Seven summer savings
What could you do to save money over a single week? Implement one of these seven summer savings every day, over a week and see what happens. The potential savings could run into the hundreds of pounds over the year.
1. Bottled water
British tap water is amongst the most highly regulated in the world, yet we spend £2 billion on mineral water every year.
Invest in a refillable bottle (or dig the one you have out of the back of the cupboard) and you will never run out of water. Thousands of cafés and restaurants will refill them with tap water, for free. You just have to ask.
And of course, you will also be helping to keep plastic bottles out of the environment, where they are causing serious damage. You can find out more in our article, ‘How to cut down your need for plastic’ here.
According to research by Zenith International, the average Brit drinks more than 40 litres of bottled water a year. Even at a modest £1 for a bottle of mineral water bottle, could add that up to a £40 saving.
2. Unwanted Food
Hard as it is to believe, we live in a country with food banks. UK households throw away over £10bn of food every year – and that does not factor in the cost of disposing of it all, increasing the council tax bills.
Reduce unwanted food in your house now with our simple steps:
• Plan meals and only buy the food you need to cook them
• Make a list for your shopping – but only after checking what you already have in the house – and stick to the list.
• If you’re tempted by the ‘last chance to buy’ or ‘2-for-1’ deals at the supermarket, make sure you can freeze them (to keep them longer)
• Freeze bread – we waste 24 million slices in the UK every day. You can defrost it to make sandwiches or pop it straight in the toaster for toast
• Check your fridge often. If food is about to expire, freeze it if you can and where you can’t, re-jig your weekly menu to eat it sooner
• Use up ingredients: if you have ingredients left over that will perish, use them. Either make a bigger batch of your intended meal (and freeze leftovers) or amend an existing recipe or simply enter them in a leftover recipe finder – such as the one on the Love Food Hate Waste - to find new recipes you can use them in
• Use up leftovers. Take your leftovers from dinner to work for lunch the next day or go for an American-style ‘leftovers night’ where the meal consists of the food leftover from meals that week. It makes for some interesting – and delicious – food combinations.
Wasted food costs the average household £470 a year – and families with children £700 a year.
The average person in the UK pays £6.08 on average every day for lunch, with those in London spending up to £15.51. There is probably plenty of spare food at home and by taking it into work, we could be doing our wallets and our waistlines a favour.
Workers can spend £1,580 per year on average just on lunch so you could make worthwhile savings wherever you are in the UK.
4. Coffee shops
In 2018, the UK’s consumption of coffee soared to 95 million cups a day in 2018, up from 70 million in 2008. That morning ‘treat’ can be more expensive than you may realise (especially as you may be tempted by other purchases, such as pastries). Far better to grab your refillable cup and charge it with your home made tea or coffee before you leave the house.
It depends on how many times you visit them but the total spend for the average person in a coffee shop was estimated to be £2,110.86 back in 2017. This staggering amount represents eight per cent of the average UK salary of £27,000.
5. TV you don’t watch
Truth be told, many of us are paying to have access to TV channels we hardly ever watch. Have an honest review about how much TV you’re watching and check subscriptions to see if you’re getting value for money. You may discover there’s cheaper options available, for example, to pay to download a single movie rather than paying for a movie package.
Also check how much you’re paying as according to research, the average person in the UK believes they’re only spending £29 each month in subscriptions including phone and TV, when we’re actually paying an average of £149!
Savings could be huge, depending on your existing package. Best check.
We’re a nation of book lovers: in 2017, we spent around £3.3bn on books. If you like to have bookshelves filled with the latest titles, check out the supermarkets for great bargains. However, if you’re not that bothered about keeping your titles, here are some ideas to shop savvy.
• Check charity shops for new (to you) books at a fraction of the original cost. You can also donate the ones you’ve read
• Start up a scheme at work where people swap books they’ve read
• Go to your local library. If they haven’t got the title you’re looking for they might request it from another library or purchase it so that you can have access to it.
On average we spend, £5.30 every week on books, newspapers and stationery, according to the Office for National Statistics. If we estimate that a third of that amount is spent on books, it would mean we are spending over £90 a year on books – so you don’t need to read between the lines to see the savings here make sound financial sense.
7. Losing weight
Dieting needn’t come at a price. It has been estimated that starting a new one, including joining a slimming club, buying shakes or ‘healthier’ foods, can cost about £160. The average diet, according to a survey by Engage Mutual, lasts just 19 days, and some people can start three diets a year.
The NHS weight loss plan is a completely free resource designed to help you lose weight safely – and keep it off. The 12-week diet and exercise plan doesn’t include special diet food, instead helping to educate us to make better food choices. It has been downloaded more than 4 million times, and is available here.
This will depend upon what you’re paying now but it has been estimated that diets that encourage you to buy branded products can add £60 to the weekly shop and the services that deliver food to your door can cost up to £245 a month.
Wondering what to do with the money you’ve saved?
By following these summer saving tips, you could potentially save money. If you’d like to put it into a savings account, then Al Rayan Bank have a number of award winning, Sharia-compliant savings accounts that you may wish to consider. All of these accounts do not offer interest on your savings, instead, the bank undertakes ethical, Sharia compliant activities with the intention of generating profit, which is then shared with you. Al Rayan Bank have something to suit most budgets and you’ll be surprised how quickly your savings could grow. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can find more details on our full range here.