It’s January, the month where most of us are left with empty purses following the festive season.
But vowing to watch your spending doesn’t mean you have to eat beans on toast and stay in for the next three months. Here’s some easy ways to save money and start 2015 on a high.
1 Start collecting loose change in a money box and count it up at the end of each month. Save the spare cash for a rainy day, treat yourself to something small or use the money for Christmas shopping at the end of the year.
2 Plan the week’s meals and make a list of the ingredients you need. Use price comparison sites such as mysupermarket.com to source the cheapest ingredients and buy only what you need.
3 Bulk buying products when they’re on offer can save money on future shops. If you have the storage space buy meat, fish and vegetables and freeze them.
4 Whether you’re buying a new phone, switching bank accounts or changing energy provider, never opt for the first deal you see. Many companies offer freebies or discounts or match prices of competitive companies so it’s worth shopping around.
5 Buying coffee each day can easily add up to £50 a month. Invest in a flask and take your own tea or coffee to work.
6 Contracts can often deliver large and unexpected bills. Check your internet and mobile phone usage, pay as you go may work out cheaper for you. Most gyms now offer pay as you go memberships, meaning you are not tied in to annual contracts.
7 Have a clear-out and get rid of your unwanted items. Sell gadgets, CDs and DVDs on sites such as musicmagpie.com or webuy.com, and anything else on eBay and Amazon.
Car boot sales are another great way to earn some extra cash.
8 Many sites offer discount for simply signing up to their newsletter and will email you about future deals. Visit moneysavingexpert.com or My Voucher Codes for discount vouchers and download smartphone apps such as Vouchercloud, Spendometer and Checkoutsmart for discounts and helpful money-saving tips.
9 Limit waste by arranging groceries in order of use by date. Make use of food past its best – over ripe bananas are perfect for baking banana bread or making smoothies.
Swap unwanted shoes and clothes with friends, or start a film and book exchange at work.
10 The library offers much more than just books. You can rent cheap DVDs and games, and access the internet and printing facilities for a small fee. Libraries also offer fun activities and free social groups so it’s worth checking out if you are looking for something to do on a budget.