The third in our ‘Super-Saver’ series introduces you to the art of micro-saving, a fun way to trim your budget – without any hardship!
If you’re a senior, you’re almost certainly highly savvy about how to make savings and stretch your superannuation budget. You’ve paid the debt off your credit card, revisited the mobile phone plan, consolidated your insurances, and cut back on holiday expenditure. There doesn’t seem to be anything more you can do to save on outgoings, but that may not be true. By making a number of small (we’ll call them micro) changes to the way you live your daily life, you can trim your weekly budget further. Not only that, but making these savings can be a fun pass time in itself. If you need any encouragement to get started, get out at a glass jar, arm yourself with a pile of coins, and literally drop the savings into the jar each time you make it. Are you ready to give it a go? Let’s get started!
Who doesn’t like grilled food and roast dinners? However, heating your oven is costly. The answer is to switch to a panini press. These inexpensive, flat-bed appliances grill your meat, fish and veggies in minutes. They’re easy to clean, easy to store, and provide you with much healthier food, while still grilling and roasting to perfection. When it comes to baking, make a similar change. Invest in a muffin maker (you can find them in thrift shops for just a few dollars). Use them to bake muffins, scones, cupcakes and bread buns for a fraction of the cost it would take to heat the oven. Switching from oven to bench top appliances can save around $300 a year on your electricity bill. Ching ching – that’s the sound of coins going into the savings jar!
Check out electricity suppliers in your area. Many of them give customers a ‘free hour of power’ (or more) during off peak times. That doesn’t mean you can use only one appliance at a time during these periods; you can cook, vacuum, do the washing and run the clothes dryer all at once. By using inbuilt timers on your appliances, or investing in an inexpensive automatic timer, you can even take advantage of the free electricity while you sleep! Simply by running your clothes drier twice a week during free-power periods, you can save around $90 a year. The savings are creeping up!
Freeze out the cost!
Winter and spring are the most expensive times of the year for buying fruit and vegetables, yet many of us, out of sheer habit, head to the supermarket fresh produce shelves instead of the frozens. Snap-frozen fruit and veg are the next best thing to fresh, and come at a fraction of the cost. Use them to tide you over until prices for fresh produce start to reduce. By simply swapping frozen for fresh spinach in the cooler months, you can save up to $3 a meal. Use frozen spinach once a week through winter and spring, and save around $80 – incredible!
Tiny savings add up
How many times a day do you switch on the electric jug to make a hot drink? How many times do you use just a fraction of the water you boil? Next time you make a hot drink, fill the jug with only as much water as you will need, or keep a thermos handy, and fill it with the boiling water you don’t use! You’ll find yourself saving up to $12 a year. While that might not sound much – it’s an extra two flat whites you can treat yourself to – and who doesn’t want that!
Big savings through small changes are possible – we’ve just given you a taste. Take up the micro-saving challenge today, and share you tips in the comments below!