If you’ve got a baby and a new business you need every spare penny.
You could look at every single purchase you make and try to get it cheaper, but this takes time and all that penny pinching can get depressing. Why not be smart with your time and your money by finding ways of saving the most money in the least time?
1. Change tariff and save a wad of cash
I just found out we could save £25 a month on our gas and electricity by switching to a different tariff without changing my supplier. It took me about 3 minutes on the web to find that out, I can’t believe I didn’t do it months ago.
Money saved: £300 per year
Time taken: 3 minutes
2. Insurance just got more interesting
When your house or car insurance is up for renewal, phone up the insurance company and ask if you can get a better deal. I’ve saved £100 off our house insurance twice in the last two years, again without moving companies. It’s far easier for an insurance company to retain you than it is to get a new customer to replace you. So they’ll usually give you a discount if you ask nicely.
You’ll probably save a bit more by going to a price comparison website, but if you’re pushed for time this is a great alternative.
Money saved: £100 per year
Time taken: 3 minutes
3. Don’t forget the loyalty card
I used to think that loyalty cards were a waste of time, but it really does all add up. Despite being on a fairly tight budget (going on maternity leave twice in two years does that to you), we still make about £150 per year on loyalty cards, almost all of our points come from the basics like toiletries and the weekly food shop.
Money saved: £150 per year
Time taken: about 3 seconds longer at the till
4. Get a credit card to suit your spending style
If you’ve got an outstanding balance, get the lowest interest rate you can. If you pay off your credit card balance every month, get a card that pays you points or cashback when you use it. We do both – we have a low interest card with an interest free period for our outstanding balance and a points card that we pay off every month. You need a bit of self-discipline to do this, though.
Money saved: anywhere from £50 per year if you use a points card to £100s if you lower your interest rate
Time taken: 10 minutes to apply for a new credit card
5. Cook like you’re takeaway
We used to grab takeaways on a regular basis because we were tired and lazy. I don’t mind the occasional takeaway if we’ve got a burning desire for a decent curry, but if it’s down to laziness, it can be an expensive habit.
Why do you get takeaways?
If it’s because you’re hungry and the fridge is empty, try cooking a double portion and freezing ahead for a day when you’ve not got time to shop or cook. Cooking double takes the same time as cooking a single portion.
If you love the food, see if you can get a cheaper but quick alternative. You can throw together a chinese dish in minutes using a pack of pre-prepared vegetables, a pack of pre-sliced chicken, a jar of stir fry sauce and some dried noodles. If pizza is your thing, you can keep pizza bases in your freezer (find them in the supermarket with the chilled pizza), plus grated mozzarella, pepperoni and a jar of passata. Much cheaper, takes minutes to prepare, tastes good and it’s healthier too.
Money saved: £15 per week on a takeaway = £780 per year
Time taken: if you’ve planned ahead, this is actually faster than going out for a takeaway
6. Go for supermarket own brands
You won’t even notice the difference. And if you do, switch back to the non-own brand for just that item.
Money saved: £15 per weekly grocery shop = £780 per year
Time taken: 0 minutes
Do you have any tips that save money in minutes? Drop me a comment!