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Save Money in the Kitchen/Groceries

  1. Use a meal plan Meal plans are fantastic ways to save money, because you plan out your meals for the next few weeks and eliminate the need for additional shopping trips. They also let you know exactly what you need, and thus what you don’t, so you won’t be as easily taken in by things like impulsive buying tactics and grocery store marketing tricks. Bonus? It can also be used to start planning your eating healthier move!
  2. Make a standard list of what you regularly need Chances are that you have several items you buy regularly, from cereal to milk and eggs. By developing a standard list of these items, you’ll save yourself a bit of time by already starting the list, and you will reduce your chances of forgetting these items.22FBDailyTemplatepurple
  3. Shop a good, affordable supermarket. Not all supermarkets are created equal, and several cost significantly more than their competition. Be aware of the most affordable shops in your area, and use them almost exclusively.
  4. Shop the sales! Supermarkets are great for having sales on different items each and every week. By taking the time to look through the flyers they already send you, you can often save by planning to take advantage of those deals.
  5. Buy in season produce Produce can be frozen for storage. For those who realize this, they can take advantage of in season pricing and save significantly just by buying produce when it’s at its cheapest.
  6. Shop at the right time of day This goes to avoiding crowds, and to going on a full stomach (not just before lunch when you’ll be starving and ready to buy everything). It also refers to discount days, perhaps the day before items are restocked, to get the best deals.
  7. Know what a good price is Make a mental note every time you get a good deal on a grocery item. Whatever that deal is, you now know it can come up again (and likely will), so you can avoid being fooled by partial discounts on it or minimal coupons.
  8. Know the unit prices More and more grocers are posting the per unit grocery prices, never pay for a higher one when you could for a lower. If your grocer doesn’t use it already, try using your own calculator (example 6 pork chops at $6 is $1 per unit).
  9. Look lower on the shelf. This might make you laugh at first, but grocery stores often put pricier bargains at eye sight level, and bargains higher or lower. This is counting on the fact of eye level marketing, that you’ll go for what’s convenient rather than what’s worth it.
  10. Buy what you need Buying what you need is one of the simplest, but most important, saving strategies. By buying what you need, and only what you need, you avoid waste – both of food and money. This is easier said than done, as our impulses often try to take over, but it’s worth the effort to keep yourself in line – impulse buying can inflate your bill by 30% without even trying!
  11. Buy no name Don’t be afraid to go generic, a lot of times it’s the exact same (if you don’t believe me, check out the ingredients lists!). In fact, sometimes when there is a difference, generic brands are a little better. Just be wary of the times where buying generic can cost. For example, using poor quality paper towels will just end up with you buying more, faster, eating up your savings on the generic brand. But toilet paper could be fine. Just be wary to ensure you are getting the best deal. General rules are that food staples, canned produce are going to taste the exact same regardless of brand – but not meat. Meats should always be quality.
  12. Shop monthly instead of weekly This can potentially save a lot by buying in bulk, though be aware it does make it harder to take advantage of deals.44FBDailyTemplatecoral
  13. Avoid prepared food items These may be convenient, but you pay dearly for that convenience. Wherever you can afford to do so, make your food from scratch. This will really save a significant amount of your money, just by using a bit of your time.
  14. Don’t fear soon expiring meat This is when the store has to sell the meat by, it will be fine so long as it’s frozen appropriately upon purchase. Bonus? It’s often sold off at significantly lower prices because of its expiration date.
  15. Always pay attention at the checkout A lot of people tune out when at the checkout, letting the cashier do the work, but this can be a mistake. Sometimes items don’t ring in at the right price, sometimes coupons don’t scan properly, sometimes mistakes are made – and these mistakes cost only you for not watching. Pay attention and see what happens to your grocery bill!
  16. Pay with cash only This forces you to think about exactly how much you’re spending, and can even be a tool to keep yourself within budget (only carrying $100 means you can only get $100 of groceries).
  17. Shop alone when possible If you thought your impulse buys were hard to avoid, how much harder is it going to be to convince a young child to control themselves, or escape the store without buying at least one additional item your partner wants? Shopping alone can save, laughable or not.
  18. Utilize dollar stores as well as grocery stores. Dollar stores often have great deals on smaller grocery items, like spices. Just be sure you’re actually getting a deal, and not a tinier portion size you’ll have to replace faster anyway.
  19. Buy in bulk Grocers often reward shoppers who recognize the value of buying in bulk. Buying in bulk is a great way to save at least a few dollars every time you shop. Keep this tip in mind when bulking up – but still remember to only buy what you need so you don’t end up wasting money.
  20. Prepare your own food Prepared food may save time, but it also costs money. Unprepared food is significantly cheaper. Buying unprepared is a huge savings tip for any grocery shop.
  21. Ditch the tiny portions Tiny portions have been prepared for convenience, to make it even easier to pack a lunch, but they come at a cost. When you buy in single servings, you actually wind up spending more than when you buy in bulk.
  22. Don’t overbuy Buying in bulk is valuable, but only if the items get used. Don’t make the mistake of stocking up on items that you know won’t get used. Only stock up on products that don’t expire, or that you have a plan to use.
  23. When buying items at one cost per bag of items, weigh the bags to compare which is heaviest.
    This is a fair way to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck, just for taking an additional 30 seconds to weigh your options.
  24. Work out grocery unit pricing You may think you’re saving money by going no name, but is it actually the best value? Take a minute and break down the cost of what you’re looking to buy per unit, showing you easily the pricing structure.
  25. Be kind to your grocer, your butcher, and your cashiers While this should be a general rule about being kind, it also saves you grocery money by encouraging them to provide you with information regarding sale days, quick sale items, and so on.
  26. Don’t let the labels fool you Did you know that a “roasting chicken” is really just a big chicken? It’s not a special variety of any kind, yet people often willingly pay more money just because it says “roasting” on the front of it. Don’t get sucked in by grocery store labels, work out the best value for your own products.FBDaily6
  27. Go no name Consider purchasing no name brands on some of your common household items like cereals, napkins, and so on. These items can afford to be of a lower quality, and often you’ll find that there’s no quality difference at all.
