Be thrifty, save money, beat the credit crunch... PDF Print E-mail

We've been living thriftily for a while now, since well before it became fashionable, so we thought we'd pass on what we've learnt along the way.  What they don't usually tell you on the TV or in the papers, amidst all the gloomy stories about the economic downturn, is that saving money can actually be quite good fun.



Thrifty Tips

Click on the images below or the links in the top menu to see our tips on shopping, phone & TV, transport, free stuff, swapping, price comparison, finance, entertainment and holidays.

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Thrifty Shopping

There is always a danger in giving tips on shopping that it can sound like you're recommending that people should buy more stuff. That's certainly not our intention. If you want to save money you need to be as careful about what and how much you buy as where and how you buy it. If you adopt the mantra "reduce, re-use, recycle" you'll be doing your bank balance even more of a favour than the planet.

Thrifty News Stories

Here are some of the most useful, interesting and entertaining recent stories from the national press and other websites on saving money and all things thrifty. Scroll down, using the scroller on the right, for more stories:


Five Years On, The Great Recession Is Turning Into A Life Sentence

Some date the crisis to August 9 2007, the day it became clear that Europe’s banks were up to their necks in US housing debt. The ECB flooded markets with €95bn of liquidity. It seemed a lot of money then. The term “trillion” was still banned by the Telegraph style book in those innocent days. We have since learned to swing with the modern dance music from central banks.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 12 August 2012:

Five years on, the Great Recession is turning into a life sentence

Revealed: Why Gordon Brown Sold Britain's Gold At A Knock-Down Price

Extraordinary. Beggar a country to save a bank. Looks like someone (American ex-bank-CEO perhaps) has opened the skeleton cupboard.

Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph 5 July 2012:

Revealed: why Gordon Brown sold Britain's gold at a knock-down price 

Enough is Enough Of The Age Of Consumption

A discussion of the flaws in the current model of endlessly increasing consumption. As someone in the comments points out, it makes an interesting contrast with the FT's "How to spend it" .

In order to read the article for free you need to click to it through Google.

Robert and Edward Skidelsky, Financial Times 5 July 2012:;=search&q;=FT+Enough+is+Enough

Millions More Swap Their Cars For Bikes As Fuel Rises

Millions more people are swapping four wheels for two as the cost of filling up your car continues to rise.

Tariq Tahir, Metro 18 June 2012:

Millions more swap their cars for bikes as fuel rises

Travel Advice: Cheap Ferry Crossings to France

Starting to plan your summer holiday to France? Here's how to find the best route across the water – and the lowest fares.

Nick Trend, Telegraph 1 March 2012:

Travel advice: cheap ferry crossings to France

Can I Block Internet Advertising?

Rick Maybury in the Telegraph discusses the pros and cons of internet ad blocking, as well as the best ways of doing it.

Telegraph 26 February 2012

Can I block internet advertising?

Big Switch: 40,000 Consumers Join Forces to Get Lower Utility Bills

Thousands join Which?'s "Big Switch" campaign to negotiate better deals on gas and electricity bills.

Emma Simon, Telegraph 8 February 2012:

Big Switch: 40,000 consumers join forces to get lower utility bills

Explaining Modern Finance And Economics Using Booze And Broke Alcoholics

From Zero Hedge, courtesy of reszatonline, who tells the following allegory by way of Tim Coldwell - happy to distill (no pun intended) all of modern economics and finance in a narrative that is 500 words long.

Zero Hedge, 27 January 2012:

Explaining Modern Finance And Economics Using Booze And Broke Alcoholics
Perfectly Comfortable
I don't particularly like cars. I don't like the way they smell, on the inside or the outside. I don't like the feeling of being trapped in a sheet metal-and-vinyl box, my body slowly warping to the shape of a bucket seat.
Dmitry Orlov, 26 January 2012:
'I’m a graduate, get me out of here!’

Jobless Cait Reilly is taking legal action against being forced to work for nothing in Poundland or lose her jobseeker's allowance. But how typical is her situation?

Peter Stanford, Telegraph 13 January 2012:

'I’m a graduate, get me out of here!’

Credit Unions Set to Expand and Take on Banks

New powers for credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales will, from today, enable them to significantly expand the services they offer, and to compete directly with high street banks and other savings providers.

Which Magazine 8 January 2012:

Credit unions set to expand and take on banks

How To Budget Like You’re Broke

Frightened to draw up a budget in case you simply can’t balance your books? Want to save more but don’t know where to start? Whether you’re rich or poor, it’s time to budget like you’re broke…

Felicity Hannah, Yahoo Finance 6 January 2012:

How to budget like you're broke

Aldi and Lidl Top Customer Satisfaction Survey

Budget stores Aldi and Lidl have outperformed Marks & Spencer for the first time in an annual supermarket satisfaction report.

