Many people today are finding that their money does not go as far as it used to.

There are some relatively easy ways of making savings around the home that do not take up too much time or impact negatively on your family.

Food

grocery-store

One of the greatest areas of expenditure for many families is on food. Look out for bargains in the supermarket (checking they really are bargains first, of course). Items like bread can be bought in bulk when they are on offer and frozen for later and the same goes for fresh meat and fish. Later on in the day, some supermarkets mark down produce that is nearing its sell-by date and you can often pick up a bargain. If you are lucky enough to have a local market you will find that fruit and vegetables are much cheaper and possibly fresher, than those you buy in the supermarket.

If you have a garden or any outside space at all, growing your own will save you money. Even busy people with full time jobs can find enough time to tend a few pots and it is surprising what you can grow. Just keeping a supply of lettuces and fresh herbs going throughout the summer will save a substantial amount and they taste so much better fresh from the garden. Cooking your meals from scratch is much cheaper and nutritionally better than relying on convenience foods if you can and it is a good idea to cook more than you need and freeze your own ‘ready meals’ for when you do not have time to cook.

Energy

energy

Another big expense is what we spend on gas, electricity and water. Rather than heating the whole house if it is just slightly chilly in the evenings, many people buy electric fires online so that they are able to just heat the room they are using while they are in it. Modern fires have the advantage of looking attractive and providing a focal point to the room as well as being energy efficient.

If your budget allows for it, then you may want to look into solar energy. Over the years, solar energy and technology have come along way. Smaller panels, more efficient batteries, and free power make this alternative energy source in particular very attractive. Plus there are all kinds of tax breaks, credits and deductions available too; so keep that in mind when you submit your e-file next year. In the end, the whole system can ultimately pay for itself.

While you are using the oven, say for a casserole, it is worth baking a batch of scones or cakes that can be frozen for later. This means that the energy taken to heat the oven is being used much more efficiently. Remember to only boil as much water as you need in the kettle rather than filling it up every time. We all know that turning lights off when you leave a room and not leaving appliances on standby can make a big difference to your fuels bills, so try and train the other members of the family to do this. Once it becomes a habit it is very easy.

Showering rather than bathing uses less energy and you can reduce the time you spend in the shower each day to a minimum. If your water is metered, putting a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet cistern can save up to 10 gallons a day. This is a good idea for the environment even if your water is not metered.

If you really put your mind to it you will be surprised at how much money you can save around the home every day.