As we head towards Christmas I always start thinking about how expensive it can be, and if we’ll be struggling to pay the bills come January. There are loads of ways you can save money on your household bills though, and the New Year is a great time to look at your expenses and see if you could be spending less.
I’m sharing my top 6 ways to save money, these are all things I’ve been doing for a long time now and I reckon we must have saved a small fortune over the years!
Switch utility providers
At least once a year (or more often if they notify me of a price increase) I check that we are getting the best deal on all our utilities. This includes gas and electric as well as things like broadband and TV packages. We currently have our gas and electric with Bulb energy, who not only give us a great price but also provide 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas. And if you sign up using my link then we both get £50!
Get the best broadband deal
There are some great broadband deals out there at the moment – you don’t have to stick with the same provider, and you can have different broadband and TV services if you want too. How do you know which broadband deal is right for you though? Cable.co.uk have some great tips to help you decide, such as working out what broadband speed you need for your household with a few simple calculations, looking at the different kinds of broadband available, and checking which suppliers are available in your area with their handy postcode checker.
As Barry plays online games, and we stream TV (often on two TVs at the same time), plus the boys are sometimes watching video on their tablets too we need superfast broadband which we get from Virgin. Lots of people don’t need such fast broadband though and there’s no need to be paying for something you aren’t using, which is why it always pays to compare the deals that are available.
Cancel services you don’t use
It’s easy to sucked into paying for loads of subscription services. We’re no different and currently have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Fire for Kids Unlimited, as well as Virgin for our TV. We do regularly look at them though and decide if we really need them. I have no objection for paying for things we regularly use but there’s no point paying for them if we don’t. We recently downgraded our TV package with Virgin as we just weren’t watching half the channels we were paying for. I used to have a magazine subscription too but I found that the next month’s copy would arrive before I’d even got round to reading the last one so I cancelled that too.
Meal plan and shop online for groceries
Meal planning and shopping online has got to be one of my biggest money savers in the last 5 years. Before we had the boys I would go to the supermarket every week, usually with a list but often not, and I would spend usually upwards of £100 every week on shopping for the two of us. Since having children I had to get more organised so now I always plan our evening meals and do an online shop with Tesco. We use our Clubcard points to pay for the delivery saver service so it doesn’t even cost any extra.
I now spend between £60-70 a week on groceries and that is for four of us! Having meal plan means I only buy what we need and it is very rare for us to have food go off and have to throw it away. It also means I don’t end up spending a fortune on extras that we all know the supermarkets just put there to tempt us!
Use cashback sites
There are a few different cashback sites out there. I have been using Quidco for about 5 years now. If you don’t know how cash back sites work, basically you sign up to the site, and then when you are shopping online you check if the retailer you are buying from is part of the cash back site. If it is then you click through to the retailer from the cash back site and you’ll earn money back. The rates vary and it can take a while to get paid from some of them but I use it all the time and in the last 5 years I’ve earned over £600!
I use Google Chrome on my laptop and there is a browser extension which will automatically tell you if there is Quidco cashback available so you don’t even have to check yourself and you never miss out. It really is money for nothing – it doesn’t cost you anything, the cash back site makes it’s money by charging the brands to feature. And, if you sign up with my link then I’ll even get a little bonus!
Use loyalty cards
My last way to save money is to use loyalty cards wherever they’re available. I currently have 10 loyalty cards in my purse, plus a few loyalty apps on my phone too. My most used cards are definitely the Tesco Clubcard and the Co-Op card. In fact we have a Tesco credit card which we use for all our day to day expenses and pay off in full every month. This means we get Clubcard points on nearly all our spending, not just in Tesco. In fact we even bought a car on the credit card this year just so we could get the extra points!
Our Clubcard points have paid for holidays, home appliances, spectacles. We even bought a Dobbies garden club membership which gets us 10% off everything in store plus 2 free drinks every month. And it didn’t cost anything because we paid for it with Clubcard points. It might seem a faff to carry loads of loyalty cards around with you, but they are usually free and collecting points can get you all sorts of money off. Not only can you collect points but having a loyalty card usually means you get all sorts of other discount vouchers too.
So those are my top 6 tops for saving money in 2019. Do you do any of these things already or have any others you could share? I’d love to hear your tips too so please do leave me a comment.
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