Neil Lancefield, Independent 15 December 2011:

Aldi and Lidl top customer satisfaction survey
Car Premiums Artificially High, Admits Insurer

An insurance firm has revealed that it has increased its prices to make more profit rather than cover any increased costs as the Office of Fair Trading launched a market investigation.

Richard Tyler, Telegraph 14 December 2011:

Car premiums artificially high, admits insurer
Inside Job
A surprisingly thorough analysis of the financial services industry shown on BBC2 and BBC4.
BBC2, 7 December 2011:
Fuel Poverty Forcing Many to Live a Life of Candlelight, Cold and Early Nights

Soaring bills leave pensioners convinced their electricity is being stolen, while one man had to call fire brigade for urgent blankets

Felicity Lawrence, Guardian 1 December 2011:

Fuel poverty forcing many to live a life of candlelight, cold and early nights
Fuel Cost Calculator

A new survey shows that fuel savings of up to £250 per year are possible by shopping around.

Paul Hudson, Telegraph 15 November 2011:

Fuel cost calculator
How I Got 25pc More Miles Per Gallon

Kara Gammell has a driving lesson with a difference – one that could save her hundreds of pounds a year.

Kara Gammell, Telegraph 25 October 2011:

How I got 25pc more miles per gallon

Aldi Profits Jump as Shoppers Seek Bargains

Profits at Aldi, the discount supermarket, have jumped thanks to British shoppers increasingly searching for ways to cut the spend on their weekly shop.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 4 October 2011:

Aldi profits jump as shoppers seek bargains
Battered by Economic Crisis, Greeks Turn to Barter Networks

Part alternative currency, part barter system, part open-air market, the Volos network has grown exponentially in the past year, from 50 to 400 members. It is one of several such groups cropping up around the country, as Greeks squeezed by large wage cuts, tax increases and growing fears about whether they will continue to use the euro have looked for creative ways to cope with a radically changing economic landscape.

Rachel Donadio, New York Times 1 October 2011:

Battered by Economic Crisis, Greeks Turn to Barter Networks
Cycle of 'Compulsive Consumerism' Leaves British Family Life in Crisis, Unicef Study Finds

British parents are trapping their children in a cycle of "compulsive consumerism" by showering them with toys and designer labels instead of spending quality time with them, a UN report has found.

John Bingham, Telegraph 14 September 2011:

Cycle of 'compulsive consumerism' leaves British family life in crisis, Unicef study finds
Top 10 European University Alternatives for UK Students

Telegraph 9 September 2011:

Top 10 European university alternatives for UK students
Students 'Preparing to Flock to Cheaper Foreign Universities'

British universities face losing thousands of students to cheaper English language courses at top Europe institutions, researchers warned today.

Graeme Paton, Telegraph 5 September 2011:

Students 'preparing to flock to cheaper foreign universities'
London's Architectural Gems to Open Doors

Selection of distinctive buildings to open to public for free for one weekend only.

Telegraph, 31 August 2011:

London's architectural gems to open doors
Linux at 20: the Quiet Giant

Twenty years ago last Friday, a University of Helsinki student announced a software project he had started in his digs. Today, given you’re reading this, you’re using his creation.

Christopher Williams, Telegraph 28 August 2011:

Linux at 20: the quiet giant
The Moral Decay of our Society is as Bad at the Top as the Bottom

Peter Oborne, Telegraph 11 August 2011:

The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom 

Britons Rely on Credit Cards 21 Days After Payday

A quarter of Britons use credit cards to tide them over until the next payday, according to a survey. As is now often the case, particularly with the Telegraph funnily enough, some of the reader comments at the bottom of the article are probably more informative than the article itself. 
Paul Farrow, Telegraph 13 July 2011:

Britons rely on credit cards 21 days after payday

Middle Classes are Britain's New Homeless: State Safety Nets are Gone

As the downturn bites, the numbers turning to local authorities for housing are rising. But there is little help to be found

Kunal Dutta, Independent 10 July 2011:

Middle classes are Britain's new homeless: State safety nets are gone
Roll-out of Smart Energy Meters 'Puts Consumers at Risk'

Which? warns that suppliers may use nationwide installation plan to mis-sell gas and electricity

Julian Knight, Independent 10 July 2011:

Roll-out of smart energy meters 'puts consumers at risk'
Roaming Charges Down, PAYG Charges Up - Is There a Connection?

