1.Save money shopping
Be careful when shopping especially at the supermarket. Look out for specials and make sure you look at the bottom shelves. It’s amazing how supermarkets try to hide away some bargains on bottom shelves. It’s no coincidence that all the products they want you to buy are always at eye level (usually on the middle shelves).
Also, don’t think that the biggest store is also always the cheapest. We have a local small supermarket that has some items that are substantially cheaper than the large supermarkets and that includes specialty items like alcohol.
2.Save money eating
Try to eat less takeaways and cook more at home. Increase your cooking quantities so you have some extra you can leave in the fridge for easy meals later in the same week. Also, take your lunch to work and resist paying for lunch every day. Even the price of takeaway lunchtime coffees can add up over time.
3. Turn your hot water service down
Especially in summer when you don’t need it as hot. Change the hot/cold mixture on the inlet side of the service. Consider installing an instantaneous hot water service next time your hot water service breaks as these only heat water when needed. Alternatively, install Solar hot water as we did many years ago. I was amazed when I realized how hot the water became during summer. We only have the gas booster on for approximately 6 months of the year and I’m sure you could reduce this even further. It’s only when you need very hot water for cleaning greasy dishes that the booster is sometimes needed. Boiling the kettle occasionally could easily overcome this problem.
4. Insulation, power, heating
Turn heating down a few degrees. 18 degrees maximum.
Install double glazing to increase insulation of windows and also reduce external noise levels.
Close off rooms in areas not being used to save heat in winter.
Ensure you have good insulation in ceilings,walls, under floors.
Install energy efficient light bulbs to reduce power bills and only leave essential lighting on in all rooms.
Mulch the garden so you save on water bills. Although the mulch will cost you money (unless you make your own), it should definitely make the garden low maintenance and low water use. It also keeps the weeds from spreading and if the mulch is thick enough (around 8 cm minimum) it will also hinder initial weed growth.
Make sure you use either cold washes or the lowest heat setting possible to reduce energy use. Also, when drying clothes, try to naturally dry them as much as possible outside and if not (as in winter), dry them on racks near heaters or ducting vents.
7. Electricity Use
Most electricity suppliers now allow you to use Off Peak power rates (usually between 11pm and 7am) so timing your dish washers and washing machines for between these times will save on electricity use.
8. Banks – Flick your Bank.
If you are not happy with your bank and the charges you regularly seem to accumulate, maybe it’s time to shop around. Banks are businesses and it’s a very competitive field especially since the Global Financial Crisis, so shop around and make them work for your custom. Just because the 4 biggest Australian banks make the most profits does not mean they are the best for you. For years I have been with a bank that is not one of the Big 4 and have saved substantially on fees. If you do most of your banking online and are happy with not visiting a branch too often, then your options are much broader these days. Please – shop around!!
9. Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a fantastic convenience at times but can also be a huge trap if not used properly. If you’ve had trouble paying more than the monthly minimum payment on your credit cards it might be time to change tactics. You should always try to pay your credit card balance off in full and if you can’t, consider a Debit card. A Debit card only spends money directly from a bank account that you have money in and you can’t spend more than you have.
Check your insurance details and shop around for new quotes for car, house, health and life insurance. You’d be surprised how much you can save by spending some time on the phone or via the web. Competition is fierce presently in the insurance industry and as well as possibly saving yourself money by reducing premiums you could also find that you might also gain extra benefits you thought were previously unavailable under an old policy. Never under insure just to save yourself some money though as it could be a decision you will later regret.
I hope these ten pointers help in your quest to reduce expenditure around your household.
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