Julie's nine money saving tips for January
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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.