As mobile companies are told to lower their EU roaming costs, pay-as-you-go charges are rising. Incidentally, comments on this article about cheaper alternative PAYG providers are probably more useful than the article itself.

Charles Arthur, Guardian 1 July 2011:

Roaming charges down, PAYG charges up - is there a connection?

50 Family Freebies for the Summer Holidays

School holidays needn't be financial hell. Britain is bursting with free activities – from arts and crafts, festivals, music, cinema and much more

Patrick Collinson, Rupert Jones, Rebecca Smithers, Jill Papworth, Miles Brignall, Guardian 11 June 2011:

50 family freebies for the summer holidays

Are Finnish Schools the Best in the World?

They have no uniforms, no selection, no fee-paying and no league tables. Yet Finland's education system consistently tops global rankings. Richard Garner finds out what we can learn from them

Independent, Thursday, 26 May 2011:

Are Finnish schools the best in the world?

Heinz Left Playing Tomato Catch-up After Ketchup Tasting Trouncing

Red faces at veteran sauce-maker after cheap rivals pip 'nation's favourite' table product

Rebecca Smithers, Guardian 26 May 2011:

Heinz left playing tomato catch-up after ketchup tasting trouncing

Secrets of the Superbrands

Alex Riley explores the world of the superbrands - how they get us to buy their stuff, trust them and even idolise them.

One of the funniest and most informative programmes there has been on the TV in a very long time.

BBC3 Tuesday 17 May 2011:

Secrets of the Superbrands

Supermarkets Kill Free Markets As Well As Our Communities

Across the country local shops have been wiped out by supermarkets. This is an issue for the right as much as the left.

Peter Wilby, Guardian 3 May 2011:

Supermarkets kill free markets as well as our communities

Privatised Mail: A Second-Class Delivery

The government wants to privatise the Royal Mail. But what would the new service look like? An examination of how the Dutch do it exposes unhappy customers and exploited workers

James Meek, Guardian 29 April 2011:

Privatised mail: a second-class delivery

Hotels: Are Price Comparison Websites Still a Good Deal?

As the OFT examines allegations that the hotel booking industry is breaching competition law, Patrick Collinson and Beth Adamson investigate whether comparison sites still offer value for money

Guardian, 16 April 2011:

Hotels: are price comparison websites still a good deal?

Record Labels ‘Force Spotify to Halve Free Offering’

The major record labels “forced” Spotify into halving the listening time for free users, according to music industry insiders.

Emma Barnett, Telegraph 14 April 2011:

Record labels ‘force Spotify to halve free offering’

Budget Airline Tickets Cost '10 Times' As Much As Advertised

Budget airline tickets cost up to 10 times as much as originally advertised once extra charges are added, consumer groups have warned.

Myra Butterworth, Telegraph 30 March 2011:

Budget airline tickets cost '10 times' as much as advertised

Andrew Lansley Greedy?

Success of YouTube video criticising Department of Health white paper prompts health minister to respond to rapper critic

Esther Addley, Guardian 25 March 2011:

Andrew Lansley takes rap from MC NxtGen over health policy in viral video

Bank of England Governor Blames Spending Cuts on Bank Bailouts

Mervyn King tells MPs: 'The price of this financial crisis is being borne by people who absolutely did not cause it.

Phillip Inman, Guardian 1 March 2011:

Bank of England governor blames spending cuts on bank bailouts

The Big Society

Steve Bell sums up the "Big Society"

Guardian, 17 February 2011:

The Big Society

Cash-Strapped Britons Flock to Discount Stores Aldi and Lidl

Effort to reduce household costs revives the 'Aldi effect' giving boost to discounters.

Zoe Wood, Guardian 1 February 2011:

Cash-strapped Britons flock to discount stores Aldi and Lidl

Philip Pullman's Call to Defend Libraries Resounds Around Web

Impassioned polemic against closures picked up by thousands of readers

Benedicte Page, Guardian 27 January 2011:

Philip Pullman's call to defend libraries resounds around web

Homes: Sweet Charity

Need a new sofa but feeling the pinch? Then head to your nearest charity furniture shop. You just might be surprised.

Perri Lewis, Guardian 15 January 2011:

Homes: Sweet charity

Deepening Crisis Traps America's Have-Nots

The US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis. Self-congratulation by the US authorities that they have this time avoided a repeat of the 1930s is premature.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 9 January 2011:

Deepening crisis traps America's have-nots  

How to Cut the Cost of your Rail Fare

Millions will be paying more for train travel this year, with some prices increasing by 12%. Miles Brignall tracks down ways that could mean you actually pay less.

