A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. My blog is coming soon. Watch this space!
Published September 9th 2012
10 easy ways to save a dollar
Money is tight for everyone these days and it's always great if you can find a way to save a bit of money. There are lots of little things that you can do to save a dollar or two, most of them are so easy you'll be surprised you didn't think of them before.
1. Cook at Home. Don't buy take-away for your meals, except perhaps as a treat. Make your meals yourself and enjoy a home cooked dinner with the family. Make double the amount you need and freeze some or get the kids involved in making meals. If your not a very good cook start with easy recipes, you'll pick it up fast and once you get into the habit of cooking at home you'll soon realise how much money you used to spend on take-aways.
2. Make Your Own Coffee. Everyone seems to be hooked on cappuccino or latte from the local coffee shop but over time it can cost you a fortune. You don't have to cut it out altogether but cutting down can save you a packet. If you have a coffee machine you can make coffee as good as any café, if not try instant or coffee bags, there are several types on the market that you could try.
3. Take Your Lunch With You. Don't go out and buy lunch when you are at work, make a sandwich or salad and take it with you. You can save heaps this way plus it's a good time to socialise with your work-mates.
4. Cut Down on Bottled Water. Everyone knows that drinking water is good for you but constantly buying bottled water can be expensive. Tap water is just a good as bottled water and much cheaper. If you don't like water straight from the tap invest in a water filter jug, it can save you money in the long run.
5. Make a List Before Shopping. Having a shopping list can save you heaps because impulse buying is where the real money is. If you make a shopping list and stick to it you will be less likely to buy things you really don't need. Also don't go shopping when you are hungry, because you are more likely to buy food items that you don't need because you are hungry.
6. Buy Generic Brands. Most people don't mind the generic brand of groceries. They are top quality and usually cheaper than the name brands.
7. Buy in Bulk. If it's possible, buy your items in bulk, especially non-perishable items. Things like washing powder, tinned goods, pasta, shampoo, conditioner and toilet paper can be stored for ages. Keep an eye out for specials in your local supermarket, like two for one or buy one get one free, these deals can actually save you money.
8. Shop Around. You might find that your local butcher, baker and fruit shop are actually cheaper than the supermarket. Check out the newspapers and catalogues for specials and compare the prices, you might get a bargain and save some cash.
9. Ask for a Discount. When buying larger items, electrical goods, furniture or even smaller things for the home don't be afraid to ask for a discount. Often there is a discount of some sort, a 'best price available' offer or a 'pay less for cash' deal. Some stores will even match competitor's prices. It won't hurt to ask and you won't get it if you don't ask – so don't be shy.
10. Avoid Using Your Credit Card. Credit Cards are a great idea but if you get charged a high interest rate they can cost you a fortune. Try not to use your credit card or find one with no annual charges and a low interest rate. Also be aware of what fees your bank is charging you, for example when using the ATM withdrawal facility, and look around for an account that is fee free.
Of course, these are just some ideas and there are many more. If you think about it you'll probably come up with a lot more ideas of your own. You don't have to stop doing things like these completely try just cutting down, it will save you money and every cent counts.
The credit/debit card one is a big one! Seems if you have your card on you your always like "yea I can take out just a little bit more". That really adds up!
I would never recommend generic brands to anyone though, those supermarket and homebrand products are absolutely destroying our local industry and farming... which in the long run is going to end up making everything more expensive, with less choice on offer - exactly what Colworths want.