  28. Buy in season fruits and vegetables Did you know that you pay shipping costs on fruits and vegetables? It may not be standardized, but it’s common practice for out of season fruits and vegetables to be bought from another place in the world, delivered to your local grocer, who then has to charge a higher price to make a profit. The solution to this is to stock up on in season items, and freeze them if necessary, to save yourself the shipping and handling type fees.
  29. Check the flyers from Wednesday Flyers generally circulate on Wednesdays. So make sure you’ve read the paper that day, and looked at the flyers. You can save a considerable amount of money just by comparing who has what on sale (not to mention price matching).
  30. Clip coupons/vouchers This should go without saying, but if you see a voucher you can take advantage of, clip it! Save it for your next trip, these little savings really add up. If you’re having trouble finding vouchers relevant to your shopping, try looking online.
  31. Consider purchasing more freezer room A lot of people argue with the buying in bulk argument, citing a lack of freezer space. If freezer space is an issue for you, consider investing in a smaller second freezer, to provide yourself a little more wiggle room and allow you to take advantage of buying in bulk when meat is on sale.
  32. Don’t always rely on leftovers Some meals just don’t reheat well. Try to keep this in mind before planning a leftover, maybe you’d be better of halving the recipe and saving the excess ingredients.
  33. Do know what leftovers can work for your family!
  34. Plan ahead This is more at home savings related to groceries, but if you know your family can’t eat that entire meatloaf, freeze some before dishing it out. This way, the leftovers need not go to waste, and you’ve just gotten two meals out of one!
  35. Shop on your own Impulse buying is hard enough to avoid when you’re alone, let alone when there are other people or kids there with their own impulses. To save money, shop alone.
  36. Only buy what you need At the end of the day the best way to save? Only buy what you need to buy. Lots of money is wasted when you go on impulse shopping sprees for items you didn’t need in the first place, items that often go to waste.
  37. Look into local wholesale grocer clubs Wholesale grocers pay less money for the food that they sell, usually in exchange for buying in bulk. Many will allow customers to purchase passes that allow them access to these same deals, so be prepared to bulk up on groceries and watch the savings add up.
  38. Split the bill at wholesale grocers Love that lasagna but know you can’t eat two for the price of one? Take a friend and split the bill, and the groceries, to make sure you still get to take advantage of lower prices.
  39. Always look in your pantry and freezer and take stock of what you have and what you need to buy. Do this monthly and you should be able to save doubling up on items.
  40. Only buy what is on special from the meats section and use that to make meals for the week. Cook double and freeze half for next month for more savings. Substitute higher priced meats for lower or alternative cuts.
  41. At the end of each week go through your fridge and pantry and use the foods that look like they won’t last much longer. Add them to soups, casseroles, stir fries or chop and freeze them for stock.
  42. Try replacing your normal brands with a lower category of the same product and 29FBDailyTemplatebluesee if you can tell the difference. Supermarkets now offer items in ‘premium’, ‘own brand’, ‘value’ or ‘basic’ for example and the price difference can be significant.
  43. Try shopping at Aldi once a month to stock up on pantry goods and then supplement with the other supermarkets if you can’t stand the thought of changing altogether.
  44. Consider buying from the over the counter deli section of the supermarkets. The savings can be huge here and all you’ll need to do is store your items in a suitable container when you get home or freeze for later.
  45. Shopping alone can also save you money and stress. Try to shop alone or try online shopping to avoid the inevitable impulse buys. Online shopping can save you hundreds of dollars a year by simply allowing you to buy items on sale and stick to a budget and list. You can also compare prices and brands easily.
  46. Use your freezer. Buy meat and fish when on sale and freeze in portions. If you have leftovers of a cooked meal, divide it into single-serve portions, and freeze it to reheat for later meals.
  47. Grate, slice and dice your own meats, cheeses and vegetables. It’s cheaper to buy these things in large hunks and do the work yourself. It’s not hard and will save you heaps.
  48. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. The prices of out of season produce can be twice as much as normal and they have either been stored or frozen anyway.
  49. One night a week turn off all the lights in the house and use candles and torches, lanterns. Relaxing and so much fun for the kids!
  50. Unplug all of the non-essential electrical appliances when not in use. This easy trick can save you a lot of money over the years.
  51. Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees.
  52. To prevent paying overdrawn fees – always keep an eye on your bank balance.
  53. Setting up a regular repayment system for your bills can prevent fees.
  54. Phone your bank and ask for a discount on your mortgage interest rate. A small discount can save you thousands of dollars.
  55. Always hang your laundry outside in the sun. Your laundry will be whiter, smell cleaner and cost you way less than using a dryer – use a portable drying rack for quick loads.
  56. Buy laundry powder in bulk from Big W, K-mart or Bunnings etc or better still, make your own.
  57. Assess your current insurance expenses. Could you be getting these services any cheaper? Could you negotiate your payments?
  58. Pick up your next new outfit at the second hand shop instead of at a name brand store.
  59. Hold a garage sale or sell off items you don’t need.
  60. Sell off quality goods you no longer need using online services (eBay, Gumtree, Facebook, etc.)
  61. Get rid of any expense you don’t have to have. This involves distinguishing between wants, and needs, and eliminating wants until your debt level is back under control.
  62. Take advantage of ‘cheap night’ when you go to the movie theatre, and bring snacks from home.
  63. Seasonal work can be a great way to temporarily bolster your income to get out of debt.
  64. Read books digitally or at the library instead of purchasing them.
  65. Grocery shop wisely. This involves shopping the sales, and buying in bulk where it makes sense to do so.
  66. Drink water at a restaurant, and forget the extras.
  67. Consider using an appetizer as a meal, or splitting an entree, as a way to save cash.
  68. Before you go out for your daily running around, make a list of where you need to go and constructively plan the order you need to maximize the efficiency of your fuel usage.19FBDailyTemplatepink
  69. Barter and trade wherever possible when you need services. You’d be surprised how many people are looking to barter themselves.
