Stress-free savings are the kind you can make every day, that won't force you to cut back on the things you need or impact your quality of life. They’re simple to incorporate and can make a big difference over time.
1. Ditch the takeaway drinks
A medium cappuccino in Costa will set you back £3.30. It probably doesn't seem like much at the time, but if you had five a week, that's a total of £16.50. You can easily save this money by investing in a reusable cup and taking your coffee from home.
You can also help save the planet (as well as the pennies) by buying a reusable water bottle too. It's easy to stay hydrated throughout the day with tap water, and some bottles have markings on them so you can keep track of how much you’re drinking.
2. Pack a lunch
As with drinks, you can save a lot of money by making your lunch at home and taking it to work with you. If you spend £5 a day on food during the work week, that's £25 that could go into your savings account instead. You could try batch cooking and taking the leftovers into work with you. If you're worried about variety and taste, try some of the BBC Good Food's lunchbox ideas.
3. Swap takeaways for fakeaways
Have a go at making your favourite takeaway dishes at home. It’s something the whole family can get involved with, and you’ll know exactly what's gone into each dish. No more waiting around for late food delivery, and you get to save money too.
4. Shop smarter
We’ve all come out of the supermarket with more than we went in for, so follow these smart tips.
- Avoid overspending by making a list before you go.
- Don't go supermarket shopping when you're hungry - you're more likely to impulse buy
- Try store brands instead of expensive alternatives - some of them are so alike you’ll find it hard to tell the difference.
- Find out when your local store reduces items
Find more smart supermarket shopping tactics here.
This is the act of saving on a super small scale, so that you barely even notice. There are plenty of apps that will help you with this - they'll save your 'loose change' from every transaction. So for example, if you spend £2.40 on a sandwich, the app will round up to the nearest pound and put 60p away for you in a savings pot for you. It's surprising how quickly it adds up, and you won't even notice it happening. You can do this with cards or apps such as Revolut, Monzo, and MoneyBox.
If you don't fancy using an app or account, you can do a microsaving challenge yourself, one of our favourites is this 1p savings challenge that will get you £650+ in a year.
6. Switch suppliers - effortlessly
Switching utility suppliers once a year is easier than you might think - and can save you a pretty penny, with very little effort. Free switching sites will find you the best deals available, and the new supplier will take care of everything for you.
Read more about switching energy suppliers.
7. Reuse, repurpose and recycle
From re-using items like old bread bags, toothbrushes and food cartons (find out how here!) to shopping second hand, there are loads of ways we can cut back on unnecessary spending.
Browse sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or look at apps like Vinted and Gumtree - there are always bargains to be had, and you could sell unwanted items at the same time. Some Facebook groups have been set up for people who want to give away free items. You might need to keep checking them, but you could pick up anything from clothes and toiletries to furniture and garden ornaments.
8. Do a subscriptions sweep
You might have direct debits you’ve forgotten about or don’t need anymore, such as a gym membership or TV streaming service. Many entertainment and software services offer free trials, and it's easy to let them run on and pay for a service you're not using.
Go one step further and give yourself a full money makeover.
9. Use cashback sites, loyalty cards and coupon codes
Saving money on your regular (or treat) purchases is easier than you think - and it will really add up over time. Try these easy ideas:
- Cashback sites work by paying you to shop at certain retailers, you'll get a small reward for your purchase. Check out TopCashBack and Quidco, these are two of the more well-known options.
- Using loyalty cards can get you discounts, freebies and special offers - we've rounded up the best in the UK to make it easy for you.
- Before you buy anything online, do a quick search to see if there are any coupon codes available. Google Chrome extension Honey will do the search for you, automatically, whatever shopping site you're on. You'll then get a pop up to let you know if there are discount codes available.
To get more money-saving ideas, have a look at these saving hacks.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.