. The rate will vary depending on the seasonal ads, so keep an eye out for good rates.
You can save up-to £50 a year by releasing equipment instead of waiting.
Fix them as soon as you see the drops – one drop a year will cost you an extra £80 on your water bill. You can also see the water meter being installed if you are single or in a pair. It is not only inexpensive for large properties or families, but also saves a fortune for individuals!
Being one of the 4.7 million people in the UK will leave the lights on overnight, costing you an extra £241.15 per year. If you want to keep outdoor light on try a solar-powered lamps. It uses free electricity and changes when in motion – so you can always find your way to the door.
Make sure your home is properly insulated. This not only drastically reduces energy bills during the winter months, but also helps dissipate heat in the summer. Low-income homeowners may be eligible for boiler subsidies and backup grants, which will also help improve their home’s energy efficiency.
5. Cut Down on Food Waste and Do Planning
Surprisingly, we throw away an average of 6.6 million tons of household food each year in the UK. Instead of scraps and scraps, use this with new reasons to get creative in the kitchen. The BBC provides plenty of inspiration to launch the ingredients needed to use 25 Ways of Good Food.
One of the best ways to reduce waste is to plan ahead. Check what you have already done and plan the meal your meals a week ahead. Get post-it notes and write what you want before you go shopping, then make sure you only buy whats on your list, avoid picking up extra treats and of course don’t go to the shops starving.
If you can, go to the shops later. It usually has more items reduced, which means you can use or disable it immediately.
Read on for more ideas on saving money on food shopping.
6. Go Vegetarian
The most expensive parts of a grocery store are meat and milk. Reducing how much you consume or cutting them out entirely will save hundreds each year. Whether you start by eating two vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals each week, or whether you eliminate meat dishes in bulk with beans and legumes, you will notice a difference in your bank account. These foods don’t have to be boring – there are plenty of cooking tips and inspirations to get you started.
You do not have to cut out all the meat and milk from your diet – but even two vegetable days a week will reduce your monthly food expenses.
Use vegetables and legumes to eliminate bulk of meat-based foods. It is easy to double the recipe by adding some lentils, potatoes or kidney beans. They are filling, healthy, and you can make extra portions to freeze later.
7. Try to Grow your Own
Switching to a vegetable based diet is even cheaper when it comes to your own products! Growing your own produce can be a simple way to store groceries and at the same time become a fun hobby. You do not need much to get started – just some seeds, soil and basic horticultural tools. Enough even if you are limited in growing fresh herbs and small vegetables like chilies, tomatoes and peppers. If you only have one balcony or windows, you can still grow your own!
If you have a large garden or unused space, why not rent it as an allotment to earn extra money.
8. Homemade Wine and Dine
Serve overnight with friends and family instead! They all come together and come up with an item that everyone can share to spread the cost. Not only will it be much cheaper than a night out, but you will also have a great meal and drink to enjoy together.
A pot of luck that everyone brings to a dish can be a lot of fun. Alternatively, each will become a host once a month. Foods like curry and shells are so cheap to make in bulk, and they will always be a treat!
9. Create your Own Refining Products
If you are tired of the hard-earned money to spend on cleaning products, why not create your own instead? It’s really easy, and they often use products like bicarbonate soda, white vinegar and lemon in your closet, so there’s no need to spend anything!
Read different guides on old school cleaning tips that will save you hundreds.
10. Do your Own Beautiful Treatments
Instead of talking about expensive beauty products and treatments, make your own at home from natural ingredients. They are easy to make and you don’t need any fancy utensils – you can already find items like sugars and salts, oil, honey and yogurt in your kitchen.
If you want to make the most of an event, invite a few friends to create body scrubs and masks together for an evening and enjoy the benefits of a spa day without deviating from the cost.
Looking for more ideas? Find out how to make and save money by making your own beauty accessories and save money with Home Spa Day.
11. Purchase Second Hand
Buying a second hand is good for the planet and your wallet. Trusts are always worth browsing, especially if the rich usually have a large quantity of goods, and you have a better chance of finding a great deal. This is a great way to hone your creative skills: Pick up some DLC required fabrics and make them your own with embroidery, patches or total redesign!
You can find items starting at £1 at Oxfam’s online fashion store, making it the perfect place for you to shop online. In addition, you will receive an additional bonus for knowing that each purchase will be donated to the charity at the same time.
Most people tend to sell their second hand products and it is worth traveling through eBay to see what you can find as there are plenty of gems to be found. Also check out Next door, Gumtree and local Facebook groups – you can even find people giving away good stuff for free.
12. Reduce Car Costs
If you live near colleagues or other families who attend the same school or clubs, approach them and ask if they are interested in sharing the elevator. This is an easy way to reduce fuel costs instantly and no doubt you will be glad and grateful to be contacted by anyone you ask.
Another great way to reduce car costs is to focus on how you can drive the vehicle and try to make it as economical as possible – this is called Hypermiling. Learn more about this in the tips to save money for your car this summer.
Think about whether you really need a car. If you only use it once a few weeks, you may need to replace it with a car rental club such as Enterprise Club or Zip car. You will save hundreds (not thousands) on insurance, taxes, MOT and repair costs!
13. Use Loyalty Plans and Vouchers
If you regularly use a particular supermarket, make sure you sign up for their loyalty program so you can collect discount points on future purchases. With Tesco Club card and Sainsbury’s Nectar Points you do not have to use the points in the store, you can keep them out for a day or use them with one of their rewarding partners instead. Using them in this way actually increases the value of points – for example 100 points equals to £1 when re-spent in the store.
Check out these cheap life tips to save extra money on big purchases like Christmas.
When shopping online, use cashback sites. You can often attach voucher codes. The most common one when you register is 10% off your first order, so it may be worth your while to set up an email address that will be used exclusively for this, so you will not clog your regular inbox. Otherwise, voucher codes are always a good place to find discounts on purchases.