25 ways we can all save those precious pennies
A new survey shows we're getting pretty inventive when it comes to being thrifty and making ends meet, as Vicky Shaw reveals
With many people feeling the squeeze from the cost of living, looking for ways to save cash here and there can really help - and, according to a new survey, we're finding ever more creative ways to do this.
Carphone Warehouse quizzed more than 5,000 people about the lengths they go to to save some precious pennies. Here is a selection of some of the weird and wonderful ways people say they are saving cash...
1. Taking your own bags to the supermarket (70%). A great way to save forking out, as well as doing your bit for recycling.
2. Making the most of reward cards (65%). Building up loyalty points can help you save money at your favourite stores.
3. Coupon collecting (54%). Keeping your coupons organised will reduce the chances of you forgetting when you make a shopping trip.
4. Taking a packed lunch into work (53%). A good way to make tasty savings.
5. Wearing extra clothes instead of turning on the heating (47%).
6. Sewing ripped or worn clothes to make them last longer (31%). It helps to be handy with a needle and thread for this money saving trick.
7. Re-wrapping gifts you have received to give to other people (31%). While this may give unwanted goods a new purpose, you may run the risk of offending the original gift-giver.
8. Shopping from bargain bins (25%). Getting to know the time of day your local supermarket makes markdowns, and keeping an eye on social media and emails for alerts about stores' upcoming sales could help to save a fortune.
9. Not flushing the toilet every time (25%). You may want to come to an agreement with any fellow housemates about this first.
10. Becoming your own hairdresser to give yourself a DIY haircut (23%). Just be careful you don't end up needing to fork out for someone to put your 'on-trend' new hairdo right.
11. Growing your own food (23%). A healthy and very rewarding money-saving option.
12. Buying clothes from charity shops (22%). You can grab a one-off bargain and put money towards good causes at the same time.
13. Only drinking tap water when eating out (20%). One in five people thirsty to make some savings have tried this one out.
14. Charging your phone or laptop at work (20%). One in five say they have tried out this one - but it's wise to check with the boss first or risk getting into trouble at work. Plus your colleagues may not take to kindly to tripping over a mass of wires plugged in at your desk.
15. Sharing bath water (13%). How appealing this is to some people may rather depend on who you're sharing with.
16. Stockpiling free condiments from restaurants (11%).
17. Eating at a friend or relative's house (8%). This could save you cash but at someone else's expense. If you start turning up to a loved one's house with a knife and fork and a napkin tied round your neck it could be a fast way to ruin a friendship.
18. Brewing your own beer or wine (7%). If you love a tipple and you have the space, this could be a good option.
19. Searching for discount codes online (7%). A quick win to get instant money off an internet purchase.
20. Watering down drinks such as juice or milk (7%).
21. Buying books second-hand (7%).
22. Negotiating utility contracts one month before renewal (5%).
23. Asking shop assistants for discounts on damaged goods (4%). Good negotiation skills can go a long way when it comes to saving money.
24. Using a cash back card for in-store purchases (4%). Money earned from cashback can soon add up.
25. Watching TV with the lights off (2%).