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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.

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