Money saving 1p challenge enables woman to put aside £667.95 and pay for Christmas

Supplied picture of Kate Richards who has shared a simple 1p money saving challenge. (Kate Richards/SWNS)
Kate Richards has shared a simple 1p money saving challenge which pays for all her Christmas presents. (Kate Richards/SWNS)

A woman has shared details of the money saving 1p challenge she swears by, which enabled her to put away more than £650 and pay for all her Christmas presents.

Kate Richards, 33, a teacher from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has used the same easy cash-stashing trick for the last three years.

The method, which is widely recommended on the forums of MoneySavingExpert, involves the mum-of-one saving 1p on January 1, then 2p on January 2, and so on, reaching £3.65 on December 31.

By the end of the year the savings have added up to to a total of £667.95, which she says is enough to buy presents for her whole family.

"You don't notice it [the money] coming out every day," she explains. "There’s an app and it automatically moves money into your account for you.

“I’ve done it since 2019 and used it every year for Christmas shopping," she continues.

“I already have all my presents wrapped and everything, it’s all done."

Richards says the app she uses also offers the service to do the saving trick in reverse, starting with £3.65 and going down.

“It links up to the bank and you get a notification each day, you don’t have to think about it. It’s great."

Read more: Savvy mum saves thousands through yellow sticker shopping and funds family trip away

Supplied picture of Richards with her family, son Fred and husband, Ian Richards. (Kate Richards/SWNS)
Richards pictured with her family, son Fred and husband, Ian Richards. (Kate Richards/SWNS)

She uses the app If This Then That (IFTTT), which automatically saves an increasing amount of money every day, to help control her spending.

Effectively, it triggers an automated action, such as depositing cash from your bank account to your savings and offers various money-saving incentives, including the 1p challenge, like Richards uses.

In order to save further money at Christmas, Richards uses another idea touted by money saving expert Martin Lewis – a secret Santa with her relatives instead of buying each person a gift.

Where she was previously spending £20 per person on seven people, totalling £140, the group of them now have a £50 limit in a secret Santa game where they only have one person to buy for – cutting costs by almost a third.

“It's also more fun as you have to think about one person and what they would really like," she explains.

Watch: Martin Lewis reveals the best Christmas present for 2022

The mum also uses a website called to organise Christmas lists for her son.

The site allows people to enter their Christmas list and links to items, meaning it can be sent around to friends and relatives.

Once a gift has been ‘reserved’ by someone it alerts everyone who looks at the list, meaning there is no risk of duplicates.

“You find the item on Amazon or wherever, stick the link in and any extra info like colour or size and people can just tick it off, buy it, and it’s sorted," she says of the app.

“You can do a wide range of prices – some presents were £4 and some were £40, and I had loads on the lower end so people could pick and choose what they could afford and reserve it.”

Read more: Frugal mum shares savvy tips for slashing bills during cost of living crisis

Supplied picture of Richards already wrapped Christmas presents. (Kate Richards/SWNS)
Kate Richards has her presents already wrapped and ready to go after saving money with the 1p challenge. (Kate Richards/SWNS)

The 1p challenge isn't the only way to save some money during the cost of living crisis.

Earlier this year one woman revealed how she managed to stash away thousands by completing surveys and using cashback apps.

Nalan Kaya, 26, from Coventry, West Midlands, scrolls through survey websites and cashback apps as well as exchanging receipts for points in order to save money and earn freebies.

The NHS biomedical assistant sometimes spends less than £30 a month on shopping, including food, thanks to offsetting costs in this way, taking advantage of free samples and purchasing reduced yellow sticker items.

So far, she has earned back more than £5,000 in the space of three years and is hoping to start saving for her first mortgage.

Read more: Mum says buying reduced food items in the supermarket has slashed her bills in half

And back in January another savvy woman shared her smart money-saving shopping tricks, which mean she's managed to stock enough meat to feed her family of four for the rest of the year.

Lindzi Bebbington-Colbourne, 47, from Lincolnshire, saves more than £1,000 buying food close to its use by date.

Having stored the food in her five freezers, she says the bargain buys should last her family until this Christmas.

Meanwhile, another thrifty mum revealed back in January that she already had Christmas 2022 all wrapped up – after saving hundreds of pounds on gifts in the sales.

Gemma Chamberlain, 37, from Leicester, saves a fortune buying her presents in the sales.

Not only did she already have all her gifts bought in January, the mum-of-six is so organised she even had them wrapped, ready to be placed underneath the tree, 11 months in advance.

“I have been sale shopping for years," the full-time carer reveals.

“It makes my life so much easier and we have saved a fortune on gifts for the kids for next year.”

As well as saving hundreds of pounds, Chamberlain says sale shopping just after Christmas means she avoids the last minute panic to buy gifts in December.

Additional reporting SWNS.