3. Monitor spending on groceries and eating out
Be honest. How much do you spend on buying groceries or ordering takeouts, and going out to eat per month? Some of us spend a lot more than we think. The cost of a takeaway coffee in the morning, lunch at a cafe, and an evening meal at a restaurant on a Friday night can soon add up.
If you’ve analyzed your budget and want to lower costs, it’s beneficial to try and cook more at home, prepare your lunches to take to work, and explore alternatives to dining out. Write a list of recipes you’d like to try, plan a menu and take advantage of services like Waitrose rapid free delivery.
You can order ingredients to whip up a fresh, healthy, nutritious meal delivered to your door and stock up on supplies to last you all week. As well as cooking an evening meal, you can also rustle up tasty, inexpensive lunches the evening before, including salads, pasta dishes, wraps and sandwiches, and soups.
If you’re not a master chef or need inspiration for new dishes, search online for simple, quick recipes. You can create a delicious feast in less than half an hour without having premium ingredients or all the utensils and gadgets you’d find in a professional kitchen.
If you love to eat out, but you’re on a savings drive, consider hosting a dinner party or taking it in turns to cook with friends and family members. You can also look for coupons and vouchers for restaurants and set a budget that enables you to treat yourself from time to time.
4. Cut down on commuting costs
Many people who commute to work spend a significant portion of their income on gas or bus, train, or subway tickets. If commuting costs are eating into your disposable income, there are ways to save. If you work nearby, you could run, walk or cycle to work instead of driving.
Another option is to invest in an annual pass or a season ticket to reduce the cost of individual journeys if you commute daily. You could also ask colleagues about sharing lifts and carpooling and talk to your boss about working from home more frequently if this is a viable option.
5. Saving on energy bills
Studies suggest that the average US household spends around 2-3% of its annual income on electricity. If you dread the day your bills arrive in the mail, or you’d like to try and reduce energy consumption to do your bit for the environment, it’s a great idea to try and be more resourceful.
Using a smart meter is a brilliant place to start. Smart meters give you information about how much energy you are using and how much money you spend in real-time. This can help you become more aware of your household consumption and save money.
One of the easiest ways to lower spending on energy bills is to ensure your appliances are turned off at the socket and to switch lights off when it’s light outside, or you leave a room. You can also swap conventional bulbs for LED lights and replace old heating systems and appliances with new, energy-efficient models.
You can also save on heating in the winter months by insulating your home, investing in double glazing, keeping internal doors closed, and plugging gaps and holes in external walls. To save water, you can swap having a bath for a quick shower and collect rainwater.
Rainwater is ideal for watering plants in the garden and cleaning your car.