Money Saving Hacks

A guide to help you save money by reducing day to day expenses

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This page is a collection of tips, tricks and hacks that you can use to help you save money day to day. We've divided the information into categories to make it easier to digest.

Inflation is closing in on 10% and wages are not rising at a similar rate, so we're all getting worse off each month. We hope that these tips and tricks will help you reduce the strain on your finances.

Hypermiling techniques - getting more MPG from your car...

As the price of petrol and diesel rise further and further, the term hypermiling is becoming ever more popular in this country. Some serious hypermilers can achieve more mpg from their vehicles than the manufacturers figures suggest is possible.

Hypermiling isn't a single technique, it's a complete overhaul of how you drive and look after your car. Each of these techniques will save you a little, but when put together they can make a real difference to the cost of running your car.

Remove car extras. Your car has been designed to be aerodynamic. When you add extras, you change the shape of your car, increasing drag and reducing how many miles per gallon you get. Remove roof racks, flags and similar items to save money.

Don't open the windows. Opening the windows increases drag and decreases the fuel efficiency. Close windows to save money.

Reduce weight. The heavier you make your car, the less miles per gallon you achieve. Remove unnecessary items to save money.

Check tyre pressures. Incorrectly inflated tyres can be dangerous and affect the efficiency of your car. Make sure your tyres are inflated correctly to stay safe and save money

Don't use the air conditioning. Turning on the air conditioning increases how much fuel the car uses. Turn it off to achieve more miles per gallon. This hypermiling technique can save you 10% or more on it's own.

Brake less (increase spacing). The less you brake the less you need to accelerate. By increasing the space between you and the car in front you will need to brake less - achieving more miles per gallon and saving you money. DWB (driving without brakes) is considered a major technique of hypermiling.

Slow down. If your schedule doesn't demand you get from a to b as quick as possible, slow down. If you're driving above 60mph then you are not driving as efficiently as you could be. Most vehicles most efficient speed is below 60mph.

Keep revs low. 1300-1500 revs is the most economical rev range. Any lower the engine may labour, resulting in higher fuel usage or maybe a stall. Any higher you're using more fuel than necessary.

Plan your route. Make sure you know where you're going and that the route is efficient. Use maps to ensure your route is as direct as it can be, but take traffic and hills into consideration. Planning is an important part of hypermiling.

Use 6th gear. If you have a 6th gear then you should be using it as soon as the car would be comfortable to drive doing so. If you're in an urban area doing 30mph then you won't use it much, but most cars are comfortable in 6th gear by the time you've reached 40mph. This reduces your revs and saves you money.

Think about your parking. How you park can affect how much fuel you use. Try to park facing forwards so you can drive straight out, reduce the need for manoeuvring. In the winter park the car so that it faces the sun, reducing any defrost time. Park facing down hill if possible, the cold engine will use less fuel when pulling away.

Repair damaged exhausts. If your exhaust is blowing slightly, don't put off getting it fixed. A blowing exhaust will eventually make every mile you drive more expensive. If you can't afford to replace it, fix the current one to improve efficiency and save money.

Warning: Hypermiling methods not to use. Some hypermiling sites go a step further and suggest that people coast with their foot on the clutch, or suggest taking the car out of gear. We do not recommend this, it can put you in danger as you cannot accelerate if you need to while doing this. We've even seen suggestions of turning the car off while it's moving. Thinking about fuel efficiency is great, but it's not worth your car, health or life for an extra few pence.

Other ways for drivers to save money

Don't use the car. If you're going to be driving for just a few minutes, consider if you need to drive at all. Walking or cycling will not only save you more money than any other method here, it'll help keep you fit and healthy.

Check your insurance mileage. When you insured your car you stated how many miles you would be driving. If you drive less than you thought you would, reduce this figure when you renew your policy to save money.

Add an experienced driver to your insurance. In the first few years of driving you may be able to save money by adding an experienced driver to your policy, maybe a mum or dad. The more experienced the driver the more you may save.

Check fully comprehensive. When you insure your vehicle, don't assume that third party will be the cheapest option. Sometimes fully comp is cheaper. Always compare the two to save money.

Ways to save money on food bills...

We spend a big percentage of our money on food each week and the prices are starting rise quickly, so it's a natural place to try to save money. When used together these tips could help you save pounds at the checkout.

Shop on a full belly. You will be more tempted to buy uneccessary items while shopping if you're hungry. Eat before you go, you'll be less inclined to spend more.

Ask 'Do i need this?'. It's easy to get carried away adding to the trolley in a world of our own. Slow down. Everytime you go to put an item in the trolley ask yourself if you actually need this. How much you put back may surprise you.

Use vouchers. Vouchers are harder to find than they used to be, but they're well worth the effort as the savings can add up fast. Keep an eye out in magazines, newspapers, on Tv and online. cut them out or print them straight away and store them in your purse or wallet so you have them when you need them.

Look at the unit price. All supermarkets have 2 prices on the label, the product price - the price you pay - is usually the one we look at. In smaller numbers underneath you'll see the unit price, usually per 100ml/100g. This is there so we can compare prices between products fairly. Is the 200g bag really better value than the 130g bag? Not easy to work out in your head, but they've done the calculation for you. Always look at this figure as things arn't always as they seem when just looking at the packets! You will save money.

Meat free day. Meat is the most expensive part of most meals. Choose a day of the week to go meat free. Take a look online at the meat free options, there are hundreds of them. Reducing your meat intake will save money.

Eat after the best before date. Food that comes with a best before date can be safely eaten after the date. Some supermarkets are now removing these dates from selected products.

Drink water. Most of us drink several drinks per day, many of them are not cheap at all, and some of them are not great for our health. Water is free and water is healthy. Drinking water saves us money.

Reuse leftovers. Between unused food and leftovers the average UK household is now said to throw away £60 of food per month. Put your leftovers in the fridge to eat later, or maybe it'll jazz up an omelette!

Smoothie over ripe fruit. If you have fruit that's over ripe, not at it's best, and you can't bring yourself to eat it, then put it all together and make a fruit smoothie. It's great for your body and it'll fill you up. A cheap and easy meal that will save you money.

Buy frozen vegetables. Substitution is a great way of saving money. Frozen veg is usually cheaper than fresh veg and it's just as good for you.

Dilute your liquids. Many of the liquids we use round the house can be diluted - mixed with water. It's difficult to tell if you dilute by just 5-10%, but it saves money quickly. Of course the more you dilute the more you save. Makes squashes with more water, water down juice, and even the milk if need be. It's not just foods you can water down, you can do it with cream cleaner, bleach and even fabric softener (this is recommended by washing machine makers anyway!).

Play swap out 3. This is a popular 'game' to play at the checkout. Do your shopping, then before you unload your trolley at the checkout choose 3 items that you will swap with a cheaper brand. You don't go without any food, but you make some savings.

Play put back 3. This is a popular 'game' to play at the checkout to save money. Do your shopping, then before you unload your trolley at the checkout, choose 3 items that you don't really need and put them back on the shelf. This can make a noticable difference to how much you spend. Assuming you shop weekly that's over 150 items a year you won't buy.

Team up to bulk buy. We all see that the unit price on the bulk buys would save money, but we can't all afford to invest the money to buy 12 times what we need. Find like minded friends to group up with. Work out the foods and brands you have in common and then team up to buy it in bulk.