  70. Use do it yourself gifts wherever possible to save cash.
  71. Eat breakfast efficiently, using eggs, fruit, and oatmeal instead of cereals. As a bonus, this not only cleans up your finances, it also helps you improve your health!
  72. Opt in to budget based plans for necessary utilities. This allows you to manage your expenses by having a more consistent cost to account for.
  73. Christmas can be a costly time of year, but it doesn’t have to be. You can save a lot just by drawing names (instead of buying for every one), or setting a spending cap on gifts. These factors will ensure you save cash at a time that could be costly.
  74. Workout at home rather than at the gym. There’s plenty of physical activity to be had within the home, from yoga to hiking or biking, and none of it is going to cost you the amount that a gym membership will.
  75. Negotiate a new price with your hairdresser, or see about a new and cheaper hairdresser.
  76. Avoid events and places that pressure you to purchase whenever possible.
  77. Family dinners. You can save a lot just by accepting the invitation your mum has likely been offering for ages now, and you may even get some leftover food savings from it afterwards.
  78. Don’t purchase your coffee, home brew it.
  79. Take your lunch, yes, everyday.
  80. Prepare meals with leftovers in mind, to ensure you get the most out of each of your meals.
  81. Use a dental rinse instead of fluoride treatments at the dentist. This is a tip we only got by asking the dentist for advice, asking people for advice on how to keep costs down is a tip in itself.
  82. Ensure that your house is heated when it needs to be warmed, but not when it doesn’t. These can be helped with programmable thermostats.
  83. Don’t go browsing or window shopping when you know you can’t afford to be shopping. Impulse control can be quite difficult, so the best idea is often to avoid the temptations all together where possible.
  84. Don’t keep a lot of cash on hand. Sure, we all have emergencies, but the truth is that most of the time the cash you keep in your wallet will be used for impromptu drinks, gum, transportation, magazines, and other entertainment ’emergencies’ that just seem to crop up. The solution? Limit the amount of cash you carry, make yourself have to think about those little purchases and what it will do to your emergency fund.
  85. Don’t bring your cards. Saving rule: it’s hard to rack up a huge credit card bill when you don’t carry your credit card around with you all the time. People try to scare each other into carrying cards, citing emergency use (again) or the need to have access, but the truth is that the price you pay for the convenience of fast access is a lot higher than you’d think. Keeping credit cards on hand is even worse than keeping cash on hand, as it often doesn’t feel like spending at all, and thus makes it easier to spend your paycheck – and more.1FBDailyTemplateblue
  86. Direct deposit your pay. Sending your paycheck straight to the bank is just another way of removing the temptation to take cash from the cheque and overspend. Additionally, many banks now have direct deposit settings that can force you to save by committing a certain amount of your paycheck for transfer (to a savings account).
  87. Keep change in a jar, not your pocket. Again, saving is all about keeping yourself from spending. A great way to do it? Invest in a cheap coin jar (or reuse a clean jar from the house) to store your change. You won’t be able to spend it so readily, and it’s a good lesson about how quickly change adds up when you see how fast that jar can fill.
  88. Save more than you need for your goals. Nobody ever complained that their savings account was getting too big or uncontrollable. By saving more than you intend, you really are only helping yourself in the long run. This extra money can then be used to fund future goals, and encourages saving thinking, rather than spending thinking.
  89. You should ensure that, whenever it is within your control, you don’t skimp on insulation. If it’s not within your immediate control, consider using tools to seal spaces between the doors and windows, and using door snakes (thin bean bag like tools that lay in front of a door to prevent heat from escaping).
  90. LED lights are a lot less demanding on the electric bill, so keep this in mind when it comes to things like Christmas!
  91. If you know you have a leak, get it fixed. There’s no way to simplify this, a leak will cost you hundreds of wasted dollars if you just leave it – especially depending on where the leak is.
  92. Taking a shorter shower uses less water, and can save you hundreds of dollars every year just by cleaning yourself and the kids quickly.
  93. Even when your computer isn’t on, it’s standing by – and using energy to do it. When you’re not using your computer, shut it down (yes all the way down). If it has to stay on, ensure it times off after a while.
  94. This simply means looking for areas where drafts could be causing temperature control issues. You can purchase weather stripping to cover these areas, to stop the issues with drafts, and save on the utilities in the process.
  95. Buy what you can in no name brands. Sugar, flours, salt, pepper, dried herbs, sauces etc. You’ll have significant savings without noticing any difference in quality.
  96. Buy seasonal fruit and veges from your local markets before buying from supermarkets.
  97. Always turn the lights off when you leave a room. This adds up to big savings.
  98. Make sure you are only paying for what you need with your health insurance.
  99. Always ask for a discount – you might be surprised how often you are given one!
  1. Do all your washing of clothes in cold water.
  2. Keep a container in the kitchen sink and clean dishes by hand as you use them. Use the dishwasher only if it is full.
  3. Invest in a slow cooker or use your own more regularly to cook cheaper cuts of meat and create delicious dinners.
  4. Consider upgrading your older appliances for newer models as the newer models are more energy efficient and will save you money on utilities.
  5. Try shopping at ALDI and Costco when you can to make substantial savings on your grocery bill.
  6. If you can grow anything to eat then do! Try herbs, potatoes, pumpkins and tomatoes first as they are easy to grow.
  7. Cook your favourite meals in bulk and freeze in serving size containers for your ‘take away’ night. Consider curries, burrito mix, casseroles etc.
  8. One night a week try to only eat what’s leftover in the freezer or fridge. Make a soup, casserole, curry or pies.
  9. Eat any leftover dinner for lunch the next day if you can.
  10. Don’t buy takeaway coffee – make it at home and use a thermos.
  11. Take your lunch to work.
  12. Try making homemade pet food – Find one your pets will love. Or stretch bought food with boiled vegetables and leftovers.
