The Office of National Statistics say, on average, a family spends £536.80 per week on: transport, housing (excluding rent/mortgage), energy, food and leisure. Transport comes in top, at about £80 a week, leisure and household energy consumption rack up over £70pw each; add Council Tax, food and the occasional night out and your £536 soon disappears.

Though some of our expenses are fixed, there are savings to be made.


If you are stuck with a gas-guzzler, free parking or car sharing will top slice your overall costs and travelling off-peak or buying season tickets will save money on public transport, particularly when the 26-30 railcard comes into being.


1. Making a list and sticking to it helps you to avoid impulse buying.

2. Cooking in bulk from scratch is cheaper than buying convenience foods.

3. Stock up on filling staples: root veggies, pasta and rice.

4. Buddy up on bulk buying. Split a multi-buy with a friend and you both save. Some multi-buys aren’t the good value they appear to be, so do the maths before you buy.


The energy needed to run our homes increases year on year, which means we need to stay energy-aware.

1. Forget brand loyalty, if you can find a cheaper provider, switch.

2. Turn radiators off in rooms that you don’t use and the others down by one degree.

3. Insulate. Loft insulation and draft excluders around doors and windows are relatively cheap DIY jobs and offer immediate benefits.

4. Buy a slow cooker, they are much cheaper to use than a conventional oven.


1. If you live alone you may be eligible for 25 per cent single occupancy Council Tax Relief.

2. Don’t auto-renew your insurances, it pays to compare prices at every renewal.