There’s no denying it, Christmas is an expensive time of year. Once the last mince pie has been eaten and the final present unwrapped, the long stretch until January’s pay day can feel like a lifetime away. So we’ve come up with some top money-saving tips to help you start the New Year off right.

Ditch the booze

January is officially Dry January – the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge that helps millions reset their relationship with alcohol every year. Not only is it great for your health, it’s also great for your bank balance too! Last year 88% of people who took part saved money, and other benefits included sleeping better and losing weight, so what’s not to love? Find out more about taking part in Dry January here.

Kicking other bad habits will also help you have a healthier bank balance. For help with stopping smoking, visit the One You East Sussex website where you can make an appointment with your own stop smoking advisor.

Face your food daemons

Despite the inclination to dig a small hole and cover yourself in comfort food, the New Year is actually a good time to re-evaluate how you shop for food. Are you buying too much generally? Are you throwing lots away? Christmas may be over but we have some great ideas for reducing your food waste that will see you through the year.

Once you’ve got your shopping habits in order, you can plan ahead and start to enjoy trying out new meal ideas. Stuck for inspiration? As January is ‘Veganuary’, why not mix things up a bit and try some delicious vegan meals?

Cheap nights in

Chances are you might fancy staying in more during January after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year, but staying in doesn’t have to mean boring.
Did you know you can read the latest e-magazines for free as an East Sussex library member? Or cosy up and choose your favourite from the newest releases of e-books and audiobooks! You can even rent out DVDs, so why not grab the popcorn and have a movie night? All you need is your library pin number and you can unlock a whole world of resources from the East Sussex library and information service.

Another great night in is a BYO games night. Ask your mates to each bring their favourite board game and some nibbles and you can all enjoy a fun night in with friends. You could even make your own games if you fancied getting creative – watch a favourite programme together and create your own bingo game based on popular scenes or phrases, or use embarrassing pics of your friends to make a laugh-out-loud matching pairs game that’ll give everyone a surprise.

Cherish charity shops

If all that Christmas shopping hasn’t tired you out and you’re still looking for a fast fashion fix, charity shops are a great way to feel like you’re indulging without the guilt. January is the perfect time of year to have a rummage too, as lots of people are having a New Year’s clear-out and often donate their unwanted Christmas gifts. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Save your energy

Monday 20 January sees the start of Big Energy Saving Week. It’s a national campaign to help people cut their energy bills and access the financial support they may be entitled to. Locally, you can take a look at Your Energy Sussex to get a free quote for your gas and renewable electricity, and find out whether you could save money on your tariffs.

Run by Sussex councils, Your Energy Sussex doesn’t pay dividends to shareholders or bonuses to directors – instead they use their profits to help local people who are struggling to pay their energy bills. Whatever you decide, it’s always worth shopping around and talking to your current supplier about what savings can be made for the year ahead.

Have you got any great money-saving tips to help us get through January? We’d love to hear them! Pop them in the comments below.