by Lisa McGarry

Cash-strapped Britain is in the grip of a bargain-hunting boom. Every week a staggering 40 million of us use money-off deals and voucher sites to buy everything from holidays to clothes, car insurance and even dental care. Cutting Edge takes an entertaining and revealing look at the lives of some of the country’s thriftiest people, from frugal families obsessed by discount vouchers and competitions to a penny-pinching bride who’s determined that her wedding day will cost less than the price of the average wedding dress.

The Ultimate Guide to Penny Pinching offers a warm insight into the lives of people who take watching the pennies to new extremes. Thirty-eight-year-old Judith is a voucher-loving midwife who can slash her supermarket bill from £50 to less than five pounds. By the age of 15, Judith had opened 170 bank and building society accounts to get the free gifts they were offering to children. Her family also live by Judith’s cost-effective ways, using solar panels to heat their hot water and missing showers when the weather is bad, or eating the same meals for weeks because it was bought on offer. For Judith getting a discount or using coupons is a way of life.

Betrothed bargain hunters Rebekah and Steven believe you don’t have to spend thousands to have your dream wedding, but neither does it have to look cheap. Rebekah is having her dress made by her mum, she’ll arrive at the ceremony in a minicab, and the flowers are from the local supermarket. Together with their finger buffet and alcohol-free reception, the couple’s overall wedding spend is less than the average cost of a photographer.

Cost-cutting carnivore Jonathan reckons he saves £1500 a year by replacing meat from the butcher with freshly collected road-kill. When friends come over for dinner, their barbeque could be anything from squirrel to pheasant, and it can often be a guessing game around the table.

IT worker Jalaj uses the latest technology to ensure he pays rock-bottom prices for everything on his shopping list. His biggest challenge is teaching his wife, an ex-shopaholic, to follow in his frugal footsteps. The Ultimate Guide to Penny Pinching shows the incredible savings dedicated bargain hunters can make in modern-day Britain. With the cost of living rising and the world economy faltering, perhaps these penny-wise people have valuable lessons for us all.