The Great British Saver: 20 Top Money Hacks from the UK

Life is full of unexpected surprises like medical bills, car repairs, or sudden unemployment. So, having a stash of money set aside for emergencies can be a lifesaver! It surely gives you peace of mind and helps you handle unexpected expenses without going into debt.

One Redditor asked, “What’s a life hack that’s saved you money? (A UK perspective).”

This received an overwhelming number of responses, but we have made a list of some of the most interesting life hacks for you!

1. Phones

woman looking at phone smiling and suprised.
Image Credit: Cast Of Thousands/Shutterstock.

Here’s the thing: don’t buy fancy expensive phones when you can get your work done with cheaper ones!

One user advises, “Buying phones that are a couple of models behind the most recent ones and getting a cheap SIM-only monthly contract, then use it until it fails. Anyone replacing their phone every year/two years is a massively wasteful bellend.”

Someone else added their personal experience, “This guy gets it! I’ve had a not very fancy but fully functional Huawei which I paid 140 quid for 5 years now, negotiated the sim-only contract renewal down now to a tenner a month for 150 GB data and unlimited calls and texts. I don’t know how or why I spent so long paying out £50+ per month just to have a fancy phone it’s stupid.”

2. Don’t Follow the Trends

Fashion portrait of a beautiful girl with bright painted lips
Image Credit: Androlia via DepositPhotos.com.

Have you noticed how trends come and go and how they can drain our wallets? One tip to save money is not to follow these hip fashion trends and instead embrace our own closet.

A user wrote, “Don’t buy things that are just hype, which is everything bar the essentials.”

Another one seconded, “With a bit of research, and as long as you avoid buggy older models, buying ‘last season’s, anything usually works out best. Car, phone, laptop, and even clothes.

Buying the newest thing is not always the best idea. The last few times I have bought tech, I have purposefully researched older models and bought stuff that has ‘stood the test of time.’

I also make myself wait to see if I actually want something or want it now. A few times that has backfired, like something has come off sale, but most of the time, I end up going, ‘meh, naahh I don’t need it’.”

3. Freeze the Bread

Woman selling fresh bread
Image Credit: Goodluz via DepositPhotos.com.

Let’s face it – bread has a frustratingly short shelf life. We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we realize our loaf has turned into a moldy mess. But why let it go to waste? Freezing your bread is a true game-changer!

A person commented, “Not only does this save bread, but it’s also healthier too.”

Another replied, “This is the only way to use bread. It’s so easily wasted.”

4. Newspaper and Magazines

Beautiful young woman after shower reading newspaper
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

Newspapers and magazines can be pricey! Those monthly or annual subscription fees add up faster than you can say “breaking news.”

One Redditor commented, “Hello daily mail journalist!” with a sarcastic tone.

Someone else replied, “Yeah, I found none of this useful.”

With the advent of the internet, news is readily available at our fingertips, often for free. So why pay for something that’s just a click away?

5. Shopping Is a Chore

woman shopping with bags wearing sunglasses
Image Credit: ViChizh via DepositPhotos.com.

Okay, let’s get real. We all know that nagging feeling when we see something shiny and new.

It’s like a devil on our shoulder, whispering, “Buy it, buy it!” But here’s the thing: that momentary thrill quickly turns into regret once we realize we’ve wasted our cash. So, it’s time to slap that devil off our shoulders and say, “Not today, buddy!”

One person wrote, “its fairly cliche… but I stopped just ‘popping to the shops to get something; you can guarantee Id always come back with some junk I didn’t need or just fancied, and I stopped stopping at Costa or getting coffee when I went to fuel up… the things I used to think were ‘little luxuries’ arent little luxuries at all, they’re little money pits.”

Another one added, “I’d add to this and suggest stop shopping as a recreational activity entirely. Shopping should be a chore.”

6. Online Deliveries

close-up view of young woman shopping groceries on online supermarket with her mobile phone.
Image Credit: McLittle Stock/shutterstock.

The digital era has brought us a money-saving gem: online deliveries!

Someone said, “The best way to do this is to move to online deliveries. A Sainsbury’s midweek delivery pass is £30 for a year, and I’ve always found I save a fortune by not actually going to the shop and just chucking random stuff in a trolley. That £30 must cover the petrol alone for a year of weekly trips to the supermarket, never mind the hassle too.

Remember the days of running from store to store, playing a never-ending “find the best price” game? Say goodbye to that madness! Just a few clicks, and you can see if another store has a better deal or not.

7. Visit Gousto

young woman about to start cooking in kitchen
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Imagine this: you’re craving a gourmet meal, but your bank account is crying for mercy. Fear not! Gousto swoops in to save the day.

One person wrote, “I’ve found Gousto has cut my shopping bills in half even though it’s quite expensive. I could definitely get the ingredients myself, and it would be much cheaper, BUT I’m absolutely terrible at meal planning.”

