- Personal Finance
50 ways to save money.
Beef a meal up with oats.
Dried oats are very cheap to purchase and are a food that is good for you. If you are cooking something that is a bit too watery or has excess oil in it, instead of draining it away and losing a lot of the flavor, stir in some porridge oats. They will absorb the fat and liquids, retain the flavor of the food and no one eating it will even notice. As an added bonus there will even be more of a meal to go round.
Buy in bulk.
The benefits of purchasing goods in large quantities is that the more you buy, the cheaper each item gets. EBay and alibaba do some amazing bulk buy deals many with free shipping.
Get every last drop.
When cooking with sauces in jars, don't trow away what you can,t get out, put a bit of boiling water in the jar put the lid back on tight and shake. When all the sauce has mixed with the water pour the rest into your dish. It's worth noting that not much water is actually needed for this.
Don't buy expensive adhesives.
Over time the glue that sticks your vinyl floor tiles down can start to ware, and you may find that they are beginning to come away. Instead of spending your hard earned dosh on purchasing specialized glue. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the offending area and iron over it with an ordinary household heated iron. This will heat up the adhesives that are already there and make them sticky again. Stand firmly on the tile until it hardens again and viola, you have have your piece of flooring back in place and not going anywhere.
Make your own.
We live in an age of convenience, almost every wish and whim can be catered for. But it does come at a price. By substituting your money for your time, you can save lots of money on many different things. Pastry is easy to make yourself, so is pizza, cake and cookies, just to name a few ideas. Recipes are free and easy to find on-line, plus you can make them just the way you like them, you also know exactly what has gone into it and its fresh.
Don't buy expensive products to unblock your sink.
Many cleaning products although effective are full of toxins. They can also work out to cost a pretty penny because they are specialized. However just one table spoon of biological washing powder will do the same job just as well for a fraction of the price!
Don't buy new carpets.
If your carpet is in good condition generally but has just been hit by some difficult stains, you could save yourself hundreds of pounds by tackling the dirt and grime before you decide to buy new. Chewing gum can be taken removed with ice as can wax. Washing up liquid and washing powder remove oil and most other dirty little problems can be successfully cleaned up with bicarbonate of soda, borax and cleaning products that can be found in the supermarket. If your carpet is worn in places leaving threadbare patches, it will be less expensive just to buy a small mat to cover it, then fork out for covering the floor of an entire room.
Go for secondhand goods.
Brand new shiny things are nice but they also cost money and nearly everything diminishes in value the moment it's been purchased. By using what cash you have by shopping in charity shops you will be helping out a good cause too. It is better for the environment as it lessens the demand to produce more goods, and the older the products do sometimes tend to be built better, and last longer then some of the newer ones.
Sign up for free stuff.
There is something very rewarding about getting something for free and there are plenty of sites on the world wide web that allow you to do just that. I particularly like freegle, freebees and money magpie, however there are many others. Why don't you do a quick search for yourself? You will be surprised at just how much is out there. Most of them are free to sign up for and send you regular emails to keep you informed of the latest offers and promotions.
Invest in a sharpening stone.
When implements like garden tools, knives and scissors go blunt, they are often deemed useless, get chucked away never to see the light of day again and are replaced by new ones. However apart from the fact they have gone blunt, there is generally nothing else wrong with them, this can be a costly way of dealing with the problem. A sharpening stone can be purchased from your local hardware store for just a few pounds, and will keep the blades of your implements sharp and working for years.
A good measure.
Boiling up a kettle requires the use of huge amounts of energy, and every time it gets filled with more water then you use, money and energy are wasted. By only filling it up to the amount that you need each time will make a noticeable difference to your electricity bill.
Step into the light.
There really is no point lighting a room if no one is in it, not only will it be using energy unnecessarily it will be costing you money in electricity too. Make it a habit of yours to turn lights off whenever you leave a room and you will soon notice that your bills will begin to drop. Teach the rest of your family to do the same and the savings will really start to add up.
Make use of junk mail.
Even though we live in the digital age, the letter isn't dead yet and we all still get letters posted through our doors everyday. Before you put them straight in the bin for recycling, use them as writing paper. They are ideal for shopping lists, notes and for jotting down ideas. If you have enough pieces spare you can even staple them together and use it like a conventional jotter.
Keep your carrier bags.
If you have small basket or peddle bins in your home, don't waste your money buying special waste paper basket bags or specifically labeled peddle bin bags, use the carrier bags that you were either doing nothing or that you were going to throw away anyway. They can also be used for dirty diapers instead of nappy sacks, for picking up dog mess and for temporarily water proofing something.
Shut the door!
Its surprising just how much heat gets lost because of a door being left open, warmth can be directed from the room where it is required and into a space where no one can appreciate it. By keeping doors closed you can keep the heat in and prevent it escaping and disappearing. You may find that you can then turn your heating down too because the room will start to feel warmer.
Don't bottle it.
