Save smart

Saving money is a struggle faced by many households and often it’s the simplest things which offer the greatest rewards.
Three things which most of us do every other day are drive, shop and have fun. Finding the smartest way to go about these mundane activities can soon result in some useful savings.

1. Smart driving
Consider which errands need to be done over the course of a week and plan the best way to carry them out. If you have to drive to the other side of town, think if there is anything else you can do while there.

Travelling through town during busy periods can often mean stop-start driving and this is what uses the most fuel. Can your errand wait until a less busy time?

Under-inflated tyres not only cause your vehicle to use more fuel but they will wear more easily. Check your tyre pressure once a month.

2. Smart shopping
Make a list. Seems simple enough yet often we rush into the supermarket or corner store and come out with groceries we just don’t need.

Don’t be brand conscious. If it’s not your usual brand which is on sale, give it a try, there’s seldom any difference.

Buy in season. Go for the fruit and vegetables which are in abundance and therefore cheaper.

Buy in bulk. If goods are perishable, can you freeze them or split with friends to cut the cost. Cleaning products are often expensive but don’t spoil so buy plenty when they’re on special.

If you have time, visit different stores. Shopping around can save you plenty. You can utilise the internet or store catalogues to see which retailer is offering the best deal.

3. Smart fun
Having fun doesn’t need to be expensive. Arrange a coffee morning, dinner party or card evening with friends. If everyone brings something along, it will be inexpensive and fun. Swap venues each time and you can then spread the cost of utilities.

Search the internet for free days. Galleries, museums, zoos and other attractions often have free admission on days they are less busy.

Get together with friends and enjoy a movie marathon. DVD Rental shops often offer deals on two or three DVDs. Split the cost between several people and it will be a cheap night in.