Miles Brignall, Guardian 8 January 2011:

How to cut the cost of your rail fare

Low Interest Rates Failing to Rescue British Households from £1.45 Trillion Debts, says Bank of England

Low interest rates are not fixing Britain's household debt burden, a damning survey for the Bank of England has found.

Philip Aldrick, Telegraph 13 December 2010:

Low interest rates failing to rescue British households from £1.45 trillion debts, says Bank of England

Five Steps to Rejecting Your Energy Price Rise

British Gas is introducing massive price rises tomorrow, but it's not too late to ensure that you don't pay them.

Rosie Murray-West, Telegraph 10 December 2010:

Five steps to rejecting your energy price rise

Where to Download Free Films - Legally

Forget about heading out for a DVD,  let your computer do the work.

Kara Gammell, Telegraph 9 November 2010:

Where to download free films - legally

UK's Total Debt Forecast to Hit £10 Trillion by 2015

Britain's total debt will top £10 trillion by 2015, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which warned the burden could slow growth for decades as interest rates eventually rise.

Emma Rowley, Telegraph 9 November 2010:

UK's total debt forecast to hit £10 trillion by 2015

Christmas Turkey Dinner for Less than £3 a Person?

Taste test by housekeeping magazine says a family of eight can enjoy a Christmas dinner this year for about £21

Rebecca Smithers, Guardian 5 November 2010:

Christmas turkey dinner for less than £3 a person?

Which? Report Finds Supermarket 'Value' Packs More Costly than Single Items

Asda and Sainsbury's reported by watchdog to trading standards

Rebecca Smithers, Guardian 29 September 2010:

Which? report finds supermarket 'value' packs more costly than single items

Tomorrow Belongs to Nick Clegg

I've been laughing at Steve Bell's cartoons for thirty years now, but I think this might be the funniest I have ever seen. (You need to have watched the film Cabaret to fully appreciate it):

Tomorrow belongs to Nick Clegg

McDonald's Targeted in US Health Ad

Unhappy meals: American doctors' TV ad features a corpse holding a hamburger and the line 'I was lovin' it'. McDonald's, which has thrived in the recession, isn't laughing.

Andrew Clark, Guardian 14 September 2010:

McDonald's targeted in US health ad

The Real Bargains to be had at Poundland Revealed

We uncover the smart buys at the cut price store and when you're better off going to the supermarket.

Rosie Murray-West, Telegraph 26 August 2010:

The real bargains to be had at Poundland revealed

Top Ten Useless Gadgets

They may sound fun, or even amazing time-saving products, but consumers have been warned not to waste their money on "dud" gadgets by the leading consumer watchdog.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 29 July 2010:

Top ten useless gadgets

Obama Signs a Bill that Lets Banks Have US Over a Barrel Once More

Last week, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill – hailed as the most sweeping overhaul of US financial regulation since the 1930s.

Liam Halligan, Telegraph 26 July 2010:

Obama signs a bill that lets banks have US over a barrel once more

Britain's Best Family Days Out

Great family days out around the British Isles, from beachcombing in Suffolk to sheepshearing in Yorkshire.

Telegraph 20 July 2010:

Britain's best family days out

UK House Prices not Set to Recover for Another Ten Years, says PWC

Property prices will not recover for another decade and should be viewed as "risky assets", according to PricewaterhouseCooper's Economic Outlook report.

Helia Ebrahimi, Telegraph 13 July 2010:

UK house prices not set to recover for another ten years, says PWC

With the US Trapped in Depression, this Really is Starting to Feel Like 1932

The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June, one of the sharpest contractions ever. The rate of hourly earnings fell 0.1pc. Wages are flirting with deflation.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 5 July 2010:

With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932

Transport Policy: Red for Danger

The problem is that an awful lot of money is being spent, almost all of it inefficiently

Guardian, 2 July 2010:

Transport policy: red for danger

Michael Pollan is Desperate to End Our Addiction to Processed Food.

The best-selling author at the centre of a revolt against processed food shares some simple rules for truly healthy eating with Jon Henley.

Guardian, 1 July 2010:

Michael Pollan is desperate to end our addiction to processed food

RBS Tells Clients to Prepare for 'Monster' Money-Printing by the Federal Reserve

As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph 27 June 2010:

RBS tells clients to prepare for 'monster' money-printing by the Federal Reserve

Austerity Was a Hard Sell in the 40s. Today it's Harder Still

Postwar cohesion came from shared purpose, a sense of equity and faith in leadership. Cameron et al have it all to do.