Don't buy bottled water, drink from the tap instead. Measure for measure bottled water costs more then milk, oil and even some brands of washing up liquid! Use a water filter jug and keep it in your fridge, it will still taste just as good, it will be just as refreshing but you won't have to keep spending a lot of money to remain hydrated.
Don't buy a door mat.
If you need a new front or back door mat before you run off and buy one, pop down to your nearest carpet outlet and see if you can get some free off cuts first. You may have some left over material from a time when you did your own carpet. Maybe a friend or neighbor might have some spare, its worth asking as they will probably be happy to give you some of their spare bits. It will work just as well but without the need of shelling out any cash.
Do it direct.
Paying a bill via direct debit usually works out cheaper then any other payment method, and because the money is taken directly out of your bank account, you don't have to physically do anything, giving you more time to pursue other activities and not having to worry about the families finances.
Some washing machine cycles go on for up to three hours long! Most of the clothes and linen that needs washing probably isn't even that dirty and might only need a quick wash at a low temperature. Saving on your electricity bill.
Put on a jumper.
In the winter it's inevitable that heating bills will go up. However you can keep your thermostat down a few degrees just by wearing warmer clothes as you wonder round your home. It's also worth investing in a pair of thick slippers, granted they are not always very fashionable but they will help keep you warm.
Don't turn up your radiator.
A lot of the heat that is given out by your radiators is lost as its absorbed by the wall behind it. To prevent this, place a sheet of aluminum foil behind it, with the mat side facing the wall and the shiny side facing out towards the radiator. This will reflect the heat back into the room and it will be noticeably warmer around your house for less of the cost.
Get experimental in the kitchen.
Food waste is a common problem, on the whole people tend to buy more then they devour, so a lot of it gets thrown away. Before you do decide to bin something consider whether it is something thats really past its use by date. The packaging is just a guide and often food will be OK for longer then you think especially if it has been kept cool in the fridge. There can usually be a meal that can be put together with the ingredients you have. I have watched enough cookery competition programs to know that the most amazing dish can be created from the most unlikely of ingredients. Give it a try, you might even surprise yourself.
Don't buy dust cloths again.
Most households now use wet wipes, whether they are the ones for baby, the ones for cosmetic removal or the ones for cleaning. When you have used one don't throw it away because when they dry they make excellent dust clothes for polishing.
Come fly with me.
Did you know that moneysavingexpert.com has a great feature on their website that will help you to save money on flights. All you have to do is enter the amount you wish to spend on traveling, along with the times and/or days you want to fly on and viola! Up pops lots of different options for destinations that you can choose from. The hardest part will be trying to decide.
Another common trait amongst those of us who cook for our families is that we end up cooking too much food. There is only three of us but I still manage to cook up enough to feed a small army. This does not mean it has to get thrown away though, cover it and pop it in the fridge to eat the next day. Or put it in a storage container, label it with the date and what it is and freeze it for use another time.
Don't use electric to dry clothes.
Invest in a clothes airer and you will noticeably save money on your electric bill. Some people use there tumble dryer as a matter of course, and who can blame them, it is more convenient after all. However it is also draining money that could be better spent elsewhere. It will take a bit more time to sort out your washing and you will have to find space for it, but it will be well worth it when all those pennies you save start add up to big savings!
Don't always double up.
You may think that by booking your hotel and flights as a joint package deal that you are getting the best possible price. (after all thats what the travel agents and websites lead you to believe with their sales patter). However you maybe surprised to know that most of the time this isn't actually the case, and you will be far more likely to get a cheaper deal booking them separately. It may take more time to shop around on line but it will be time well spent if you can negotiate yourself a better deal.
Make sure you know your insurance.
Frequent travelers maybe unaware that they can actually get annual travel insurance. If you are someone who goes abroad four times a year or more you could save yourself a lot of money by signing up for this option instead of taking out several individual policies every time you need to go away. Next time you need to purchase travel insurance, why not try comparing some prices yourself and see how much you could save?
You call the shots.
Mobile phone charges increase when you contact people from a foreign climate. The network providers automatically shift you onto a higher charging tariff which can work out to be costly. To prevent your phone bill skyrocketing in the short time you are on holiday, it maybe worth investing in a bundle or a sim card that is specifically for calling abroad. You could also get yourself an international calling card.
In some circumstances it is more beneficial to hire a car then to use your own, to save money don't settle for the first company you come across it will pay you to shop around. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a price comparison website, although not all companies will be featured on anyone site a very good proportion will be, and again you don't have to choose a company from the first website you come across, try a few until you find a deal that is best suited for you. It may take a bit of time and effort but it will be easier on your wallet.
Home from home.
Moving home is one of the most stressful and expensive experiences that a person will ever have to go through, and yet due to our changing social needs and lifestyles we feel the need to do it anyway. Selling your house can also be an expensive process and a portion of the profit that you do make gets passed on to your estate agent. Have you ever thought about swapping your house with someone else instead? A useful site to try is www.homelink.org.uk or use a search engine for home exchange sites there are many out there, and growing! This is a trend that is becoming very popular with more people exploring this avenue every day.
