In the words of one major supermarket ‘every little helps’. This is very true when it comes to making adjustments to daily, weekly and monthly spending. Sometimes these may seem like tiny amounts, but if you follow a policy of saving money across the board then every penny you can keep in your pocket can really add up.
Some of the savings you make are easy to implement and often require nothing more than changing a routine or taking a moment or two to think first.
More and more shoppers are turning to the lower priced supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl instead of the traditional heavyweights such as Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. In recent years sales at Aldi and Lidl have risen while sales at the major three above have fallen - a 2013 poll showed that around half of UK shoppers use the low priced supermarkets now. The important thing to do is price match purchases and search out the supermarkets that can save you money for the most common items you purchase.
Coupons, discount codes and loyalty cards
Often people don’t bother saving money off coupons and vouchers - but they can add up. It may take some diligence, but the savings can’t be denied. See here how one UK shopper saves some £150 a month on her shopping bills.
Keep track of the points you’ve gained on your supermarket loyalty cards to save money on subsequent shopping trips. Over a year these savings do mount up. Know how to maximize the amount you accrue and when and how to spend them for maximum effect.
Utility and insurance audit
Utilities: check you’re not paying too much for you energy, mobile phone, landline and broadband periodically. Providers are notorious for giving new customers good deals while neglecting existing ones, so check prices and shop around; set a calendar note for when you’ll do this.
Insurance: check your current car and home insurers’ renewal prices against competitors just before it’s time to renew.
Use comparison sites such as this one to quickly gather prices from other suppliers covering energy, insurance, broadband, home phones and more. If you get better rates from alternative suppliers, ask your current provider if they’ll match it. They may well do - some car insurers now are more inclined to try and price match than previously.
Buy cheaper fuel
Make a point of filling up where fuel is cheapest. If you plan ahead a little rather than waiting until you’re nearly empty, you’ll always fill up where its cheapest and these savings will count each year. Don’t always fill your car up to the top either since that will lead to inefficient driving.
This will need careful thought, but it’s always worth checking periodically that you’re on the best mortgage deal possible. You could save significant amounts of money by switching wisely, but seek proper advice first.
Stop paying a TV licence
With the TV licence well over £100 per year, it’s worth asking yourself whether you still need it. If you watch television programmes that have already been broadcast on catch up services such as BBC’s iPlayer, then you don’t need a licence.
Using slow cookers
Not only do they save money, but slow cookers offer the benefits of tender food cooked slowly over a long period and a meal ready for when you come home from work. The savings are worthwhile; a slow cooker costs around ten pence to run for eight hours while a conventional oven will be around thirty pence for one hour.
Apply the mentality across the board
Get into the habit of checking prices and shopping around. Even something like helping your teen to learn to drive could be done cheaper using freely available materials online and by comparing local driving schools’ lesson rates to see if they’ll do a bargain.
By doing this you’ll set the tone for your children to follow your lead and be thrifty too – something that benefits you and them in the long run.