Bargain Hunter: Everyday life hacks that will save you money

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From revitalising hair ties to making some cash from kids shoes, check out these top cash-saving tips (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Make life a little easier and keep a hold of some of your precious cash with these fantastic practical tips.

Whether its boosting the cleaning power on your whites or using stuff you already have about the house to help with other tasks, read on to learn how to utilise things you likely already own to solve problems and save cash.

Check out our full range of tips below.

Light it up with lint

Upgrade your fire-building skills (Picture: Getty)
Upgrade your fire-building skills (Picture: Getty)

Camping this summer? You may want to swot up on your fire-building skills. To get flames sizeable enough for cooking, you need tinder (easy-lighting material), kindling (finger-size sticks) and fuel (logs).

But you don’t need to buy lighter fluid – you can make your own free tinder for campfires and the BBQ. Each time you clean your tumble dryer filter, save the lint – it makes great tinder when stuffed into empty toilet paper tubes.

Bring back the bounce

We have a hot tip to revitalise your hair ties (Picture: Getty)
We have a hot tip to revitalise your hair ties (Picture: Getty)

Love coil hair ties… but hate the way they stretch after a few wears?

Simply unravel your hair tie and pop it into a mug of boiling water, where it will shrink back to its normal size in a matter of seconds. You may need to give it a helping hand on the final twist if the tie is particularly bent out of shape – but it’s a game changer.

Be careful with credit notes

Redeem your holiday credit notes before the end of September (Picture: Getty)
Redeem your holiday credit notes before the end of September (Picture: Getty)

If you have an unused credit note from a package holiday that was cancelled due to the pandemic, you should redeem it or cash it in before September 30 this year. If you don’t, you risk losing valuable protection if the firm that issued it goes bust.

The Civil Aviation Authority says there’s £54million-worth of unused credit notes out there still to be redeemed – 
so don’t delay.

Breathe new life into stale baguettes

Sourdough baguette and knife on cutting board isolated on white background, closeup.
Stale bread can be brought back to life with a simple trick (Picture: Getty)

Craving carbs but the only bread in the house is stale? Don’t panic. If the loaf is hard, briefly pass it under a running cold water tap. Then wrap it tightly with foil, place it on the middle rack of a cold oven, and set the temperature to 150C.

After about 30 minutes (or just 15-20 minutes for small or narrow loaves such as baguettes), remove the foil and return the loaf to the oven for about five more minutes to crisp up the crust – then dig in.

Whip up your whites

Denture-cleaning tablets are just the thing to really whiten those whites. Ain't that the tooth... (Picture: Alamy)
Denture-cleaning tablets are just the thing to really whiten those whites. Ain’t that the tooth… (Picture: Alamy)

Want to brighten dingy whites? Drop two denture-cleaning tablets into a basin of water and let them dissolve. Then submerge your white clothing in the solution and let it soak for half an hour as a pre-wash.

Clean your cooker with a kitchen staple

Dishwasher tablets turn out to be multi-purpose (Picture: Getty)
Dishwasher tablets turn out to be multi-purpose (Picture: Getty)

All you need for this hack is a dishwasher tablet (or two) and a bowl of warm water. Just make sure that whichever brand you use, you buy the pressed powder tablets and 
not the gel pods.

Here’s how to do it. Dip the tablet in warm water. Leave it to soak, but not for so long that it starts to crumble. Lay the tablet flat on the stains and use your palm to move it in a circular motion to scrub them away. If the tablet starts to dry out, dip it in warm water again.

This method works on the oven glass and is also effective on the surrounding metal part of the appliance door. When you’re finished, wipe away any residue with a damp cloth.

Cash for kids’ shoes

Child (6-7) carrying pile of old shoes for recycling at a recycling centre
Kids shoes… never knowingly under-soled (Picture: Supplied)

Do your kids outgrow their shoes faster than you can get to the shops? Then why not recycle their old ones and earn money off their next pair?

Head to a branch of the Schuh chain with a pair of shoes from any brand, to exchange them for a voucher giving you £5 off. The voucher is valid on full-price shoes over £25, either in store or online. You’ll get one voucher per pair of shoes you take to be recycled.

It’s not just for kids – unwanted adult shoes can also be recycled at Schuh and the same voucher deal applies. Visit Schuh and find out more.

Find budgeting inspiration on social media

Educate yourself financially with social media (Picture: Getty)
Educate yourself financially with social media (Picture: Getty)

Instagram and TikTok have become go-to places for financial education – just as long as you know who’s best to follow. Check out @ThriftyLondoner, @MrsMummypennyUK, @ThisGirlTalksMoney – and of course, Metro’s own @AndyCleverCash.

But with so many accounts popping up, it can be really hard to know who to trust. Influencers’ advice is unregulated, so use these platforms for budgeting inspiration rather than getting info on investing or cryptocurrency.

Make it harder to impulse-buy

Removing your card details from websites may save you money as you'll have to go find them (Picture: Getty)
Removing your card details from websites may save you money as you’ll have to go find them (Picture: Getty)

It’s not uncommon to be scrolling through your phone in the evening and stumble across something that 
you think you need to buy.

Removing your pre-saved card details from places such as clothing websites will make you think twice about ordering as you’ll have to get up and find your card.

Keep it sealed to save

Use your money to save yourself money by trying the banknote test on your fridge doors (Picture: Getty)
Use your money to save yourself money by trying the banknote test on your fridge doors (Picture: Getty)

The seals around refrigerator and freezer doors need to be replaced periodically to avoid energy loss. Test for a tight seal by closing the door on a banknote. If you can pull the note out, the seal needs replacing – and your money is being wasted on an inflated energy bill.

It’s also wise to keep your tumble dryer vent clean and free from blockage at all times, as a clogged vent not only reduces the machine’s energy efficiency, it could also cause a fire.

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

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