There are many ways you can save your pennies by ‘shopping around’, paying by Direct Debit and spending efficiently and changing habits.
The Money Advice Service is a great place to start looking – pointing you in the right direction to tackle each bill.
Here are few general tips to get you started:
It may seem obvious but don’t just accept the first price you are given as the best deal.
The salesman or ‘Special Offer’ sign may seem convincing but you have every right to hesitate and check before you spend. Read ‘Efficient Spending’ below for more info.
Ask around, use the internet or try another shop to compare prices before you make your purchase, especially with big decisions.
The internet is the ideal place to compare prices and find deals on everyday necessities, utilities, insurance, household goods, cars, toys, presents… in fact anything you need!
If you have an internet enabled phone you could even compare the price there and then in the shop.
Here are few examples of comparison sites, often have helpful user reviews and easy tools to help you buy or switch supplier:
Supermarket comparison site
Insurance comparison sites
Fuel comparison sites
General comparison sites
Spread the cost throughout the year by paying a regular sum, on a scheduled date each month.
Not only will this help you manage your account more efficiently, it will also save you money as companies pass on their admin savings to you.
Rates are often better when you pay by Direct Debit too.
Bulk offers and ‘2 for 1’ deals can be fantastic saving you money and extra trips to the shops, however, when it comes to food, it can be a ‘false economy’ if you buy too much food it goes off before you get a chance to eat it!
Flashy special offers may ‘seem’ good but you can sometimes end up paying more than you normally would. Make sure you work out whether a deal really is as good as it looks. Look at the price per kg or g in comparison to the product next to it. Shops sometimes put up prices much higher for a few months before the ‘special offer’ so the reduction looks good in comparison.
Reuse leftover portions of food to make another dish the next day rather than throw it away.
Simple changes to your habits can make all the difference to your bills and spending.
• Reduce how much water you run when you brush your teeth.
• Reduce how long you stay in the shower or how much water you run in your bath (showers use less water).
• Reduce your sweet tooth habit and cut out sugar from your tea, fizzy drinks, sweets, biscuits and puddings – they are ‘empty’ calories that don’t make you feel full, leave you wanting more and can mean expensive trips to the dentist!
• Reduce your alcohol intake – not meaning to be a ‘kill joy’ but cutting back on how much alcohol you buy a week will make a difference on your weekly shop.
Get creative and reuse everyday household objects again and again or make new ones – saving you money.
• Buy a reusable water bottle and refill from the tap rather than buy bottled drinks.
• Reuse wrapping paper or Christmas cards and decorations.
• Clean packaging such as foil, plastic bottles and boxes can be used in art and craft projects for children.
• Reuse envelopes and scrap paper instead of spending money on new notepads for writing shopping lists. Or put stickers over addresses on envelopes and reuse them for postage.
• Reuse Carrier bags and twist ties. Carrier bags can be reused in the shops or as bin bags around the house. Paper bags make useful wrapping paper and twist ties can be used to secure loose items together, such as computer wires.
• Jars and pots. By cleaning glass jars and small pots, you can use them as small containers to store odds and ends.
• Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap make useful packing material when moving house or storing items.
• Old clothes can be cut up to make other items such as knee and elbow patches, cushion covers or teapot cosies.