Saturday 27 April 2013

30 ways to save £1 blogger challenge

Last week - April 21st 2013 to be precise - marked the 30th anniversary of the pound coin. On this date in 1983, it officially replaced the Bank of England one pound note and it is estimated that a whopping 1.5 billion of them are now in circulation.

To mark the occasion, Money Supermarket have come up with a fab blogger challenge. They explain : "To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin, we're asking the UK's most talented and creative bloggers - that's you, by the way - to give us as many money saving tips as they can. We want 1,000, to be precise! We realise that asking each of you to give us 1,000 ways is perhaps demanding a little too much, so we'd like to reach to the magic figure by getting up to 30 ways from each blogger."

Sounds like my kind of challenge !

The Madhouse Family's 30 Ways to Save £1 :

1 - Fill a reuseable bottle with water (or the drink of your choice) and pop it in your handbag/the glovebox of your car, rather than grabbing a can or bottle from the nearest shop when you're thirsty. Various schemes like or list venues that will allow you to refill water bottle for free (although you're supposed to buy one of their charity-funding bottles to start with).

2 - Go to farmers' markets just as they're about to pack up and haggle to buy fruit/veg in bulk at vastly reduced prices.

3 - Use a price checker like to check out the cheapest place to buy your groceries.

4 - Rather than buying individual ice creams from the ice cream van, pop in to the nearest supermarket and buy a multipack instead - they work out much cheaper.

5 - Scan through freebie websites like MoneySavingExpert or MagicFreebies to see what you can get for free - you'd be amazed at the number of free samples but also full sized products that can be requested !

6 - Enter competitions, particularly on blogs and on twitter, where the number of entries are lower and you'll be able to stock up your Father Christmas cupboard long before December comes round ! (You can start by entering mine here ! -

7 - Buy all next year's Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations in the sales just after Christmas when they are being cleared out at silly prices.

8 - Start Meal Planning and head to the shops with a definite list of what you need for the week, rather than grabbing things willy nilly.

9 - Ask yourself "Do I really need this?" before putting impulse buys into your trolley.

10 - Leave the kids at home when you go shopping to avoid all the "Mum, can I have this?" questions in the toy/CD/sweet/biscuit aisles. Also, wait until you've eaten before going shopping - you'll buy more if you're hungry.

11 - Don't be a food/makeup snob - many discount brands from stores such as Aldi or Lidl are as good as the big name brands and only cost a fraction of the price.

12 - Don't throw away overripe bananas - make a tasty banana bread instead.

13 - Use your feet ! Don't pay out for bus fare or car park fees, walk to work or to the shops. You'll get fit too and won't have to pay for a gym membership !

14 - Use the supermarket price match deals to claim back money on products you could have bought cheaper elsewhere. Many stores do this automatically for you now but don't be afraid to ask. (I told you about Tesco's scheme here, but other supermarkets have the same thing.)

15 - Look out for "baby events" at supermarkets and bulk buy baby essentials like nappies and wipes when the prices have been slashed.

16 - Use money off coupons from sites like Super Savvy Me when you go grocery shopping.

17 - Don't throw out kids' clothes that have become stained or worn out - cut fave designs off too small clothes and stitch them over the holes or stains as patches to give clothes a new lease of life.

18 - Rather than buying a TV guide, use a free online version. The same goes for newspapers.

19 - Forage ! You may not be brave enough to go picking wild mushrooms or making nettle soup, but blackberrying is a great way of filling the freezer with frozen fruit and the cupboard with jam for zero pence.

20 - Make the most of open days to visit attractions for free. The National Trust recently had a free weekend but there are other events like Free Museum days or Farm Open days.

21 - Call in to your local tourist office just before the summer holidays and pick up leaflets for the nearby attractions - some offer discount codes and you may see posters advertising free events.

22 - Always put your Boots Advantage Card into the machine as you head into the store and check out the day's discount codes, Advantage points offers and, sometimes, total freebies. Take advantage of their double points shopping events to get extra points, redeemable for free shopping instore, as you pick up your beauty essentials.

23 - Read the "special offer" signs carefully at the supermarket as they're not always the best deal. I've seen things like "Buy 2 for £6" when the price per article is £2.50.

24 - At the supermarket, buy in bulk and freeze what you don't need, rather than buying higher-priced individual items. Especially good if you can find things on special offer or buy-one-get-one-free deals.

25 - Use your Tesco Clubcard points for cut-price days out or even paying your energy bills with Eon. Instore, 100 points is only worth £1 but they can be doubled up on some of their offers. (See here for details.)

26 - When buying on ebay, use a website like to check for items listed with spelling mistakes that most people won't have noticed.

27 - Scour the supermarket shelves for "try me free" offers - you can be reimbursed for quite a few items if you scan your till receipt and send it off (requesting that your stamp is reimbursed too !).

28 - Don't buy that new book, borrow it at your local library instead.

29 - Go to the cinema for free by requesting screener tickets at websites such as SeeFilmFirst

30 - Rather than paying a fortune for international phone calls, turn on your webcam and use a free Skype video call instead.

Disclosure : This is my entry for the "30 ways to save £1" blogger challenge. The first 500 bloggers to take part will be paid £1 per money saving tip, and everyone will be entered into a prize draw to win £1,000.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

We've been testing Tesco's Price Promise


  1. There are some fab suggestions here !! We need to watch the pennies over the next few months so I will be trying some of these to save the £1's !! x

  2. Oooh I had not heard of fatfingers, thanks for that!

  3. some brilliant idea, i am also intrigued by fat fingers will be looking at that later

  4. Thank you, Cheryl, for tagging me on Twitter to encourage me to take part in the competition. I'm in the 500 and will get a payment. :)


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