The main focus of this blog is how to save money on food and drink across London (simply because we like food and live in London!). However, there are a ton of other ways you can make money. Some are simple, some are niche, some require a bit of effort – but hopefully at least one of our tips will save you money.
Be a guinea pig
If you have time, but not much money, why not be a guinea pig for students or learners? Your ‘service’ might take 2-3 times longer than normal, but you get a really good service that is usually being monitored by an expert.
- Want free dental care? Get it at King’s here.
- Want a free or cheap haircut and/or colour? Toni and Guy and all the other larger hairdressers regularly want people that their students can test on. Contact their academies for more details, or look at their websites for more details. Sometimes they even place ads in the Metro.
AKA the Lifetime ISA – all you need to do is pay in £4k each tax year, and the government adds a 25% bonus on top! You must be over 18 or under 40 to open one, and you can only withdraw money if you’re buying your first home, are aged 60 or over or have less than 12 months to live. More here.
Don’t have a spare £4k? Never mind – you can open one with at least £1 (and even then you’ll still earn 25% on that)
Some local areas organise small ongoing discounts of independent shops (usually between 10-30% off RRP), so this is a good way to save money if you always buy a morning coffee on your way to work, buy lunch now and then, or even buy flowers every weekend. It’s worth checking out discounts aimed at residents or local workers for the area you live/work in. For instance, see what’s happening in Baker St or London Bridge or Local Buyer’s Club.
Download app –> free coffee
A lot of the larger companies have apps where if you download them, new app users can normally claim a free gift – sometimes a sweet treat, sometimes a coffee. And if you’re a regular somewhere, especially coffee shops and bakeries, they often do loyalty schemes where if you buy 6 coffees, you’ll get the 7th free. Here are a few examples.
Yellow sticker savings
Yellow stickers – a.k.a. reduced to clear items in supermarkets. Each supermarket has its own yellow sticker schedule that might take some time to figure out (or you could just ask a staff member!), but for instance, my local supermarket often starts discounting 25% off at 5pm, then 50% off at 6.30pm, and then the 75%-off offers start around 8pm. It’s all very random and feast-and-famine in terms of what you might bag, but you can get some fantastic bargains. Bigger supermarkets have better bargains than smaller ones (simply because they have more things to discount) and some supermarkets have better discounts than others (Sainsburys and Morrisons good – Waitrose and M+S, not so exciting). Generally speaking, the best bargains are to be had first thing in the morning, and after 8pm. Oh, and the day after bank holidays!
Half price food before closing
ITSU offers half price sushi 30 mins before closing in all their branches, as do Abokado (half price sushi and salads). Plus a number of bakeries offer this as their products are meant to be eaten on the day of making. So keep an eye on what time these places shut, and slink in slowly before closing…
Does your work offer discounts? Most obvious discounts are for NHS staff, or even students, but quite a few organisations often have schemes which aim to offer certain discounts such as reduced gym fees, help with paying your travel fees, save money on your weekly food shop etc. It does vary from company to company, but it’s worth checking on your work intranet for more details.
Share your subscriptions!
Got a Netflix account? Great – ask your friend with an Amazon Prime account if you fancy sharing passwords (and not only doubling what you can view, but at no extra cost). Has your flatmate got a gym membership which she only uses twice a week? Use it for when she doesn’t go to the gym, and offer her your ASOS next day delivery membership details. Share what you have and borrow what you don’t.
Birthday freebies are a nice bonus, especially if you like to go out and treat yourself on your favourite day. Quite a few places offer a free coffee or slice of cake on your birthday, so make sure you make full use of that!