Thursday, 17 February 2011

How to Beat Inflation - and still live a little

The recent news that inflation is on the rise again does not fill the heart with joy. With people on fixed incomes with little prospect of an increase it's important to get the most out of every penny you spend.

But there are ways you can beat inflation and make changes that leave you better off. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of your money.

1. Review all your direct debits and make sure you really get the best from them eg do you subscribe to a DVD rental company such as Lovefilm? - check the packages on offer and ensure you are on the right one. Gym membership? Could you walk, run or cycle instead? TV subscription - do you really watch all those channels? It's not about cutting back on fun, just cutting back on spending what you don't make use of.

2. Know when all your contracts, insurances etc are coming to an end to give yourself time to check for better deals before they automatically renew. Mobile phone contract ending? Consider going sim only or even pay as you go -check the minutes you are paying for against what you are using. Insurance - spend time researching the market - make sure you get all the cover you need but don't pay for unnecessary extras.

3. Review your supermarket spending. It's easy to get into the habit of buying the same things every week. Try a couple of budget meals a week - see Family Meals for much Less than a Fiver in our Household section. Take a look at the Reducing Your Food Bills series.

4. Go for changes that just save you a pound or two a month as well as those that save you more - it all adds up.

5. If you buy books, try secondhand bookshops - or join the library. If you need furniture or stuff for the house see Household goods for less.... And try charity shops too. Consider using Ecomodo to borrow an item if you only need something to complete a job.

6. Ditch the chemicals and clean with Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar - saves the environment from nasty chemicals too..

7. Try Ecoballs for your laundry - one purchase can last you six months to a year.

8. Buy your fruit and veg from a market stall or greengrocers - it's much cheaper than the supermarket and you are supporting your local economy too.

9. Try to liftshare whether to work, going to a meeting or social event and share petrol. And drive smoothly to conserve fuel.

10. Have fun doing things for free - learn new things and meet new people by volunteering - or just go for a walk in the park.

What ever you do - have fun doing and enjoy the satisfaction of spending less. Do share your tips, ideas and successes with us by commenting below. We are a cooperative and value people sharing what they know.


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