AS the economy struggles and it seems there are cuts around every corner it’s only natural for everybody to tighten their belts and think how they can make savings.

But rather than harming the environment in many cases it really helps the green cause. Over-consumption and excess waste hurt the planet as much as our pockets.

Here we list 50 thrifty tips that will help the environment as well as your wallet this summer...

1. Check your tyre pressure. If your tyres are at the right pressure you'll drive more smoothly and save fuel.

2. If you lose a button off an item of clothing keep hold of it and stitch it back on straight away – keep the John Lewis Value Sewing Kit (£2) in your handbag or desk drawer. If the button is lost then head for a haberdashery – they may be able to match it.

3. Plan your journey. There's no surer way to waste fuel than to get lost. Use the internet to check the distances and time it should take. And think about the time you travel – don't travel in the rush hour if you can avoid it.

4. If wool jumpers have lost their shape or gone bobbly beyond repair try making them into felt by machine washing them on a hot wash and use the felt to make cosy cushion covers, tea cosies or a nice hat, come winter.

5. Make a draft excluder snake out of one leg of an old clean woolly pair of tights stuffed with old clean clothes. To give it a lovely scent add some dried lavender or dried herbs from the garden. It'll stop drafts under doors and you can have lots of fun decorating it.

6. Don't hire a skip for old furniture. The Furniture Re-use Network co-ordinates 400 organisations in the UK which collect a wide range of furniture and appliances to donate to people in need. Find out where you can donate your unwanted items at

7. Drive slower. It can save lives and will also save you money. You use 30% more fuel driving at 70mph than 50mph

8. To help candles last longer pop them into the freezer for a few hours before you use them. Look out for locally-produced candles made from renewable sources such as vegetable or beeswax, rather than paraffin wax ones from the supermarket. Then relax and enjoy the romantic glow.

9. Don't fancy finishing a bottle of wine but reluctant to waste it (or worse, force yourself to drink it!)? Pour the leftover wine into an ice cube tray and put in the freezer. Then add a cube or two when you're next cooking to add a bit of flavour to sauces, gravy, soups – and anything else you can think of.

10. Use a milk delivery service – the glass bottle kind – if there's one in your area. Find out by looking at or asking neighbours. Unlike plastic cartons milk bottles can be re-used. And you can now buy a whole range of grocery products from most delivery services – not just milk.

11. Roll citrus fruits back and forth on the kitchen table before squeezing it and you will get more juice. You also warm the lemon and yourself with the exercise.

12. Make your own preserves from any seasonal gluts of fruit and vegetables. Sterilise old jars or get some reusable Kilner Jars and jam jars from Lakeland (£24.99 ref 13219 and £5.99 ref 3818). Lift home-made jam, pickles and chutney out of the ordinary with preserving presentation packs (£5.99, ref 12185). Once you’ve sealed in the goodness crown your jar with a pretty cover, then finish it off with the coordinating string and pretty tag-style label. They make lovely presents.

13. Farm shops or markets can be very economical – a sack of potatoes for a few pounds can be the basis for many meals for a couple of months.

14. Find out just how much energy you waste with an electricity monitor. The OWL CM119 (£34.95 from John Lewis) is wireless and easy to read, use and install. It also has an alarm which can sound when your electricity consumption exceeds a pre-set limit. The unit can also display the amount of greenhouse gases your power usage is generating, as well as ambient temperature and humidity in your home.

15. Switch off all your appliances at the wall before going to bed at night. Many electrical items continue to use electricity even while off if connected to an outlet. Do you really need to use the oven or microwave as a clock? A battery powered wall clock uses much less power.

16. Cut down your water usage by reducing the amount you use when you flush your loo. Some people suggest putting a brick in the cistern. But the new superloos from B&Q, including the Eco Loo To Go (£89.99), cut water use by 35%. Plus the toilet seat is made from recycled plastic too.

17. Tumble drying is very expensive – line drying is free. When outside drying is not possible consider whether you have radiators that could be used if on anyway – but this will increase the humidity in your house and may lead to damp if it's not well ventilated.

18. You can buy special insulation sheets to put behind radiators to reflect the heat back into them. Cardboard wrapped in aluminium foil does this too.

19. Don't forget you can insulate yourself too – wearing warm clothes and layers can reduce heating bills.

20. Trawl second-hand shops. You will soon work out where the better clothes are and can sometimes pick up new or nearly new items for a fraction of the normal price.

