From cleaning laptops to extra ice cream, hacks that’ll save money


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Make small changes today. (Pictures: Getty/Alamy).

Making small changes to your daily life can save you more money, especially if you make several.

Computers are an integral part of modern life, but they can be expensive. Keeping your computer or device in top shape can help you save hundreds of pounds.

You can make your printer last longer by changing the font of your documents.

Read on for some more tips, from putting timed locks on your online banking saving pots to resist temptations to spend, to getting an NHS prescription ‘season ticket’ to save on medications.

Cleaning your computer can speed up your computer.

Clear out any unused software and your device will run faster for longer. (Picture by Getty/iStockphoto

We tend to download all kinds of software over the life of a computer only to never use them again.

Your computer may slow down due to some of those processes running in the background.

If you use Windows, you can access your list of programs by finding Programs & Features in the Control Panel.

Click “Uninstall” to remove the programs you no longer use. Mac users should open Applications and click and drag any programs they don’t use to the Trash icon.

Brick by brick

You can build new things with your old bricks. (Picture: Supplied).

Brickit is an app that scans any jumble of bricks, identifies every piece in it, gives you ideas what to build with them and lets you share the things you make with other enthusiasts.

The app has meticulous instructions that show you the exact location of each piece you’ll need. Brickit is free, but it also offers some Pro features. It is available on both iOS and Android. Simply place your bricks on a table, and then take a picture. Brickit.com has more information. App

Timed locks placed on banking pots

You can avoid unnecessary shopping by locking your savings pots (Picture: Getty).

Virtual banks can often lock savings pots so they are only available on specific dates. The visual lock displayed on the screen can prevent you from taking cash out too often.

Turn containers upside down

You can store containers of cottage cheese, salsa, yoghurt and spaghetti sauce upside-down in your refrigerator after opening them.

Inverting the container creates a vacuum effect which slows down growth of food-spoiling organisms. Boom.

Pool noodles and childproof doors

A pool noodle can protect children’s fingers from damage (Picture: Getty)

Toddlers are known for pinching their fingers against doors. You can prevent this from happening by simply cutting a pool noodle to length that will fit in the door.

This will prevent the door from slamming, and it will also protect your little fingers.

Prepay your prescriptions

More than one million people in England missed out on savings of around £40 in the 12 months leading up to this April because they didn’t buy a prescriptions ‘season ticket’, according to figures obtained by MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE). If you are under the age of 60 and spend a lot on NHS prescriptions, currently £9.35 a piece, it may be cheaper to buy a prepayment certificate (PPC).

For instance, under the new pricing scheme, a three-month PPC costs £30.25 and will save you money if you need more than four prescribed items in three months. While a 12-month PPC will set you back £108.10 for 12 months and it will save you money if you need more than 12 prescribed items in a year.

You have several payment options, but you can only purchase an annual certificate by direct debit monthly. To buy one, visit services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/buy-prescription-prepayment-certificate/start

To save ink on your printer, change the font

Changing settings can prolong the life of ink (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto).

You might be wondering how to save ink on your printer and not need to buy so many high-priced cartridges.

Garamond font reduces ink usage by 25%

Choosing the ‘draft’ print option is perfect for print jobs where the quality isn’t as important.

For extra ice cream, be cheeky

A second scoop is more likely if you ask for it first (Picture by Getty

Ask for only one scoop of ice cream when you order it. However, when the server is finished, say, ‘Actually I’d like a second scoop.’ This forces them into matching the size of the first scoop, which tends to be bigger, since it was for a single cone.

You can take the bus for less

Capacity for thousands of bus journeys per day will be maintained (Picture by Alamy).

This is good news for bus passengers. The fare for thousands of single bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 until the end of March. The move could save passengers an average of £2.80 per fare, according to the Department for Transport (DfT), which is behind the move.

You don’t need to do anything to get the reduced price – but not all bus services are taking part.

The flat rate cap will apply to single journeys, at any time of day. But any return trips will be charged at their usual price, so check if it may be cheaper to buy two single tickets instead of a return. The cap will also only apply to bus routes, not to coaches.

But not all bus operators are taking part in the voluntary scheme, and even those that are, may not apply the cap to every route. You can check which routes the new £2 cap will apply to on the Gov.uk website, which includes a full list of operators taking part.

Share your money-saving hacks with Kara on Instagram via @Kara.Gammell and on Twitter at @karagammell


MORE: A deposit app automates the work of saving if you are having trouble saving.


MORE : How to make your money stretch through January (the longest month of the year…)



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