Everyday hacks that'll save you money

We are all feeling the financial squeeze at the moment, especially when it comes to making small, everyday changes to save pennies.

From digital loyalty cards at high street favourites to keeping an eye on your pet’s food prtions, we’ve got some great tips for you.

And there’s an amazing offer on the go at London Zoo, meaning a bargain day out for the family.

Below you will find the everyday life hacks that will save you money when you need to most.

Loyalty rewards all in one place

Gone are the days of rooting through your wallet or purse to find your advantage or loyalty cards, because many shops now have a digital version that can be easily stored in your smartphone.

If the thought of carrying multiple physical cards around with you puts you off signing up to membership schemes, you can now rest easy knowing they’re not taking up any extra room in your pocket.

Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and Costa Coffee have loyalty cards that allow you to accrue points (which can be redeemed in-store) as well as receive regular discounts. Apps such as Apple Wallet or Stocard are ideal for keeping loyalty cards and voucher codes in one place, so you don’t have to worry about bringing the physical card out with you.

Keep an eye on pet portions

A third of dogs that visit vets are overweight, according to ITV This Morning’s vet Dr Scott Miller.

Owners could save up to 25 per cent on pet food costs if they were to understand their pooch’s nutritional needs and feed them the correct amount. But make sure to not suddenly change diet as this could result in gastrointestinal upsets and diarrhoea, with an unwanted vet bill of up to £100 for treatment.

Pea vigilant

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Birds Eye has recently announced that it will be removing the press-to-close packaging mechanism on its peas and other vegetable bags – to help reduce the amount of plastic used. All in all, it’s going to be reducing 70 per cent of plastic from its peas and vegetable packs.

So, to stop any runaway peas, food waste expert Kate Hall suggests cutting a large ‘V’ shape at the top of the bag when opening it up to create ‘handles’, so when you go to close it back up, you can use the two handles to simply knot it together and seal the bag.

Be careful with expiry dates at pound stores

Most products sold in pound stores have the same typical ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates as those found in any other retailer, but this is not always the case.

Many retailers bulk-buy ranges from manufacturers keen to clear through their excess stock and as a result will have a shorter-shelf life.

Visit London Zoo for just £3

London Zoo is handing out £3 tickets to people in low-income families, to give everyone the chance to connect with nature amid the cost of living crisis.

As part of London Zoo’s Community Access Scheme, people can buy reduced price tickets at the gate from as little as £3 per person (usual cost is upwards of £26.50) if they are receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The £3 tickets are available for the whole family (children under three go free), from 11am every day, and the current offer runs until the end of this month.

You’ll need to take your proof of benefits letter with you to the zoo when you buy your tickets from the admissions gate. This can be an electronic copy if you prefer.

Note that London Zoo will not be able to issue discounted tickets unless you can show one of the above documents (per household) as proof of eligibility.

Get money back on the food shop

Average households are currently paying around 
£788 a year more due to inflation, according to analytics group Kantar.

Nationwide customers can earn five per cent cashback on their supermarket spending when shopping both online and in-store.

The deal, capped at £10 a month, is available to both new and existing customers who have a current account with Nationwide and will run until April 30 – or until £100million has been paid back to consumers.

Cut the cost of your kettle with a simple hack

If you love a cup of tea or coffee, you can cut costs with a simple hack to reduce your energy use.

Rather than fill your kettle up to the brim, just take the mug you’re going to use, fill up only the water you’re going to need, and add it to the kettle on its own.

With the massive rise in energy bills, this will keep your costs right down to a minimum.

But bear in mind that if the amount that you put in doesn’t reach the minimum line on the kettle, you should always add extra water.

While this may cost a few pence more, under-filling the kettle could damage the heating mechanism.

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