A nation of savers, but some resort to dirty tricks

Britain may be a nation of eccentric economisers, but most will stop at breaking the law to save money, according to a new survey.

Britain may be a nation of eccentric economisers, but most will stop at breaking the law to save money, according to a new survey.

Although most people are quite happy to save money by conventional means, buying reduced food at the supermarket or walking instead of taking a cab, more than one in ten admitted they were willing to risk parking illegally to save money on the fee and to dodge bus and train fares rather than buy a ticket.

The NOP survey of favourite ways of saving cash showed sharing bath water and reusing tea bags remained some of the most common techniques, both used by 31 per cent

The most popular saving method - mentioned by 81 per cent of people - was buying reduced priced food in the supermarket.

Next on the list came walking instead of catching a cab (62 per cent) followed by cutting down on luxuries (57 per cent), putting on a jumper instead of turning up the heating (52 per cent) and driving a bit further to get cheaper petrol (34 per cent).

Other ideas mentioned included skipping a round at the pub (16 per cent), while 13 per cent would park illegally and 9 per cent would dodge fares.

However there were certain luxuries which those polled would be extremely reluctant to forgo to save money. They included takeaway meals (mentioned by 38 per cent of people) and items such as clothes, magazines, CDs and haircuts (33 per cent).

Comfort food such as ice cream and chocolate was also rated a must-have by 33 per cent of people, with even more women (40 per cent) saying they could not do without it.

The study, conducted by NOP for Abbey National, found that two-thirds of people saved without a specific purpose.

Of those who did have a particular goal, the most popular were holidays (16 per cent) and household bills (19 per cent).

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