22 Everyday Ways to Cut Spending in 2022
17th March 2022
Looking to cut back on how much you spend this year? There are plenty of hacks and ideas out there that will help you do that, and many don’t requirement that much time or effort, just a simple switch or a little creativity. Here we’ve collected 22 of our favourite ways to shave a little off of your spending to leave more money for what’s important.
1. Tap water is your best friend
Water is the key to everything healthy. We can’t function without it, and life is simply better when we’re properly hydrated. Not to mention, it can save you money by keeping you fuller for longer and prevent snacking and also is a far more valuable part of your skincare routine than all those expensive products. Plus, a glass of tap water is virtually free.
2. Ditch the fancy loo roll
All toilet paper is basically the same, so what’s the point in buying the fancy kind? To figure out if your loo roll is good value for money, you need to look at cost and sheets per roll and perhaps do a little simple math. The more sheets, the longer it will last. Brands will try to entice you with three-ply or scented products, but it’s really not necessary and will cost you more.
3. Embrace cold showers
Cold showers aren’t just for summer, and by turning down the temperature you can save on your energy bills and even your water bill since you won’t want to stay in there very long. It’s the perfect way to wake you up, and may even be enough for you to skip the morning coffee, plus it stimulates blood flow, actually making you warmer throughout the day.
4. Wash your hair less
Try washing your hair less often and you’ll save on shampoo and other hair products. This may seem like a bad thing, but actually, washing your hair too much makes it lose its shine (or colour, if its dyed). It’s possible to train your hair by gradually washing it less frequently - your hair will adapt and produce oils at a slower rate, so with enough training, you may be able to last a week without even needing dry shampoo.
5. Find your nearest beauty school
Often, getting your hair, makeup or other beauty treatments done at a beauty school is a cheaper alternative to your usual salon as it’s an opportunity to train new stylists. While there is an element of risk (hence the lower pricing), if you’re getting something like a trim, it’s probably worth it. Alternatively, book your appointments at a normal salon but with the most junior stylist - this will likely be the cheapest option and you’re helping them gain experience.
6. Get crafty and DIY
Across so many areas of life, the more you’re able to do yourself, the cheaper it will be. Fixing things is almost always cheaper than simply replacing it. For example, if your jeans rip, knowing how to sew it back together will save you spending on a new pair for a little longer. For bigger projects like home DIYs you can save a lot more by not hiring someone to do it for you. YouTube is your friend when it comes to learning how.
7. Make it a lunch catch-up
Instead of catching up with friends or colleagues over dinner, start planning to meet for breakfast or lunch instead (although not brunch, as that’s trendy, boozy and can get very pricy). You’re likely to eat less, drink less alcohol and may be able to order from a set menu - all things that bring the cost of your catch-up down considerably.
8. White vinegar can clean most things
You really don’t need to have a different cleaning product for each individual thing as white vinegar is the most versatile cleaner out there. It’s nontoxic, eco-friendly and super cheap. You can use it on most surfaces including glass, leaving your kitchens and bathrooms spotless. You can read more about its benefits on Healthline.
9. Turn your thermostat down one degree
No one should be living in cold, uncomfortable conditions, but energy bills, especially during the winter months, can get expensive. Instead of switching off entirely and wrapping up, a simple, achievable solution is to turn the thermostat down by just one degree - you probably won’t feel the difference, but you’ll definitely notice it on your next bill.
10. Buy second hand
Good news, if you haven’t realised, being thrifty is fashionable now, particularly due to the popularity of vintage pieces, but also as it’s far more sustainable and environmentally friendly. There are online marketplaces like Depop, Shpock, Facebook Marketplace and eBay, or your local charity shops. You can also pick up things for free on websites like Freecycle and even Facebook Marketplace as long as you pick it up yourself.
11. Cancel the gym membership
Ask yourself why you have a gym membership? Do you really need it? Society teaches us that we do, but it’s not for everyone. You’ve probably realised already that your membership cost isn’t the motivator you thought it would be, so why waste that money. Instead, read our 8 Simple Ways to Work Out on a Budget. Spoiler: a lot of it is free.
12. Hire a car
Depending on our lifestyle, sometimes there’s simply no need to buy a car, especially if you’re well-connected with public transport. Understandably, there are some events, like days out, travelling to see family or moving house that really benefit from a car, so why not hire one for those days instead of paying insurance every year. Compare costs and see if you use your car enough to be worth it.
13. Drive economically
By learning to drive better, you can reduce your fuel consumption and therefore your fuel costs. The AA call it eco-driving and detail how you can do it. Tips include driving smoothly, accelerating gently and reading the road ahead to avoid braking unnecessarily and try to reduce how much you use the air con at lower speeds by opening windows.
14. Aim for offpeak
Whether that’s catching a train a couple of hours later (or earlier) to save money, heading out to a bar earlier in the evening to get 2 for 1 drinks on happy hour, or going to a restaurant on a certain day where meals are cheaper, timing is everything. Before you decide on dates and times for the things you want to do, research any deals you could get by adjusting your plans.
15. Prep for hangovers
Water is your best friend - and it’s virtually free-ish. Not only does it keep you fuller for longer (saving you from buying snacks), but staying hydrated is the key to being happier, healthier and having better skin. Swap out the expensive soft drinks for water and you’ll start seeing the savings instantly.
16. Use loyalty cards
Loyalty cards can often be completely worth it. If you shop at Tesco, you absolutely should have a Clubcard, same goes for Sainsburys and a Nectar card. Not having one is a wasted opportunity for savings. We’re not talking about store cards though, those are credit, and worth avoiding where possible due to high interest rates.
17. Make homemade pet treats
Pet owners, you know how expensive pet treats can be, which is why it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own. It isn’t particularly difficult with a recipe and they can be made in bulk and stored for long periods of time. We also have our 5 Essential Tips For Owning a Pet on a Budget.
18. Avoid disposable products
Look for alternatives to any single-use or disposable products in your life as with those, you end up buying them so frequently for convenience that it often equates to more than a pricier, but more sustainable alternative. For example, to wipe down surfaces, use all-purpose cloths instead of excessive amounts of kitchen roll, or switch to a long-lasting razor with refills instead of cheap, disposable ones.
19. Unsubscribe and unfollow
Marketing emails are designed to make you spend more using sales and psychological techniques. The best way to avoid falling prey to them and impulse spending is to unsubscribe from them entirely. Simply click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email and you’re free. Same goes for any companies or influencers you follow on social media.
20. Be brand-blind
Your favourite brands - or the most popular ones - are almost always not the cheapest option in the store. Try to be conscious when shopping about whether you’re buying it because you believe it’s the best option or if it’s simply powerful branding. Sometimes the value products aren’t much worse and are only a fraction of the price.
21. Always have a packed lunch
Whatever you do, wherever you go, always have a packed lunch. Work, long drives, days out with the family - having food options with you, even if it’s a few small snacks, can save you tons of money buying from places like gas stations, expensive lunch places and coffee shops where prices are typically higher than your supermarket.
22. Say no
When it comes to events, you don’t have to do everything your friends ask you to if you’re really not that bothered or you can’t afford to. Weddings are a great example. Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you have to buy a ticket and spend a fortune to go if its not that important to you (like a friend of a friend). Same with expensive stag and hen dos. You can always suggest a cheaper alternative just the two of you if you can’t afford to go.