Annual spending overhaul could save hundreds of pounds

Overhauling direct debits and standing orders regularly and getting rid of those that are no longer

Overhauling direct debits and standing orders regularly and getting rid of those that are no longer necessary can amount to substantial savings, even when each involves just a few pounds a month. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thrifty Living, with Sheena Grant

The phrase ‘take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’ was apparently first coined around 300 years ago by treasury minister William Lowndes.

Even though Eton-educated Lowndes seemingly never had to worry much about the pennies himself, there’s a nugget of truth at the heart of his maxim, as I discovered when I overhauled my direct debits and standing orders to see which could be done away with. I axed £8 from a lottery-type draw that’s rarely paid out, another £2 here, a £3 subscription there and before I knew it I’d saved £18 a month, more than £200 a year. It’s definitely a financial clear-out worth doing annually.

Talking about annual charges, last week I wrote about how I planned to start composting instead of paying a new charge my local district council, Suffolk Coastal, is now starting to levy - in common with many other councils - for its previously ‘free’ brown bin collection.

I’ve since learned that the Suffolk Waste Partnership, which includes Suffolk Coastal District Council, funds a scheme making home compost bins available at subsidised prices - from £8.99 for a 220 litre compost bin or £9.99 for a 330 litre bin. The scheme also includes subsidies on several composting systems which can deal with some cooked food waste (there may be similar schemes in other areas). In addition, it seems I get to keep and repurpose my brown bin, should I wish. Suffolk Coastal advises that the bins can be used as tool stores, feed stores, water butts and compost bins, among other things. I’ve also learned that no waste collected by the council goes to landfill, even that put into grey, non-recyclable waste bins, which is sent to the Suffolk ‘Energy from Waste’ plant at Great Blakenham, where it is incinerated to generate electricity.

To order a home compost bin or to see more details visit or call 0844 571 4444 quoting SUF 17L. For more about Suffolk Coastal’s new Garden Waste Scheme, composting and re-purposing your old brown bin go to

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