  13. Only stock up on items that are on sale at  the supermarket if you use them!
  14. Clean glass jars and plastic food containers and reuse to store leftovers, lunches etc instead of buying new containers.
  15. Use homemade counter wipes and cleaning spray – this will save you a lot of money alone.
  16. Catch the water from the tap in a bowl and use on your pot plants. Great idea when you’re waiting for the hot water to come through.
  17. Buy generics. This works best for things like rice, flour, milk, eggs etc. However, there are many other items where the difference in taste and quality is negligible, while the difference in price is high. Experiment to find out what you like.
  18. Buy items such as the staples in bulk. Check the unit price, item shelf life, and whether or not you actually need as much as you plan to purchase.
  19. Try not to waste anything, this can take practice but you’ll master it quickly. Plan your menu and buy only what you need. With any leftovers mix and match your meals near the end of the week, or get creative by adding bits and pieces of leftovers to the meals you are making. This works well for stir fries, casseroles, soups and many other meals.
  20. If you can cut about $30 off your monthly grocery bill (That’s only a $1 a day) you’ll have an extra $360 to pay bills at the end of the year, easy
  21. Always make a list before you do the shopping. Online shopping is great when you can access all the specials immediately and keep track of what you’re spending, factor in the delivery costs though
  22. Use vegetable scraps (broccoli stalks, celery greens, cauliflower bits etc) to make vegetable stock for soups and casseroles. Freeze the stock until you are ready to use.
  23. Skip the mainstream grocery stores for your kitchen supplies. Try GroceryRun and Kogan
  24. Use packet sauces instead of jars – way cheaper!
  25. Use the cheapest condensed soups for flavouring bakes and casseroles.
  26. Put oil into a spray bottle instead of buying spray can oil.
  27. Mash up baked beans/beans to bulk up bolognaise etc
  28. Make a bulk white sauce mix and keep in the fridge for a quick leftover vege cheese bake.
  29. It’s not as hard as you might think. Making your own meals is one of the biggest and easiest ways you can save money.
  30. Cooking more than you need is a quick strategy that can save you time, waste and money. Simply cook too much of the main meal and freeze the leftovers or take them to work for lunch the next day (if you can avoid buying a lunch at work daily you could save $1,800 per year).
  31. We are lucky enough in Australia to have clean, fresh water basically wherever we go. There is no need to buy water – fill a bottle from the tap and take that.
  32. Don’t Shop Hungry. We’ve all done it! Gone to the shops when we are hungry and ended up buying more food than we should have and spending too much. Make sure you eat before you go, simple.
  33. Go to the Park or Reserve – check your local council website for ideas
  34. Watch the Sunset with snacks – nice on the beach
  35. Bake bread – fun for the kids and lovely to eat
  36. Pack a Picnic Lunch and discover a new place – a Sunday drive
  37. Play Board Games – the kids will love this or try backgammon with your partner
  38. Take photos – take the kids to somewhere different and let them be the photographer for the day
  39. Play Card Games – snap for the littlies or teach them one to play for life
  40. Do a Road trip With Friends – get another couple with kids to go for a drive to somewhere special
  41. Go for a bush walk – maybe a waterfall at the end will impress the kids
  42. Throw a Bring Your Own Everything to Share Party – a nice way to catch up with friends
  43. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard – don’t forget the marshmallows
  44. Walk to the local shops and Get Ice Cream – great to take the kids on a neighbourhood walk
  45. Make a Romantic Dinner at home – candlelight and a nice meal, just the two of you
  46. Scan Your Old Photographs – once they’re done, they’re done and you can share them with family and friends or use them to make gifts
  47. Go to your local Farmers Market – pick up some great value produce and make a nice lunch
  48. Bake a Pie – this is good to do with the kids and they get to eat it later
  49. Go Fishing – a few hours spent fishing will impress the kids, if they catch something!
  50. Go to the Beach – a walk along the beach or just a run for the kids is great
  51. Go to the Library – there’s a lot going at modern libraries these days
  52. Host a Classic Movie Marathon – watch a few old movies on a rainy weekend
  53. Write Out Your Bucket List and Pick One to Do – perfect for goal setting
  54. Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle – set out the jigsaw on a table where it can stay for days until its completed
  55. Volunteer to Babysit for Someone Who “Needs a Break” – Your kids will have someone to play with
  56. Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Thrift Store – clutter clearing feels good
  57. Go on a Bike Ride – this is just plain fun for all the family
  58. Write Out Your Life Plan – planning for the future will give you something to look forward to
  59. Help Someone in Need – does someone you know need some gardening done or a meal given to them?
  60. Go Bowling – the kids will enjoy this and they’ll love spending time with you too
  61. Visit Garage Sales and Look for Deals – maybe you’ll find something to do up
  62. Write a Letter to a Family Member You Haven’t Talked to in a While – how nice to receive a hand written letter

Energy Tips

  1. Equipment on standby can cost you an extra 10% on energy bills. Consider buying a control system such as the Efergy Remote Standby Eliminator, it’s less than $50 and can be found here at the Efergy Store. Don’t charge things overnight. Laptops and mobile phones only take an hour or two to fully charge, so don’t put them on charge overnight as it will keep drawing power even after fully charged.
  2. Get to know your Tariff Rates. That way you can time your usage to take advantage of the cheapest running cost times. The rate or charge should be on the back of your electricity bill. Using the timer on your washing machine and dishwasher are ways to take advantage of the cheaper tariff times.
  3. Fans, whether overhead or on a stand will only cost you about $5 to $10 a year to run compared to between $100 to $600 for an air conditioner. If you do use an air conditioner then use overhead fans at the same time to force the cool air down in the room where you need it,. This can reduce the running cost of your air conditioner by 40%!
