Money-saving hacks that save cash: From food waste to train travel

Logo of Thameslink

How to bag a bargain with these money-saving hacks (Picture: Alamy)

We’re all tightening our belts when it comes to spending. Especially this time of year when we’ve splurged over Christmas and cost-of-living bills are soaring.

We still have to live a little though, right? That’s why the following hacks are designed to help you cut down on spending unnecessarily when your money could be used for something else.

From keeping an eye on food waste to getting more out of your candles, find out how you can save some money this January.

Flip your fridge storage

Move food to the front of your fridge if it no longer looks fresh (Picture: Alamy)

I used to get so fed up with tossing out rotten fruit and veg – until this simple hack made an enormous difference. Take the fruit and veg out of their crisper-drawer purgatory and place them front and centre on the shelves, so they are easy to spot – and more likely to be eaten.

On the door, put any drinks with preservatives (such as pop and prosecco, rather than milk) as they will better withstand the fluctuating temperature. While crisper drawers are designed to keep produce fresh longer, this only matters if you actually eat the food inside. So, if your greens are out where you can see them, they have a fighting chance of getting eaten before they spoil.

Pump it up

Use a dispenser to control how much shower gel you use (Picture: Getty)

My tween daughter uses so much shower gel that our family bathroom can sometimes resemble an Ibiza foam party. To limit how much she uses each time she hops into the shower, I decanted her shampoo, conditioner and shower gel into pump bottles. The bottles that shampoos and conditioners come in usually make you pour out more product than you need.

You cannot put the excess product back so your instinct would be to simply dump the entire amount on your head. To prevent this wastage from occurring, use a pump dispenser – a new one costs around £3 on eBay – or simply recycle empty hand lotion or soap containers. Using a pump dispenser will also mean you can use up to the very last drop of what was in the original bottle.

Keep an eye on food waste

Cutting down on food waste will mean you’ll waste less money (Picture: Alamy)

Consumers throw out £13bn of food a year – but I was able to cut down our food waste with a handy trick. I stick my weekly food shop receipts on my fridge and as I throw food away, I take a pen and cross it off the receipt. By the end of the week, what I’ve crossed off is the food we’ve wasted – and what’s left is a list of food you probably don’t need to buy again just yet.

Get more burn for your buck

Reuse leftover wax on burner candles (Picture: Alamy)

I love smelly candles but hate when they burn in a way that leaves a bunch of hard wax around the outside – it just seems like such a waste. So I wrap that leftover wax in a tea towel and bash it to bits with a rolling pin then reuse that wax in a burner.

Have a candle in a jar? Don’t worry, getting the wax out is easier than you think: just fill your candles with boiling water and watch as the heat melts the wax, causing it to bubble to the top. Then, once the wax has cooled and hardened, simply apply pressure, pop it out and drop it onto your burner for some more lovely smells.

First class travel hack

Finding a seat on the work commute can be a difficult task (Picture: Alamy)

I doubt that I am the only one who struggles with getting a train seat on my morning commute. But travellers on Thameslink trains rejoice – the rear first class carriage is always declassified, so anyone can sit there at any time of day.

It maintains the first-class branding because which end is the rear switches depending which way along the track the train is going – which means you will often find a seat and it won’t cost you a penny extra.

Share your moneysaving hacks with Kara on Instagram via @Kara.Gammell and on Twitter at @karagammell

MORE : 10 easy money-saving tips to get you through to January payday

MORE : Sick of failing your New Year’s money resolutions? Try these goals you’ll actually be able to keep

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