Whether it’s you and yours, a flat of friends or a family – running a house these days can be costly.

But one of the good things about the tighter economic times of the past couple of years is that service providers, supermarkets and other retailers have had to work harder to get people to part from their cash. It’s a good opportunity to get savvy about the household spending and save money.

Pick one cost per week – like the electric bill; the grocery bill etc – and do some shopping around. Find out if you are spending too much and if you are, work out how to trim it down. Within a month or six weeks, you should have covered every inch of household spending and be happy that you’re making the most of your money. To start you off – here are a few things to think about when grocery shopping:

(1) Give online shopping a go. Most people find they spend less browsing the aisles online than in person. There’s less chance that impulse buys which often end up at the back of the pantry get a spot in the cart.

(2) Don’t be embarrassed to use coupons or discount vouchers. For some reason Australians tend to lag behind other countries in this area. From restaurant meals to petrol and all things in between, you can make some significant savings.

(3) If you have a good local green grocer in the neighbourhood, agree a set price for a box of fruit and vegetables each week. You’ll be surprised what you get for your money, especially as a regular customer.

(4) Look for alternatives to pre-packaged snacks for the kids. Take sultanas for example – rather than buying the little boxes, get a bulk bag and divide up portions for each lunch.

(5) Turn the music on and organise some frozen meals that you can dip into instead of heading to the takeaway on a Friday night. Give yourself a break from cooking without spending a fortune at the local Thai or Pizzeria.

It’s easy to view being savvy with money as going without rather than being able to have what we want. We need to reverse this thinking and start to view the time and effort we make getting in control of our money as a benefit that gives us greater choice about how we live our lives.

 

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