Bills are a fact of life, they’re annoying and no-one wants to pay them, but it’s just one of those things you have to accept as an adult. However, what you don’t have to accept is paying too much for them. Are you currently wasting money which could be put to far better use elsewhere? Here are some of the ways you can slash your household’s costs.
Most of us overspend when it comes to food and drink. In the supermarket we’re tempted by offers we don’t really need, we spend money in coffee shops and on snacks and order takeaways. It doesn’t feel like that much because it’s usually spaced over the week, but when you add these things up, it really can be quite shocking. Tighten the purse strings here, and you’re set to save hundreds, maybe even thousands of pounds a year. Start by writing up a weekly food menu, and from there write a shopping list for exactly what you need. Stick to the list, and buy only the items you need. If you do see offers that are too good to miss, (perhaps on things like fresh fruit and vegetables) cook up big batches of different recipes; sites like https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/batch-cooking have tonnes of ideas. Portion everything into individual containers, and freeze them. That way you have healthy, home cooked food whenever you want it you just have to pop it in the microwave. This article http://www.homemakingandhorticulture.co.uk/2016/10/how-to-feed-your-family-on-budget.html lists more family money saving meal ideas if you want to take it further. Another thing that’s worth doing is creating a well- stocked pantry. Dried ingredients, tins, jars and plenty of herbs and spices allow you to whip up tasty meals even when you’re out of fresh ingredients. Maybe you’re having a bit of a lean week with money, or haven’t had the chance to go shopping. Your store cupboard is a like a backup plan and can come in very handy.
When it comes to our bills, the majority of us just open them, sigh at the cost and pay them. We stick with the same companies as we’ve been with them for years and don’t tend to give a second thought to whether it might be cheaper elsewhere. But why would you pay a company more for the exact same service as you could get somewhere else but cheaper? These days, price comparison websites make it so quick and easy and changing over usually just takes a quick phone call. You should be shopping around for everything from your energy to your phone company to your insurances. http://www.insurancehero.org.uk/types/100000-life-insurance.html shows how there are different prices and covers for similar policies, the price you’d pay for £100,000 insurance for example will all depend on the provider you go with. Spend a day making comparisons and phoning around your different bill companies. When some hear you’re thinking of leaving, they might even agree to reduce costs.
Is your household guilty of wasting energy? You might be on the least expensive tariff if you shop around, but if you’re wasting electricity, you’re still going to pay over the odds. Maybe you fall asleep with the tv on, leave lights on or leave appliances on standby? Not only is this bad for your pockets but also bad for the environment too, since electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, https://www.saveonenergy.com/energy-saving-tips/how-does-saving-energy-help-the-environment/ has more info on this. The first step would be to get out of your bad habits. Teach children the importance of turning things off when they’re not in use. You could switch your lightbulbs to LED energy saving versions which last significantly longer (twenty-five years in some cases!) and use far less power. You could even consider having solar panels installed. These usually pay for themselves in a few years- after that, you have the benefits of hugely reduced energy bills.