We talk a lot on this site about how to make more money, save money and make your funds go further to alleviate financial struggles. But perhaps an area we have not discussed is making savings with items and resources you already possess – so without losing anything essentially. Here is our guide on how to save money using what you already have.
This is a key point for me. And it is my primary resolution for the new year. I leave a lot of tins in the cupboard for long periods of time. Every now and then i thus have to throw them away as they have gone past the use by date. So i am changing the way i do my food shop. Instead of buying what i fancy eating that week, i now tailor my shop around what i already have. I am researching recipes according to the sauces, rubs and raw ingredients i own. I intend to empty the cupboard. Only then can i shop for anything i want as i know i won’t be wasting existing food!
Many of us of course have busy lives, and many of us simply don’t like cooking. There are better ways to spend their spare time. But if possible you should cook as much as possible. There are two excellent and important reasons to do so. Firstly, when you cook from scratch, you know exactly what you are eating. And secondly, it is simply cheaper to make your own meals rather than have someone make them for you.
Even i can benefit from this advice, And i am someone who buys clothes once every two blue moons! And yet i went through my wardrobe the other week and found numerous items of clothing i had forgotten i owned. They were at the bottom of a rarely touched pile. And by finding these clothes, i do not need to go out and buy new clothes in the near future. If you find items you do not like or no longer fit you, perhaps they can be sold to fund new purchases.
Do you have a gift card at the back of a drawer, a build-up of never used Nectar points, rewards to your current account or a refund to an online account? Check all your loyalty cards to see if there is unused credit on there. Last year o found £50 on my Nectar card, and i thought i never used it! We all own at least one loyalty card. I even have one for the local pub – every 8th pint is free.
I think especially of utility bills when talking about this topic, but are you paying too much on direct debits? I was with Eon for my electricity bill, as it was all calculated using estimated totals. When i gave them accurate readings it turned out i had accrued over £300 credit in my account. My monthly direct debit was reduced by £30 and they returned the credit to my account. A lovely little surprise!
To save more, be more careful about what energy you use around the house. Heat just the rules you frequent the most, and turn off electrical appliances fully when not in use.
Your leisure time does not have to cost you money. There are probably an endless supply of free books available, and i own plenty i am yet to read. This is because i ask for them as presents for birthdays and for Xmas. We all used to rent films in the old days, and it is still a lucrative business. But the existing satellite packages we pay for will over the course of a week offer huge numbers of films at no cost. Check the listings, including on Freeview. You can stream music for free, and watch videos on Youtube and similar sites. This is free as long as you don’t mind the inconvenience of adverts. You can get free trial offers for these sites anyway.