We could all benefit by saving money on everyday items and as 2016 takes shape and many people resolve to try and do exactly that, here are a few tips:
Switch to e-cigarettes: Not ready to cut out smoking completely, but looking to save money on cigarettes? Maybe e-cigarettes are the answer. With starter kits costing between £30 and £40 and e-liquid manufacture by EL Science and other firms ensuring a range of vaping experiences to suit every taste, the sensation of smoking can be achieved at a lower overall cost. The average pack of 20 cigarettes costs £8.47 according to the Tobacco Manufacturers Association, while replacement e-cigarette cartridges cost around £5 and last just as long.
Buy stores’ own-brand goods: Every supermarket produces or packages its own range of common and essential items, from chicken thighs to tins of tomatoes. Often the branded version of something like a tin of baked beans or a loaf of bread can be up to twice as much as a supermarket’s own line of equivalents.
Switch your energy providers: Gas and electricity are some of the priciest monthly outgoings, so it really could pay to check you’re on the lowest tariff for your energy usage. Many households could save more than £400 a year on their bills, but miss out by sticking with the same suppliers. uSwitch is an impartial price comparison site which could help you cut your energy bills.
Grow your own herbs: A simple window box is all you need to keep a full quota of your favourite herbs. Basil, coriander and parsley are all simple to grow and maintain from just a handful of seeds, whereas a pack of the same will cost at least £1 a time and only stay fresh for a few days.
Can bottled water: Or rather, bottle tap water instead. It’s estimated that around 30 per cent of the bottled water available in supermarkets in the UK is from the tap anyway, so you might as well fill up a reusable bottle with your own at home. Lobby group Tapwater.org estimates the average UK consumer swills around £25,000 worth of bottled water in a lifetime.
Buy new Christmas decorations after Christmas: An obvious one, this. All those baubles and strings of tinsel will go into markdown in the days following Christmas, so you could refresh your decorations box each year at a fraction of the cost.
Turn off those little red lights: Keeping devices and appliances in standby mode can prove pretty costly over the course of a year. TVs, games consoles, satellite or cable boxes… all of these can add up to ten per cent to your annual energy outgoings. Foregoing an extra press of a power button could cost you up to £100 each year.
Budget your household costs: One of the most frequent causes of running out of cash each month is not sticking to a pre-planned budget. Those little incidentals that aren’t otherwise accounted for can very quickly add up and impact your ability to cover everything else. The Huffington Post has rounded up five of the most useful online budgeting tools for household expenses. It may seem like a tedious task but it’ll consign those fraught days at the end of the month to history.