Saving money shouldn't have to be a slog. To prove it, we'll be pulling together our top 5 savings tips every month, to help you make the most of your hard-earned cash without scrimping. This is our May edition - let us know which tip is your favourite by tweeting us @ClearScore!
1. Planning a holiday? Download Lucky Trip
Like Tinder, but for holidays. If you're waiting for the perfect package to book your summer holiday, your search is over - Lucky Trip will find you 'a trip in one tap'. Simply enter how much you want to spend in the app, whether it's £200 or £1,000. Hit the button and they’ll pick a destination with a great deal on flights and accommodation that fits comfortably within your budget. They’ll even show you a list of must-do things to do while you’re there, and the average weather for that month! Not keen on the destination they’ve picked? Just keep swiping until you find one you like.
2. Start cycling to work
An obvious money-saving hack, but a good excuse to take advantage of the warmer weather (and save up to £3,000 a year). It’s often quicker than sitting in traffic and less stressful than the pains of commuting on the underground, if you're London-based. If your employer’s part of the Bike 2 Work scheme, you could nab yourself a free bike and accessories too. You're more likely to stick to this one if you persuade people to join you, so why not see if your colleagues live nearby and want to join?
3. Try a 'Too Good To Waste' box
Fruit and veg are notoriously expensive - healthy food now costs three times as much as junk food, which makes it all the more tempting. Save your precious money by taking advantage of Lidl’s ‘Too Good To Waste’ boxes. At just £1.50, they’re packed with fruits and veggies that are deemed not shelf-worthy (they might have a few lumps and bumps) but are still perfectly fine to eat. You’ll be helping to tackle food waste, too. Find your nearest Lidl here.
4. Rent out your home on Airbnb
Okay, so technically this one's more about making money than saving it. If you’re jetting off on holiday anytime soon, instead of leaving your home empty, why not rent it out on Airbnb? You could pocket a few hundred quid, (or up to £2,159 a month in London) and it’ll save you from worrying about leaving your place unoccupied for weeks on end. You can pick your price, and it's free to list your place. It's also a great excuse to get someone to water your plants/herbs/feed your cat if you're lucky, too. Find out more about hosting here.
5. Bring your own booze to restaurants
Often it’s the cost of alcohol that causes you to spit out your food at the sight of the bill, rather than the food itself. Generally, restaurants charge three times the retail price on alcohol plus VAT, but it's not unheard of for bottles to be marked up by as much as 400%. Taking your own wine or beer (or whatever your tipple of choice) to a restaurant is a great way to cut costs if you still want to treat yourself. Check the websites of your favourite places to see if they offer free corkage or BYOB on certain nights of the week - usually it's earlier on in the week when restaurants are quieter.