Great 'ways To Cut Back' Hunt

in Debt-free wannabe
859 replies 540.8K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
MoneySaving's about cutting your bills without cutting back, but sometimes it's necessary to tighten the purse strings. This can be anything and everything.

So let's use MoneySavers collective knowledge to form the greatest ever checklist of ways to cut back. If this is good, I may publish the results as an article :)

What am I looking for?

The shorter and punchier the better. No more than a sentence, better if it's just a phrase. Simple is best. This is to help those people who need to reduce their expenditure quickly and easily. The less pain the better.

My Starters

1. Cancel unused TV channels

2. Grow your own fruit and veg

3. Use Govt MOT test centres (they've no vested interest in prescribing repairs for your car)

4. Take a packed lunch to work (the MoneySaving equivalent of 'cuddly toy, cuddly toy')

5. Use energy saving light bulbs

6. Close the fridge door quickly

7. Don't leave electrical goods on standby

8. Take out a magazine subscription if you buy a mag each month anyway
(or better still get 3 for £1, plus, sometimes, free gifts)

9. Quit Smoking

10. Walk/cycle instead of using the car for short distances

11. Try camping for your holiday

12. Use rechargeable batteries

13. Use empty coke/water bottles as dumbells

14. Start a compost heap

15. Use a combination of stages for rail tickets rather than a full single ticket

16. Try for student night haircuts at top salons.


PS. Please don't start discussions on this topic in the thread. It's only for suggestions, it'd be great to keep it pure and on topic - that'd help a lot more people.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • Jacster_2Jacster_2 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Check for cheapest local petrol/diesel here
    If it was easy, everyone would do it!
  • chocomonstachocomonsta Forumite
    487 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Try out Aldi, Netto or Lidl for a cheaper weekly food shop :D
  • buy what you can on your local market :D
  • Never carry cash in your wallet.
    Giving up is easy...... just keep on trying!
  • nearlyrichnearlyrich Forumite
    13.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Hung up my suit! Mortgage-free Glee!
    Try your local market for fresher, cheaper meat fish eggs and veg then your regular supermarket.
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
  • Tip from an old thread. If you use a dishwasher, cut the tablets in half.I have been using this tip for 6 months now sometimes you need to use a full tablet,but not very often.
    Be ALERT - The world needs more LERTS
  • Munki_2Munki_2 Forumite
    168 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Check your local papers/free ads for gym equipment and a bike, then kit your garage out with it. Will save hundreds a year in gym memberships.
    Nice to save.
  • Smiley_MumSmiley_Mum Forumite
    3.8K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Set to be your homepage, that way you don't miss out on any moneysaving tips.:money:

    Check out your local college for cut price beauty treatments, waxing, haircuts etc etc. A fraction of the price. If you prefer someone more experienced when it comes to haircuts then you can always get eyebrow waxing, pedicures, legs waxed, manicures, etc for a fraction of what you'd pay in a city centre salon.

    Buy cheap 15p a bottle coca cola to flush down your loo to keep it sparkling clean. Just pour in a cans worth at night and the acid in the coke will clean up your loo overnight, flush the toilet in the morning and it's all clean. Saves a fortune on toilet cleaners.

    Cheap transport with the Postbus Scheme in rural areas. See this link for details:-

    Car pool for travelling to work, so you can save on fuel costs, ask around the office to see who else travels in from your area. Take it in turns week about or something like to save.

    There is this link about Car clubs to do with effective company car use -

    Or this one which although of American origin may be of some use -

    If you are a single parent with little support contact your Health Visitor about Sure Start. If there is a Sure Start support group in your area you need to be referred, and your Health Visitor would be able to do this. They give a lot of support and also provide days out now and again too for a nominal fee. May also be able to help with clothing too for kids. See this link for details -

    Check out your local community centre, it may have a subsidised/cut price cafe which will charge a lot less than certain American coffee chains.

    Check out your local library, so long as you are a member you may get cut price or free internet access. You usually get on for half an hour but if it is quiet you may get on for up to an hour or more free!!! Granted certain sites will be blocked but you'll still be able to access

    If you are good at sewing (but not always necessary), check out the slight seconds rails in Marks & Spencer. There can be some quite nice things to be found and sometimes they just need a run through the wash and they are fine or are missing packaging or something.

    Be friendly to the store staff, if you get chatty with the staff, some of them are quite good when it comes to sale stuff. Give them details of and The Money Diet too, if they save then they are more likely to help you out. If you see something that you have your eye on, then they may set it aside for you.;)

    If you are 26 or under, I think there is what's known as a Young Scot card which allows discounts in loads of places. Also, if you go abroad it can be used to get considerable discounts on train travel etc. Check out this link -

    There should be a similar scheme for England and Wales also but not sure what it's called.

    Holiday time is when the big movies come out for the kids and the expense of going comes about. If you have an Orange mobile then text 'film' to 241 and you will get a code that enables 2 for the price of 1 on Wednesdays. Buy in your munchies for the movie prior to arrival at the cinema to save some more too.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • Munki_2Munki_2 Forumite
    168 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Have nights in and invite your friends/family round instead of going down the pub. Encourage them all to do the same. Have quiz nights, watch the football matches... all at each others houses (perhaps make a rota?) Then rather than lining the pubs pockets, you go to the local cash n carry and buy alcohol in volume.
    Nice to save.
  • Munki_2Munki_2 Forumite
    168 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Rather than spend lots on a holiday and as a more 'luxurious' version of camping, why not try house swapping?

    See for an idea of what it's all about.
    Nice to save.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

The 'Ask An Expert' event

Last week's energy Q&A with MSE experts

MSE Forum

Ninja Kitchen air fryer & grill £175

Normally £250. Excl Northern Ireland

MSE Deals