Here's another useful way to save money | BBC Radio Solent's Alun Newman

I’m starting to lose patience with the number of stories, articles and suggestions about how to save money.

By Alun Newman
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 6:58 pm
You could always try washing up the old way... Picture: PA
You could always try washing up the old way... Picture: PA

The cost-of-living issue is absolutely everywhere.

In fact, it’s got so bad many people have been jamming the airports desperate to get away from the current challenges by having two weeks in the sun. I hope you appreciate what I did there?

Whichever way I turn there seem to be articles pointing out the obvious in an odd belief that in some way it will help as inflation continues to be a big talking point.

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I’m unsure who these articles and stories are actually for.

I've never met anyone who didn’t know that own-brand custard creams are not only cheaper but also you’d need the palette of a cordon bleu chef to be able to taste any meaningful difference.

Another tip of 'not using all the hot water in the house for a bath that could accommodate an entire team of footballers from the 1980s' has always been the bane of a parent's life.

Maybe at a push there were some people (myself included) who didn’t realise quite how much these electrical ‘devices’ left on standby gobble up. They're known as vampire devices, as they consume at night when no-one’s using them.

As a side note, it is slightly frustrating when you turn everything off, such as the TV, then, when it reboots, the entire programme guide is missing.

A small price to pay to save cash and the planet in one flick of a switch.

Still, most of this advice is known, it’s old hat, it’s nothing new. But that’s what I was on the lookout for. Something that saves money and is surprising. New ideas.

I do appreciate that when the cost of living goes up it tends to be lots of small increases (gas and electric aside) that all rise together.

Then, like a gift from above, I spotted it. A small change that can save you money.

It was on one of the big ‘saving’ websites and a woman in a chat forum said that she (get ready for this) cuts her dishwasher tablets in half!

Boom. There it is. New information. I’d never thought of it.

They can be expensive and it would be for many people an easy save.

The woman claimed that you don’t need all those chemicals and the results are exactly the same.

But here are a couple of learning elements here that I’ve experienced since.

The dishwasher tabs that I get are wrapped in a super tight plastic(ish) film. After several wasteful attempts, I ended up having to use a large knife and hit it with a rolling pin. Even then I did end up with ‘bits of tablet’.

I did too many trials and placed them back in the box, then moisture got to them so I inadvertently created a new monster tablet.

Another hack is to put the tablet in the cutlery basket. This is useful as some of the monster ones I now have are too big for the little hatch-drawer thing that opens mid-wash.

Not put off by this, I realised that you could just buy a powdered dishwasher cleaner and put less in. This would be cheaper.

Multiple tests complete I’m pleased to say I have ruined 15 tablets (half a pack) and as yet have actually spent more money than before I started hitting things with a rolling pin.

The solution is going to be straightforward.

Wash up by hand (oh my goodness!), buy own-brand biscuits (or none as when you start it’s hard to stop) and remember if you’re queuing for a plane and experiencing heartbreaking delays, at least you’re not spending any money.