Someone else replied, “I haven’t paid full price for Gousto yet either, we got the refer a friend promo, and then I went to cancel, and it offered me 25% off for 4 weeks, so its worth trying to pause or cancel too and see if they offer you anything if you haven’t already!”

8. Zero Food Waste

Couple throwing away raw meat in kitchen at home
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One user said, “Not sure if it’s a ‘hack,’ but I basically have zero food waste in my house. Plan your meals in advance, try to share ingredients between meals, and reduce cost and food waste. For example, say you’re a household of 2, and you make okonomiyaki which requires cabbage, but you’re only going to use 1/3 of a head for it. Then you want to turn that cabbage into coleslaw for a second meal and then braise it to serve with roast dinner as a third meal.”

Another one added, “DON’T THROW AWAY VEGETABLE SCRAPS! It’s so easy to make a delicious homemade vegetable broth. Skins, bits you’d normally chuck, save it, and you can chuck it in a bag and freeze until you need it.”

So, take a few moments to strategize your meals, create a shopping list, and stick to it like a food-saving champ!

9. Frugal Meal Tips

Grocery Shopper Counting Costs
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Someone wrote, “Subscribe to frugal meal tips.”

Another commented, “This is basically what I do, but I use an app called Sidekick by Sorted Food. They create recipe packs that share ingredients and design them to suit typical package sizes in supermarkets (i.e., They know a pack of spinach is, say, 250g and make use of it all). It Gives me variety and gets me to try something new. Also saves on working out recipes that have shared ingredients that aren’t boring, like a rotation of pasta, stir fry, soup, etc.”

So subscribe to these apps and channels to find the best money-saving life hacks in the UK.

10. Go Asian!

TORONTO - MARCH 29: Asian food products on March 29, 2013 in Toronto.
Image Credit: ValeStock/Shutterstock.

One user said, “Asian supermarket for things like rice, dry beans, herbs spices, etc. A huge 500g spice is usually less than 2x 80g in supermarkets… potatoes will last months in a cold, dry space too… buy bulk!”

Another replied, “Also, everything is tastier, haha You can get the same stuff like pastes “but Englishified” in supermarkets, proudly sporting the NO MSG! label Cheaper without the ancient paranoia in Asian shops. Also, stuff like chili flakes is way better. Schwarz will set you back for a small jar, a big bag of them from an Asian supermarket for the same price, and they’re way hotter.”

Another wrote, “Rice is ridiculously expensive in mainstream UK retailers compared to Asian supermarkets.”

11. Make Your Own Meals

Image of young happy lady standing in kitchen while cooking fish.
Image Credit: Shift Drive/Shutterstock.

When you’re in control of your own meals, you can make healthier choices without sacrificing taste. So bid farewell to those expensive meals because, let’s face it- eating out can put a serious dent in your wallet.

A Redditor commented, “I am amazed how many people don’t make sandwiches for work. Buying meal deals is so expensive. Also, try and make your own meals, not ready-made ones.”

Someone else said, “I do not make sandwiches for work. I bring cooked meals in glass food containers that I can pop into a fridge at work and heat up in a microwave at lunchtime. Many coworkers go to the restaurant to buy “lunch menu” every day.”

12. Seasonal Sale

woman smiling through clothes at thrift store
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One person said, “Buy summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer. The same goes for all seasonal goods.” And we couldn’t agree more!

One user even shares their personal experience: “Can vouch for this, especially for more premium brands, scored £250+ costs for £80 by buying them in the peak of summer and then sitting on them till the cold weather comes round.”

Another added, “I do this, as soon as they start pulling a season of clothing, I’m looking for it in the next size up for my son to put away, especially after Christmas when the jumpers go from £15 down to £3. It just goes in with the 25p wrapping paper and 50p boxes of cards for next Christmas. And because I live in a small village, there isn’t much variety, so having something from the year before means he’s not wearing the same four different Xmas jumpers in the shop.”

13. The Dominos Hack

Bridlington, Yorkshire, England, UK. January 20, 2020. The Domino's pizza restaurant in the town centre.
Image Credit: Wozzie/Shutterstock.

Ever wanted to try the famous Dominos Cookie? With this hack, you can get it for a much cheaper price.

Someone shared, “If you order Sominos and you want the cookies, if you add them from the menu, it’s £4.99, but if you wait to check out they offer to add them to your order for only £2.99. Only a quid, but makes me feel like I’m winning capitalism a little bit.”

Another replied, “Also works on other stuff too, good way to get cheaper wedges, big dip pots, etc.”

So don’t tell the workers you want it, just let them come to you!

14. Watching Movies

Hands holding a tablet with major streaming logos, Netflix Hulu, amazon video, HBO, And Disney Competing video streaming subscription.
Image Credit: Sadie Mantell/Shutterstock.

