There is no getting around the fact that the essentials of life can be awfully expensive: food, water, warmth, transport, or security – vital or not, it all comes with a price tag. The following five handy tips and tricks will help you to save money on basic household costs.
Use the Internet to Your Advantage
With so many utility companies now pledging to meet green initiatives, it makes sense to think that they would be keen to encourage customers to seek eco-friendly options. You can take advantage of this by working with energy providers who reward customers willing to go paperless and switch to online accounting. It is worth finding out which of your local electricity companies offer this perk.
While you’re searching online, it doesn’t hurt to compare costs of electric providers in your area. Sites like LocalElectricityCompanies.com can help you find the lowest rates, which immediately saves you money on your utility bills.
Leave Loyalty at the Door
Many consumers make the presumption that loyalty pays. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to believe. Surely banks, insurance providers, and utility companies benefit from long-term links with customers. However, in reality, the opposite is often the case. The majority of us want nothing more than to avoid time-consuming admin duties, so we stick with the same few providers year after year.
The bad news is that these providers know it all too well, and they reserve their best deals for new customers. If you need further convincing, read TIME’s article, Proof That Loyalty Is For Suckers: Best Customers Get Penalized With Higher Bills. If you see a better deal through another provider, try calling your current provider to see if they will match the deal. If not, let your wallet lead you to greener pastures.
Forget Fussy Warranties
In the same way that most consumers hate switching to new providers, many of us get stuck with coverage that we do not want or need. For example, it is standard policy for electronic stores to offer a warranty as part of a standard purchase package. Moreover, this will usually be explained at the till – in other words, at the point when most of us just want to pay and leave. It is imperative, however, that you listen to what is being offered and do not end up paying for coverage that you will never use.
Choose the Auto Pay Option
When it comes to things like utility bills, providers are keen to lock customers into payment plans as early as possible. While this might sound scary, it can end up being very advantageous. In order to encourage customers to set up direct debits, and make sure that they never forget to pay, lots of companies offer considerable savings to those willing to commit to this kind of automatic payment. It means that not only will you save around $100 or more on your annual utility costs, but you can also stop stressing about remembering to pay your bill every month.
Shop Store Brands for Value
According to a Consumer Reports taste test, “Overall, national brands won seven of the 21 matchups and store brands won three. For the rest, the store brand and name brand were of similar quality.” Furthermore, they went on to say that, “In the price study, filling a shopping cart with store brands saved us an average of 30 percent. If you spend $100 a week on groceries, those savings add up to more than $1,500 a year.” For consumers, this means that supermarket shopping can be a great place to save money.