Hot! Ten Things to Help Save Money

Save MoneyNow is as good a time as any to tighten your belt and start saving some money which you can put to better use. We give you ten things to help save money with very little effort.

1. Plan Meals – You’re probably like the rest of us who visit the supermarket and spends more than we planned, and putting lots of goodies in which we shouldn’t of. You will save a lot of money by doing your shop online as your less likely to put goodies into your basket. An even better thing to do is plan out all your meals for the week as this will mean you can just buy exactly what you need and can budget more efficiently.

2. Stock Up – If you see items on offer that you regulary buy make sure to stock up and buy as many as you can afford.. Assuming you have the room to store them somewhere, it makes sense to buy lots and will save you money in the long run. It may even be worthwhile investing in a fridge or freezer for the garage (if you have one) in order to stock up on things like meat when on offer as this can be very expensive. You can save lots of money bulk buying more expensive tings like Washing liquid, dishwasher tablets and toilet rolls when prices are reduced.

3. Try a store brand during the weekly shop – Once a week switch one item to a store brand as a trial. Supermarkets will often stock their own versions of the best selling brands and at a much cheaper price. They will usually try to copy the known brand ingredients as closely as possible so it’s worth giving them a try and you might be pleasantly surprised. There are some things which don’t come close but even if you switch a few items the annual savings add up. An example is with cold and flu capsules. I compared ingredients of a well known brand with those of a shops own version and found that they were identical but the price difference was about 20%.

4. Review payments annually – Make sure you review your outgoings at least annually or when due for renewal. You should always shop around and review which deals you are on for things like, Car insurance, Home Insurance, Mobile phone deals, Credit Cards, Energy bills, broadband and more. Mobile tariffs in particular are very competitive especially when your contract is due for renewal. Never just renew your current deal without reviewing and check what you are using of your allowance. If your not using the free minutes, data or texts it may be worth downgrading. If you have long term credit card balances move them around to cards offering 0% deals.

5. Impulse purchase? – Do you really need it? wait 10 days before buying on impulse and you will save loads.

6. Reduce energy bills –  Shop around and compare energy deals. There are often better deals available if you enter your own regular meter readings online. Save water by installing a water butt to collect rainwater and then use that to water your garden. You can also call your water company and ask them to send you a water hippo. This is basically a small bag which you place in your toilet cistern which reduces the amount of water used when flushing. Turn electrical items off. Leaving items on standby often uses as much electricity as when on. When boilng a kettle make sure there is just enough water as required, this can save a lot on electric bills.

7. Sell your old and unwanted items – A great way to make money is to sell your unwanted items. You will be surprised what sells!. Car boot sales are a great way to make money if you have lots to sell, otherwise ebay is the place. You can get an idea of what sells and for how much by searching completed listings on ebay. Just use their advanced search facility, enter what your looking to sell and tick the completed listings checkbox. This shows you what the end selling price of the item was and also shows unsold items. Remember you need to deduct ebays listing and commission fees and also paypal fees if used. Make sure you charge the right postage and packing too or you can end up out of pocket.

8. Save Fuel – Don’t speed as it uses a lot more fuel, as does fast pull aways. You could also look at buying a smaller car with a smaller engine which will get you more miles per gallon. It can also save you money on tax and congestion charges.

9. Cut out non essentials – Do you need to get the bus to and from the station? or drive and pay petrol and parking? Why not walk and save money whilst improving your health.. Do you need to get off at the station you do? could you save money getting off a stop early and walking? Take a packed lunch into work instead of buying from shops.

10. Switch TV – Do you pay for monthly sattelite tv? Look into non subscription services such as Freeview and Freesat. These incur no monthly charge once you have bought the hardware and you can also get hd versions and those with hard drives for recording. If not review what you are actually watching and downgrade what’s not being used. You can also cancel sports for summer for instance if your only interested in football and then subscribe again once the new season starts. Again movies are repeated quite a lot so maybe cancel those for a while?

If you add up these small things they can lead to big savings over the course of a year. Things like giving up smoking can save you hundreds of pounds and improve your health. As can walking instead of driving or getting the bus. Do the sums and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it long ago.

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