25 more great ways you can save money
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter @kellythekiwi)
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These days there’s a lot of pressure to save money and it can be hard to enjoy living in London while sticking to a budget. Luckily, I am here to help. Here is the second 25 of my money saving tips. If you missed the first part you can read it here.
#26 Save your pennies…
All those shiny copper pennies in your pocket should be looked after as they will add up into pounds. Get yourself a money box and put them in their, or put them towards your shopping when you’re using the self-service tills.
#27 Hire a dress instead of buying one
If you have a special event coming up and need something new to wear why not hire an outfit rather than buying a dress you’ll only wear once. Girl Meets Dress have a huge collection of designer dresses that you can hire for as little as £29.
#28 Get your hair cut by a student
There are hair salons and colleges all over London who are looking for models to practice on. Normally you can get your hair cut for free and just pay a small fee if you’re having any colour done.
#29 Book your beauty appointments using a voucher website
#30 Scour the freebie pages or buy second hand
If you’re looking to refurnish your flat or have decided to bike to work then how about getting your items second hand. You can get some great quality cheap items on sites like eBay or Gumtree. If you’re really after a bargain why not scour the pages of Freecycle or Freegle? People are always posting items they don’t want anymore and as long as you can collect it, it’s free!
#31 Stop paying for a yearly gym membership
If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to going to the gym or not then opt for one that is pay-as-you-go. There are about 2300 gyms throughout the UK who have signed up with payasugym.com which lets you buy daily, monthly or unlimited gym passes without a contract. You can also use a free gym pass or The Great Outdoors Gym (TGO).
#32 Don’t pay to exercise at all
Go for a walk/run or attend a free fitness class popping up all over London.
#33 Save money on your NHS prescriptions
If you need more than 12 prescriptions per year then you could save money by purchasing Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC). You can get one for 3 months or save even more with a 12 month PPC. You could save over £90 per year if you take 2 prescriptions a month.
#34 Ditch the cigarettes
Not only is smoking bad for your health but buying cigarettes is super expensive. There is a lot of free help and support out there for people who are trying to quit so now is a good time to do it. If you sign up for your local NHS Stop Smoking Service then you can access all different kinds of stop smoking medication for only the cost of the prescription.
#35 Borrow books instead of buying them
If you’re a bit of a bookworm make use of your local library. There’s a huge range on offer and it’s free to sign up and borrow books. If you’ve got books that you want to swap you could also sign up with the website ReadItSwapIt. If you must own a book then look around your local charity shops or buy from Amazon. Check out our guide to book swapping.
#36 Get cheap cinema tickets
I used to love Orange Wednesdays but now that EE has stopped doing the 2 for 1 cinema tickets it’s a bit trickier to get cheap cinema. If you sign up for Vue Cinema’s Super Tuesday then you can get 1/3 off an adult ticket by showing your member number. Alternatively, Odeon has Bargain Mondays where tickets are about £6. For more ideas have a read of my post on cheap cinema in London or head to one of these cinemas.
#37 Go to free events happening in your area
We are very lucky in London that there are a load of free events happening every week. Keep an eye out on the Broke in London to find out what our top 10 free events are every month. Check out our free events category.
#38 Make the most of London’s free museums, galleries and outdoor spaces
Whether you like modern art, picnics in the park or playing with the dinosaurs, most of London’s major galleries and museums are free. The parks are also great places to be in the summer with free film festivals and events happening all the time.
#39 Shop online and get cashback
Websites like Top CashBack and Quidco offer you cashback on purchases that you make through their site. It is just like regular online shopping except you browse the high street sites via the cashback one. They get paid a commission for referring you and you receive a percentage of it into your bank account.
#40 Buy your decorations as soon as the celebrations are over
You may not want to think about next Christmas while you’re still recovering from the last one but this is the best time to buy your decorations. Wrapping paper, baubles and greeting cards will all on a clearance sale. The same goes for Easter, Valentine’s Day and any other annual celebration.
#41 Watch out for special offers
Special offers can be a great way to save money but they can also make you spend more. Make sure you work out whether the 2 for 1 or 3 for 2 deal is a good one and that you couldn’t get the product for a better price elsewhere.
#42 Haggle for a better price
Haggling is not just for the markets of Marrakech or Istanbul – if you catch the right person at the right time in one of the high street stores then you might be able to haggle a better price out of them. Some of the best items are those that have been on sale recently, products that are out of season (BBQs in winter for example) or if it’s the last product on the shelf.
#43 Hit the charity shops
Charity shops are great places to get a bargain and if you hit the charity shops in areas like Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill you might pick up some designer clothes for a fraction of the retail price.Pic: moneygap.com
#44 Ask for a discount if you’re entitled to one
If you’re a student with an NUS card or you work for the NHS then there are lots of discounts that you could be entitled to. This could include high street retailers, holidays and tourist attractions.
#45 Say no to 0870
#46 Fly with airlines that have a price promise guarantee
If you’re going on holiday you want to know that you’ve got the best price flights. Easyjet offers a best price guarantee where if you book your flight then the prices go down they will refund you the difference. British Airways also guarantees that if you book directly with them then find the flight cheaper on another website you will get the difference back. Don’t forget to check out our budget travelling category for more budget travelling sites and tips.
#47 Don’t automatically renew your travel insurance
If you have annual travel insurance that is coming to an end have a look at when you will be taking your next holiday. You may want to wait and just take single trip insurance, or just delay the start of your annual policy.
#48 Leave your debit/credit cards at home
If you’re working towards a budget then you should know how much you can spend on each outing. Instead of taking your cards with you (making it easy to overspend), withdraw the cash that you can afford to spend. When the money is gone, it’s gone.
#49 Have a No Spend Day
Try to plan a few No Spend Days each month. You will need to be prepared though – plan your meals, take a packed lunch, visit the free attractions. These will help stretch your budget a little bit further.
#50 Make money
One of the best ways to save money is by making extra money. You can do this in your spare time by filling in online surveys through websites like Mysurvey, Toluna and Valued Opinions, selling your unwanted clothes and household goods on eBay or getting paid to do something you just happen to be good at like writing, photography or hairdressing. Find out 10 great ways to make money online.
For more tips and advice on how to save money read our post about top money saving websites.
You may also want to check out our essential guide to budget living in London.