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Think smart: Practical solution for a busy Britain

Sparklers for BONFIRE (Pic: GETTY)

FIRE UP RED-HOT SAVINGS

MILLIONS will be sending rockets skyward and scoffing bangers for November 5 but why not cut the cost of your celebrations?

Research has found we spend a whopping £497million on the occasion but a bit of clever thinking could help you out.

If you're having a party at home, snap up some leftover Halloween goodies.

Shops will slash their prices to get rid of perfectly good stock which they think is out of date once Halloween is over.

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Or why not ask your guests to bring a bottle, something to eat, or even some fireworks?

No one will mind contributing a little something to help spread the cost.

Nothing says Guy Fawkes night like a sausage in a bun and all the big supermarkets will have deals on. Check them out online before to see which has the best saving.

And don't splash out on things like toffee apples when it's easy to make your own – after all you just need apples, melted toffees and a splash of milk.

There are some excellent recipe suggestions if you search online.

Supermarkets are also the best place to head for fireworks if you plan on launching your own.

Aldi has a Lol pack of 19 fireworks for just £9.99, with other packs ranging in price up to £49.99. Sparklers are £1.29 for 21.

Meanwhile Morrisons have a Demon Display of 30 fireworks for £20 and two for £10 on rockets. Asda also has a good two for £10 range.

If you are heading to a display, rather than forking out for tickets, hunt around to find one for free. And rather than pay for food and drink, plan ahead and bring you own picnic.

But leave booze at home at most displays won't allow alcohol.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Safety is key if you are hosting your own fireworks party.

Make sure you check out the Firework Code at rospa.com

Eat out and stay on budget (Pic: Daily Star/ GETTY) Related Articles

HOW TO DRIVE DOWN THE COSTS ON THE ROAD

A few small changes can save you money

GOOD news for motorists – fuel duty has been frozen for the ninth consecutive year.

In Monday's Budget, the government kept the current rate of 57.95p on each litre of petrol and diesel.

But if you want to make sure you are keeping the costs as low as possible, here's how you can improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Start by clearing out any unnecessary baggage – the lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to accelerate.

EVERY 50KG YOU RIDE WITH INCREASES PETROL BY 2% (Pic: GETTY)

On average, every 50kg you ride around with increases your petrol consumption by 2%.

Keep your tyres inflated. Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a car, meaning you need more fuel.

Take your foot off the accelerator.

Research has found driving at 80mph uses to up to 25% more fuel than motoring at 70mph.

Sudden acceleration and braking will also drain it further.

Ditch the air con unless you really need it. It uses up a huge amount of fuel – up to 10% in traffic.

It's generally more efficient to drive with the windows down and air con off at lower speeds but at higher speeds, it's better to have the air con on and windows up due to the extra drag caused by having the windows down.

Don't fill up. Fuel is heavy, so the more you put in, the more weight you are adding.

Put a bit less in and fill up more often to make your car run efficiently.

Plan your journey. Avoid traffic black spots and busy times where possible. And make sure you work out your route with a map or sat nav before setting off.

You won't get lost and end up driving further than necessary.

Read the road. Build up momentum when going downhill to help you get uphill rather than accelerating more. The easiest way to do this to watch the road as if you were on a bike and accelerate accordingly.

Or if you are just doing a short journey, think about leaving the car behind and walking or cycling. You'll save money and get some fresh air and exercise!

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WARM up a chilly Fireworks Night with a cup of delicious hot chocolate (Pic: GETTY) Related Articles

CUT ENERGY COSTS WITH A SMART METER

SMART meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. But most importantly – they could help you with budgeting and make saving easier.

More than 12 million smart meters have already been installed in homes across Great Britain.

Your smart meter comes with a handy in-home display which shows you how much energy you are using in pounds and pence.

It's a simple way to help you take control of your finances.

Cut energy costs in your household (Pic: GETTY)

So when the kids, your housemates or your partner leave the lights on, you can show them exactly how much energy is being wasted.

Or if you think there's no way you could cut down on your energy use, why not work out how much each appliance consumes?

There might be an easy way to reduce the amount you use – for example, leaving a TV on standby rather than turning it off properly takes up a lot more energy.

SMART METERS (Pic: Daily Star)

Saving energy doesn't need to change your lifestyle, or even your routine, but it could make a big difference to your finances.

All you need to do is contact your energy supplier about getting your smart meter at no extra cost.

Smart Energy GB is the government backed organisation tasked with informing Great Britain about the benefits of the smart meter rollout.

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