  4. Consider checking and reducing your water pressure. Municipalities provide water for houses, and to meet the Australian Standards, the pressure should be 500 kPa. In most households though the water pressure is set between 600kPa and 900kPa. If you reduce your water pressure to 500kPa, you shouldn’t notice the difference but will use a lot less water.
  5. Of course you should be using only cold water in the laundry to do your washing. The only time a hot wash is really needed is if you are dealing with heavy, oil and grease stains that haven’t come out in the normal cold wash. The cost of a warm wash cycle can be 5 times more expensive than a cold cycle. Check out our homemade laundry detergents that will certainly get your clothes fresh and clean in cold water.
  6. A lot of time people turn on the AC when all they really needed to do was purchase a small fan. This simple trick can save up to 80% on your utility bills, and has the added bonus of only needing to be used on rooms that actively have people in them.
  7. Another tip related to air conditioning is to simply maintain the unit by changing the filters periodically to help them run well. The better they run, the less you’ll have to force them to work harder just to maintain the same temperature.
  8. You can also perform system maintenance just by having it checked by its producer periodically to ensure it’s running as well as it can, and using energy efficient devices like a programmer to time when the AC needs to be on.
  9. Changing shower heads to more energy efficient ones that can help you to control flow and temperature can literally save you hundreds of dollars, with minimal life adjustment. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this great tip?
  10. You can often get away with using a clothesline instead of an electric dryer, but if you are going to use an electric one make sure that you’re constantly cleaning the lint trap. This reduces the amount of time that it takes to dry clothes and keeps your machine running in tip top shape. You can also try ‘dryer balls’. They come in PVC or you can get wool ones. Dryer balls reduce the amount of time it takes for clothes to dry therefore saving you energy and money. Wool dryer balls also eliminate the need for any fabric softeners in the wash too!
  11. Energy efficiency bulbs use a fraction of the energy that their competitors use, and the less electricity that you use the lower your electricity bill should be. If you’re in doubt as to just how much, try counting how many light bulbs are in your home right now. Now add up those savings by heading over to the department store to replace the bulbs with energy efficient alternatives! “A household that invested $90 in changing 30 fixtures to [Compact Fluorescent Lights] would save $440 to $1,500 over the five-year life of the bulbs, depending on your cost of electricity. Look at your utility bill and imagine a 12% discount to estimate the savings.” –  Money US News
  12. Do you really need Foxtel? Are you sure? It’s costing you at least $30 a month, probably closer to $150… try cancelling it or reducing the cost. There are other options available that might suit your family for less money, take a look at what Stan and Netflix can offer you for a cheaper price

Business Tips

  1. If you had someone mention your business on their website or blog then promote this by posting the link on Facebook, Twitter etc.
  2. Send some of your products to ‘review’ sections of popular/relative magazines and newspapers. Letter Template
  3. Use a promotional calendar – simply add all your promotional ideas in the dates you want them launched. This gives you a clear set of promotional goals that can be ‘tweaked’ when needed and you can plan well in advance for special occasions like Christmas advertising.
  4. Give some of your products to a complimentary business to use in competitions. Run competitions yourself to promote your website and products.
  5. Press releases – constantly send out good press releases to your media list or use a press release distribution service.
  6. Car stickers – vehicle lettering – be creative with this cheap way of advertising.
  7. Banner swaps – approach online businesses with the idea of swapping banners. This gives you all a much wider audience for your advertising.
  8. Collect great information and ideas that your market will be interested in and send out an E-book. You can promote this E-book all through your social networks.
  9. Write for blogs as a guest blogger – this gets your website and ideas to many more people.
  10. Give away free samples if possible for a limited time – this can be linked to joining your newsletter so you increase your marketing reach.
  11. Write and post your comments and ideas on relevant forums – join networks that compliment your business.
  12. Offer your local radio station some free products to run a competition with.
  13. There’s a nifty little gadget around called the picture keyring – a keyring that you can upload pictures onto – think about using that for a business giveaway with pictures of your products!
  14. Fridge magnets are handy and they do get used for business purposes – create something original and yours will get used too.
  15. Create a YouTube video that can be used on your website, blog and sent with emails etc.
  16. Have an open day so people can see your premises and how you do what you do.
  17. Use testimonials on your website to give customers a better idea of what people think of your products.
  18. Create a monthly newsletter that would interest your customers – it doesn’t have to be all about your business – find articles, videos etc that your market would like. Create some buzz and get them to forward it.
  19. Use your social networks to their full advantage – find ways to automate the process – be interesting!
  20. Make sure your telephone messages/voicemail are clear and professional
  21. Offer a guarantee to your customers – not many people will use it but just knowing it is available gives people more confidence when purchasing from your website.
  22. Get reviewed – get your products and services reviewed so you can use the reviews to market yourself.
  23. Refresh your website content – think about changing the word ‘I’ to ‘You’ and see the difference.
  24. Respond to all correspondence within 24 hours.
  25. For something different why not put your email signature at the top of your correspondence.
  26. EBay – it’s more than just second hand goods – many shops use EBay as another outlet for their products – check it out, it generates serious traffic.
  27. Get some T-shirts or mugs printed up with your business logo – don’t be boring – get them to match your market!
  28. Donate prizes to hospitals, schools, clubs, charities, blogs etc to get your name around. They will then promote the prize and you!
  29. Create a good ‘About Us’ page and privacy policy to build trust in your website and brand.
  30. Guest books – Lots of websites have these, leave a polite and useful message and a link to your website on sites that compliment yours.
  31. Use free classifieds to sell your products.
  32. Create a sitemap for your website – it helps with your SEO and visitors often use them.
  33. Offer a free service of some sort on your website – eg; a research room where visitors can find info or answers to common questions.
