40 devastatingly simple ways the web can save you big money

Cash and calculator
You can save a surprising amount of money with the web

Capitalism is collapsing, we're eating shoes for dinner and our houses are worth about 10p - so it's more important than ever to ensure that we're getting the biggest bang for our bucks.

If money really talked, it'd be saying "go online and save some cash!"

So we did.

Here, we reveal 40 ways to use the web to beat the bills, cut your costs and get more from your money.

1. Go paper-free for cheaper bills
Many firms, such as Norwich Union Direct give you one discount for applying online and a further discount if you choose online-only paperless policies.

2. Make free phone calls
Whether it's Skype or your favourite chat software, why pick up the phone when voice and video chat is free?

3. Cut your credit card rates
If you don't clear the balance every month, high interest rates could be costing you a fortune. Use MoneyExtra to find a better deal.

4. Get cheaper gas and electric
Energy firms make a lot of money from inertia - that is, customers sticking with the package they're on instead of switching to better deals. Use Uswitch to compare different providers.

5. Collect Airmiles
Airmiles aren't just for flights - you can use them for hotel stays, too. The Airmiles website shows you where to collect the most miles.

6. Be patient and save on delivery charges
Many online shops such as Amazon charge a fortune for fast delivery. Go for free delivery instead - no book, game or DVD is that urgent.

7. Get cheaper broadband
Been with the same ISP for a while? You're probably paying too much. Broadband Genie shows who's got the best prices for the speed you need.

8. Get loyalty discounts
Providers such as O2 give massive discounts for customers who take more than one service so, for example, O2 broadband is £5 cheaper for existing O2 customers.

9. Get cheaper insurance
Insurers typically attract new customers with generous deals and then stuff them when it's time to renew. Use Confused.com to get a better deal.

10. New quotes are often cheaper than renewals
Like your insurer but hate the renewal price? Get a new quote from their website and demand they match it. We saved £90 this week doing just that.

11. Buy groceries online
Supermarkets are brilliant at encouraging impulse buys, so avoid temptation by ordering over the internet. If possible, arrange midweek delivery: weekends cost more.

12. Dump designers
Sites such as ASOS.com can help you get designer styles without paying designer money.

13. Book flights early
The earlier you book a flight on airlines such as EasyJet, the less it costs.

14. Use free software
Is OpenOffice.org as good as Microsoft Office? Who cares? It's free! See also: Picasa, Google Docs, Paint.net...

15. Get cheaper gig tickets in advance
Sign up to mailing lists to get advance notice of ticket sales for your favourite acts.

16. Get cheaper last-minute tickets
Need tickets for a sold-out gig? Sod the scalpers: try ethical trading site Scarlet Mist.

17. Get cheap Christmas presents now
It's not long till Xmas, and there are sales a-plenty from big names such as Debenhams and Marks & Sparks.

18. Find freebies
The lovely people at Moneysavingexpert.com have found freebies ranging from baby food samples to study aids and sun cream.

19. Compare prices to save big
Never buy things from the first site you try - a quick trip to Kelkoo will often find it cheaper.

20. Use a car broker and save cash on your new car
Car dealers are suffering, so brokers such as Broadspeed can get even bigger discounts on new cars than before.

21. Monitor the market for cheap mortgages
The best deals appear and disappear in a matter of days, so use a site such as Moneysupermarket.com to make sure you don't miss any.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.