Saving money consistently provides great satisfaction for most people, especially when it only takes a few simple steps to do so. Little changes here, shopping differently there, and planning a little at the start of the week can all reap dividends and massive bonuses when you look at your bank balance later. With this in mind, here are five quick ways to give your finances a simple overhaul if you’re looking to save more:
Buying no-name brands
They’re always in sight whenever you put your favourite brands in the basket and it may seem either disloyal or unattractive to choose them. In actual fact there’s very little difference, to the point where blind testing can rarely differentiate them from the high quality brands. It applies to cleaning products, food, drink, toiletries, make-up and many other items, and could save you hundreds of pounds. Combine these purchases with coupons and BOGOFS for more savings, but be wary of the latter – it’s better to buy just one item and miss out on the offer, than two items and one rots away.
Do it yourself or make it yourself
It’s tough to deny yourself pleasures in life, but there are many things that people pay for that one can just as easily do yourself. Having nails treated or getting your hair dyed are two grooming examples. Gardening and little jobs across the home such as painting and simple repairs are others that you might otherwise have paid someone to do. Reusing items is another simple way of saving cash – there are 100 ways to achieve this here.
Use a voucher site
Once you know what you want to buy there is normally a voucher or money off code for many retailers, if you have a quick search on a site like Deals Daddy you’ll find great money off offers, discounts and exclusive deals from hundred of retailers, both High street and online
Plan your meals
How many times have you stared into your fridge and solemnly seen ‘turning’ meat, rotting salads shrivelling in their packet, and dairy products that have curdled? It’s a regular problem for people with full and disorganised fridges, and so easily remedied with a menu plan at the start of the week. Form there, order the ingredients online and save time and money in petrol, while also resisting the lure of treats and temptation when you shop in-store. It’s also worth knowing what you can and can’t freeze before consigning food that’s past its prime to the bin.
Store and loyalty cards are a good way of building up points to make later savings on shopping, but the interest rates can be harsh. Similarly, for many people, use of the credit card or loan system is an everyday occurrence, and the debt creeps up. Before you know it the volume of debt actually can’t be paid off and it becomes a problem, especially if there are multiple streams of credit.
A shopping scenario: you’ve seen two t-shirts that you like, one of which is £5 and one of which is £50. Which do you buy? Having read the title of this piece one might assume the advice would be to choose the cheaper option, but that isn’t always the case. Consider which of the two you’re more likely to wear down the line on repeated occasions, and which will fall apart after a few washes. For short-term gain take the cheap option, but if you’re looking to buy items to wear over the next year or two, go for the option that will last.