Unusual Money Saving Tips

Cara Bradley

Written by

Cara Bradley

5 min read

Updated: 12/03/2024


Have you ever reused teabags, taped light switches down in a last-ditch attempt to prevent your kids from leaving them on, or treated your hair to a homemade conditioner made with egg whites?
Believe it or not, these are just some of the weird and wonderful money saving tips that we discovered during our research!

The cost-of-living crisis has changed the way many of us view money. With more of us than ever feeling the pinch, savvy saving tips have become all the rage, and people have flocked to the internet to share their ideas.

Many of us are already unplugging the TV instead of leaving it on standby to save on our bills. Some of us may have cut back on how often we eat meat or switched to own-brand products to lower the cost of our weekly shop.
But what about the more niche ways to save? From the ingenious to the plain outrageous, we’ve assembled some of the quirkiest, ‘outside the box’ penny-saving hacks.

1. Hit ‘unsubscribe’

An email from your favourite retailer offering up to 50% off ALL LINES? Go, go, go!
Half an hour later you’ve spent £50 on a pair of boots you didn’t even need.
Yep… It’s safe to say that many of us have been there.
A quick solution is to unsubscribe from any brands or companies you feel could test your willpower and persuade you to spend unnecessarily.
At the same time, why not break the habit of scroll-shopping when bored? It’s all too easy to be tempted into making a purchase online; putting down our phones could help us save money in the long run.

2. Erase the ease

When browsing your favourite websites it can be so easy to simply click ‘add to basket’, quickly followed by ‘pay now’, without really thinking about it. Remove the ease from online shopping by removing any debit or credit cards you have stored in your account or app. Without that payment information already filled in for us, we’re less likely to complete checkout, especially if we’re comfy on the sofa and have to get up and physically get our card from another room!

3. Get changed!

Now here’s a cheeky retro tip, if ever there was one!
Who grew up with a change jar in their house?
Did anyone else’s dad store spare pennies in a pint glass on the TV stand?!
The legendary change jar is somewhat of a dying trend, possibly down to the simple fact that fewer of us carry cash nowadays.
If and when you do use cash, keep any loose change and add it to a jar. Vow to leave the jar untouched until it’s full.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of pennies… Never be too proud to pick up fallen change in the street! Rescue it, bang it in your jar, and watch your balance build.
Once the jar has reached its limit, tip out the contents, count it up, add it to money bags and pay it into the bank.
You should be able to ask for money bags for free from your local bank, or you can purchase some online for around £2.25.
If you don’t fancy counting the pennies out yourself, larger branches may have coin-counting machines. Alternatively, some supermarkets have coin exchange booths where you can cash in your coppers, although bear in mind these usually charge a fee.

4. Paid opinions

A penny for your thoughts!
As long as you don’t expect huge payouts, taking part in paid surveys can be an interesting way to earn some extra cash.
Usually, all you need to do is sign up, answer a few questions about your lifestyle and interests, and complete any surveys sent to you. You can do this in the comfort of your own home on your phone or laptop. The surveys themselves are unlikely to take any longer than 15 minutes each, although this will vary between companies and may also depend on your browser speed. Generally, the longer the survey the bigger the reward.
You may earn a small cash reward for every survey you complete, or you might earn points which can be redeemed for PayPal cash or a voucher once you hit a certain amount.
Some of the most popular survey companies in the UK include Research Opinions, YouGov, iSay and Swagbucks.

5. Preloved

Wait! Before you chuck that t-shirt you haven’t worn for two years, remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just because you’ve fallen out of love with it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t the exact thing somebody else is looking for to complete a killer outfit.
Is there a nicer combination than gaining some extra money while knowing your previously loved possessions are getting a second lease of life?
You can sell unwanted clothes and other items on second-hand sites such as Vinted and eBay. Make sure you read the terms and conditions on each site beforehand, so you know if you’ll be charged any seller’s fees.

6. Sharing is caring

If your phone’s battery is at halfway during your commute home, why not take advantage of the free power sockets at the station, or on board the train? Using these to charge your phone to full will save you money on your own energy bills.

7. Delay repay

Do you regularly use the train? If so, you’re probably aware of the issues of ongoing strikes, cancellations, and late-running services across the UK’s rail network.
Data revealed that, in terms of rail cancellations, 2022 – 2023 have been the worst years on record.
Did you know that you can claim a portion of your ticket price back if you are affected by late or cancelled services? While some passengers may not bother to claim, it’s definitely worth doing, and the online forms only tend to take a few minutes to complete - be sure to have your ticket to hand to speed up the process.
Some companies even offer complimentary rail vouchers that can be used to cover the cost of future journeys.
Likewise, if you purchased train tickets before strike action was announced and are unable to travel as a result, you should be entitled to a refund.
Each rail company has different regulations when it comes to claiming, so be sure to check out the individual website of your operator for further information.
We’ve included a few examples below.

8. Walk it off

A tip that benefits health AND saves money? Where can we sign up?!
In 2023, the cost of both fuel and train fares rose, leaving commuters and leisure travellers feeling the pinch.
It’s no wonder so many of us are choosing to rely on our own two feet to get us places, rather than jumping in the car or waiting for the train. A survey released in February 2023 revealed that, due to the rising cost of living, 1 in 5 adults opted to either walk or cycle instead of using a car.
We’re not suggesting that you suddenly start walking your entire 10-mile commute (unless you want to, of course!). A few small adjustments here and there are enough to get you started and reap the rewards, both financially and in terms of your health.
Could you get off the train or bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way home?
If you don’t have too much to buy, perhaps you could leave the car at home and walk to the supermarket and back?

9. Snack attack!

Whoever said snacks are strictly for kids?!
Heading out? Add a snack or two to your bag. This could be a cereal bar, some dried fruit, popcorn – whatever you fancy.
When we’re out and about and those hunger pangs hit, we’re often guilty of the money-guzzling grab ‘n’ go. Coming prepared and armed with own pre-bought snacks will help you to retain your cash.
This may seem like a really obvious idea, but it’s one that many of us often forget as we rush around.

10. Dry January… And February?

Every year, Dry January sees thousands of people pledge to give up alcohol for the entire month. While January may be over, the health benefits of cutting back on your alcohol consumption may continue all year ‘round, strengthening your immune system, promoting healthy functioning of the liver, and improving your blood pressure.
The accomplishment of making it through January alcohol-free can often spur people on to extend their health kick for longer. Six months after Dry January 2022, 70% of participants reported they were still exercising healthier drinking habits.
Additionally, 86% of those taking part in Dry January said they saved money, too. The average UK household spends a whopping £744 on alcohol each year. Think of the money you could save if you committed to giving up or cutting back on alcohol over a few months or even longer.

11. Roll with it

While this may seem like a bit of an odd hack, we can’t deny the logic of it!
Before you pop a new toilet roll on the holder, be sure to squash it first. As utterly bizarre as this sounds, doing this will make it harder for the paper to ‘roll.’
This will put a stop to those overly-enthusiastic rollers pulling off way more sheets than they need.
Over-rollers… There’s one in every family, right? Not anymore!

12. Bundle up

Are you familiar with the phrase ‘heat the person, not the room’? In light of rising energy bills, before you whack on the heating is anything you can do first to generate some warmth.
Could you put on an extra layer, or snuggle down under a blanket?
Check out this blog for more hints on how to warm your house on a budget.

Money talks

Finding money-saving hacks in everyday life is easy once you get into the swing of things - you just need a little creativity and resourcefulness to get you started.

Happy savings!