This content originally appeared in the MSE weekly email on 9 September 2015.
Life hacks, tricks, loopholes – whatever you call 'em, throughout 2015 we've been compiling quick-hit savvy tips so you can be cute with your cash.
This week we launch our new 60 MoneySaving Life Hacks guide with many of the big hitters and a host of new ones. So I've picked 24 to get you going. Do check back on the guide as we'll keeping adding more as we find them.
1. Free 'Amazon delivery trick' tool. The e-retail giant used to give free delivery if you spent £10. Now it's a minimum of £20 – but a handy new tool provides a way around this. See Free Amazon Delivery Tool.
2. The four numbers that can beat spam texts. If you're sick of PPI or debt write-off texts, beware replying 'Stop' – it works for legit texts, but if they're spam it means they know you're real. So for full help to fight back see our Stop Spam Texts guide, plus also Stop Spam Calls, Stop Junk Mail and a free 'No Cold Callers' sign too...
3. Slash £100s off your Sky bill. Our Slash Sky Costs guide has left us swamped with successes, such as @OmicronPersei12: "Just knocked £30 a month [£360 a year] from my Sky bill thanks to @MartinSLewis." And it's not just Sky – we've similar guides for BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk & Virgin.
4. Pay at least 1p on a credit card – it could be worth £10,000s. In Scott Parsley's case, he's very grateful he paid £300 of his £26,000 car on a credit card – if not he could've lost the lot. See Credit Card Penny Protection.
5. Pssst. Wanna buy stolen goods on the cheap? Fancy a new bike or bit of bling? Don't worry, it's all above board – in fact, even the police are in on it. All is explained in our Buy Cheap Stolen Goods guide.
6. Are you missing out on the £212 marriage tax allowance? If you're married or in a civil partnership, you may be eligible, as @_CorinneMullins tweeted after reading our guide: "Easy – £212/yr better off. Thanks." See Marriage Tax Allowance Help.
7. Find when your student loan will be wiped. It all depends on what year you started. See student loan wiped info.
8. A YEAR'S 2for1 cinema by manipulating Meerkat Movies. The Meerkat Movies trick shows how to get a year's 2for1 pass for a few quid. Darcy tweeted: "Loving Meerkat Movies – £26.70 saved over three weeks."
9. Uncover the cheaper tariffs your mobile network won't tell you about.When we talk about ditching & switching mobile provider to save, many say: "I wish I could but only Vodafone/EE/3 works in my home." Yet there are hidden tariffs you can switch to on the same signal – see our Mobile Piggybacking guide. Also see 30+ ways to cut your mobile bill.
10. Bag secret scholarships and hidden grants. Amazingly many of these student-only pots of gold go unclaimed each year. Our Scholarships and Hidden Grants guide has all the tricks in the school book in it.
11. Amazon shopper? You're entitled to music going back 16yrs. If you've bought CDs/vinyl since 1999, our Amazon Music Reclaim guide shows how to get 'em as downloads for free. See if you can beat @lukedixonoxford who tracked down a whopping 7,654 songs.
12. Private parking firms can't fine you – it's just an invoice. Many tickets from supermarkets, retail parks and private car park firms do better impressions than Alistair McGowan. Some even call themselves Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) to mimic official Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Yet they've no right to fine you – see how to Fight Unfair Private Parking Tickets.
13. Tools analyse your mobile bills in minutes. Give them your log-in, they read your bills & work out cheaper deals: mobile contract assessment.
14. Don't almost clear your card – clear it IN FULL if you can. If you've £1,000 debt from spending on a credit card, clear it IN FULL and there's no interest. Only clear £999 and you usually pay interest on the lot. So if you can nearly clear it, totally clear it. If you can't, balance transfer it.
15. Turn your smartphone into a free sat-nav for 28 countries. If it's got GPS, convert it into a free sat-nav for the UK and elsewhere. Just download maps on Wi-Fi to avoid pricey data costs (especially abroad).
16. Exploit eBay speiling mistaykes to uncover mega-bargains. Typos and erors on eBay are incredibubbly common and mean fewer peeple serching for things, so prices are rock-bottom. Use a mistake-spotter to find 'em.
17. How to stop a 3.5% loan costing you 20%. The cheapest loans are currently 3.5% representative APR, and that big word 'representative' has an even bigger impact. It means only 51% of accepted applicants need get that rate – the rest can and usually do pay more. You only find out by applying and that marks your credit file. Our loans eligibility calc can help – in general the higher your odds, the more likely you are to get the advertised rate.
18. Turn detective and uncover secret hotels for huge discounts. Secret hotel bookings on sites such as Lastminute.com give you big discounts on 3-5 star hotels, UK & worldwide, but you don't know the exact hotel until after you've paid.... UNLESS, that is, you use our Uncover Secret Hotels tips.
19. Always turn your sun cream bottles around. For why, see our how to make sun cream last tips.
20. Hidden council MOT centres mean 'fewer fails'. As they don't do repairs, they've no vested interest to fail you, and many like Jemayhew say it means fewer fails: "Huge thanks. Last year ripped off – £400 repairs. Today passed at council centre with only test fee to pay". Use our UK council MOTs finder to locate your nearest.
21. 'I got my Amazon Prime £79 subscription back.' Our Amazon Prime Refund guide shows those charged for unwanted membership how to get it back, like Tianna: "Didn't even know I had it – got £79 refunded. Thanks."
22. Bag hidden local eBay bargains. eBay sellers often specify items, from bikes to PS4s, as 'collection-only', so they get fewer bids so prices are lower. You can't search for them on eBay, so we built a Local eBay Deals Mapper, eBay Deals iPhone App & eBay Deals Android App to find 'em. Zoe said: "Got a new VTech Baby Dancing Tower toy for 99p (was £40ish)"
23. How kids can get a free Blue Peter badge – free entry to Legoland/Ldn Zoo etc. A Blue Peter badge can be seriously MoneySaving, with up to 10yrs' free admission to attractions. How to get a free Blue Peter badge
24. 'I got £67 of shopping for 11p'. Source, gain & hoard 100s of product and store coupons, then combine for huge discounts on groceries & more. Purple Sarah said: "Got £67 of shopping for 11p after store offers, coupons & my employee discount (but it's totally doable just with coupons)." Few will reach such heights, but many can cut costs via 20 extreme couponing tips.