If you're hunting for ways to cut your spending without feeling the pinch, try these subtle but effective cost savers. These ideas help you alter your behaviour without depriving you of comfort, and taken together they constitute a gradual, practical approach toward eliminating unnecessary spending.
Don't take your credit cards with you when you leave the house. Bring just enough cash to complete your planned activities, and when that sum has been spent go home. That simple but effective strategy can save you hundreds of pounds in the course of a year, depending on how much carousing you normally enjoy.
Switch off the lights. You can begin by turning lights on when you enter a room, then off when you leave. If you want to decrease your power bill further, cut the electricity to all your powered devices (computer, modem, router, coffee maker, telly) when not in use, because the standby mode, which is usually signalled by a small coloured light, draws power. The EU standard now aims for a maximum power consumption of 1 watt in 24 hours for consumer electrical and electronic items, but there are a number of networked devices (mainly computer gear, including printers and copiers) that may not comply. Thus, it's still up to you to make sure there's no corresponding drain on your budget. If you don't wish to waste time unplugging and replugging your wired objects, you can always purchase wall switches to click, or even use timers if you keep a fixed schedule. The wall switches are usually most cost-effective.
When you prepare a dish, double the quantity and freeze the leftovers. That lets you stretch your ingredients to produce two meals instead of one, and if you keep an inventory of your freezer's contents you will always be able to pull out a cheap dinner ready to heat and eat.
Always pack your own lunch. You may feel virtuous because you always select the cheapest lunch available in the dining hall, but you can save pots of money every year by doing the cooking or sandwich-making yourself.
Don't leave the water running while you brush your teeth, and when you wash dishes run one sinkful of hot water rather than letting the tap run as you wash. Those two water conservation tips will make a noticeable dent in your monthly bill.
When temperatures drop, wear extra clothing around the house. There's no use spending a fortune to heat multiple rooms when you can only use one at a time, and if you wrap up in woolies you'll be able to cut your thermostat back to 15ºC, which will save a packet. Conversely, rely on fans in the summer until temperatures reach the 26ºC mark, when you can permit yourself a little air conditioning. In fact, if you keep your thermostat at 26ºC, you'll find that fairly comfortable in light garments.
Never buy bottled water, but drink yours straight from the tap. You can carry a refillable bottle around with you and use the tap in the loo during the day to keep it topped up.
Use a clothes line rather than an electrical dryer. Dryers use a great amount of power, and your clothes will smell like a fresh breeze if you use the sun's radiant energy to dry them. There will of course be times throughout the year where this isn't possible due to the weather so you may wish to consider help from payday loans to boost your balance and allow you to use your dryer.
Cancel your paid television subscriptions. You can manage by using the free providers, and if your monthly bill is in the average range you'll save between one and two hundred pounds a year. Try locating television programmes online, because there's an ever-increasing amount of high quality streaming video available at no cost.
Buy large containers instead of individually packaged servings. If you buy tiny containers of fruit yogurt, for instance, choose a large container of vanilla next time and mix in your own fruit and granola. Instead of prepared cups of pudding, buy a mix and make your own, or whip eggs and milk together and bake a smooth, creamy custard.