We’re always working on ways to cut costs and save money, but sometimes things don’t always add up in our bank accounts. One of the main reasons is that some of the decisions we make can lessen the savings we did prior. Saving 20p on pasta doesn’t work if you reward yourself with a visit to Starbucks right after shopping. It actually leaves you with less money than when you started. So we’ve brought you a few tips based around small decisions to help you save big money.
Choose the supermarket brand
Are name brands always worth it? The answer is: not always. Try shifting to the supermarket brand for some of your staples and see if you really mind the difference, if there is any. For example, Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce goes for £1.79 – the same size jar from Tesco’s own brand is only 75p. That could be a £1 saving.
Change out just 5 items on your weekly shop, and you could save on average £20 per month. Items such as laundry detergent and toilet paper can make a big difference, with minimum effort.
One less latte
You’ll probably have heard this one before. Instead of getting a £3 coffee, have one in the office or at home instead. In reality though, not everyone treats themselves to a latte every single day.
However, the one less latte rule can be stretched to a lot of items. It represents those impulse buys that you don’t really need. Are you really that hungry, or can you leave that 80p candy bar and have a bite when you are home? Do you fully read that newspaper, or could you do with the puzzles from the free Metro instead?
Even if it’s a small expense, don’t just mindlessly grab it. Ask yourself: do I need it, or just want it? When you decide to leave the item, write down the amount or put the cash in a jar – you’ll see how fast your savings add up.
One less meal deal
Meal deals are quick, convenient, and cheap. We’re not saying you should ditch them altogether if you don’t want to. But one lunch made from leftovers can easily save you £2 on a single lunch.
Once a week this will be another saving of almost £10. On top of that, you will produce less food waste. It’s win-win.
One less cigarette
Ideally, you don’t smoke at all. It’s more cost effective and a lot healthier. For those who aren’t willing to go that far, try one less cigarette a day.
With an average price of almost 50p for a cigarette, this means a £3.50 saving per week, or well over £15 per month. Look at every cigarette as if it’s a 50p coin. How many coins are going up into smoke every day?
One less degree
A saving that you can’t see as easily is on your heating bill. A simple change of putting the temperature 1 degree Celsius lower can save you 10% on your heating bill.
If you have a timed thermostat, reducing the temperature at night or when no one is at home during the day saves you money on your end of year bill.
Small changes can result into saving big money. Introduce all 5 changes mentioned above and you’ll save an extra £50 per month, with little or no effort. This extra cash can be used to pay off debt, go towards your monthly bills, or you can set it aside to save for bigger expenses, like Christmas.
It only takes a little to make a lot. Most of the money savers are based on habits, so it’s important to try it out for a full month at least. Not only will you get into the saving habit, you can see it’s full effect directly when those little bits have added up.