Train your spending.
Train ticket prices have once again experienced a price hike. If you still want to travel by rail but don't want to be paying top dollar, visit www.nationalrail.com and see if you can travel the same distance at the fraction of the price by switching to different ticket deal.
Don't throw away money by purchasing food storage containers, use old margarine containers and keep hold of the take away tubs that come with lids too. There size makes them handy for all kinds of things, not just food and they stack together well, so they are easy to store. It's worth noting that not all of them will be dishwasher safe, so always wash them by hand in the sink.
Pack it up.
Although buying your lunch conveniently does free up time, it does also costs you money. Rather then splash out on prepackaged sandwiches or visit an eating establishment on your lunch break, why don't you bring your own packed lunch to work and give your wallet a rest.
The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables are always on the increase and have usually been sprayed with all manor of pesticides. You can dramatically cut the cost of your grocery bill by growing your own fruit and vegetables at home. Not only will they taste better because they will be fresh, they will also be healthier as they will be free of nasty chemicals.
It's all gravy.
Make use of the water that you have boiled vegetables in, instead of letting it go to waste by pouring it down the sink. The vegetable water can be used to make gravy, or sources and also makes a delicious stock for soup.
Walk it out.
You could save hundreds of pounds a year by avoiding the use of your car. If the journey you want to take is less then two miles away then why not walk it? If you are feeling very energetic and your destination is between 3 and 10 miles long, why not cycle there? Not only will you be saving money on fuel, you will also be improving your fitness too. After a while of trying this out you will be stronger and healthier. You will also begin to notice that you lose weight as well. There maybe times when this option isn't practical or even possible, however don't give up just try when you can.
Charge up the saving.
Not only are disposable batteries bad for the environment they also work out to be an expensive power source. Invest in some rechargeable batteries and a battery charger instead. You will be benefiting your bank balance, as well as the planet and they will always be in the home, readily available for when you need them.
Stop your subscription for cable or satellite television and get yourself a free to view or free satellite receiver box instead. Pay to view program packages cost hundreds of pound a year, if you are beginning to wonder if it's actually worth the money you spend on it, then it's probably not. Free view and free sat require a single on off payment and it's then free to watch forever. There maybe some moans and groans from your family at first, but after a short while the chances are it won't even be missed.
Play it again.
Rewritable Cd's and Dvd's do cost more initially then the single use ones do, but it will be worth spending that extra money in the beginning so that you can save it in the long run.
Do spray it.
Don't waste good money on toxic fly killing sprays or unattractive sticky disposable strips to get rid of pesky insects. Invest in a good old fashioned fly swatter or a Venus fly trap.
Coffee to go can work out to be expensive, why not buy a thermos flask and take that around with you instead? Not only do you get coffee just the way you like it, you are also saving money at the same time. Did you know that some flasks can keep your drink warm for as long as 24 hours!
Mobile money issue.
Go for pay as you go not monthly contract. Mobile phone companies lead you to believe that contracts are better value for money, however in most cases this simply is not true. Most contracts are now between 24 and 36 months long, thats a long time to be stuck in a contract with just one company. Also the tempting offers for free texts, calls, minutes and data usage are not always as brilliant as they sound. Most people don't use up anywhere near as much of the allowances available and these organizations know that. Nowadays a new model of phone is outdated in about 3 months and it's value will only decrease over time, yet the monthly charge will remain exactly the same. And if you do want to upgrade before the contract runs out, guess what? They up your monthly charge, so now your paying more for another 24 or 36 month contract.
Use coupons and vouchers.
Money off vouchers and coupons can save you noticeable amounts of money on your grocery shop. However, how many times have you got to the cashier and realized you have left them at home? If you are anything like me, quite a few! To prevent this from happening carry them around in your purse and that way you will not leave them behind. Unless of course you forget your purse.
Use normal household staples to clean your home. Instead of spending loads of cash on expensive cleaning products that contain a plethora of nasty chemicals, why not try green cleaning alternatives like lemon juice, white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and good old fashioned hot water and elbow grease.
If an item of clothing begins to look a little worse for ware, and has maybe even developed holes. Don't throw them away, tear or cut them into squares and use them for rags. You will never have to fork out for cloths again.
One of the best new saving initiatives around are toy libraries. As well as borrowing good quality toys for your kids you can also donate some of your unwanted play things, freeing up space in your own home. The service is free to use and it also enables children to spend some social time with their friends too. To find your nearest scheme just do a quick internet search.
Don't throw the sprout out.
Don't throw away garlic that has begun to sprout, plant it instead and have garlic on hand for free in the future.
Get more from your mascara.
After a while mascara can clog and dry, making it unusable. By adding a little water to it when it gets in that state, will loosen it up again and make it last longer.
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