Make money saving fun, by taking advantage of cheap and free activities, because getting together with friends and family doesn’t have to blow your budget.
Just try one simple thing, like finding a voucher to cut the cost of eating out. Then blow some supermarket points on cinema tickets, or grab tickets to see your fave TV show being recorded.
Big tipRemember, deals and discounts are designed to get you to spend more, not less. Beat the big boys at their own game - use vouchers to cut the cost of stuff you intended to buy anyway.
What should you do with your extra money? Now that you’ve saved a few quid, we’ve a few ideas that will get you saving. Try them out here.
How long it’ll take: A few minutes a day
What you’ll save:
- Internet access, to be able to book discounted days out
- Loyalty cards, get signing up to bag deals
1. Dole out discount vouchers
If you’re in need of a treat, and you know where you want to go, search for vouchers for money off meals at big name chains from Pizza Express to Prezzo, Frankie & Benny’s to Bella Italia.
You can find offers like two main courses for the price of one, or 25% off your food bill. Maybe the vouchers might not work at peak times like Saturday evenings, but you could still pick a place to eat for less.
2. Cut the price of the cinema
Want to see the latest release? Swap a Saturday screening for a weeknight out, and you’re much more likely to find cheap seats at the big chains. Keep up to date with the best cinema deals around on sites such as MoneySavingExpert.com. Also to be super savvy bring your own cold snacks, sweets and non-alcoholic drinks.
3. Bring your own booze
If you are treating yourself to a night out, one way to help reduce the cost is to find a restaurant that will allow you to bring your own booze. A quick Google search should bring up some options, but keep an eye out for that dreaded corkage fee.
Or for a really cosy night invite friends round to share a bottle and it could work out even cheaper.
Get a discount
Even the swishest restaurants sometimes offer set menus at bargain prices, take a chunk off the bill or throw in a glass of bubbly for free.
Check out the website for your favourite place, or use a site like OpenTable, search for your area, and click on special offers.
Just don’t go wild with the wine, if you’re trying to cut costs…
Slink away like Cinderella
Aim to meet up early doors so you can leave before the last bus or train, to avoid getting stung for a cab. Then keep an eye on your watch, or set an alert, so it actually happens…
Get loyalty cards (but don’t be loyal!)
Its best to chase the best deal rather than chasing points as you’ll likely to save more. But if you’re a regular at a supermarket it may be worth checking out their loyalty card.
As points are often worth more if you spend it with the same supermarket some consumers use points to save up and pay for the family Christmas meal.
Two of the bigger schemes are Tesco Clubcard and Sainsbury’s Nectar.
Finding it tricky when friends always suggest expensive options?
Seize the initiative and propose less pricey plans. Arrange to meet at a free museum or gallery, rather than getting stuck with a bigger bill. Look at listings in local papers or online.
Watch your favourite shows live
Be aware that they often give away more tickets than they have seats, so if you don’t turn up and get in line an hour (or more for the popular shows!), you may be turned away. They are great freebies, but not a guarantee.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.