20 mini money saving tips – Small is beautiful!

Plunging right into the heart of pecuniary wisdom, here are twenty mini-tips for saving tiny, weeny amounts of money.

Over time they add up to a decent wedge and many of them help you live greener too, generating less waste and making a smaller impact on our lovely, exhausted planet!

  1. fine, delicate tights are back in fashion and they ladder much more easily than opaques. Put your tights in the ‘fridge and they’re less likely to ladder
  2. little kids bored on rainy day? Keep a stash of colourful old clothes, shoes, hats and scarves handy for ‘dressing up’
  3. mend leaky wellies in the short term by taping gaffer tape inside. For the long term, buy a specialist wellie-mending kit
  4. grow house plants, windowsill herbs, mustard and cress or outdoor plants in old shoes and funky trainers for an eccentric, fun look
  5. use old trainers as kneeling pads when you’re doing the housework or gardening… really!
  6. cut kitchen sponges and cloths in half so they last twice as long
  7. the bags from the inside of cereal boxes make excellent freezer bags
  8. use old toothbrushes as cleaning tools. They’re brilliant for getting into nooks and crannies in the loo, shower, cooker and fridge
  9. we bought our cats a posh wicker cat bed. They loved it for a month then discarded it for greener sleeping pastures: under the bed, on the windowsill, next to the kitchen radiator. In truth they enjoy sleeping on an old cushion just as much as their smart shop-bought bed!
  10. recycle old newspapers by shredding them and adding them to your compost heap. Use them as art paper for little kids to paint on. Or ‘wallpaper’ your loo with newspaper for interesting on-the-loo-reading material and a stylishly cheap decor solution. Old maps make stunning wallpaper too, colourful and fascinating. Pick them up from boot fairs and charity shops. Or buy second hand books and paste gorgeous old illustrations all over your loo walls
  11. weird but true: you can clean suede with chewing gum. Chew it first!
  12. only fill the kettle with as much water as you need instead of filling it to the brim every time
  13. know when to splurge and when not to: buy quality goods when the situation merits it, otherwise choose cheap and non-brand alternatives
  14. buy train and air tickets as early as you can to get the lowest possible prices
  15. if you travel on public transport regularly, check out cheap advance deals on weekly, monthly or annual tickets
  16. knowledge is power: note down every single thing you buy for a month. It’ll give you all sorts of cool clues about where you can cut costs. Note down the money you save too – watching it is great money saving motivation
  17. use sand on icy pathways and patios instead of salt. It’s less damaging and because it doesn’t melt you can sweep it up and use it again
  18. save seeds from fruit and veg and grow edible produce for less as well as growing  a load of exciting, exotic things for your house: avocado trees, passion fruit vines, dragon fruit, orange and lemon bushes, Kiwi fruit plants…
  19. use a strong salt and water solution to kill weeds on your path or patio instead of expensive, nasty proprietary weed killers. Or let them grow where they wish. Most mini-weeds and mosses are actually very pretty
  20. slow down to save petrol. Driving at 80 mph is illegal as well as using as much as 25% more fuel than driving at 70. In combination with other eco-driving techniques, slowing down on motorways can save you around £500 a year on fuel