30th April 2017

Now I don’t know about you but with Summer edging nearer and nearer, I’m in the process of trying to save as much money as possible. There’s always so much to do in Summer compared to the confines of Winter when you’re more than happy to stay inside cosying up with a warm drink and Netflix. BBQs, festivals, evenings in pub gardens and of course, holidays! All of these wonderful things cost money and we all need a bit more of that eh? Unfortunately as nice as it would be, the green stuff doesn’t grow on trees so it falls to us to get a bit creative in order to line our pockets. So in today’s post, I’m going to help you do just that!

A friend of mine forever reminds me to use Quidco when I buy online but it’s only this year that I started taking proper notice (sorry Tom…) and advantage! After creating an account, all you do is buy whatever is you need to buy through the Quidco website. Once your purchase has been tracked (which admittedly take a bit), you then receive a certain amount of cashback which you can withdraw in your bank account, boom! Different retailers offer different amounts of cashback so it entirely depends but to give you an example:
Topshop: 5%
Currys: 10.5%Expedia: 12%
One thing I would thoroughly recommend doing is when you’re upgrading your phone, do it through Quidco. When I upgraded my iPhone for free via Carphone Warehouse and via Quidco, I earned myself a nifty £50 – and I hadn’t even brought anything! It does take a bit of time to remember to use Quidco when you’re shopping online but for something that’s fairly effortless, it’s worth trying to do!
This is quite a new one for me, having only been using it for the last month but it’s such a handy one to have! Dubbed as a ‘boot sale app’, it’s a place for you to sell unwanted goods quickly and easily. I’m always put off Ebay by the long process of putting something for sale but with Shpock you just a photo on your phone, write a title and short description, name your price and off you go! You can choose to post the item or it collected. My most recent success was with an Apple TV I had won as a prize but had no need for. I popped it on Shpock and received four offers that night. I sold it a couple of days later to a gentleman who kindly paid full price and that money went straight into my savings account! Obviously, you can also buy things from Shpock too but that’s not why we’re here!
Try find it cheaper
I’ve got into a habit (a good one) of having a good search of whatever I want to buy to see if I can get it cheaper elsewhere. Now while this won’t work on say, clothes from Topshop, it does work on a heck of a lot of other things. I generally have a lot of success on Amazon with a lot of items but just shoving the name of your product into google will quickly allow you to browse the item availability at numerous retailers. There are also so many comparison websites for just about everything nowadays and it takes so little effort that you’ve got no excuse to not get on board. A few of my favourite sites worth checking out include:
Compare the market
I (perhaps a bit lamely) get a real buzz out of finding vouchers or offers that can be used. As above, just typing in ‘Pizza Express discount vouchers’ into Google is a good bet or becoming well acquainted with VoucherCodes is a useful idea as it kindly categorises everything into sections so you can see which clothing shops have 20% off or what deals various restaurants are offering, meaning you can choose where you eat wisely and not spend as much as you would elsewhere. It’s worth visiting websites too as a lot of the time discount vouchers are offered just by signing up to their newsletter for the first time. Yes, it’s annoying but you can always unsubscribe if you really want.
Planning ahead
Another really simple one here – just by being a bit more organised in life can be really beneficial to your bank balance. I’d always suggest meal planning as this means when you do your weekly shop you know exactly what you need to buy and you are less likely to pick up those things you don’t need. I’d even go as far as suggesting online shopping to completely remove the seduction of the chocolate aisle as you can search specifically what you want without being tempted by other items! With delivery costs such as £1 as certain parts of the days, it’s really worth looking into it!
A lot of restaurants and activities are cheaper on certain days or evenings with offers so it’s worth making yourself aware of what your favourite places like to offer. For example, I will only ever go to the cinema when it’s 2 for 1 with Meerkat Movies because after drinks and snacks, the cinema can work out crazy expensive for just two measly hours. Try and be adaptable, you might prefer going out for a meal at the weekend but you’ll find it will be a lot cheaper if you go during the weekday and can bag yourself the same great experience but for less money.
Other helpful resources
Money Saving Expert
Emma Drew
Money Advice Service

I hope these tips have been of use to you, these are definitely some things I’m trying to implement lately as I try and put some money aside. They might seem small, but you’d be surprised the difference these things can make to your pocket. I’ve also found that you don’t have to make too many changes in your life or miss out on anything to be able to save money.