OK, so you’re tired of hearing about the cost of living crisis. We get it… Bills are about to skyrocket and food prices keep climbing too. Which is all very terrifying. But despite the gloom, this is actually a great opportunity to save money and live better!
No, I’m not joking.
We’ll take a look right now at how you can reign in your spending and live better too.
From your weekly food shopping to your habits, and even to your household bills – there are many ways you can save money. So, how…?
1. Plan your weekly meals
A good way to avoid un-necessary midweek shopping trips (and the inevitable impulse purchases) is to plan your meals in advance. This means you buy only what you need at the beginning of the week (or end of the week, whatever works for you) and you stick to your budget menu. As a bonus this also takes the hassle out of thinking of what to cook on a rainy Wednesday evening.
2. Use more tinned food
Fun fact: tinned food is just as nutritious as fresh or frozen. It also lasts longer, so you end up with less food wastage – and you can stack it high in the cupboard too. Although some turn their noses up at living off tinned food, you can make some great meals using things like:
- Tinned carrots
- Tinned potatoes
- Tinned fish or meat
- Pulses such as beans and lentils
- Pre-prepared meals such as stews
So not only do you save money, you also reduce food prep time, avoid food wastage and get a nutritious meal. Winner winner!
3. Buy in bulk
The best deals are when you buy in bulk, so this is a great way to save money during the cost of living crisis. Think big 5kg bags of rice or pasta, sacks of potatoes from farmers markets or cash and carry supplies of dried foods.
4. Cycle or walk instead of driving
Although more of us than ever are working from home, or at least using hybrid working arrangements, we depend less on the car. Which is nice if you’re trying to save money.
But if you’re trying to cut back on your fuel consumption, perhaps for runs to the shop or for the school run, aim to walk or cycle instead. If the kids won’t cycle (or you have young kids) you can always get a trailer attachment for a bike, which will seat a couple of kids easily (and the shopping).
5. Cut back on alcohol and smoking
If you’re a habitual, or even casual user of drink and tobacco, you’d be amazed at how much you save by cutting back. Try to scale back your bad habits and watch the pennies add up.
6. Buy less stuff
This might sound kinda obvious, but the amount of stuff that we consume in the 21st century is actually kinda crazy. And you might think it’s cheap too, because it’s on offer or something. But if you’re the type who buys random gizmos on Amazon, picks up a bargain at the clothes shop (because it’s 50% OFF, even if you don’t need it) or who goes mad at Christmas – stop. Think.
Do you need that crap? Like, really? Chances are you don’t.
Apparently the average Brit spends around £9000 each year on stuff they barely even use. There you go then…
So with the Christmas season and Black Friday approaching, don’t buy loads of crap.
7. Repair, reuse, recycle
For many people, if it’s broken we chuck it and get a new one. And that’s usually because the cost of replacement is pretty low compared to the hassle of fixing stuff. From socks to vacuum cleaners, if it’s broken it’s out.
But we can save a lot of money by simply looking at how we can repair something to give it a bit more life. A few stitches in a pair of socks can make them last a few more months, or even longer. A faulty appliance might only need cleaning out, or an affordable replacement part.
8. Cut back on takeaways
Another expensive luxury that many of us have gotten used to is the takeaway. But if you want to save money and live better, this is definitely an obvious way to cut back.
Replace your takeaway with an indulgent home cooked meal instead – and chances are you’ll still save more than half.
9. Cancel costly subscriptions
Spending money on Netflix, Amazon prime, Disney, Spotify and probably a random coffee subscription? The average Brit spends over £620 a year on subscription services so pop a pin in it.
There are plenty of free options for entertainment (All 4, iPlayer, Soundcloud, YouTube), so avoid wasting money and live better!
10. Shop around for utility bills
Chances are that you’re overpaying on your utility bills. So shop around and find a better deal and save more money. This is even more crucial as we move into what will be an expensive winter of fuel bills for most.
The average Brit could be saving hundreds each year on their fuel bills, which considering they’re going up by thousands probably isn’t that much help.
11. Turn it off
Another way to save money on your energy bills is to turn off plug sockets when not in use, and unplug devices. Also switch off your lights when you leave a room, and avoid letting heaters run when there is no-one in the room.
A good way to do this is to invest in smart devices which manage your energy for you such as Nest thermostats.
So those are our suggestions for saving money and living better…. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions of your own?