David Kynaston, Guardian 22 June 2010:

Austerity was a hard sell in the 40s. Today it's harder still


London Olympics Opening Ceremony Imagined – Ewan McGregor, Kate Winslet and a Giant Toilet Bowl

Now that Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry are creative chiefs of the 2012 spectacle, the show may be worth watching

Lucy Mangan, Guardian 18 June 2010:

London Olympics opening ceremony imagined – Ewan McGregor, Kate Winslet and a giant toilet bowl

Tinfoil Porsche Runs on Pedal Power

An Austrian artist has built a replica Porsche GT3 out of tinfoil and sticky tape and mounted it on a bicycle.

Keith Barry, Wired Magazine 16 June 2010:

Tinfoil Porsche runs on pedal power

Boris Johnson Should Learn the Bike Rules of the Road in Bogota

Ciclovía keeps cars off the streets in the Colombian capital and brings rich and poor together - if only for a day

Mike Power, Guardian 16 June 2010:

Boris Johnson should learn the bike rules of the road in Bogota

Britain's Best Small Campsites

Comprehensive guides to ten of Britain's best small and characterful campsites.

Dixe Wills, Telegraph 8 June 2010:

Britain's best small campsites

Moneyless Man Reveals How to Live a Cashless Life without Starving

Separation between stomachs and the soil means most food comes in plastic packets, but eating for free can be fun

Mark Boyle, Guardian 2 June 2010:

Moneyless man reveals how to live a cashless life without starving

Why It's Easier Than Ever To Maintain Your Own Bike

You might be a mechanical novice but tutorial books and online videos can help make you an expert grease monkey.

Peter Walker, Guardian 1 June 2010:

Why it's easier than ever to maintain your own bike

The Impoverished Professionals: New Victims of the Crunch

Anybody who's anybody has a financial hard-luck story these days. John Walsh examines the new poverty.

Independent, 26 May 2010:

The impoverished professionals: New victims of the crunch

Record Debt Enquiries at Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Bureaux have dealt with a record number of consumers with debt problems over the last 12 months, according to its annual statistics.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 17 May 2010:

Record debt enquiries at Citizens Advice

Save £800 a Year on Petrol

Can you cut petrol costs just by driving more smoothly? Patrick Collinson gave it a go and found that a driver doing 15,000 miles a year at an average 119.9p a litre could save a fortune

Guardian 1 May 2010:

Save £800 a year on petrol

Mr. Fixit Goes Open Source With DIY Repair Site

Manufacturers want you to recycle old gear when you upgrade, but Kyle Wiens would prefer that you keep your old gadgets and fix them yourself.

Brian X. Chen, Wired Magazine 22 April 2010:

Mr. Fixit goes open source with DIY repair site

Royal Mail's Decision to Park its Bikes Defies Logic

Bicycles are zero-carbon, cheap, reliable and congestion-cutting - so why is the Royal Mail planning to phase out deliveries by posties on two wheels?

Matt Seaton, Guardian 9 April 2010:

Royal Mail's decision to park its bikes defies logic

Camping Bookings Soar Amid Forecasts of Hot Summer

Camping holidays are enjoying a resurgence as Britons turn their backs on expensive hotels and airport delays, new figures suggest.

Matthew Moore, Telegraph 2 April 2010:

Camping bookings soar amid forecasts of hot summer

The Best Free Software of 2010

Get what you don't pay for: here are 196 programs that cost nothing but will make your computing life richer - all the while keeping your wallet fat.

PC Magazine 30 March 2010:

The best free software of 2010

Banking Cannibals are Likely to Gorge on us Once Again

While we are on the subject of trust, what about the banks? Do we trust them? What do we trust them to do? They've enjoyed the biggest blood sacrifice ever – can we trust them to behave in such a way that we don't have to do that again?

Simon Carr, The Independent 3 March 2010:

Banking cannibals are likely to gorge on us once again

BBC: 80% of Licence Fee to be Spent on Programmes

BBC commits to spending at least 80% of licence fee on 'content creation', but plans to axe two radio stations and cut web output have met opposition, with claims it could lead to 600 job losses

Steve Bell, Guardian 3 March, 2010:

BBC: 80% of licence fee to be spent on programmes

How Reagan Ruined Conservatism

Battling my way through Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, last weekend, I began to wonder how American conservatism had come to this...

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times 2 March 2010:

How Reagan ruined conservatism

Litter: Our Legacy to Future Generations

Our grandchildren will know us by our discarded cans of Coca-Cola and packets of Walkers crisps

Jeremy Paxman, Guardian 25 February 2010:

Litter: our legacy to future generations

Britons Rediscover Age of Austerity at Free Attractions

Museums, galleries and heritage sites report surge in visitor numbers as recession bites hard on family days out

James Meikle, Guardian 24 February 2010:

Britons rediscover age of austerity at free attractions

Every Little Helps? Supermarkets Accused of "Cynical Manipulation" Over 1p Cuts

Former OFT head criticises industry as investigation shows majority of trumpeted price reductions worth just a penny.

