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Julie's nine money saving tips for January

As part of our 'Get fit with your finances' campaign, Head of Neighbourhoods Julie Walker shares with us her nine money saving tips you can use everyday.

It’s a cold and wet January day and I have the post-Christmas blues. The credit card bill has just landed, my fuel payment is due and I need to sort out my car insurance before the end of the month. To top it all, I am short of cash!

This calls for drastic action on my part. I need to save some money. This morning I spent a productive ten minutes sorting out my freezer and surprised myself at how much food I have in there already.

With that in mind, I’ve put together some everyday money saving tips you can use.

Buy supermarket own brands

I refuse to cut down on fresh fruit and veg – but I am going to buy more wisely.  Some of the 'no frills' brands have great deal and the quality is as good as the major supermarkets. I can’t advertise here, but I am off to a four-letter supermarket as soon as I finish work.

Use up what you have at home.

I’m also going to check out my kitchen store cupboard – how many cans of baked beans does a girl need?  I’m going to see what I can do with those tins and eat them up before I buy anymore.

Donate to a local foodbank

I’ll also see if there’s anything that I can give to the local food bank. How many tins of baked beans does a girl really need? 

You can make a meal out of anything

There are some great recipes online about cooking on a budget.  Type 'frugal cook' into your search engine and be amazed.

Change your energy supplier

I’m worried about my fuel costs but I know I can do more to help myself.  It’s so easy to change your fuel supplier and save money. The last time I did it I saved £140 a year.  For some daft reason, I haven’t changed for ages.  So, I am going to check out a comparison website and see what sort of a deal I can get.

Find out more about changing your energy supplier here

Turn your thermostat down

I know that there are some practical things I can do around my home to keep my fuel bills down. By turning the thermostat down by 1oC you can save around £30 a year. It’s best to keep it between 18-21◦.

Shut your curtains at night

It also helps to keep the heat in if you draw your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping.  Last year I bought a thick curtain to hang over my front door – the effect was amazing and instant. 

Don’t block your radiators

Last weekend I moved the furniture round in my lounge.  I had put the settee in front of the radiator – which was a daft thing to do because it kept all of the heat at the back of the settee.  I only realised when the dog kept disappearing to lie behind it.

Shop around for car insurance

Finally, I need to sort out the car. A big expense but I have to have a car to do my job.  For years I kept my policy with the same insurer until I was lured away by small cuddly toys offered by one insurance provider!  Now, I change every year and save myself a fortune.

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