Cheap train tickets

Station workers aren't the only ones who are begining to lose their patience with Britain's rail companies. Every year commuters spend thousands getting to and from work, and with annual price hikes showing no signs of abating, putting the legwork to find yourself a fair deal is more important than ever before.

Discounts

The first port of call for any commuter looking to downsize their travel budget is to check to see if you are eligible for any special rail discounts. These could result in savings of up to a third over the course of a year, and the best part is you won't have to worry about constantly renewing your tariff or booking things weeks ahead of your departure date to find deal that works for you.
If you're a student aged up to 25, you will qualify a rail card, and the same applies if you're over 60 or if you're disabled. There are also discounts available to those who travel in large groups, and parents with children in tow.

Splitting tickets

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of ticket splitting resources available to commuters, which if used correctly could result in saving thousands over the course of a year.
This essentially involves buying multiple smaller fares which each take you a particular section of your journey, rather than opting for a single ticket to go from A to B. The only caveat is you need to ensure you're carrying a valid ticket for the duration of your journey so you don't get caught out by a train conductor - that, and the fact that it can make your trip a little longer.
If you need a starting point, try searching sites like splitticketing.co.uk and raileasy.com, which have search tools to help you find a cheaper ticket split alternative to whichever journey it is you're looking to make.

Where and when to buy tickets

Most commuters are by now aware of the potential pitfalls of buying tickets too late, and it's true that it's generally better to book them in advance where possible as this means you won't run into any last minute demand-led price hikes (this is particularly true when you're planning on travelling at peak hours and especially at weekends).
However, if you do leave things late it's generally discouraged to use the automated machines on platforms as they tend not to be fully up-to-date when it comes to seasonal promotional offers. You're much better off boarding the train and then speaking to the conductor, who will be able to help you get the best deal you can.

Type of tickets

Where possible try to go for off-peak tickets to help drive down your charges, and also consider buying two singles instead of a return fare. This will not always result in savings but in some circumstances it can - particularly if you know exactly when you're going to be making the second leg of your journey.
Season tickets are also useful if you're going to be travelling to a specific location for a fixed period - but you should naturally be wary of committing to a long-term one.