As challenging as the unique circumstances have been in recent months, it has also presented us with opportunities to change the ways we do certain things. One area we have had to be especially conscious of is how we save (and spend!) our money.
With uncertainty surrounding employment, salaries, payment of bills, and even the weekly shop, we’ve all had to be far more aware of our finances. Whilst this tightening of the purse strings may have brought about some good changes in our lifestyles… old habits die hard! But here at Opinion Outpost, we love a good deal, and we want you make the most out of your money even once we return to a bit more normality.
That’s why we’ve put together a range of advice on how to save money. These money saving tips will help you stretch your funds, keeping you and your bank account happy and healthy!
Assess regular payments to save money on bills
So many of our monthly or yearly outgoings are done by standing order, which a lot of us could be guilty of setting up and then forgetting about completely. Some of these are non-negotiables – such as rent, mortgage or council tax – but others should be kept on top as there are so many ways to save money at home.
Phone service providers are changing their offerings all the time, so it’s worth keeping on top of what your current provider can do for you in terms of new deals or extras. You could also adapt depending on your current situation – many of us are now working from home now, so you might be able to reduce your mobile data usage cost as your phone will invariably be hooked up to your Wi-Fi. You could also assess the benefits for you of contract vs pay-as-you-go options.
Another big one is insurance. Whatever your policy, and whoever your provider is, when it is coming up for a renewal date it is well worth taking the time to phone up and discuss your quote. If you let a policy renew automatically, you will almost certainly be missing out on some useful savings. The same could be said for your energy providers, and there are even companies now who will deal with the switch for you!
Shop smarter and save bigger
The way in which we shop has been massively impacted this year, with the high street all but frozen for nearly six months. Shoppers all around the world were driven online and an increase in e-commerce sales was huge, with Amazon alone doubling its quarterly profits when compared with last year! But there are plenty of ways to shop online, and plenty of savings to be made as well.
One of the best things about having the marketplace at your fingertips is that comparisons are quick and easy. If you have a particular item in mind then it is well worth researching different retailers to see what they’re offering, as there are frequently online deals and discounts. You could also compare reviews on Amazon of similar products, and its often worth clicking through to the original seller’s website to find a deal, because Amazon by no means always offers the lowest price available! It’s also a good plan to browse ‘Incognito’, because websites can sometimes gain knowledge of what you’re looking at and change their prices for returning vs new customers.
As you probably know, we love utilising online rewards at Opinion Outpost! These are an amazing way of saving yourself money, and with our swap-shop system of surveys for rewards, you can take advantage of plenty of discount opportunities across big brands. Elsewhere online, signing up for newsletters to your favourite brands and following their social channels can keep you in the loop for deals or offers.
Get creative in the kitchen and save money on food shopping
A weekly food shop which keeps your household healthy and satisfied can be an expensive proposition. However, with some studious shopping and creativity in the kitchen, there are loads of ways to save money on groceries which could amount to a small fortune over the course of a year.
For the shop itself, there are plenty of chances for you to make your money go further. If you are a loyal shopper at a particular supermarket, then signing up to a points reward scheme is a must. You can also pile up the points on these if the particular chain has a corresponding petrol station – be sure to swipe your card to take advantage when you’re filling up!
In the kitchen, trying out new ways of cooking can provide really thrifty options. For the meat eaters out there, moving to cheaper cuts which need a bit more care when cooking can be far less expensive. Cooking cheaper cuts for longer will provide great tasting meals – it could even be worth investing in a slow cooker, which takes a lot of the work out of the process.
As well as using different meats, reducing your meat intake can make a big difference to your weekly spend. Research has suggested that in the UK, the average person spends over £600 a year on meat products, so a slight shift in your diet can lead to some serious savings. There is, of course, the added benefit of helping out the planet as well!
Once you’ve done your shop, making the most out of your fridge and freezer is also vital. Around 4.5 million tonnes of food waste in the UK every year, equates to a massive amount of wasted money as well. To reduce this, your freezer is definitely your friend! If you think any fresh fruit, veg, bread, or meat is not going to get used before it goes passed the use-by date… pop it in your freezer and it will keep for months. Batch cooking big meals, like a Bolognese or a curry, then freezing portions can also save time, effort and money!
Use Free Time to Earn Rewards for Taking Surveys
At Opinion Outpost, we offer the opportunity for people to use their free time to share their opinions in turn for a range of rewards. If you sign up you will have the opportunity to test prototypes and upcoming products, watch pilot adverts, or complete surveys which provide data that will be shared with companies around the world that are eager to hear them.
We offer a range of rewards which can provide savings and deals on all kinds of different items from brand leaders, from music, to food, to clothing.
If you’re interested, you can sign up in just a few minutes and earn money for taking surveys. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you make the most of your time and your money!