21. Water is the cheapest and healthiest thing you can drink. Don’t bother with fancy bottled varieties, the tap will do, plus it’s not been freighted around the world. Drinking lots of water does amazing things for your skin, lessening the need for expensive skincare products.

22. Instead of using cream cleaners use a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth – it works just as well.

23. Don’t let moths destroy perfectly good clothes. If you don’t like the smell of moth balls use cedar wood instead – it repels moths and smells great. To reinvigorate the aroma, lightly sand the wooden pieces. 30-Piece Cedar Wood Set (£6.49, Ref 22267 Lakeland).

24. Cut down old, foil-lined juice and milk cartons to be used as seed planters in the greenhouse or garden

25. The plastic lids from a Pringles tub make good covers for cat/dog food tins.

26. An empty freezer wastes money. When shopping buy up the bread products that are reduced to clear. This is an economic way of filling space in your freezer, cutting down on shopping bills and wasting less food.

27. Pass on children's clothes which they have outgrown to other family members or friends whose children are younger.

28. Soya mince is a lot cheaper than meat minces, a good source of protein and free of any disease or antibiotics. Health food shops and co-operatives typically have very reasonable bags of dried soya mince and chunks.

29. Next time you get the vacuum cleaner out run the cleaner gently over the coils on the back of the fridge to remove the dust. The motor will run for shorter periods and save you cash.

30. A soon as dusk comes draw the curtains – your windows (even if they’re double-glazed) are an energy leak point. This can save you around £15 per year

31. When you’re cooking use a lid on your pan – it dramatically cuts the energy used.

32. Always put a full load in your washing machine – small loads waste large amounts of energy.

33. Reuse old carrier bags as liners for small bins.

34. Aluminium can be recycled over and over again without any loss of quality, or wrap your sandwiches or picnic food with greaseproof paper, which you can compost afterwards. Store your packed lunch in a reusable Tupperware container or empty ice-cream tub. Reusable containers are also great for storing leftovers in the fridge or simply cover your food with a plate.

35. If you like the fabric in a garment, but not the shape, unpick the seams and make it into something else. A quick unpick (sold in pound shops or haberdashers) makes this really easy.

36. Switch off electric ovens, hotplates and irons a few minutes before you need to stop using them – they will stay hot for a long time. Heating devices use more power that anything else.

37. Harness the sun’s rays for free electricity. The Roberts SolarDAB 2 (John Lewis, £79.95) uses the sun as a power socket, letting you enjoy crystal clear digital radio wherever you are. Its integral solar panel provides continuous play under adequate sunlight while topping up a rechargeable battery which kicks in when the sun goes down or things get gloomy.

38. Vinegar is great for cleaning surfaces such as glass that you want to be smear free, if you have an old spray bottle fill it with half vinegar and half water for a great window and mirror cleaner.

39. Start saving every envelope that comes through your letter box. Keep them tidy with an elastic band (postpeople tend to drop lots of these) and reuse them.

40. Cut up old food boxes and use it to write shopping lists or notes on. Then recycle them when you’re done.

41. Instead of buying something brand new put a wanted post on FreeCycle and get it for free. Wear things out, and only buy things that can be repaired when they break, rather than things with hidden moulded bits.

42. Ever wondered what to do with those bits of crushed cornflakes at the bottom of the pack? Add them into muesli to make it go further.

43. If you have a garden consider a compost toilet. It's easy, doesn't smell and will enrich your garden no end – and will save huge amounts of water.

44. Learn how to darn holes in things. You just don't seem to see good darning these days, which is a pity, as it is something of a lost artform, as well being a superb money saver.

45. Don’t use cling film, foil or sandwich bags again. We take our butties to work in these from, and they fold out into a mini picnic blanket.

46. Cycling – there has been massive rise in the number of people cycling to and from work since the recession hit. It's free, kind on the environment and keeps you healthy.

47. Take advantage of the stuff that's free and growing wild on trees. In the Autumn look out for blackberries knocking about, plus hazelnuts and (if you know where to look) sloe berries. No-one seems to bother picking them, they are all free and free from pesticides.

48. If your washing-up liquid runs out, run some hot water over the nozzle of the bottle. So much liquid solidifies in a gunky lump around the nozzle that you can get one or two extra washing-ups out of it.

49. Composting, buying local (cuts down on food miles) and of course energy saving bulbs.

50. Using essential oils when you are cleaning – lemon oil to wipe down the kitchen surfaces – only need a drop and no nasty chemicals. With a bit of lavender oil and lemon oil you can do loads; with, for beauty/ bath stuff and as air fresheners too, save using plug in air fresheners.