Published On: Sun, Aug 16th, 2020

Money saving tips: The simple switches which shave hundreds off household bills | Personal Finance | Finance

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Be it to make money go further, reach a savings milestone, or simply to ease financial pressure until payday, there’s an array of reasons why a person may want to adopt money saving tips. While different techniques may vary in terms of preference among savers, some may perhaps want to take inspiration from tips suggested by the money saving specialists TopCashback, shared exclusively with Express.co.uk.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Adam Bullock, UK Director of TopCashback, said: “Whilst we’re not necessarily able to lower your weekly expense on package holidays(!), we are able to provide some tips and tricks that could help lower some of the other more common ‘everyday’ outgoings, to help you save money in the long run.”

So, what does Mr Bullock suggest, and how much could it potentially amount to in savings?

Transport – Average household spend = £80.20

“Obviously in present circumstances, transport costs may be lower down the scale in terms of your average outgoings,” he said.

“However, it’s useful to get clued up on apps and facts that could help you save some cash somewhere down the line, either on a commute, or on general travels.

“For train journeys, always make sure to take full advantage of any money-saving schemes offered by National Rail.

“Most people are aware of the Young Persons Railcard, but did you know about things like Groupsave, or Two Together?

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“Depending on how many people, and which lines you use, you could be eligible to save a third or more. There’s also sites such as Split My Fare, which will work out the cheapest tickets available for you.

“When it comes to travelling by car, PetrolPrices.com is a really nifty website that searches for, and compares local petrol stations to provide you with the cheapest price.

“Swapping four wheels for two has many benefits as well as saving money. If you’re employed by a company, and keen to start cycling to work, but not so keen on forking out for an expensive bike up front, speak to your HR department to check if your employer is registered with CycleScheme.co.uk.

“You could well be able to save between 25-39 percent of the cost of a new bike and spread it out over several months.”

Utility bills – Average household spend = £79.40

“The best place to start when it comes to utility bills, is to start tracking your energy usage via apps,” insisted Mr Bullock.

“The big six providers all have their own apps which can help you monitor your usage and compare it to other customers in your area.

“Another valuable money-saving feature these apps offer is free meter submission – simply take a photo on your phone and send it in. ‘Meter Readings’ is a handy alternative which also allows you to compare with other customers and providers in your area.

“If you’re in a position to switch (i.e. you won’t face penalty fees) use an accredited energy price comparison website (Ofgem has a list of these) to compare deals and maximise your savings based on what you use.

“Another great way to make a saving when switching is to do your switch via a cashback website. Sites like TopCashback are paid a commission by providers, however instead of keeping the commission they pass it back to you as cashback. It is not uncommon for those who switch energy suppliers to save £250 plus per year.”

Food and non-alcoholic drinks – Average household spend = £61.90

“In February, it was revealed that £17million worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers were unused, and due to expire,” recalled Mr Bullock.

“The moral of the story here is, if you want to make savings on food and drink, loyalty cards and coupons are your friend. Tesco Clubcard Plus, for example, offers 10 percent off two big shops in-store for a fee of £7.99 per month.

“This is just one example – it’s worth delving into what your local supermarket is offering month to month (as there are always promotions on).

“There are of course other ways to save on a weekly shop by switching to own-brand products, meal-planning, batch cooking and freezing down leftovers.

“There are tonnes of free recipes on the internet and social media (for example Miguel Barclay @OnePoundMeals) demonstrating how to cook delicious meals on a tight budget.”

Recreation and culture – Average household spend = £76.90

“It depends what you have a penchant for by way of ‘culture’, but you can guarantee there are deals to be found and savings to be made no matter what you like,” the money saving specialist said.

“If you’re a movie buff, check with any of the services you pay for or use (e.g. bank, mobile provider, insurance, magazine or newspaper subscriptions) before booking – you may already have a benefit you’ve forgotten about.

“If you are super into your museums and galleries, it might be worth purchasing a National Art Pass from ArtFund.org. Annual membership let’s you enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries, and historic places as well as 50 percent off major exhibitions.

“For book worms, Project Gutenburg has hundreds of free books available to download, Amazon run weekly deals across a whole range of genres, and obviously charity shops (when they reopen) will probably have an abundance of stock following lockdown.”

Miscellaneous goods and services (insurance) – Average household spend = £45.50

“In terms of insurance, you’re probably aware of a whole raft of comparison sites that exist to get you the best deal,” he commented.

“Make sure you pick one that is not only the best value for you or your family, but one that offers you additional incentives (ahem, cashback) too.

“Bottom line – don’t automatically auto-renew when the date comes around, do your research (including looking at cost differences between annual versus monthly – the former is usually cheaper), and be prepared to haggle.

“Remember, you are the customer – and you hold the purse strings.”



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