While it is still 2018 for two more months, you should definitely start to plan out your budget for next year already. That way, you will have time to go over it and ensure that everything looks right before the festive season starts as you’re hardly going to have time or energy to think about your finances at that point.
Get started right away by having a look at the tips below. It will make it a bit easier to cut down on your biggest expenses, first of all, and even give you a few tips so that you can head off in the right direction in terms of your savings goals.
Here is a handful of ways to save more money next year, increase your income slightly, and make the best kind of money decisions.
#1 Cook at home
Let’s start with the number one tip when it comes to saving money. If you’re like a lot of other people, you spend quite some money on take away – and it’s costing you more than you might think.
Going out for meals, ordering in, and taking a quick trip to the drive-through might not seem like it’s too expensive but you’re getting so much less food for what you could have gotten if you just bought the ingredients in the shop.
Think about the food you prefer to eat out and try to replicate them at home. A regular Chinese noodle dish, for example, would probably require some meat, noodles, soy sauce, and some vegetables. Buy it in the shop, cook it at home, and you’ll have leftovers as well as the rest of the ingredients you didn’t cook.
Another great tip in terms of cooking at home in order to save money is to make use of the slow cooker a bit more. It’s lower on electricity, first of all, so you don’t have to worry about that bill too much when you leave it on for hours – and you can cook up lunch meals for the entire week.
Simply ration the food out in Tupperware and pop in in the freezer if it’s freezer-friendly or just keep it in the fridge for a few days. It’s such an easy and delicious way to save money and you won’t even look twice at the drive-through again.
#2 Find better deals
After our food budget, accommodation, and transport, we tend to spend the rest of our income on bills. Some bills and payments will stay static and there’s not much you can do about it unless you cancel the deal – but others, however, can definitely be sliced in half.
Your water bill, electricity bill, phone bill, and even broadband deal may be lowered as long as you’re willing to hunt around a bit for something better. The only reason most of us stick to the same lousy deal, really, is just because we’re too lazy to find something better.
Do your future self a huge favour right away and have a look here for a better broadband deal. With so many companies on the market at the moment, competing for your hard-earned money, it would be surprising if you couldn’t squeeze that monthly bill down significantly.
Talk to your friends and family as well, by the way, about how much they’re spending on different services and you may realise that they’re actually paying a bit less than you are paying currently.
It’s the kind of research that doesn’t cost you much at all so keep it in mind when you’re working out next year’s budget. Have a look at cable.co.uk, by the way, to read up on other deals as well.
#3 Shop smarter
While we have covered the topic of heading off to the grocery shop rather than driving to your trusted take away restaurant, you should also know how to shop a bit smarter while you’re there.
Some people simply pick what they want off the shelves without even looking at the price, while others know that smart shopping is all about looking at the price per kg.
You should, of course, find yourself in the latter group after this article and you need to know how to decrease the amount of money you spend on groceries.
Start by sticking to the aisle in the shop that offers fresh produce, dairy, and meat – and avoid the middle aisles the best you can. Those in the middle tend to only offer stuff you’d store away in your cupboards, in any way, and you should keep to fresh food as much as possible.
Another tip to help you save a bit more money is to steer clear off the branded stuff. The grocery shop’s own brand will be way cheaper and usually of a good quality so you have nothing to lose on buying the generic once instead. Actually, you only have a lot of money to save.
#4 Eat more local and seasonal produce
Finally, you should learn to shop the kind of produce that is local, first of all, and stick to seasonal food in order to save even more money.
The season we’re about the leave behind, for example, offer a variety of delicious food you hopefully took advantage of; apples, pumpkins, squash, carrots, cauliflower, and celery are all produce that belong to the autumn.
If you didn’t have time to stock up on these while enjoying the season, you should at least learn what to shop now that it’s winter. Onions, for example, as well as peas, asparagus, and winter salads will help you out for the next couple of months.
Try to eat a bit less meat, in general, if you’d like to save even more money and shop in bulk if you come over a sale on a product you consistently buy.
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