For this post, I thought I’d share a partial list of general (and pretty random) hacks which help make life easier and also help to save a fair bit of cash. I try and keep a list of these little thoughts and tricks which come in handy when on a tight budget. Most of these have helped us save a fair bit of money.
So here goes. Not in any particular order.
If you are in the habit of using your Air Conditioner (AC) regularly, try living with the temperature set in the 25-28 Degree Centigrade range. I’m sure it will be comfortable regardless and will save you a ton of cash in utility bills. The lower the temperature, the more power your AC uses up. So with every degree that you increase the temperature, you save more and more.
When in a super market shopping for food, it is best to avoid branded items. Pay for nutrition not marketing. Most brand name items you see on shelves have a huge amount of advertising material and fancy packaging that go with them, which means your heard earned money is going towards media rather than high quality products. Look for products with whole grains and protein and which avoid preservatives. Your money will be better spent. Routine house brands are sometimes equally good for some items such as salt, sugar and other staples. Avoid brands unless you have compelling reasons not to.
If you buy something frequently and regularly, it is always worthwhile asking if a prepayment for multiples will lead to a discount. I recently saved 29% on movie tickets by buying 10 movie tickets in advance from my local cinema chain. You can try this for other stuff as well – such as fitness classes, music lessons etc.
While I don’t drive, here is a trick about cars which my grandfather passed down to us ages ago way back in the 80s. Always try and park your car in the shade rather than in the sunshine. As you car gets hotter, the chances of your petrol evaporating start to increase rapidly and you start losing a small percentage of petrol to the elements. If you want more bang for your buck, or specifically, more mileage for your gas, then always try and park in the shade.
Try going out shopping without your credit card. Many instances of research have shown that people tend to spend more money when they have their credit cards on them. Parting with physical cash hurts, swiping a credit card or pointing a smartphone at a terminal does not. It only hurts when then bill decides to turn up a month later. And by then its too late.
It is often a good idea to line the bottom of the veggie drawer in your refrigerator with paper towels. The paper towels absorb the excess moisture that causes vegetables to go bad, thus making your food last longer.
When you brew a pot of coffee that does not get consumed for some reason, there is a way to reuse this. Pour the balance coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze it. You will be able to drink this the next day as the ice cubes melt into
Diluting your shampoo with water by as much as half will not reduce it’s efficiency. Once you buy a bottle, try and top it up the next time using the refill sachet and add water to it to dilute. This will not hinder your hair care regime. Moreover, this will help lower your shampoo bills by upto 50%.
It is always worthwhile to check in with your telecom provider to see if you could move your internet, cable and land line requirements to them as well. Having a single provider for these services will lead to massive savings on your utilities. Remember, companies are facing slower growth rates and are desperate to keep customers. Most telcos are willing to dish out huge discounts in an effort to keep your business and the more you give them, the cheaper your bills get. Do check this out.
Never store your credit card information on any retail website. This makes it way too easy for you to spend unnecessarily on things you think you need (but don’t actually), without thinking through the purchase first.
These are just some random things that have helped me over the years. I will be very keen to hear of some similar hacks from you as well. So do write in.