Smart Savings – Simple Ideas

Good Tips – Saving Money

I just spent the better part of two days shopping for Christmas presents and I’m not done yet, so I was grateful to receive this contributed post offering some good money-saving tips.  This just feels like the time of year to spend, spend, spend, doesn’t it?

Smart Savings – Simple Ideas

It’s a time of highs and lows. Inflation is high, wages are low, house prices are through the roof, and yet interest rates are through the floor. This doesn’t lend itself to a stable way of life and the struggle to maintain a financial status quo is real.

There are simple ways to save serious money, helping you keep the edge when it comes to winning the battle of the billfold.

Fuel Funds

Fuel prices are skyrocketing, so when it comes to filling up your car, it pays to shop around.

Checking out local prices on the web, you can see quickly and easily who is offering the best for your buck. Make sure the visit doesn’t mean you are actually spending more to get there than the savings you make.

You can also save money on petrol by using less of it. Walk where driving isn’t essential and straightforward tips such as driving more efficiently and leaving earlier for work to avoid sitting in traffic will also stop that spend.

Fighting the Food Bill

Planning your meals is an efficient way of not only saving your hard earned money but also reducing any food waste.  If you know what you are having on any given day, you will always have the appropriate ingredients to hand. This reduces the number of trips you need to make to the supermarket which has an impact on petrol costs or bus tickets as well as reducing those pesky impulse buys which can have a substantial hit on your wallet.

As well as planning, what you buy is just as important. Pick up loose items instead of those already packaged up for you. Loose fruit and vegetables tend to be cheaper and are better value. Taking that one step further, frozen vegetables are even less expensive and allow you to use only the portion you require at the time.

Visiting the market in the evening, you may find many items have been marked down and are drastically reduced, many of which are freezable ensuring your grocery budget goes even further for weeks to come.

Keep the home fires burning…or not!

However you live, house, partner-shared accommodation or even living with your folks, homes cost money! There are still substantial savings to be made by looking more closely at how you spend your well-earned cash.

By switching energy providers, you will almost certainly save stacks of cash on your heating and lighting. It’s one of the most overlooked ways of saving money, but most homes could save at least a few hundred dollars by changing to a better deal, yet many people never do and have been with the same supplier for over ten years without checking out the competition.

You can also make the most of smart home technology, utilising apps designed to control your heating or lights while you are away from home. Ensuring the heat is never blasting out while you are away from home. The same sort of app can switch your lights on and off saving you loads of money on wasted energy.

‘Water’ Good Idea!

If your home is on a water meter, make sure to use your water wisely and squeeze every literal drop out of your usage.

Bath water can be used to flush the toilet. Leave the plug the next time you have finished bathing, then using a bucket, scoop out what you need and pour it straight down the pan to flush your toilet. You can spend a penny without spending a dime!

Oh yes!  We have found shower water can be used in exactly the same way – we are in the middle of a terrible drought here in Cape Town. Capetonians are restricted to 87 litres of water per person per day (including water for drinking, cooking, washing laundry and dishes) so we are using every water saving tip imaginable.

We have a bucket in the shower to catch water so we can re-use it to flush the loo and our 4-year-old even “baths” in the bucket as well.  It’s a lot smaller than an actual baby bath as we are only allowed a 2-minute shower.    

In our downstairs toilet, my hubby has opened up the drain below our basin.  We have a bucket below the basin so when we wash our hands the water drips into the bucket in order to flush that toilet. 

Word of Warning:

Buckets of water around the house are NOT a good idea when you have babies or young toddlers in the house though.  Just yesterday I heard a tragic story of a toddler that drowned in a water bucket here in Cape Town.  His parents had buckets all around the house catching water for exactly the same reason we have.  How devastating.  I have these parents in my thoughts and prayers.

And also praying that all your children keep safe and happy these holidays.

What money-saving (and water-saving) tips have you found effective this time of year?  Or all year round for that matter?  I certainly found these tips were evergreen.

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