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9 Ways to Save in the United Kingdom

Guest Post by Sarah Jones from Delivering Grace

The UK has been hit, like many other countries by the economic downturn. Here are some ways I’ve found to save:

1. Generic brands

Many of these are just as good as the more expensive names. Even the store economy brands are frequently reasonable quality. Look out for value chocolate digestives and canned tomatoes. There may be some that your family don’t appreciate but it is worth a try.

2. Late shopping

There are reductions through the day on products with “sell by” dates for that day. The percentage reduction increases as the day goes on. The reductions are marked with special labels, usually yellow.

3. Economy stores

Aldi, Lidls, Netto. I only regularly use Lidls. Lidls are good for cleaning products, bread mixes and chocolate. I find that the economy stores don’t sell everything I need, especially for baking, so I tend to go to them about once a month and do a big shop of the items with the greatest saving.

4. Store reward cards and points

Many stores have these. Tesco Clubcard has points which are usually worth four times the face value mainly for treats. Zoos and other days out have queues of people clutching their Tesco vouchers. The points have to be redeemed for specific vouchers in advance. Nectar points (Sainsburys plus a few other stores) are similar although generally less good value for days out.

There are said to be thousands of pounds in various reward card points that are never spent. The best coupons often come with mailings from store reward cards, often money off or more points off basic items such as dairy products or fruit and vegetables. Stores tend to be strict about only accepting in-date coupons for precise items.

5. Store clubs

Both Tescos and Boots have baby clubs. These clubs send mailings with coupons off nappies and wipes. They have particularly good introductory offers. Tescos also have a group of parents testing baby products and completing surveys again for Clubcard points. The baby products tested are sent out free.

6. Farm shops

In my experience, the further from the main road and the more tatty the shop the better the reductions! The other advantage of farm shops is that the money goes straight to the farmer not to some middle man.

7. Markets

They can have value fruit and vegetables.

8. Cloth nappies (diapers in the US)

Councils have a big push on cloth nappies as they have targets for reducing the volume going to landfill. Many councils offer substantial discounts on cloth nappies. My local council gave us a coupon to the value of £40 off cloth nappies.

9. Using the washing line

A very British habit!

Sarah Jones is a wife and mother of five who lives in England. She blogs at Delivering Grace.

photo credit

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  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m moving to London soon and was wondering what I’d do!

  • Heather says:

    I loved Lidls when I lived in France!

  • Sue says:

    I love using the wash line.. But honestly it is was one of the factors when buying our house. The list of communities that you can even put a clothes line in my area is getting smaller and smaller!
    sue in NJ

    • Stephanie says:

      Many places have “right to dry”. Some towns/municipalities (the list is growing all the time) override the neighborhood covenants to allow clotheslines.

  • Rachel says:

    What are chocolate digestives? I’ve never heard of them!

  • Susan says:

    It was worth reading this post just for the British terminology! I use a clothesline, too, and get lots of positive comments from my neighbors, surprisingly enough!

  • Sarah says:

    Sadly, recently and since I wrote this, Tescos has changed its Clubcard point value from being worth four times face value for rewards to being worth three times their face value. Still a good deal though.

  • I’m going for a 5 day to London on my reward card point. Any tips on saving on lodging or outings for a visitor during high season would be appreciated

    • Sarah says:

      The cheapest places to stay are usually either youth hostels ( or Travelodges ( Travelodge have a sale on at present although deals vary between lodges and for different dates.
      It is possible to see much of London for very little money. Most of the museums and art galleries are free as are the parks. Do watch for expensive museum shops and restaurants-they have to make money somehow!
      Travel is cheap on the red London buses. An oyster card is the most economical way to pay ( You can buy your card and have it delivered to the US. The oyster card can also be used on the tube and on trains around greater London.
      Hope this helps.

      • Claire says:

        Please try for some great deals on days out, eating out etc. Hope that’s some help and have a great time in the UK.

  • Sarah says:

    The cheapest places to stay are either youth hostels or Travelodges. Travelodge have a sale on at present.

    Most of the famous museums and art galleries are free and there are sometimes free lunchtime concerts at places like Festival Hall. Do watch for expensive museum shops-they have to make money somehow!

    In terms of travel, it is worth getting a visitor oyster card ( as this reduces the cost of using London buses or the tube. The red London buses are a great way to see the city and much cheaper than tourist buses.

    Hope this helps.

  • Robin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information! I am moving to Hull, UK in a few months and have been scratching my head wondering how I would be able to save money and find good deals on grocery items and the like.

    • Claire says:

      I live in Devon in the UK and recently found a great website
      Hope you enjoy your time in England.

      • Robin says:

        Thank you, Claire! There is a lot going on on that Money Saving Expert website; I will have to spend a few days paging through it.

        I’ve been doing the couponing thing for about 3 yrs and it’s made a huge impact, so when I heard might be moving to the UK it worried me quite a bit how we would kept the food budget low. If you have any other tips or suggested websites, I’d truly apprieciate it! Thanks again for your help!

        • Claire says:

          You’re welcome Robin.

          Yeah the money saving website does take a few days to go through. In the there is some very good advice on how to save money on food including food vouchers and if you go to there is some good advice on how to make your fuel for the car go as far as possible (fuel is disgustingly expensive in England).

          As Sarah explained if you sign up to the food stores’ reward cards you can collect points that can be spent on [for example] days out and food shopping and they sometimes send you vouchers through the post. Boots store (try if you would like to see what they have) isn’t a food store but their loyalty card is certainly worth signing up for as you collect points every time you shop (whether in store or online) and they sometimes send you coupons through the post. You can then spend the points on almost anything in store. Once I’ve collected enough points I use them to get free shower gel, shampoo etc.

          A very good website is which gives lots of advice on, well, everything really including things to do in the area that you live and advice such as where to meet other mums. There is also some advice for keeping the food budget low (just use the search tool on the website if you cannot find it).

          Hope that helps.

          Claire xxx

  • nellbe says:

    we have clotheslines in Australia as well as the norm. In fact I don’t even own a clothes dryer.

  • Claire says:

    I live in Devon in the South West of England (one of the most expensive places in the UK to live yet some of the lowest wages). Thanks for the tips they are great. I think is a wonderful website.

    For all of those people visiting the UK and looking for ways to save, please try for some great deals and advice. Hope you find some help.

    • Sarah says:

      Couldn’t agree more. We have found many good deals from the Moneysaving Expert especially on utilities, insurance and travel but there is also a wealth of information on the forums.

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