Follow these 5 simple budgeting tips to help you save up to £655 a year

Post in association with Tesco Bank

money saving hacks


A little while ago Tesco Bank asked me to put together some of my best budgeting hacks for their website. I came up with 10 really simple ways to save money – I was quite proud of myself. You can read them here, so please do go and have a look.

In the process of writing that piece though, I realised that I’m a bit of a natural in the old money saving department. Perhaps that first class economics degree really is good for something?? I thought I’d put together a few more ideas for you here.

Have a read and let me know if you have tried any of these and if they’ve made a difference to your household finances. I’d love to hear about any other tips you have too!

Switch to LED lightbulbs

There are a lot of very grand claims about the amount of money you can save by switching to LED lightbulbs, with some websites I researched saying that it could save you literally HUNDREDS of pounds a year. A more conservative estimate by the Energy Saving Trust puts the figure at more like £35 a year for the average household.

Money saved – £35

Threaten to leave your current providers

Prior to our recent house move, I phoned one of our current utility suppliers, genuinely planning to cancel our contract. We had line rental, phone, broadband and TV with them, including box sets, and were paying about £70 a month. After about half an hour of staying firm and saying ‘no, I really want to leave and that discount still makes the costs too high’ I ended up relenting after being offered 50% off my broadband and 40% off TV. We reviewed our services too, and were able to cut out a couple of smaller items. We now spend £42 a month and still have everything we need.

Money saved – £336

Buy other people’s unwanted gift vouchers

It’s a bit of a standing joke in my family that wherever we go, I have a gift voucher for it. It’s because I’m obsessed by an app I have on my phone where you can buy and sell vouchers.

You basically just buy other people’s unwanted gift vouchers, but at a discount. Someone might have been given a £25 Next voucher for their birthday for example, that they’re never going to use, so they sell it for £20 cash instead. I bought a new laptop from Argos recently, and before I did I went onto this app and bought four £50 gift cards that were selling for £45 each, meaning I saved £20 off the total bill by doing basically nothing at all. Some are physical vouchers that you get sent in the post, others are codes you can redeem online or from your phone in-store.

You can use them for everyday things like supermarket shopping, or for Christmas and birthday presents.

money saving hacks

So let’s just do an example calculation, based on some of the average discounts I tend to see on the app. Let’s say that over the course of the year you buy the following vouchers:

(Quick insight into my life here.)

  • Starbucks – £60 at a 5% discount = £3
  • Debenhams – £100 at a 10% discount = £10
  • Pizza Express – £150 at a 10% discount = £15
  • National Book Tokens – £100 at 10% discount = £10

This is a very conservative estimate of what you could potentially do, (I had a quick look at my app and I’ve spent £420 just on Starbucks vouchers in two years!), but even this example saves you £38.

Money saved – £38

Be smart with your energy

As well as LED lightbulbs, the Energy Saving Trust has lots of other top tips for reducing your energy bill. A  couple of my favourites are turning all of your appliances off standby mode to save £30 a year, and spending just ONE MINUTE less in the shower. Apparently if you cut your shower time by one minute every day, you could save £7 on your annual energy bill and £12 on your water bill if you’re on a meter. For a family of four, that’s a saving of £76 a year.

Money saved – £106

Drive carefully

There are plenty of ways to save money when it comes to car costs.

Under-inflated tyres for example can apparently add around 2-3% to your fuel costs, which may not see like much, but it definitely adds up over the year. Take us for example. We drove around 18,000 miles last year, and a tank of petrol at £60 will take us about 350 miles. That’s just over £3000 a year spent on fuel, (GAH!). 3% of that is £90, so well worth saving. Check too that you’re not carrying any extra weight – empty the boot and clean all that junk out from under the seats to reduce fuel consumption.

Shopping around for petrol can help too. It might not seem a lot at the time, but if we saved just a couple of pence per litre, that would equate to around £50 a year. Try something like Petrol Prices to help you shop around.

Money saved – £140

And so in summary…

These are just FIVE ideas, but if I did all of these I could potentially save £655 a year! Not too shoddy.

If this has got you excited about the possibility of saving even more money then do check out my 10 other tips on the Tesco Bank site. Please leave a comment on this post too with any other money saving ideas that have worked for you!

money saving hacks

Lightbulb image by John99/shutterstock. Post in association with Tesco Bank.


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