Felicity Lawrence, Guardian 22 February 2010:

Every little helps? Supermarkets accused of "cynical manipulation" over 1p cuts

So Where Did All the Money Go?

It is all too easy to lose track of the amount of cash poured into the economy by the British authorities in order to support banks and prevent a repeat of the Great Depression.

Edmund Conway, Telegraph 19 February 2010:

So where did all the money go?

Broken Records

Artists do not need the music industry suits

Luke Johnson, Financial Times 17 February 2010:

Broken records

When the Locals Bought their Local

The Star Inn in Salford was to close – then its customers stepped in.

Jerome Taylor, Independent 15 February 2010:

When the locals bought their local

'Systematic, Cynical, Aggressive': Expert Verdict on Tesco and Asda Prices

Batteries, medicines and children's toys among items whose prices were increased in runup to Christmas

Felicity Lawrence, Guardian 13 February 2010:

'Systematic, cynical, aggressive': expert verdict on Tesco and Asda prices

Millionaire Gives Away Fortune Which Made Him Miserable

Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.

Henry Samuel, Telegraph 8 February 2010:

Millionaire gives away fortune which made him miserable

Aldi and Lidl Beat Tesco and Sainsbury's in Which? Survey

Aldi and Lidl, the European discount chains, have beaten Tesco and the rest of the major grocery groups in an influential survey to find Britain's best supermarket.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 28 January 2010:

Aldi and Lidl beat Tesco and Sainsbury's in Which? survey

The Strength of the Pound Shop

They are the ultimate value retailers. James Thompson reports on how the recession has been the catalyst for a dramatic increase in the number of pound shops on Britain's high streets.

Independent 26 January 2010:

The strength of the pound shop

Guardian Editor Hits Back at Paywalls

Shutting newspaper industry off from openness of web risks 'sleepwalk into oblivion', argues Alan Rusbridger

Guardian 25 January 2010:

Guardian editor hits back at paywalls

I Can't Believe it's Not … Healthy!

First butter was bad for you, then margarine. Now a new front has opened in the battle of the spreads, with fresh calls for trans fats to be banned. But will any of this really prevent heart disease?

Felicity Lawrence, Guardian 23 January 2010:

I can't believe it's not … healthy!

Frugal Shoppers Fuel Boom in Out-of-Date Grocery Trade

Orders backlogged as websites selling discounted groceries past their official shelf lives report huge sales

Rebecca Smithers, Guardian 22 January 2010:

Frugal shoppers fuel boom in out-of-date grocery trade

Start Running and Watch Your Brain Grow,  Say Scientists

• Aerobic exercise triggers new cell growth – study
• Region of brain affected linked to recollection

Ian Sample, Guardian 19 January 2010:

Start running and watch your brain grow, say scientists

How to Track Down a Cheap Train Ticket

Miles Brignall on how to beat the annual rail fare price hikes

Guardian 16 January 2010:

How to track down a cheap train ticket

Human Civilisation 'Will Collapse' Unless Greed Culture is Stopped, Report Warns

Human civilisation would “collapse” and efforts to tackle global warming will fail unless the world curbs its culture of greed and excessive consumerism, a report has warned.

Andrew Hough, Telegraph 13 January 2010:

Human civilisation 'will collapse' unless greed culture is stopped, report warns

Pick-Your-Own Vegetables to Replace Flowers in High Street

Climate change and food shortage issues prompt Lancashire town to consider growing edible crops in public

Martin Wainwright, Guardian 12 January: 2010

Pick-your-own vegetables to replace flowers in high street

Economists Start to Consider that Money Can't Buy Happiness

Obsession with GDP as a measure of how good people feel is losing its grip against concerns for welfare and sustainability.

Ashley Seager and Heather Stewart, Observer 10 January 2010:

Economists start to consider that money can't buy happiness

How to Make a Draught Excluder

Britain is in the grip of a big freeze. Sally Cameron Griffiths shows you how to make a simple draught excluder to keep the cold weather at bay.

Guardian 5 January 2010:

How to make a draught excluder

The 'Tenties': the Decade Camping Became Cool

From glamping to wild camping, millions of us have got closer to nature over the past decade

Dixe Wills, Guardian 19 December 2009:

The 'tenties': the decade camping became cool

In Praise of… Roy Mayall

Editorial in the Guardian about the postman blogger Roy Mayall

Guardian Thursday 17 December 2009:

In praise of Roy Mayall 

The Debt, Excess And Exploitation Is Not Dubai's Alone. We've All Been At It

The glitzy Gulf state is a modern parable for a world living on tick. How much better the wealth could have been spent

Jonathon Freedland, Guardian 1 December 2009:

The debt, excess and exploitation is not Dubai's alone. We've all been at it

Are we falling out of love with IKEA?

