Saving money is not always complicated or time-consuming. Here are 10 Easy Ways to Save Money that you can implement straight away.
1. Do a no-spend week
Decide that for 1 week you will not spend any money apart from bills, groceries, and of course, emergencies. And no, chocolate and magazines are NOT emergencies.
2. Turn the heating down a little
I don’t advocate having to wear a coat and hat indoors but seeing people wearing a T-shirt in the middle of winter whilst having the heating on full blast drives me to distraction. It’s winter, put a jumper on!
3. Turn the lights off when you leave a room
I seem to spend my life reminding my students to turn the lights off. My problem is that, by the time I have them trained, they go back home, I get a new lot and I have to start all over again!
4. Avoid using the tumble dryer
January may not be the best time to line dry your laundry in the garden but, because the heating is on at least part of the day, it is a pretty good time to dry it indoors. I have a vertical rack similar to this one (mine is a few years old) and it works a treat.
5. Leave your car at home
Of course, this depends of where you live and the infrastructure in your area. But if you really need a car to get to work, maybe car-pooling could be an option. Otherwise, could riding a bike be a possibility?
6. Make a list before grocery shopping
Check your cupboards so you don’t buy something you already have, then make a list of what you need. Don’t do what I do and forget it on the table! Having said that, I am not too rigid about sticking to the list. I use it as a guide to remind me what I need to buy, and to stop me being tempted by what I want. So, if I see a very good offer – like a BOGOF or a massive reduction – on something I normally buy, I get it instead of something on my list.
7. Do not waste food
Put any leftovers in an airtight container and freeze in individual portions. The same applies to the sad looking vegetables rolling around in the crisper drawer: chop it and freeze it.
8. Take a packed lunch to work
Buying sandwich, a bag of crisps and a drink (and probably a couple of snacks) is going to set you back at least £5, in most cases, closer to £10. Take your own lunch from home. Don’t say that you don’t have the time: it takes less that 5 minutes to make a sandwich or you could take one of those leftover portions you kept in the freezer.
9. Get a library card
Libraries are the most frugal source of entertainment you can get. As well as the obvious books, most also offer a large selection of films and music.
10. Have a frugal weekend
You don’t need to spend money to have fun. Look online or in your local paper for free activities to do in your area. Bundle up and go for a long walk or, if the weather is really bad, go to a museum – most of them have free areas. You can also get a couple of DVDs from the library (see 9 above) and have great entertainment for the whole family.