Thursday, August 9, 2018

Savvy Saving Strategies: How To Lower Your Household Costs

Have you ever sat down and worked out how much you spend every month on food, electricity bills, insurance, and broadband? If not, this is an exercise worth doing. When you have direct debits set up, or you make payments sporadically throughout the month, it can be difficult to keep track of just how much money is seeping out of your account. If you do your sums, you may be shocked to see just how much household bills cost you. If you’d love to have a little more cash left over as payday approaches, there are some simple saving strategies you can employ. Here are some top tips to bring down your household spending.


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Reducing your food budget
How much do you spend on food in an average week? Note down the cost of your weekly grocery shop, any takeouts you order and food you buy on the go. Is the figure higher or lower than you expected? Many of us spend far more on food than we think. The good news is that there are ways of reducing spending without compromising on taste or enjoyment. The first thing to do is try and limit the amount of takeouts, ready-made meals and snacks you pick up when you’re out and about. It’s much cheaper to cook for yourself, and often, this is a healthier option too. Always take a list to the supermarket with you, and try and avoid adding anything to your cart that you don’t need. Don’t just buy things because they’re on sale. If you find it hard to swerve the bargain aisle or you get carried away at the store, online shopping is a great alternative. You won’t be swayed by deals, and you can also keep track of your running total.

Many of us resort to buying lunch from cafes or coffee shops or swinging by a fast food restaurant on the way home due to a lack of time. If you work late or you have young kids, it is possible to save time by cooking at home. Use the time you do have to batch cook meals. This involves making several portions at the same time. You can freeze individual meals and then defrost them later in the week. You’ll get a nutritious meal with minimal hassle, and you’ll save a fortune over the course of the year. If you tend to buy lunch, start taking food to work with you. You can rustle up salads, pasta dishes, soups, wraps and sandwiches the night before and keep them in the fridge.


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Lowering your phone, TV and broadband costs
If you have a cell phone and digital TV and broadband at home, you could be forking out a lot of money to stay connected each month. If you’ve been with the same provider for years, it’s worth shopping around to see if you could get a better deal, and looking at bundles, which may be cheaper than individual contracts. If you don’t already use the same provider for your TV, broadband, and phone, you could save a substantial amount of money by swapping your current contracts for an inclusive package. You can find more details about value bundles on this page. It may also be possible to reduce phone costs by putting different users on the same contract. This may work well if you have teenage children, for example. If you see special offers aimed at new customers on the TV, it’s worth calling your current provider and asking if they have any deals open to existing clients. If not, it’s a good idea to see what competitors could offer you.


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Decreasing energy bills
The Department of Energy estimates that the average person spends more than $3,000 on energy bills every year. If you’re keen to lower your bills, it’s worth comparing prices offered by different providers, and trying to reduce usage around the house. You can do this by investing in insulation to improve heat retention, switching lights off when you leave the room, replacing old bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, and avoiding leaving appliances on standby. If you don’t already have an energy meter, this may also prove beneficial, as it enables you to see how much energy you’re using at any given time. You may also be interested in the possibility of switching to renewable energy, for example, solar power. The initial installation cost may be significant, but you’ll start saving immediately.


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Saving on insurance
If you pay out for home, pet, health, life and car insurance every month, this can amount to a substantial fee. Insurance is incredibly valuable, and it does represent a worthy investment, but sometimes, you may find that you’re paying over the odds. If you haven’t changed provider in a long time, and you tend to renew policies automatically, you could save a vast amount of money by comparing prices and looking at different companies. You can do this in a matter of minutes online. All you have to do is enter a few details, and you’ll be presented with a list of plans and providers. You can adjust your search to suit your needs, and you may find that you could get a lot more for your money. If you don’t want to switch, but you feel like you’re paying too much, call your provider and ask if they can match offers you’ve found online.


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The cost of running a household seems to be rising all the time. If you’re finding it tough to get
from one payday to the next, or you’d like to be able to treat yourself from time to time, it’s
worth exploring ways to save money and lower spending. Go grocery shopping with a list,
cook at home, and take food to work with you, and shop around for the best deals on TV and
broadband. If your energy bills are too high, try and be more conscientious by turning lights off
and limiting the use of electrical appliances, and invest in energy-efficient bulbs. Compare energy
prices online, and see if you could switch to a cheaper provider. This advice also applies to insurance.
Check out other policies using online comparison sites, and don’t renew your plans without seeing
what else is out there. The individual savings you make may only be small, but if you can lower
every bill, you could save a huge amount of money over the course of the next 12 months.


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