  34. Utilise Google – GoogleAds and Adwords are some of their features.
  35. Use Flickr – create a profile, write descriptions and links to your website. Use your own photos!
  36. Use surveys on your sites and blog – this creates interactivity which people like.
  37. Comment on chatrooms and create a buzz about your business and products.
  38. Create a blog log and then promote it – eg; A blog log of 50 top Australian business sites can be found here (on your website!)
  39. Podcasts – This is a great way to show customers the benefits of your products or service.
  40. Create a video on how to make something or solve a common problem that relates to your market.
  41. Offer free help or consultations.
  42. Give out or post flyers everywhere – printed or E-flyers!
  43. If you have enough members, consider running a competition like ‘blog awards’.
  44. Ask your customers for referrals and reward them for doing so.
  45. Attend exhibitions and expos in your field to attract new customers and outlets.
  46. Sponsor your local school footy team, netball team etc.
  47. Create an online directory for your particular customer market.
  48. Consider sending out ‘real’ letters when a customer joins your website or purchases from you.
  49. Write articles and show the world you know what you are talking about when it comes to your area of business.
  50. Contact other businesses and ask if they would like to swap products to sell. Or ask if they would like to sell your products on commission.
  51. Add your business to as many directories as you can – use our directory lists to help you as these are the best ones for SEO purposes. Make it something you do for your business every week, eg: add to 5 a week.
  52. Approach other websites for reciprocal links. Keep these sites that will benefit yours and write a personal email – you’ll have more success that way.
  53. Join networks and use their facilities to promote your business further.
  54. If your business is locally based then use letterbox drops to let customers know about your business.
  55. Advertise online with businesses that compliment yours – keep an eye on costs here as they can get expensive. Perhaps an advertorial is a better option?
  56. Business stationery is important – but be creative with your business cards and don’t forget to add your social media addresses to them!
  57. Look for unusual ways in which people are using products like the ones you sell – search the web and use these to promote yourself.
  58. Think about using Twitter as a customer service desk – answer your customers questions immediately!
  59. Start a blog and let others write the content for you that is relevant and interesting to your readers.
  60. Promote the security of your website and its ecommerce.
  61. Write some interesting information on your website and allow others to reprint it but they must include a link back to your website.
  62. When you fill an order give the customer something they didn’t expect – surprise them! It could be a free sample or a discount voucher off their next purchase.
  63. Send your product to a celebrity with a note thanking them for giving you their talent.
  64. Give your Facebook and Twitter fans exclusive offers every now and then – they’ll soon be waiting for them and telling their friends about your great offers.
  65. Use Facebook to send fans updates – So how do you send the updates? It’s pretty easy. Just click on the “Edit Page” link on the sidebar. On the left hand side under “Marketing” you will see a link which says “Tell your Fans”. Don’t spam though!
  66. Submit articles to other newsletters that are in the same field as your business.
  67. Publish any accomplishments you have on your website – eg; awards, before and after photos etc.
  68. Can you bundle products and sell them at a discounted price?
  69. Design a funky sticker that promotes your business logo – add it to each of your orders and enquiries.
  70. Use SMS messaging to get people to visit your website – don’t spam though!
  71. Customise your wrapping paper – lovely to receive.
  72. Get an Iphone app developed for your business and watch the traffic roll in. (Google Iphone app developers)
  73. Create an ecatalogue and let people download and print it for free – promote the catalogue through your social networks.
  74. Add a Media Section on your website to promote your promotions!
  75. A professional portfolio will also generate interest – list and post your previous clients.
  76. Can you offer a ‘goodie bag’ or ‘gift basket’ of your products or samples?
  77. Can you put on an Open Day or Sausage Sizzle to promote your shop or premises?
  78. Customer incentives include free gifts, discount vouchers, movie tickets etc – can you use this in your business? Different to hint 63 as the customers know they get this up front.
  79. Can you upsell at the checkout point? This is asking if your customers would like this product perhaps at a reduced price that would complement the product they just purchased.
  80. Offer a VIP customer program – VIP’s get special offers that regular customers do not.
  81. Concentrating on the smaller details on your website such as improving the text size, colour, or graphics can make a positive difference.
  82. Promote a monthly winner on your website – they get their entire purchase for free.
  83. Keep a record of all your promotional ideas and think about combining ideas to generate new ones.
  84. Think about charging a membership fee on your website, those who join can always purchase at wholesale prices.
  85. Challenge your competitors by giving away a product or service that they charge for. Think warranties, servicing or extra products that complement their purchase.
  86. Ask visitors to your website to rate their experience from 1 – 5
  87. Can you sell one of your best products at cost price? You’ll break even with the sale but gain on the backend sales. You can promote that product at cost.
  88. Can you mentor a new business in your line? Ask them to promote your website on theirs for the privilege.
  89. Bookmarks make great business cards – be creative.
  90. Place a page on your website about your business journey – blog about it and get people talking.
  91. Hold ‘crazy day’ sales once a month. It’s a great way to build a loyal customer base and you can use this as a way to promote your website.
  92. Think about joining webrings, blog carnivals etc to get your website circulated in your target market.
  93. Make sure you offer an RSS web feed to your website.
  94. Advertise in your local newsletters – clubs, schools etc have reasonable pricing and if you sell locally you’ll hit your target market.
  95. Maybe you can offer ‘deals of the day’ – that way you can send emails to your list every day! Or perhaps ‘deals of the week’?
