Budget 2014: Your money-saving tips

Piggy bank

Chancellor George Osborne will announce his Budget to Parliament on 19 March 2014.

Ahead of the Budget, we asked BBC News website readers to share their tips for saving money and how they manage their own household budgets.

Here are 10 of the best:

1. Water waste: Brian Powell suggests that when taking a shower, as soon as you are wet turn off the water. Then apply the soap or gel. When thoroughly rubbed in, turn the water back on to remove suds. This method halves the water and soap used as well as halving the energy needed to heat the water.

2. Watch the pennies: Howard Alderton suggests that instead of using coin changers, which often charge 9% in the pound, you should use the self-service tills at supermarkets to pay for cheap items and put a load of coins in and collect your change in a note or notes.

3. The pounds will look after themselves: Anderson Chipandire says: "I have worked out my basic salary per month and any extra I get from overtime I put into my savings. It's working very well for me and I have taught myself to live on my basic salary."

4. Dinner for two: Fiona Williams says if there are just two of you, cook a recipe for four, eat half and freeze half. That way you get to cook most recipes and, over a week, build up enough food for the next week thus saving money.

Expert saving tips

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5. Energy saving: Kit Hurst has a combi boiler and the water takes about 45 seconds to a minute to run hot: "I realised one day that when I wash my hands I'm running the boiler but washing in cold water. Since that moment I've moved all my mixer taps to the cold position so that my boiler doesn't switch on each time I wash my hands. I do, however, live alone so I don't upset anyone with my energy saving methods."

6. Best before: Mark Smith buys fresh food that has been marked down due to being close to its use-by date. He then puts it in the freezer where it will keep for weeks. This is especially useful for items that can still be cooked straight from the freezer (eg pizzas or some microwave meals). It also frees up more space in the fridge for beer.

7. Do it yourself: William Brown says you should learn how to do things yourself - from DIY to car maintenance to cooking and cleaning. It saves fortunes and has the added benefit of educating yourself.

8. Savings drive: Adrian Chapman drives at 60mph on dual carriageways and sticks to all speed limits as normal while also ensuring that he avoids unnecessary braking and gear changes.

9. Travel costs: Ian Spincer has a fold-up bicycle in the boot of his car and rather than pay for parking he simply parks in a residential area and rides into the centre of the various towns that he has to visit with his work as an accountant.

10. Don't forget the milk: Peter Hughes's parents have been diluting their milk for years. They buy full-fat (whole) milk, dilute it by about one-third with water and call it semi-skimmed. "They reckon they save about £50 a year just from that one trick. People probably have bigger expenses to cut, but for those who have tried it all, how about this? I think it's a bit over the top personally, but both my parents managed to retire in their mid-fifties, so I guess they have had the last laugh."

Are we missing any? Tell us what you want to see in this year's Budget. Email us at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk adding 'Budget' in the subject heading and including your contact details.

Or share your thoughts using the form below.

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