Saving money on a daily basis is often many people’s New Year’s resolution, and for good reason! With permanently rising living costs in most parts of the country, many feel that they have to make cuts in many aspects of life.
This can be a daunting thought and it can be difficult to figure out where to start. There are some efficient ways, however, to save money without feeling deprived, the most common of which are explained below.
1. Plan your grocery shopping carefully
A big part of our monthly income is spent on foods and drinks. And this is also where we can save a lot! For a week or two, pay very close attention to how much from your shopping is really consumed and to how much actually ends up in the bin as leftovers or out-of-date produce. Once you are aware of what is really needed, you can plan your shopping accordingly.
Do not buy more just because it is on offer, as the total amount you spend will just increase. With the products you are definitely going to buy, it is worth comparing brands and go for the cheaper ones, that often have the same quality as the more advertised brands.
When something around the house breaks down, the easiest way is to call someone to fix it, which of course is reasonable in many cases where someone professional is indispensable. But in other cases, it might be worth to give it a try yourself. Do the walls need painting? Does some new furniture need to be put up?
These things often can be turned into fun activities with family or friends. The same goes for preparing meals instead of eating out or ordering food. Not only can you safe a lot of money here, but you can also gain or improve your skills and maybe discover a hidden passion.
3. Watch the electricity
A lot of money can be saved on electricity if you switch things off that are not needed at a given time. Avoid stand-by mode on your electric appliances and make sure the lights are off in empty rooms. Electricity can be saved on many ends. Simple changes include not charging your cellphone over night, as they normally are fully charged after a lot less time than your sleeping hours or not leaving the charging cable plugged in when the phone is not charging, as this will only waste energy.
Another good way to reduce your electricity costs is to get multiple-cavity connectors with an on/off switch as well as energy saving bulbs around the house.
4. Compare the market
When it comes to providers of any kind, competition on the open market is high. And this is good news for you, the consumer. There are numerous websites where you can find the currently cheapest provider for electricity, water, broadband, etc. And it is worth to check regularly and change providers whenever your contracts are about to end.
Many providers offer impressive bonuses for new customers so if you pay attention to when your contracts end, you can avoid getting trapped into an automatically renewed contract that will cost you considerably more and at the same time enjoy the advantages of being a new customer by switching to whichever provider offers the lowest rate at the time of your switch.
5. Actively look for voucher codes
When you buy or order something online you will often see a field where you can put in a voucher code. Most people don’t give this much attention, thinking only people who were actually given vouchers by someone can put one in. But you might be surprised. The next time you are given the opportunity to apply a voucher code, just go on your preferred search engine and type in “voucher” and the website you are about to make a purchase on.
Many websites explicitly gather different types of vouchers that are valid in the current week or month of your search. Look around and try the codes you find and many times you will get a nice discount on your purchase.
There is nothing more satisfying than completing a DIY project successfully and even more so, when visitors to your home ask where you purchased the item. You can use your DIY skills to entertain, organize and decorate with style, without having to spend a lot of money. We have included in this article, 5 DIY ideas for your home to help you get started.
1. Chandelier planter
The exterior of your home is just as important as its interior when it comes to home décor, since the outside of your house is the first thing that people see when they visit. Create a good impression with visitors with a stunning chandelier planter, that you can make from an old chandelier purchased from a thrift shop. Remove any leftover electrical wiring and paint the chandelier the color of your choice. When the paint is dry, place small potted plants in each of the chandelier’s arms and hang from a hook on your patio.
2. Pallet garden organizer
Garden tools left lying around can make the most beautiful of gardens look messy, but instead of buying an expensive storage system, you can make a sturdy, fully-functional garden organizer from a cheap and simple wooden pallet. Give the pallet a few coats of stain, add some strategically-placed hooks, and you have an organizer to hang on a wall for all your garden tools as well as your coiled hose. Attach a painted hanging pot to your pallet and you also have perfect storage for rags and your garden gloves.
3. Use decoupage to transform a table
Don’t throw out that old hand-me-down side table. Instead, give it a complete makeover with decoupage. Give the table two coats of metallic paint, let dry and then add a coat of metallic glaze to give the table an extra shimmer. When the glaze is dry, cut a scrap piece of wallpaper to fit the top of the table. Give the table a coat of decoupage glue, position the paper and press it down. Cover the table top with several further coats of decoupage glue, letting each coat dry before applying the next one. Finish off with a coat of spray sealant.
4. Make a butterfly jewelry display
Use butterfly brooches from your jewelry box, or buy a variety of cheap ones from thrift shops, car boot or garage sales and create a pseudo-scientific display to hang on a wall in your home. Use a water-thinned dark umber shade to paint a gesso-finish artist’s canvas, and then rub it off. Attach your collection of butterfly brooches to the canvas and outline their wingspans with a graphite pencil. Your butterflies will not only look colorful, but will also appear to be taking flight on the beautiful wall art you’ve created.
5. Suitcase storage table
If you have one or two spare suitcases that you don’t use, then why not change them into extra storage space? Clean the suitcases and varnish or paint them to fit in with the color scheme of the room and attach appropriate table legs to each corner of the suitcases to allow them to stand like tables, the table top being the suitcase itself. Apart from adding a bit of retro flair to a room, you have just transformed empty suitcases into very clever storage space for keeping books or storing bed linen at the foot of a bed.