  96. Social bookmarking is becoming a more popular way to cut through the ‘noise’ – try StumbleUpon, us and Digg.
  97. Microsites – develop smaller websites linked to your major site. This draws links from other sources.
  98. Follow Facebook sites that have a good following in your target market and tag/post about them.
  99. Develop a ‘Breaking News’ service for your target market – if it’s 20 year old then let them know when groups have announced tours etc. This will keep you in their minds (Branded) Use social media effectively
  100. Accommodate key social trends – eg; Social media, SMS etc.
  101. Be a problem solver for your customers – eg; if they can’t meet the price, work out something else
  102. Keep your business simple for customers – eg; don’t overwhelm them with technical speak
  103. Make your website customer friendly – eg; Have lots of relevant information and guidance
  104. Can you adapt your service to meet the changing needs of your customers?
  105. Diversify into different areas of your service for continued growth
  106. Enter into awards for free promotion and exposure
  107. Include a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page on your website – this will reduce calls
  108. Build a client list with good testimonials
  109. Listen to your customers for direction for diversification
  110. Get active in the community – eg; offer services to schools at a discount rate if they put an ad in their newsletter
  111. Develop a positive and respectful relationship with the first meeting to encourage repeat business and customer loyalty
  112. Encourage existing customers to attract new customers for you by undertaking a ‘recommend a friend’
  113. Set time each week for brainstorming new ideas that will encourage business growth
  114. Can you send out promotional SMS messages telling customers of special deals?
  115. Email people to thank them for their business, tell them of a special offer, send them an article, a newsletter, recommend a product or service they may be interested in or ask for referrals
  116. Think of the impact a website showcasing photos of your best work, compared to a simple price list or leaflet
  117. SMS text appointment reminders are excellent for reducing missed clients
  118. Discounts below 15% are often ineffective – make your discount count!
  119. When making a sales pitch to a customer remember to answer these three questions: How much? How soon? and How sure?
  120. Email is the preferred communication method for customers as per the Nielsen Internet and Technology report (February 2010) Create a professional email signature for all your email communication
  121. Make sure your quotes are professional and clear
  122. Be consistent in quality and dependability
  123. Strive to be knowledgeable, courteous and competent. This will instill trust
  124. Tell your customers firstly what you can do for them and not what you can’t do
  125. Focus on what’s important in your business. When you lose focus, you can lose customers, then lose business and then lose that bottom line
  126. Provide customer service that distinguishes your business from your competitors
  127. Ask and use testimonials collected from your happy customers
  128. Establish clear refund policies that provide your customers with complete satisfaction
  129. Make sure your suppliers are up to scratch – check with their competition on pricing
  130. Make personal phone calls whenever possible
  131. The more difficult it is for your customers to speak to you in person when they have a problem, the less likely it is that you will see that customer again
  132. Customers are interested in what they need, why they need it and if they really do need it – answer those for them
  133. Simplicity is what we now crave – make your business simple and easy for your customers
  134. Give your business purpose – how will they feel once the job is done – focus on that
  135. ‘Small’ is the new ‘big’ – we want personal service and good quality
  136. Watch your body language – people will get a feeling you’re not being honest if you have your arms folded and are facing away from them
  137. What do your customers expect in after sales service? Make sure you contact them and ask if they have any concerns with the job
  138. Pack your website with industry information – be the most informed and professional business you can – point people to your website for further information
  139. Every single thing you do should be centered on bringing the customer back to your business – things have changed – the customer has more to choose from
  140. Send a gift, perhaps a hamper to thank your customers after completing a job worthy
  141. Keep a list of what your customers do for a living – refer people to them when you can – this keeps your loyalty alive
  142. Always remember the “80-20 rule” that states that 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your customers. When times are tough concentrate on the 20% of your products that bring in 80% of your revenue and make sure that you always have these products in stock.
  143. Have resolute, impeccable and untouchable integrity. Be predictable and reliable in every way relative to your word
  144. Provide the immediate and overall satisfaction the customer needs at the moment the sale is made
  145. Provide great product/material selection; give customers options they can choose from to meet their specific needs
  146. Let your customers know that you want them to come back and do business with you again – ask them what that would take
  147. Determine what your customers expect with regards to warranties and guarantees and make yours better than your competition
  148. Turn off the sound on your mobile phone, don’t even look at it or check to see who called when you are dealing with a customer – a message saying “I’m currently with a client, please leave your number and I’ll return your call as soon as I can” will be appreciated
  149. Take payments in many forms – direct deposit, cheque, cash, EFTPOS

Babies and Children

  1. Buy factory second disposable nappies! They work just as well as normal nappies as it’s usually the printing that’s not quite right. Or try searching on Ebay for ‘bulk nappies disposable’ for great deals. Have you thought about buying nappies in bulk for terrific savings?
  2. If you need new clothes for your baby or toddler try looking at the local op shops first. Children of these ages grow out of clothes quickly, sometimes before they even get to wear items so it’s a good idea to check here first! Again the deals on Ebay can be good for second hand clothes, especially if you buy in bulk lots.
  3. Make your own baby food, wipes and baby laundry washing powder. Making your own baby food can be as simple as pureeing tins of organic fruits or steaming extra vegetables to puree and freeze when you cook your own meals.
    Homemade baby wipes will not only save you money but also reduce the chemicals that come into contact with your precious baby!
    The same principles apply to homemade laundry powder – it’s so easy to make, you’ll be surprised. Here’s a recipe for homemade liquid laundry detergent.
  4. To find cheaper baby formula try signing up to chemistwarehouse, epharmacy, pharmacydirect, etc. so they will inform you of specials. Check out the Mamia brand of baby formula at Aldi for consistent cheaper pricing and Coles and Woolworths also have sales regularly for baby formula. Chemists have their own baby formula brands that are a cheaper alternative. Stock up when you can to save money in the long run. Ebay also have cheaper baby formula for sale, and sites like catchoftheday.com.au are also worth keeping an eye on. If your baby needs lactose free milk then ask your GP for a prescription, it will save you a lot of money.
  5. For sterilising you could buy a Bottle Steamer Kit for around $50 or take a look on Ebay for a second hand one. This will save you money on sterilising tablets and solution and also avoid any chemicals and is a lot quicker too – not to mention the saving on bench space! If you do chose to use a solution then perhaps buy a large  plastic container to use rather than an expensive one made specifically for bottles.
  6. The big ticket items to consider for baby will include a stroller, bassinet, cot, car seat and change table. Consider good quality second hand items and look at strollers that can change from a car seat to a stroller and pram. They can save you a good deal of money. Do you really need a change table? A change mat on an existing table could suffice or change baby on the bed or floor with a changing mat underneath. Check out Gumtree and Ebay and even your local second hand stores for items.