One Reddit user shares the life hack of the day: “Share with people. If you’ve got a good group of friends or family, you can get everything you need easily. I pay for Spotify and Prime. I have Netflix and Disney as well, but I don’t pay for them. Haven’t found anyone with Paramount + yet or BritBox who is willing to share their account. That’s fine. Although, it has gotten to the point where downloading movies and TV shows has become necessary again, and a lot of stuff is just gone. Can’t get some shows, no matter how hard I try. It makes me sad.”

Another added, “To add to this if you want to be able to watch your free stuff on your smart TV, look into PLEX. It’s completely legal (up to you how you acquire the media) and very easy to set up, but it lets you watch your stuff like it’s Netflix. For free!”

Now you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows for free!

15. Bookings!

Fun tourist woman in summer casual clothes, hat, orange sunglasses with suitcase, passport
Image Credit: dmvasilenko via DepositPhotos.com

Who doesn’t love a good deal for booking a flight or a hotel room? With these life hacks, you can save hundreds, so let’s check out the comments!

One user said, “When using booking dot com to book hotels, always use your mobile to book. Booking dot com offers mobile-only prices in some places, which makes it cheaper than using it on a desktop.”

Another one wrote, “And sometimes if you book stuff like flights, use incognito or clear your cookies/cache. I don’t think it’s as common now, but sometimes, if you revisit, the prices go up.”

16. No Central Heating

Mother At Home With Son Adjusting Smart Central Heating Thermostat
Image Credit: monkeybusiness via DepositPhotos.com.

It’s time to shop smart, save money, and enjoy knowing that you’re in control of your finances.

Someone wrote, “Heated blanket, drape it over the back of the sofa. No need for central heating to be running in the evening.”

Another replied, “I’ve got a heated slanket (blanket with sleeves), a real game changer.”

Another user shared their personal experience: “I use the central heating sometimes, but it doesn’t warm up my living room enough, so I stay warm by covering myself up with my summer 4.5 tog duvet.”

17. Buy What You Can Afford

young woman taking money out of wallet
Image Credit: kues via DepositPhotos.com

Remember, patience and a little research can lead to significant savings without compromising on quality.

One Redditor commented, “My best tip is to avoid buying junk; always buy the best you can afford. If you need socks (as some other tips suggest), avoid Primark; buy something more expensive, and they’ll last longer. If you need a TV get a proper brand, not a Polaroid, from the Asda Black Friday sale. If you need a power tool, don’t buy the rubbish in the Aldi middle aisle; buy a Makita or something like that.

Buy right, buy once. I’ve wasted a fortune buying garbage I’ve had to replace in no time at all, now I pay the extra premium and have it for years- even better, normally the more expensive something is when you buy it, the more likely it is to have a proper warranty or be able to get fixed if it breaks. Bonus.”

18. Do-it-Yourself

Repairman with tools
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One person said, “”Google It” you might be able to fix things yourself for a few quid instead of replacing it.”

Another user shared their personal experience: “This has saved me a huge amount! I bled our boiler recently; it took me ten minutes and saved a plumber call-out fee. Even today, a YouTube video on changing car key fob batteries was an easy fix that Halfords charge £ 7 each for. Honestly took about 30 seconds each.”

So, instead of paying others to fix something, you can try googling about it or even watch some YouTube tutorials!

19. Plan Your Meals

Lunch box meatloaf, bulgur, nuts, cucumber and berry.
Image Credit: timolina via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone said, “Each week, I plan a week of simple meals and then only buy what we need from the supermarket. I start by looking at what’s leftover or in the cupboard/freezer and plan meals to use that stuff up first before buying in new stuff. I aim to use fresh food for the first few days, then cupboard/frozen ingredients after that.

I focus on simple meals rather than looking for fancy recipes online – as soon as you find yourself needing to buy a jar of capers or chipotle sauce or anything unusual, the price of the meal really goes up. I do still leave a number of tinned items in the cupboards for any unlikely emergencies, but the cupboards are pretty bare by the end of each week.”

So, what’s stopping you? Plan and research your meals and save yourself tons of money!

20. Say No To Expensive Brands

Mother and daughter choosing products
Image Credit: aletia via DepositPhotos.com.

One Reddit user commented, “My biggest one since the cost of living crisis hit is to avoid brands where possible. There are still some food choices where I won’t compromise, but on other things like oats, lentils, etc. yea – the supermarket’s own brand is the way to go. And same thing with household items – I’ve found the supermarkets own as are just as good.”

Another one added, “Totally agree. Own-brand items are often superior, in my opinion. For example, with cream cheese – look at the ingredients list on the package of Philadelphia, and there are 15+ ingredients with things like “locust gum” and loads of other highly processed chemical ingredients. Now look at most supermarkets’ own brand versions, and the ingredients are “full-fat milk, salt, water,” etc., simple and straightforward. And they taste the same, if not much better!

You’re literally paying for a logo and marketing machine when you buy a brand. Sod that!”

So, instead of buying expensive branded goods, try going all local!

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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