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Some simple ways to save money

Here are nine relatively easy ways to save money. As you incorporate more and more of these tips into your life, the savings add up and you could save thousands over the course of a year. For example if you saved just $10 each day that adds up to $3,650 in a year. In fact you could save two or three times this amount if you work at it.

  1. Cook at home often: If both you and your partner work, this is likely to be very difficult. Start out with the habit of preparing all your meals at home at least twice during the work week and slowly increase the frequency until you find a balance between saving money and getting stressed out.
  2. Make your own coffee: Don’t underestimate how much it costs you to go to a café or buy a take away in the long run. You don’t have to ban drinking coffee (though if you drink less it may be good for your health), but skip it as often as possible unless you make it at home.
  3. Take your lunch to work at least a few days a week: Lunch times are great opportunities to network and make connections that could improve your career growth. So unless there is a common eating area for BYO lunch, you may choose to limit the BYO lunch to three days each week. Find a balance between saving some money and making the connection.
  4. Make a list before going shopping: They call it impulse buying for a reason. Humans simply have a very tough time resisting the temptation to purchase extras while shopping. Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Even worse is when you forget to purchase the actual item you came to buy in the first place. For cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Getting all that you need in one trip can help avoid another unnecessary trip and save fuel as well.
  5. Go grocery shopping while you are in a hurry: Maybe you need to go out in a couple of hours. Or your favorite show is going to be on TV after a couple of hours. Try to squeeze in the grocery trip in that intermediate time. Armed with your grocery list, you should be in-and-out very quickly with little time for meandering and getting tempted to buy things you don’t need.
  6. Watch out for expiration dates on perishable goods: This one seems intuitive when you read it, but I am surprised at how many people do not pay attention to expiry dates. No point getting a two litres of milk if it is going to turn sour in a day. Same goes for meat, eggs, yogurt, spreads, frozen items, deli/bakery items etc. Some people say you can use a few items a few days after expiry – but think about your health and avoid buying such items in the first place.
  7. Buy in bulk whenever possible: When it comes to non-perishable items, buy in bulk whenever you find one of your regular items on sale. You can save quite a bit of money, provided you stick strictly to your shopping list when you do this.
  8. Buy generic products whenever possible: Does it really matter who makes your toilet paper, eggs or butter? For some items the brand name products are better and for others, buy the generic store brands if they can save you money. Find what works for you and switch to generic brands for at least a part of your grocery list.  However do a quality check on the generic brands by reading the fine print (ingredients, contents, size, etc) and make sure the generic brand is actually cheaper.
  9. Use grocery store bags to line your small bins: This may not work if you use a massive bin but there are many small sized ones for which the grocery bags are a perfect fit. This not only helps save some money, but reduces your environmental foot print and avoids rubbish piling up from a huge overflowing bin.

One comment

  1. These are so true – especially the making your lunch every day. Saves at least $10 every time! Also, we buy a carton of soft drink cans and take one to work each day, rather than buying from the vending machine — again, saves $2 a day!

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