  7. Attend Free Concerts
  8. Go to Museums
  9. Check out Community Events
  10. Go to the Park
  11. Borrow or Rent Movies
  12. Bowl
  13. Try Backyard Camping for the Weekend
  14. Play Miniature Golf
  15. See Movies at Discount Times
  16. Play Cards and Board Games
  17. Have Christmas in July When Goods are on Sale
  18. Take Free Tours
  19. Walk Around Your Neighbourhood
  20. Take the Frizbee or Ball to the Local Park Grounds
  21. Go to the Beach For a While
  22. Take a Picnic to a New Area to Explore
  23. Local playgroups are fun and inexpensive. Great for socialising your little ones.
  24. Swap to cheaper brand nappies to save hundred dollars a year.
  25. Track down your local toy library. A terrific way to give your child new mental stimulation every week!
  26. Try to make your own baby food. I now things can get hectic but if you can manage it sometimes and cook in bulk and freeze this could save you hundreds of dollars a year!
  27. Start a craft box, collect toilet rolls, lids, cartons etc and spend a few hours with the kids creating ‘art’ or just making great things.

Here’s a bonus 50 Business Tips to Save In Your Small Business

  1. Instill people with good feelings about your biz, the biz relationship and how you can solve a problem for them.
    2.  When selling, ask a question every minute or so to see if people are listening to your pitch.
    3.  If there are accreditation schemes or professional bodies for your industry, join them.
    4.  Get a free listing on Google Maps, A map on page one with local suppliers, you could be there.
    5.  Complex websites just put people off. Make your website easy to use.
    6.  Don’t sit back and wait for work to come to you. Make offers to help your clients improve their business.
    7.  Reply. Reply. Reply. Whenever you get a response make sure that you respond to the reply.
    8.  Use a business Twitter account to create a place for client relationship management.
    9.  Use Google Analytics to measure the traffic directed from Twitter to your blog or website.
    10.  Add your Twitter URL, LinkedIn, website and blog accounts to your business cards and email signature.
    11.  Download an application for your mobile to help you manage your twitter account while you are out and about.
    12.  If you don’t have a big-business budget, smaller ISPs can offer good value for money. email signature.
    13.  Laptops consume 90 percent less energy than standard desktop computers. Saves you money!
    14.  Interact with potential clients and customers for free via online forums and message boards.
    15.  Offer a sneak preview of new products or services to tweak interest in your business.
    16.  People like to know they are being thought of. Find contacts on Twitter and Facebook and connect to them and you will stick in their memory for longer.
    17.  Don’t complain about your competition. Use them as a way to guide your business ahead.
    18.  Respond to initial enquiries within two hours. That way, customers believe that you want their business!
    19.  Use your email signature space to promote – an upcoming event, new product launch, campaign, winning an award.
    20.  Never pretend that you can know everything about everything – but know how to find out.
    21.  How-to articles are POPULAR! Let readers know what procedure to take to get from point A to point B.
    22.  Decide what info is most important for your visitors to your home page, and resist the urge to add more information.
    23.  Run a Twitter contest. Pick a winner but offer everyone else a discount! So everyone gets something out of it!
    24.  Follow people who follow and RT your content? Build relationships with people who value what you do.
    25.  People try to copy others when all they have to do is be true to themselves. Develop your own style, unique brand.
    26.  Customers looking for local businesses don’t use the Yellow Pages anymore-they go online. Try True Local.
    27.  Do you have a media room or press area with links to past publicity, and an “About Us” section. Do it!
    28.  Import your e-mail contact list to Twitter and following those contacts who are tweeting. Follow who they follow.
    29.  Twitter is an easy way to see what your competitors are doing and what they are thinking. Follow your competition
    30.  A feature is something your product or service has; a benefit is how that feature benefits the customer.
    31.  Join a LinkedIn Group. Participating in a Group related to your industry is a great way to become known as an expert.
    32.  Use free classified ad services to promote your product or service.
    33.  Write down what you and your competitors have in common, come up with one thing you can do differently and do it.
    34.  Turn your blog into a book. This speaks volumes in credibility and visibility arenas, being a published author!
    35.  For each of the social media sites you are working with, learn how to use all the features.
    36.  Give lovely testimonials and link back to your website in them.
    37.  There are link directories that are target-market specific. Find yours and submit your link to those directories.
    38.  Find people with blogs with a similar style to yours and help each other. Comment regularly and offer a guest blog.
    39.  Start a blog post series (which contain at least 3 or more posts) for your target market.
    40.  Use Facebook Insights – Great for demographics and when to launch a post! It’s free too!
    41.  Remember to use social media as a real person, not as a ‘company’. People like to talk to people!
    42.  Has your content been copied? Use this great tool to check – http://www.copyscape.com/
    43.  Use Facebook and Twitter to promote the key content from your email newsletter.
    44.  Niche networks are the way of the social media future – you can target immediately!
    45.  Make sure your emails don’t get flagged as spam-avoid using words such as ‘Free’, ‘Save’, ‘Discount’, etc., in all areas of the email!
    46.  Research shows that the majority of Internet users respond better to a plain, blue text link in an email opposed to a banner or button.
    47.  The best days to send a mail-out to your list are Tuesday and Wednesday, this is when people are more receptive to communication.
    48.  Have a link that you want your readers to see? Put it two or more times in an email so readers have more motivation to visit it.
    49.  Get your best salesperson taped selling. (mock it) Capture their technique and teach your other staff the skills.
    50.  LinkedIn’s average household income per user is $109,000, which is much higher than Twitter, Facebook – is this a market for your biz?

 

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Overwhelmed by money concerns? Money Savvy Mums concentrate on what really matters to you - one step at a time. We show you what to do, how to do it and help you find everything you need for financial peace.

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