Piggy Bank

22 ways to cut back on spending and make extra cash

It can be a challenge to stop spending, especially when payday arrives, but there are ways to cut the cost of daily items and budget more efficiently.

Read on to find out easy ways you can cut back on your monthly spending and how to make extra cash to boost your balance!

Check unused subscriptions

We're all guilty of signing up for subscriptions for the one-month free trial and then completely forgetting – you'll be surprised how much the money can pile up if you don't cancel. 

We suggest going through your inbox to check which subscriptions you're signed up for and cancel those that you no longer use. 

Some of the most popular subscriptions are Amazon Music, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney Plus and more.

Create a food plan

Let's face it, as soon as we catch a glimpse of the weekend, we indulge with food whether that's ordering takeaways or buying more food for the fridge. 

Having a weekly budget for food is a great way to cut the cost down. Plan your breakfasts, lunch and evening meals so you only buy what you need from the supermarket and use any leftovers to make weekend treats.

Bulk buy

Bulk buying each month helps cut the cost down on items such as cleaning products, toilet rolls, tinned foods, pasta, foil, kitchen rolls and fruit juice. 

It's also a good idea to buy freezer food that will last you all month instead of buying fresh food each week which can be more costly.

Take a packed lunch to work

It can be very tempting to pop round to the Sainsbury's Local or Greggs on your lunch break, but over time the money piles up.

Taking a packed lunch means you're using up the food you've already got in the house, so no waste and it stops you from buying overly expensive vacuum-packed sandwiches. 

If we break the cost down, meal deals are around £3. If you buy them 5 days a week that is £15 a week and roughly £60 a month. Some meal deals are more expensive depending on which shop you go to.

Stop wasting food

If you're finding yourself throwing a lot of food away each week then here are a few ways to prevent this:

  • Check you're keeping the right food in the fridge e.g eggs, fruit and vegetables. If you're not sure then look at the back of the packet which should have storage recommendations 
  • Organise your fridge so the oldest food is at the front and those with longer dates at the back 
  • If you've still got a full loaf of bread but the date is due to expire, pop it in the freezer 
  • Measure your rice and pasta to avoid waste

Save first and then spend

Sometimes it's too easy to start spending as soon as you've been paid, but before you do, make sure you save and budget what you need. It's okay to splurge now and then as long as you don't leave yourself short of money.

The best thing to do is set up a standing order for your savings account and budget how much your bills and food will cost for the month. This will make sure you have a clearer idea of how much you've got for treats.

Have a no-spend day

We know it's easier said than done but having a no-spend day each week gives your bank balance a break. We recommend choosing a day mid-week for no spending so you can enjoy yourself on the weekend!

Prioritise spending

Take a look at your monthly outgoings and prioritise the most important ones first (e.g., utility bills, food shop, car insurance etc), you'll be able to see just how much of your income will go on the essentials and what you'll be left with afterwards.  

Having a budgeting planner or creating your own budgeting spreadsheet can help you keep an eye on your direct debits and when they are due, meaning you won't be caught out by a surprise bill. 

Try the envelope system

You may have seen this budgeting tip doing the rounds on social media, but it could work for you.

All you need to do is put the money you want to spend on different categories for the month into envelopes. For example food, emergency money, petrol, socialising, bills or car insurance. Just make sure you stick to it!

Use discount codes and coupons

If you want to cut your shopping bill then discount codes and coupons are sure to help! 

There are a few ways to get codes and coupons. Newspapers normally have coupons that you can cut out or rewards cards that send you vouchers e.g Tesco Clubcard and Boots. 

The majority of online retailers will send you discount codes that you can for your next purchase.

Show own branded products

You'll be surprised by the impact shopping own brands can have on your bill when you get to the checkout. 

It's a super-easy way of cutting back and a lot of supermarkets have their own brands such as Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Aldi. 

This isn't just for food either, some supermarkets also have their own clothing brands and kitchenware e.g George at Asda, Tu clothing at Sainsbury's and F&F Clothing at Tesco. 

You'll find this is a great alternative so you don't have to go on the high street and pay double the price.

Manage how much electricity your gadgets are using

Devices soak up a lot of electricity and there are few ways to help take control of your bills. 

Instead of charging your tech overnight, charge for a few hours throughout the day and then unplug the device and the charger.

Turn lights off in your home

When you leave a room, make sure to turn the light off to save on electricity. It will help save you money in the long term and make a difference.

Cook your meals in batches

Prepping your meals for the week ahead is a great way to cut costs. Take some time aside on a Sunday to make different dishes for the week and pop them in the freezer. 

This stops the temptation of buying takeaways or popping to the shop last minute to get food for the evening.

Don't spend loads on payday

We've all been there where we've spent a large chunk of our wages within the first few days of receiving it. 

You're best prioritising your outgoings and asking yourself do you really need to make a new purchase. Budget for the month and see what you're left with afterwards.

Sell unwanted tech

Got any old devices you no longer use? We've got you covered! 

musicMagpie is a quick and easy way to make extra cash! You'll get an instant price for your unwanted phones, consoles, tablets, MacBook devices or smartwatches.  

All you need to do is send us your items for FREE and we'll pay the day we receive them

Refer a friend

Refer a friend schemes can help you make a little extra cash. Normally you'll get a referral code which you can pass on to friends and family. You'll then get paid when they shop or sell, which means more money for you!

Cashback websites

Cashback sites pay you when you click through from them to buy goods. All you need to do is choose a cashback website, search for deals, click the link and complete the purchase.

Turn old receipts into cash!

The Shoppix app turns your old receipts into cash. For every receipt, you take a picture of, it turns into tokens. Once you've built up your tokens to £5, you can exchange them for vouchers or a PayPal payment. You can collect tokens for up to 30 receipts a week! Shoppix is available on iOS and Android

Recycle DVDs, CDs, Games and Books

If you're looking to make a little extra cash, then selling your old DVDs, CDs, games or books is a great shout!

Download the musicMagpie FREE app or use our website to get an instant price for your entertainment – it's that easy!

Complete online surveys

Get paid for your opinion by signing up to survey sites and complete surveys sent to your inbox. Survey sites add cash or rewards to your account, but make sure that you don't have to pay to join. 

Here are some of the most popular survey sites:

  • iSay – Earn points by carrying out surveys between 5 and 250 points each. You can redeem points at popular brands such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis. Available on Android and iOS


  • OnePoll – If you're into celebrity knowledge, then this is a really fun website to use. It runs polls from the press, however, the payment is small, but once you get a decent sum, you'll be paid by bank transfer or PayPal. Available through Android and iOS


  • Survey Friends – This site is a bit different from other surveys, you can use your points to bid on Kindles, TVs and more. You can even use them to bid on their lottery. Available on iOS

Become a mystery shopper

If you love shopping, becoming a mystery shopper may be your calling! High street shops contract mystery shopping agencies to go into their stores to check out the customer service. 

You would be rating the quality of service and goods, however, payment varies between agencies or others give you free items.

What are you waiting for? Try some of these money-saving tips and ways to make cash today. Plus, make extra cash by trading in tech at musicMagpie today! 

Wondering "where can I sell my phone for quick cash?" Look no further than musicMagpie! You can sell iPhone, Samsung and Google Pixel phones with us, plus a whole range of other tech items, and get paid instantly for them.