Training cats to use the toilet among unusual money saving schemes

People have been coming up with strange ways of saving money during the recession.

New research shows one in ten of us think the downturn has been 'life-changing' and 'completely transformed the way they think about money'.

A tenth of us have adopted 'scrooge-like' habits in the way we approach our personal finances - but without his miserable 'Bah Humbug' behaviour... On the contrary, these tough times may be bringing out the best in us: we're becoming resourceful, less wasteful, more inventive and as a result, making some important strides toward becoming more energy efficient.

The research on behalf of npower reveals the most popular ways in which we are being resourceful as we look to save our pennies.

The top money saving measures include switching from bottled water to tap water (39%), using food left-overs to make soups, casseroles and sandwiches rather than throwing them away (33%) and cancelling gym memberships and exercising outdoors instead (9%).

Some of the more eccentric of us are even going to fairly extreme lengths to save money, like growing a beard to save buying razors, throwing frock-swapping parties and even training our cats to use the toilet to save on kitty litter.

As an indication that the recession is breeding this type of inspired inventiveness, the survey revealed the fictional character the majority of Brits most associate themselves with is Wallace of 'Wallace and Gromit' fame (36%).

Other characters we see similarities with include The Wombles of Wimbledon - famous for making good use of other people's throwaways.

As we look to cut costs this winter, many of us are also looking at the simple changes we can make around the house, such as installing roof insulation for example - which will significantly reduce heating bills as the weather gets colder.