How to get cheap tickets for Wimbledon 2009

Seven money-saving tips – and one suggestion to avoid. This week, how to dine out on the cheap, get a refund on your TV licence and how get a seat on Centre Court for under £100.

As anyone who has ever tried to get tickets for Wimbledon knows, you rarely get them cheap. But a bit of forward planning and a lot of luck could mean you get to sit in Centre Court next year for under £100. Just enter the public ballot held annually for the majority of Centre Court, No. 1 and No. 2 Court seats, says Melanie Wright in The Sunday Telegraph.

To enter send a request for an application form along with a stamped addressed envelope to the AELTC, PO Box 98, London, SW19 5AE, by the end of the year. You will be informed in February if you have been successful, at which point you will be asked to pay the standard ticket price for the seats you've been offered.

Dine out on the cheap

"Look out for set menus, which are a great way of sampling very good restaurants without busting your budget," says Which. They often cost about as little as a regular main course, and while they are more frequently seen as a lunch option, they can be found on some dinner menus.

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Try alternative transport

Rising fuel prices mean people are turning to a range of different forms of commuting transport, from kayaks to ponies. Start skating to work and not only will you save on transport costs, but you can cancel your gym membership too.

'BYOB' to your wedding

Reduce the cost of your wedding by booking a venue that allows you to provide your own booze then bulk buy from a wholesaler. Just check if the venue will demand a fee for corkage, says Laura Harding in The Independent on Sunday.

Get a refund for your TV licence

If one of your children is at university, remind them to apply for a three-month refund on their television licence if they aren't in their term accommodation over summer, says The Times. A licence bought last October cost £135.50, so that's a £33.88 saving.

Ditch your junk

According to the Self-Storage Association, 230,000 Britons have goods in storage. With the cost of a 50 sq ft unit in north London costing over £2,000, a year with the big companies it's worth having a sort out. Not only will you save money on your storage but if you sell some things on eBay you can make some money too.

Don't always opt for the cheapest insurance

When shopping around for an insurance policy of any kind, don't just look at the price also check what cover you will get. "A cut-price premium often means that the level and nature of the cover being provided has been cut too," warns Simon Robinson of insurer RIAS in The Daily Telegraph.

And one to avoid.

Think back to the last recession and you may recall Clothkits packs offering you fabric, needle and thread, and instructions so you can make your own clothes. They're back. The company has been relaunched, but with a skirt kit costing £46 hardly a saving considering you're doing the hard work yourself.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.