IKEA sucks? According to the latest news reports, our long-standing love affair with the adored bastion of low-priced, Swedish furniture could be coming to an end.

Miss Thrifty, November 30 2009:

Are we falling out of love with IKEA?

Todmorden's Good life: Introducing Britain's Greenest Town

'Grow your own' fever has gripped the Pennines community, which is aiming for self-sufficiency

Joanna Moorhead, Independent 29 November 2009:

Todmorden's good life: introducing Britain's greenest town

United Maidens of Camden Fight Deepening Personal Debts

Women on a London council estate have formed a personal finance group to help each other through the credit crunch

Mike Sweeney, Guardian 28 November 2009:

United Maidens of Camden fight deepening personal debts

Energy Suppliers 'Overcharging'

Five of the "big six" energy suppliers still overcharge customers on pre-pay meters despite new Ofgem rules, according to the National Housing Federation (NHF).

Kara Gammell, Telegraph 28 November 2009:

Energy suppliers 'overcharging'

Microsoft to Pay Newspaper Websites to Remove Content from Google

Microsoft has reportedly offered to pay newspaper websites, including those owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, to remove their content from Google.

Rupert Neate, Telegraph 23 November 2009:

Microsoft to pay newspaper websites to remove content from Google

How Much Money is Enough?

In 1930, Keynes predicted that by 2030, we'd be working a 15-hour week. But he underestimated our appetite for wealth.

Robert Skidelsky, Guardian 22 November 2009:

How much money is enough?

Music: Too Expensive to Be Free, Too Free to Be Expensive

Music streaming companies struggling to pay fees to record companies.

Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired 17 November 2009:

Music: too expensive to be free, too free to be expensive

Questions for a New World

Our need for a greener, life-enhancing economic model should make us seek answers in the unlikeliest of places

Andrew Simms, Guardian 17 November 2009:

Questions for a new world

Cost Fears Drive Down Car Usage

RAC survey reveals habits are changing as careful owners try to save money

Jill Insley, Guardian 17 November 2009:

Cost feares drive down car usage

China's On-Off American Romance

Finding something American to sell to the Chinese, whether democracy or widgets, has always been a problem.

Simon Schama, Financial Times 16 November 2009:

China's on-off American romance

Christmas is the Season of Awful Adverts

They are smug, stomach-churning and delighted by their own existence

Charlie Brooker, Guardian 16 November 2009:

Christmas is the season of awful adverts

A Day for Savouring the Sound of Silence

About No Music Day, the brainchild of Bill Drummond, former frontman of dance band The KLF and seasoned cultural provocateur.

Laura Battle, Financial Times 16 November 2009:

A day for savouring the sound of silence

Forget Money, Pay with your Skill Set

A modern take on bartering is blossoming online, where people pay for carpentry with counselling and web design with script writing consultancy

Dave Cohen, Guardian 14 November 2009:

Forget money, pay with your skill set

'Trains Are Too Expensive, Use Coaches Instead', Rail Head Tells Staff

Network Rail staff were told to travel to a conference by coach because trains are too expensive.

Ben Leach, Telegraph 11 Nov 2009:

'Trains are too expensive, use coaches instead', rail head tells staff

When Must-Have Means Must-Steal

Shoplifting is up in an age when we are defined by our possessions

Carola Long, Indepedent 11 November 2009:

When must-have means must-steal

How Waterstone's Killed Bookselling

When it started, Waterstone's was a breath of fresh air. But as it got ever bigger, many say it lost its soul. What effect has that had on publishing?

Stuart Jeffries, Guardian 10 November:

How Waterstone's killed bookselling

Alt Text: Clever Murdoch Turns News Into Hip Underground Club

Lore Sjoberg, Wired Magazine 10 November 2009:

Alt text: clever Murdoch turns news into hip underground club

Brompton Bicycle: Crafted for Cult Appeal

Sales of the folding bikes are up more than 25% this year as multicoloured options win younger converts - many of them women.

Zoe Wood, Guardian 8 November 2009:

Brompton bicycle: crafted for cult appeal

Home-brew Return Cheers Money Savers

With improved home-brew kits for sale and plenty of advice on the web, more people are enjoying wine at a pound a bottle and beer made in their garage, writes Miles Brignall

Guardian, 6 November 2009:

Home-brew return cheers money savers

Windows 7 or Ubuntu 9.10 – Battle of the Operating Systems

Die-hard Windows fans and Linux converts will already have made up their minds - for the vast majority of us, here is the OS lowdown.

