Feeling the pinch? 6 tips to save you money now

Getty Images
Date:24 June 2022 Author: Juandre Tags:, ,

With food, petrol and electricity prices soaring, it pays to find ways to cut costs wherever you can. Here are seven ways to quickly and easily save money in your day-to-day life.

Use natural home products
Instead of buying expensive cleaning products that often are also harsh for the environment, try these ingenious ideas from SweepStars, who, through SweepSouth, help keep thousands of SA homes clean every week. Their tips are so quick and effective, and best of all, use all-natural products found in most kitchen cupboards.

In the kitchen, rid your microwave of old food splatters by placing a microwavable bowl filled with one-third vinegar and two-thirds water inside the microwave. Heat for five minutes until the microwave is steamed up. Baked-on food splatters will now be soft enough to remove with a quick wipe. If not, simply repeat the process.

Banish black mould or mildew in your bathroom shower with a paste made out of one part vinegar and two parts bicarbonate of soda. Apply directly onto the mould, allow to dry, then scrub away with an old toothbrush, and rinse.

Another nifty SweepStar trick is to get rid of smelly drains by mixing half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with a quarter cup of salt. Sprinkle the mixture down the drain, followed by a cup of warm white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour hot water down the drain.

Clean your fridge

We’ve all heard about how you can save money on switching your geyser on and off, but did you know that a dirty fridge uses extra power? The coils located at the back of your fridge cool the air down, but they can’t do so efficiently if they’re coated with grime. To reach the coils, unplug your fridge, pull it away from the wall and gently brush off any dirt and dust on the coils.

Do this annually and it will help you save on power costs. A fridge is one of the top energy-using appliances in the home, and simply cleaning its exterior coils can reduce the amount of energy it uses by up to 30%.

Get the appliances you need for as long as you need them
Moving into a new home is costly, particularly if you need to buy expensive appliances like a washing machine or TV. There are alternatives to racking up high-interest debt or forking out a lump sum, such as Teljoy, who offer a wide range of home appliances on a rent-to-own basis. This is a flexible, convenient way to get access to appliances on a month-to-month basis, with the option to take ownership after a certain period or cancel the contract at any time. What’s more, your subscription includes maintenance, risk cover and even, in the case of TVs, the TV licence.

Change your daily habits
Small savings can add up to a big amount if done regularly. Drink water instead of pricey soft drinks, and opt for tap water instead of buying bottled water – it will be better for the environment, too. Save money on your weekly shop by making sure you cut down on food waste. Install an app like
upnup that allows you to add on or round up every transaction so that it can automatically be invested as a micro-saving. “It’s a transaction that is happening anyway – why not make it work in your favour?,” explains Tony Mallam, managing director of upnup.

When doing laundry, choose cold-water cycles whenever you can, and airdry clothes instead of using an energy-guzzling tumble-dryer. Only wash when you have a full load – the same goes for the dishwasher, too. Eat all leftovers and take stock of what you have in your food cupboard before going to the store, so that you can shop with more precision.

Avoid energy guzzlers

With electricity prices on the rise, look
at other ways of reducing the amount of electricity you use, advises Matthew Cruise of Hohm Energy. This may mean switching to LED bulbs or changing the timer on your geyser so that it only heats up when you expect to need warm water. “A geyser can account for 40 to 60% of your electricity bill each month. By installing a geyser timer, you can regulate that the geyser is off during peak times,” says Cruise. A geyser blanket will maintain the heat in your geyser, so that it does not need to be switched on as often.

Make it a habit to unplug appliances and electronics usually left on standby. Items like televisions, laptops and cell phone chargers still draw on electricity even when they’re in standby mode, which literally is a leaking of power. Another tip for chilly nights is to opt for an electric blanket rather than switching on a small heater in your bedroom, which can use up to four times as much electricity.

Longer-term, consider installing solar power in your home, which can translate to a massive saving on your energy bill. “Starting off with just a battery solution is well within financial reach for most homeowners. This would provide electricity during times of load shedding and then charge up like a cell phone battery when the electricity returns,” adds Cruise.

Drive less, and save on insurance.
With big hikes in the petrol price, getting around can make a sizable dent in your budget, so plan any driving that you do. During the week, carpool with co-workers or commute outside of peak traffic hours. Save fuel by driving at a moderate speed and switching off the air conditioning. On weekends, draw up a plan for travel efficiency to limit the amount of times you need to drive. List the things that require driving to, like shopping or seeing friends, and see how many can be done in one trip.

If you’re driving less and working from home more, another car-savvy trip is to swap to an insurer like MiWay Blink, who offers rewards for limited driving. Their digitally-based insurance service provides a cashback on the premium paid if you drive less than 2 500 km per month. The firm uses technology to assess driving behaviour, including the kilometers driven in a month, and then rewards the driver.

Cutting unnecessary expenses and saving more is a good habit to foster long-term, as it allows you to boost your financial future and enjoy greater security in your life.

Latest Issue :

May-June 2022