Money-saving tips

Need a little inspiration as you build up your savings? See the nation's top 25 money-saving tips that can help put the pound into penny-pinching. A piggy bank wearing a pair of sunglasses

It'll come as no surprise to you to learn that we recommend shopping round to get the best rates on your savings and Isas.

But when it comes to finding the dosh to go into those savings pots the great British public are already way ahead of us.

Research commissioned by Gocompare.com[1] revealed that 95% of UK consumers are always looking at ways to save money, and the top 25 methods they use are, at times, quite ingenious.

The UK's top 25 penny-pinching methods:

1. Using vouchers, coupons and money-off apps to get discounts - 57% (of those surveyed)

I recently got a great saving at the local owl sanctuary.

2. Taking a packed lunch to work - 50%

3. Shopping around for insurance - 49%

Now where could you go to do that? No, we're stumped...

4. Turning the thermostat down to reduce heating bills - 49%How to save money on energy

Works particularly well in the summer.

5. Using loyalty and cashback schemes - 49%

My Berni Inn card gets me some great savings on first dates.

6. Cutting down on takeaway meals - 46%

Well, I could pare it back to six vindaloos a week.

7. Doing more home cooking and batch cooking - 41%

Anyone for the famous five-day-old Davies cawl?

8. Keeping a coin jar and saving change - 41%

I've got 37 Hywel Dda pennies in mine.

9. Taking your own treats to the cinema - 40%

Really? I was in Uni with someone who took his own popcorn. We avoided him for three years.

10. Planning meals, making a shopping list and sticking to it - 38%

Beans. Toast. Done.

11. Cutting out takeaway coffee/coffee shop treats - 38%Muffin and a drink

Just get a Thermos.

12. Not impulse buying - sleeping on it - 37%

I still say that those 85 copies of Last King of Wales will come in handy one day...

13. Switching energy supplier - 35%

There's a business idea there... Some kind of website that'd help people compare prices and plans from UK energy suppliers.

14. Buying second-hand instead of new, using sites like eBay or Freecycle - 31%

You may just find the odd copy of Last King of Wales there.

15. Never grocery shopping on an empty stomach - 30%

That way you avoid supermarket ejection for grazing on the 'free' olives at the salad station. Apparently.

16. Drawing up a budget and sticking to it - 30%

I've got a banker mate in the City who did this very thing. He lives in Tahiti now.

17. Not using a tumble dryer - 29%

Wearing clothes direct from the washing machine means your body heat acts as a natural drying agent. Trench foot is one possible downside of this ruse.

18. Reviewing satellite or cable subscriptions, or cancelling them altogether - 27%

Surely there's a site somewhere where you could, like, compare digital TV packages or something?

19. Switching to a cheaper supermarket - 26%

I'm sorry but I draw the line here. I absolutely refuse to buy my Weetabix from anywhere other than Fortnum's.

20. Leaving the car at home and walking, or using public transport - 25%

Or a bike, come on. What's wrong with a bike, I ask you?

21. Reviewing your mobile phone contract or coming off a contract altogether - 25%How to make your credit card work harder for you

Yeah, this is a good one. I always borrow someone else's phone to make my calls. Possible excuses include 'my battery's out', 'left mine at home', etc.

22. Cutting up your credit cards - 23%

As an added tip, just fold the card firmly in one direction, then reverse the process, and repeat. The card will eventually break into two pieces, giving you a valuable saving on scissor blades.

23. Transfering all credit card debt to a 0% card - 22%

Now I know where you can do this. Honest, it's on the tip of my tongue...

24. Reviewing your gym membership or cancelling it and training outdoors - 21%

I try a different location every time for my annual press-up. In 2014 it was the shed.

25. Only using cash, not cards - 20%

I always keep $1,000 US strapped to my thigh. Little tip I picked up over in 'Nam.

Analysis

When asked why they look for ways to save money, 54% of those surveyed said that they hate spending money unnecessarily, 47% genuinely needed to make savings, 35% just had a money-saving habit, a third were on a tight budget, and 11% said that they were just a bit tight.Cutting the cost of loans

The survey also revealed that women are thriftier than men as 97% of women, compared with 94% of men, said that they actively use money-saving tips.

"The survey demonstrates that, whether it's cutting food or energy bills or making savings on financial products, people are embracing a wide range of money-saving tactics," said financial expert Claire Peate.

"Switching products and services is one of the biggest money-saving areas.

"Simply changing the supermarket where you do your weekly food shop or switching to own-brand products can help to reduce your grocery bills, while using a comparison website to shop around for a better deal on your energy, insurance policies, credit cards and mortgage can save you hundreds of pounds."

By Sean Davies