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9 hacks to stretch your household budget further


They’re the everyday expenses that eat into your family budget, but is there a way to save on groceries, petrol, energy and internet?  The short answer: YES!  We show you how.

Groceries

On average, groceries take up the majority of weekly household budgets. However with a few simple tweaks and a bit of planning, you can drastically reduce your grocery bill.

1. Create meal plans
Mapping out your weekly food schedule is a great way to save time and money each week. Set aside a few hours to sit down and research recipes, create a meal diary and write a recipe list, thinking about what’s in season. Meal planning apps like Meal Board or Paprika make the process even easier, or if you want to outsource this job entirely (because we all know time is money) then make the most of the introductory offers from brands like Marley Spoon or HelloFresh.

2. Shop once only
When you plan your meals ahead, you also get the added the bonus of condensing your shopping down to a single weekly shop. Not only does this save you time, but you’re also reducing the risk of incidental spending.  The result? More money in your bank account.

3. Utilise specials
Seek out deals, promotions and specials to get the best bargains when you’re shopping for groceries.  You may want to consider switching to lower cost supermarkets like Aldi too. Buying your fruit and vegetables in-season from the local farmer’s market or green grocer is also a good idea, or if you have a green thumb, why not grow your own?

Fuel

There’s no denying rising petrol prices is eating into the weekly budget, but there are some simple ways to beat the system.

4. Shop around 
Checking local fuel prices is a whole lot easier thanks to FuelCheck, a comparison website that alerts you to the fuel prices in your area and potentially saving you hundreds of dollars a month.

5. Predict the cycle
Trying to time your refills when the fuel cycle is at its lowest is getting harder, but not impossible. If you happen to drive past a petrol station every day, be sure to keep an eye on prices, filling up when you see it at its lowest.

Energy

With energy prices continuing to rise it’s time to look for alternatives.

6. Switch to solar
It’s a more cost-effective option and it’s better for the environment, so it’s a no-brainer that making the switch to solar is becoming popular. Check out prices and concessions in your area to help you to see if it’s the right choice for you.

7. Be mindful
Actions as simple as switching off the lights as you walk out of the room, or air-drying your clothes instead of using the dryer may seem rudimentary, but they can really add up.

Utilities

The huge discrepancies between internet plans means shopping around for the best deals is a must.

8. Shop around 
Of all your household expenses, fewer things will differ in rates quite like internet. From Telstra to Optus and TPG, their rates are vastly different – and so is their service. Look for a plan that offers the best deal on data AND speed, as these are the two factors that will affect your overall satisfaction the most.

9. Look for bundles
Many providers offer discounts for bundles that include internet, home phone, pay TC and mobile, so if you feel you’re paying too much it might be time to switch all your communication over to one company.  The more you sign up for, the more bargaining power you have – so don’t be afraid to haggle hard.


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