The current pandemic has seen many people unable to work normally and taking a pay cut. If you’re feeling the crush, you might be wondering how to make the pennies stretch a little further. Fortunately, we’ve come up with 8 money hacks that will have you save more during this period.
Switch to Store Brands
You may think that just because something costs more, it’s better quality. But that isn’t always the case. In fact, most of the time you’re paying extra just for the packaging and the marketing behind that product. Store brands are often just as good as name brands, especially when it comes to basic foods, such as flour, oil, canned and dried vegetables (tomatoes, beans, lentils, etc.) or dried pasta. So next time you’re doing your grocery shopping, give store brands a go — you’ll be pleasantly surprised, and your finances will thank you.
Switch to Regular Soap
Washing your hands has and should continue to be a priority, but when it comes to soap, regular soap is just as effective as the antibacterial one. In fact, the FDA states that there isn’t enough data to confirm whether antibacterial soap is in fact better than the over the counter options. Not only that, but even manufacturers haven’t provided any proof that shows that antibacterial soap is indeed more effective. So instead of spending extra on it, you can use plain soap and water instead.
Lower Your Car Insurance
Car insurance companies take how much you’ll be driving your car into account when calculating your premium. But given the fact that you’re most likely working from home and don’t need to commute, your car is seeing far less use during this period. Now is a good time to reach out to your insurance company, and discuss how you can reduce your rates.
Cycle to Work
Cycling to work is not only healthier, but it is also a safer alternative during this period. Social distancing could be difficult to implement on public transport, especially at peak times, while riding your bike will keep you fit, as well as give you some peace of mind. And with summer being right around the corner, it looks like the weather is on your side as well.
Become a Smarter Cook
Even if you’ve already decided that cooking at home is more cost effective than ordering takeout, there are still ways you can reduce your cooking costs even further. Cooking in bulk and freezing some for later will save you both time and money. Making sure that your food is properly stored will ensure that you don’t need to throw anything out, as will making a meal plan and buying just what you need.
Also, just because you have some leftovers doesn’t mean that they need to be left out. Did you cook too much rice? Simply freeze it and use it later in a stir-fry. Have some of the vegetables become a bit limp or bruised in the fridge? You can turn them into a soup, or even a casserole.
Sign Up for Streaming Services Trials
Major streaming services providers usually offer a 30-days free trial, which is a great way to save some money. And let’s face it: you’re probably catching up on a lot of series and movies during this period, so why not turn it into a money saver? Signing up for a free trial is also a good way to test providers and find out what’s on offer. Just remember to cancel the trial before the 30 days are up, to avoid being automatically billed!
Cancel Memberships You Don’t Need
There’s a good chance that some of your current subscriptions and memberships aren’t seeing any use. The best example is a gym membership, which can’t be used if you are practicing social distancing, or sheltering in place. And with so many free videos and exercise apps, it’s easy to stay fit at home. Take a moment to look through what services you’re paying for unnecessarily, and cancel the membership for the time being.
If You Can, DIY It
Before you decide to buy something, ask yourself if it’s something you can do yourself. Some food items, such as ketchup or peanut butter, can be made at home, and the result will be healthier, and even tastier. Certain jobs that would require a contractor, such as landscaping, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, or just fixing a leaky faucet, are also easily done with a bit of DIY. Now is a good time to pick up a new skill. And who knows, if you become good at it, you can even use it as a little side earner should you need it in the future.