Updated: August 2023
Many of us are over the moon when we first switch from smoking to vaping.
You may have found that you could breathe better, exercise more easily - and that you had more money in your pocket (up to £800 a year, according to the University College of London!)
While that’s often enough for starters, as time goes on our expectations increase. You may want to carry on vaping, but you might also want to have more spare cash to enjoy your life or save for the future. That’s particularly relevant at the moment, with prices increasing and national insurance rises coming to pinch our pay packet.
So for all the thrifty vapers out there, we’ve found some ways to help you minimise the cost of vaping - while still staying off the fags!
Here are some of our top tips for vaping on a budget:
While a high-powered mod with advanced technology and features may look and sound cool, for many vapers the bells and whistles of these devices aren’t needed.
A lower-powered, less feature-rich pod device such as the Vaporesso Xros 3 Mini can still provide you with a satisfying vape, with versatile features such as adjustable airflow, just at a much lower price.
Higher-powered devices also, unsurprisingly, use up more power, so sticking to a lower-powered device will help reduce the power costs of recharging your device.
The way you vape can also impact your vape-related spending. Choosing a Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping style can save you money in the long run compared to Direct-Lung (DL) vaping. (Confused about these terms? See MTL vs DL for more information.)
DL is more costly than vaping MTL for a number of reasons;
Firstly, DL vaping requires a more powerful device which, as mentioned above, are usually more expensive.
The lower-resistance coils required for DL vaping also tend to burn out more quickly than the higher-resistances needed for MTL and will need to be replaced more often - meaning more cost. The difference can be significant - many DL coils only last a few days while MTL coils can last weeks with proper care.
Direct-Lung vaping also produces larger vapour clouds - causing e-liquid to be used up a lot more quickly. Sticking to MTL will stretch your vape juice further.
Like any consumer product, you can get some great deals and discounts on devices, vape juices and accessories by shopping around. Browsing clearance sales is a great way to find a cheaper, reduced-price vape.
With new vape products being released constantly, retailers are regularly reducing prices on less-recent products - with many still being fairly new! A particularly great time to look out for these is Black Friday.
So if you’re not too bothered about always having the newest, most up-to-date device this is a great way to save cash!
Also see: Best Cheap Vape Kits
After you’ve been vaping for a while, you’ll start to get a good idea of how much vape juice you consume, which flavours you like and how many coils you go through on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
This is when bulk buying becomes a great money-saving technique.
Buying all of your required e-liquids and coils each month rather than each week will mean you can take advantage of multibuy deals and you won’t need to pay a delivery fee each time (if you buy enough in one order you may even bag yourself free delivery!).
Doing the same if you shop in store will also save you both time and fuel fees spent on making repeat trips.
When you first start vaping, you want as little fuss, setup and maintenance as possible to stop you resorting to quickly sparking up a cigarette.
However, in the long term, this kind of vaping can affect both your bank balance and the environment.
Switching to a refillable vape tank or pod with replaceable coils is not only better for the planet, but it will also save you money AND gives you more flexibility as you’ll find a wider choice of e-liquids & coil resistance options.
If you're not ready for a refillable, replaceable coil device, a good halfway point are devices that used filled pods such as the Elfa Pro Bar or a fixed-coil disposable such as the Aspire R1. These are still easy to use, but as you do not throw away the battery after every use they are still better for both your pocket and the environment.
A prematurely burnt vape coil will not only leave you with a horrible taste but also means wasting money. The longer your coils last, the less often you have to replace them and buy more! Looking after your coils will help them last longer and stretch your pennies further.
You can help prolong coil life by:
- Making sure to prime the coil first
- Using e-liquids with the right VG:PG ratio for your coil
- Sticking to the manufacturer’s recommended wattage or using Smart Mode to ensure you stay in the right range.
- Keeping the tank or pod topped up to stop the coil from drying out.
If you’re a Direct-Lung vaper using low resistance coils that need a high VG e-liquid, you’ll use a lot more e-liquid than a Mouth-to-Lung vaper.
Fortunately, opting for shortfills is a great way to save money.
Due to TPD regulations, e-liquids containing nicotine are limited to 10ml bottle sizes.
Shortfill e-liquids are nicotine free so can be sold in much larger bottles (usually 50ml) and can also be mixed with nicotine shots so you’re not missing out on your nic fix.
Priced at around £10 - £15, choosing shortfills over regular 10mls is a much cheaper option. The average 50ml bottle, mixed with a 10ml nic shot, will give you 6 times as much e-liquid for much less than you’d pay for 6 individual bottles - stretching your cash further.
Do note that shortfills usually come with a VG:PG ratio of 70:30 or higher. This results in a thicker e-liquid which don’t work well with MTL devices. For best results, use a low resistance coil with wide coil ports for better absorption.
Using the wrong nicotine strength is the reason a lot of smokers fail to switch to vaping and can also be expensive.
If your nicotine strength is too low you’ll need to vape more to satisfy your cravings. This will mean you’ll be using up your e-liquid more quickly. Choosing the right strength will not only make you more likely to make the switch for vaping but also save you money on e-liquid.
Check out our guide to choosing the right strength to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nicotine.
Vaping doesn’t have to be a disaster for your bank account and you can save a substantial amount of money by making just a few small changes.
If the cost of vaping still seems inconvenient, just remember that, compared to smoking, there are big benefits for both your health and your bank balance.