Brits are adopting a string of clever ways to stave off the cost-of-living crisis, including cutting their own hair, making sure lights are off – and even shopping at specific times to grab supermarket 'yellow sticker' bargains.
A survey of 2,000 adults revealed the top 30 ways the nation is looking after the pennies – with many ditching household names in favour of own-brand products, and the most popular being to turn the heating down.
Others take a lunch into work, use a clothesline instead of a tumble dryer and buy second class stamps instead of first.
In fact, 89 per cent claim they will 'go out of their way' to curb their spending, while 56 per cent will ‘use their old smartphone long past their contract’ to save money with sim-only plans.
The January reset
January emerged as the month Brits feel they need to stretch their money further – as six in 10 admit to overdoing it on Christmas presents.
While a quarter will go over the top early in the January sales - and feel the pinch for the rest of the month.
A spokesperson for SMARTY, the sim-only mobile network provider, which commissioned the research, said: "Over time lots of small changes add up to a big difference when it comes to spending habits – and it is no surprise this time of year is when many are tightening the purse strings.
“We can all be guilty of overdoing it in the build up to Christmas, so the beginning of the year feels like a great time to take stock and plan our expenses for the year ahead - that’s why we make it as easy as possible with our simple and honest SIM plans.”
The survey found more than a third have a financial 'spring clean' at least once a year to ensure their finances are in order and unused subscriptions are no longer active.
However, 41 per cent admit to forgetting to cancel a membership or a subscription, and one in five of these have left this running for up to three months without using the service.
Spending time instead of money
To ensure their money stretches further, nearly half will spend the most time researching car insurance deals to save some cash – while three in 10 will devote a significant amount of time to seeking the best mobile phone deals.
Almost three in five will avoid being tied down to long term subscriptions and contracts as they enjoy having the flexibility to shop around regularly for a better deal.
And more than a quarter even admit to occasionally haggling for the best deal possible to help scrimp and save, the research conducted via OnePoll found.
Brits ranked the latest smartphones as the number one item which is too expensive nowadays – however, many did concede mobile phone plans would be one of the major expenses they would not be able to live without.
Although, one in 10 also claimed they would find it difficult to sacrifice their gym membership.
Household repairs and replacements ranked as the most common barrier people face when it comes to saving as much money as they would like – while one in five struggle to put cash away following a new addition to their family.
Overall, 51 per cent feel it is now more acceptable to shop around and be clever with spending, rather than to splash the cash on luxury items.
The spokesperson for SMARTY continued: “This research really highlights the importance we now put on shopping around for the best deal – it shows the customer holds the power and will not stick around if the deal is no good.”
Top 30 ways Brits are saving cash
1. Turn the heating down
2. Making sure lights are always turned off
3. Buy own brand products at the supermarket
4. Take lunch into work
5. Turn off all electrics when not using/out of the home
6. Wear a jumper instead of turning on the heating
7. Save leftovers for another meal
8. Using discount vouchers
9. Use a clothesline instead of a tumble dryer
10. Collect coupons and money off vouchers
11. Buy second class stamps instead of first
12. Buy eco-friendly/energy saving bulbs
13. Cut down going out
14. Shop in budget supermarkets
15. Wait for the sales when making purchases
16. Buy food and toiletries in bulk
17. Turning off all the plugs before leaving the house
18. Haggle my home/car insurance
19. Price compare at different grocery stores
20. Borrow books from your library
21. Shop at second hand/charity stores
22. Using public transport instead of taxis
23. Cut your own hair
24. Spend your weekend taking part in free activities
25. Go to supermarkets in the evening for yellow sticker deals
26. Grow your own vegetables and herbs
27. Drink water when eating in restaurants
28. Using an older or hand-me-down phone rather than buying the newest model
29. Reduce your television/internet packages to the bare minimum
30. Selling anything you possibly can on an online marketplace