Kevin Anderson, Guardian 5 November 2009:

Windows 7 or Ubuntu 9.10 - battle of the operating systems

£4,350 Per Family to Bail Out Britain's Banks

Every family in the country is now facing a tax liability of £4,350 to prop up Britain’s banking system after Alistair Darling announced the biggest bail-out in history.

Robert Winnett, Edmund Conway and Harry Wallop, Telegraph 3 November 2009:

£4,350 per family to bail out Britain's banks

I Live Without Cash – and I Manage Just Fine

Armed with a caravan, solar laptop and toothpaste made from washed-up cuttlefish bones, Mark Boyle gave up using cash.

Mark Boyle, Guardian 28 October 2009:

I live without cash - and I manage just fine

Credit Crunch Toys Set to be Christmas Best-Sellers

Children should expect something a little less flashy under the Christmas tree this year.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 28 October 2009:

Credit crunch toys set to be Christmas best-sellers

I Could Lose My House, It's That Serious

Plans to help consumers deal with credit card debt may tip some into bankruptcy

Lisa Bachelor, Guardian 28 October 2009:

I could lose my house it's that serious 

Ditch the Guidebook: the Best Online City Guides and Blogs

The best way to discover a city is through its people – these online guides and services put you in touch with the locals.

Guardian, 26 September 2009:

Ditch the guidebook: the best online city guides and blogs

Google Writes Its Own Rules

Sceptics often ask of new government programmes: if it is so worthwhile, why is the private sector not doing it already? A similar question can be asked of companies claiming to be acting for the general good: if the public needs it, why is the government not doing it already?

Christopher Caldwell, FT September 11 2009:

Google writes its own rules

Antiques Markets: Treasure Troves for Homewares

Antiques markets are perfect hunting grounds for quirky, one-off homewares. Here's a selection of the country's best.

Hannah Booth, Guardian 5 September 2009:

Antiques markets: treasure troves for homewares

Free At Last From Spend, Spend, Spend

You wouldn't know it from logging on to your bank's website, but loans are out of fashion. Despite the flashing, dancing, screamer adverts for borrowing money that bellow out at us, as a nation we're paying back our debts like never before. It's a move which can only be seen (by us) as an upside to the recession.

Lisa Markwell, Independent 3 September 2009:

Free at last from spend, spend, spend

Don't Just Howl With Rage. Try An Idea That Does Away With Banks Altogether

If our leaders won't curb bankers' megabucks, an old progressive scheme updated for the web era could bypass their greed

Jonathon Freedland, Guardian 19 August 2009:

Don't just howl with rage. Try an idea that does away with banks altogether

How Britain Fell in Love with Poundland

Amid the devastation of our recession-hit high street, one retailer is doing rather well. So what's its secret?

Jon Henley, Guardian 4 August 2009:

How Britain fell in love with Poundland

Economy Gastronomy: Three Recipes From One Chicken

Get the most out of a chicken by boiling it, then using it to make these three delicious dishes

Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett, Guardian 4 August 2009:

Economy Gastronomy: three recipes from one chicken 

Bicycle Sales Boom by 20 Per Cent

Bicycle sales have jumped by 20 per cent as workers take advantage of a tax break scheme, according to new figures.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 25 July 2009:

Bicycle sales boom by 20 per cent

Heard the One About a Rabbi, an Imam and a Priest, Who Walk Into a Bank?

A rare alliance of faith leaders today will deliver an overdue message to the City, reviving an idea as old as money itself.

Jonathan Freedland, Guardian 22 July 2009:

Heard the one about a rabbi, an imam and a priest, who walk into a bank?

What Are You Going To Do With The Children This Summer?

The school holidays have started. That's a lot of free time ahead. So how can you stave off the inevitable rows and moaning? After years of getting it wrong, Tim Dowling can now offer an expert survival guide.

Guardian 21 July 2009:

What are you going to do with the children this summer?

Lidl and Aldi Olive Oil Beats M&S;, Expert Testers Find

Some of the cheapest olive oil available, from discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl, have beaten well known brands in a blind tasting conducted by expert tasters.

Harry Wallop, Telegraph 20 July 2009:

Lidl and Aldi olive oil beats M&S;, expert testers find

In Praise of Saving

(and battered chests full of gold coins)

Lucy Mangan, Guardian 18 July 2009:

In praise of saving

How Craigslist Turned Small Ads into Bi