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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 22nd Apr 05, 2:41 PM
    • 8,116Posts
    • 42,310Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Great 'ways To Cut Back' Hunt
    • #1
    • 22nd Apr 05, 2:41 PM
    Great 'ways To Cut Back' Hunt 22nd Apr 05 at 2:41 PM
    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.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 22-04-2005 at 2:56 PM.
    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
Page 1
  • Jacster
    • #2
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:00 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:00 PM
    Check for cheapest local petrol/diesel here
    • chocomonsta
    • By chocomonsta 22nd Apr 05, 3:20 PM
    • 483 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    • #3
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:20 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:20 PM
    Try out Aldi, Netto or Lidl for a cheaper weekly food shop
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 03-05-2005 at 9:47 AM.
  • Turning_into_scrooge
    • #4
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:25 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:25 PM
    buy what you can on your local market
  • robindunne1
    • #5
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:26 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:26 PM
    Never carry cash in your wallet.
    Giving up is easy...... just keep on trying!
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 22nd Apr 05, 3:27 PM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    • #6
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:27 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:27 PM
    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]
    • #7
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:31 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:31 PM
    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
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:49 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:49 PM
    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_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 22nd Apr 05, 3:57 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
    • 2,914 Thanks
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:57 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 05, 3:57 PM
    Set to be your homepage, that way you don't miss out on any moneysaving tips.

    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.
    Last edited by Smiley_Mum; 22-04-2005 at 4:49 PM.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • Munki
    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
    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.
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 04-05-2005 at 11:34 AM.
    Nice to save.
    • Murtle
    • By Murtle 22nd Apr 05, 4:07 PM
    • 4,024 Posts
    • 2,576 Thanks
    Don't believe the packets when they tell you to use x quantity of product - trial and error till you get what's right for you - applies to shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, washing powder, dishwasher powder etc

    If the oven is on, use it well. Cook multiple meals/cakes and freeze them.

    Don't have the heating on and the windows open

    Use electricity when it's at it's cheapest (night rate) (if on economy7)

    Make sure your economy 7 is working properly!

    If purchasing a want to have item - thing about it for a couple of days first.

    Use a sponge/ buff puff in the shower, to reduce the amount of shower gel required.

    Borrow rather then buy
    Last edited by Murtle; 22-04-2005 at 7:01 PM.
  • Munki
    Use your local library for internet access. Most (if not all by now) have free internet access. Free email is available through places like Google, Yahoo, Hotmail etc. They are all web accessible, so you can access it from any internet connection as the emails are stored on a server independent of the computer. Ideal for low use users and those who travel lots. Plus it's free.
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 03-05-2005 at 9:55 AM.
    Nice to save.
  • Justin_Credit
    When making tea or coffee, only fill the kettle with the amount of water required.
  • Munki
    If distance/time is a problem that prevents you from cycling to/from work, consider car sharing. Ask your workplace to set up a car sharing scheme where people who are interested can get involved. Alternatively if this is a problem, perhaps consider getting your CBT and buying a cheap moped/scooter. They are cheap to run, insure and tax and will save hundreds over owning a car.
    Nice to save.
  • Munki
    Never buy all your groceries in the same supermarket. You will almost certainly be overspending on certain items. Where possible buy your veg at your local market (or as Martin says, grow it yourself). Buy meats at your local butcher or farmers market. Try shopping late at night, midweek, at various supermarkets to gauge when they have more reduced items.
    Nice to save.
    • Smiley_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 22nd Apr 05, 5:00 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
    • 2,914 Thanks
    Stop using credit cards for a while and spend cash. It is a lot harder to spend when you see your cash going over the counter rather than a piece of plastic.

    Cut out snacks between meals, crisps/sweets/biscuits etc. You will save, be healthier and lose weight. Encourage kids to drink water instead of fizzy drinks, better for you and saves a fortune.

    Check out your library for information on the local toy lending library. You can get toys on loan for two weeks at a time I think. Check out this link for information on the scheme -

    If you have several bank accounts etc, make sure that you are getting the most for your money by re-evaluating your accounts every so often.

    For Scots, if you are considering doing any energy saving works on your home, are on certain benefits and/or are sixty or over you may be entitled to a grant of up to £500 towards the cost.

    Check out this link for further details -

    I have never been to one but there are auctions of goods recovered by police that take place all over the country. May be worth checking out for a bargain. Here is a link for one that takes place in Strathclyde, Scotland.
    Last edited by Smiley_Mum; 22-04-2005 at 5:24 PM.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
    • Patr100
    • By Patr100 22nd Apr 05, 5:04 PM
    • 1,442 Posts
    • 718 Thanks
    !. Don't spend a fortune on barbers if all that's needed is a simple trim or short back and sides.
    Buy some clippers and sharp scissors and cut your own hair or your family/friends

    2. Don't "rinse and repeat" when shampooing your hair. One application is enough.
    Last edited by Patr100; 22-04-2005 at 5:09 PM.
    ---I Shop Therefore I Am ---
    • Kimberley
    • By Kimberley 22nd Apr 05, 5:07 PM
    • 13,401 Posts
    • 20,357 Thanks
    Shop at charity shops for your clothes. I have bought some designer clothes from them. They receive clothes that are slightly faulty from top name stores that they can't sell themselves, this also goes for kids clothes. Some things in charity shops are good quality stuff and it don't hurt your pocket
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 22nd Apr 05, 5:17 PM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks
    I know it sounds silly but...


    Live off your fridge, freezer, and pantry. No shopping - no impulse buys.

    Only good for the short term, but a good crash money diet.
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = £5.20 Apr £0.50
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