" Ten Easy Ways To make money "
1. Dig out your store cardsWith purses and wallets bulging with credit cards, debit cards, work passes and driving licences, loyalty cards can easily be relegated to the kitchen drawer. But, having a quick scout around for these cards or requesting new ones could reunite you with scores of unused points that could be translated into pounds.
Most of the supermarket and high street store schemes, including Nectar and Tesco Clubcard, offer replacement cards so you don't lose out on your points. To make your loyalty cards more profitable see if you can collect extra points from other companies that are part of the same schemes, such as electricity and gas suppliers. Eon, for instance, offers Tesco Clubcard points to its customers.
|resist eating takeaways|
2. Resist eating takeawaysPlanning meals in advance is the best way to make sure you don't end up grabbing a takeaway on the way home, or throwing away unused food. Spend some time each weekend working out which days you will be in and what you can eat. If you know you will be late one night, plan a meal for the night before that can be doubled up so you have a homemade ready meal to pop in the microwave.
If you're not a big cook, start realistically. Pick out some easy ideas from recipe books and foodie blogs and put the list of ingredients in your bag, so the next time you find yourself wondering what to eat when you get home you have a list of ingredients for some home cooked food.
|switch bill to debit|
3. Switch your bill payments to direct debitSwitching your utility, telephone and television bills to fixed monthly direct debits could be a quicker way to save money than changing supplier. Last year a survey by Bacs, the not-for-profit body behind direct debits, said you could save as much as £230 a year by switching to monthly bill payments. Paying this way also helps with budgeting.
To encourage customers to switch, many firms offer discounts. The biggest tend to be for dual fuel customers paying by monthly direct debit – npower is giving customers a £100 annual discount for making the change, which only takes a couple of minutes. BT offers customers £1.25 off their line rental each month if they opt for paper-free billing and pay by direct debit. Don't forget to regularly check your bills for discrepancies and make sure you are still getting the best deal.
|cancel your subscription|
4. Renegotiate or cancel your subscriptionsCheck your standing orders and direct debits to see if you are paying for subscriptions you do not use. If you are paying for magazines, TV or gym membership you may decide it is time to cancel some of these, or ask if you can renegotiate to get better value.
Cable and satellite TV companies may be able to reduce the amount of channels you receive, while mobile phone companies might offer to reduce your bill by lowering your free minutes and text allowances.
You might also be able to save money by adding to your list of subscriptions. Work out how often you buy your favourite newspapers and magazines and look into subscribing as this often works out cheaper.
5. Sell your old mobile phoneListing, selling and posting unused items on eBay takes time, but there are quicker alternatives. If you have an unused mobile phone you could make anything from a couple of pounds to £200 depending on the model and condition by sending it to a phone recycling site. Love2Recycle and Mopay offer some of the best amounts for old phones.
Selling your phone is easy. You typically search the sites to see how much it is worth, send it off in a freepost envelope and sit back and await payment. Some of the sites offer more if you opt for high street shopping vouchers instead of cash.
|claim your full benefit entitlement|
6. Make sure you are claiming your full benefit entitlementsThe variety and complexity of state benefits and tax credits means you may not be claiming everything to which you are entitled. However, there are a couple of quick ways to check. The Directgov website has a benefits calculator, which can give you an estimate of what you are elligible to claim.
By inputting your savings, earnings and outgoings it estimates what you should be receiving. The site also has a benefits adviser, which tells you what help is available.
|fit water saving devices|
7. Fit water-saving devicesIf you are on a water meter you can cut costs by installing a couple of simple devices to reduce your usage. Flushing the toilet accounts for about a third of all household water use, and several water companies offer free "save-a-flush" devices. Putting one of the in your cistern will reduce the volume of water used every time you flush.
Meanwhile, free ShowerSmart devices help cut the amount of energy used having a shower. They can be easily installed on non-electric showers to regulate the flow of water, and the makers claim the yearly savings for an average family are about £30 on gas bills and £30 water bills.
8. Do an hour's workThe government-funded service Slivers of Time Working lets you pick up work by the hour. Would-be workers register on its website and detail their skills, experience and availability, and wait for a local agency to give them a call. At the moment the site offers work in east and west London, Leeds and Cambridgeshire, but coverage is spreading as employers sign up.
When you sign up you say how much you expect as a basic hourly wage, as well as how much you would want that to rise if you had to travel to a job, work on a particular day or work at short notice. A spokesman for the site says all kinds of work is available, from answering phones in a call centre to security work, and workers can flag up when they are available.
9. Scour freebie sitesIf you get carried away with freebie websites you could end up drowning in a torrent of annoying emails and strange samples. However, there are some useful freebies out there. HotUKdeals has a list of offers, which currently includes free film screenings and a voucher for a 100g Milka chocolate bar.
Many online photo printing firms give away a number of free prints if you open an account. At the moment most will charge you for postage and packing, but you could still make some good savings on your holiday snaps. Have a look at Free Photo Printing for a list of the latest offers, which includes 50 free prints from Snapfish for only 99p P&P. Other good freebies include free DVD trials.
|police id cards|