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Smart ways to save money on everyday expenses.

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

This blog serves as a platform for engaging in a vital conversation with our readers, who grapple with a recurring question: Where did my entire salary go?

You are not alone in this. If you ask yourself this question, it's a sign that you understand the importance of staying on top of your expenses. That is not only a commendable financial habit, but also a characteristic of a smart and witty consumer. This blog will act as your guide to being a smart buyer conveniently!

Saving a small amount on your everyday expenses can significantly impact your monthly budget. Are we encouraging you to sacrifice your needs and compromise to save money?

Not at all.

We are here to inspire you to become wiser in managing your expenses. You can thank us later for turning you into an intelligent shopper!

Here are 12 smart ways to help you build significant savings on your everyday expenses.

  1. Deals and discounts

We all love buying stuff for lower prices, don't we? The words 'sale', 'offer', 'deal' and 'discount' can potentially bring a smile to our faces. A wise consumer should always look for better offers and discounts while purchasing various things – from groceries and clothes to furniture and electronics.

I rely on the Tata Neu app to easily order groceries from Big Basket for my household.

The Neu Pass savings represent the total amount I have saved on grocery shopping up to this point. I also receive Neu Coins on all my purchases using the app. You can redeem Neu coins on your next purchase. 1 neu coin = ₹1. I have accumulated an impressive amount of Rs. 9523, which also includes the redeemed Neu Coins. Isn’t that a significant amount?

You must also check for table discounts or restaurant deals before you plan to eat out with your friends and family.

Many restaurants offer discounts through applications like EazyDineror SwiggyDineout, which can help you save more on your food bill.

2. Save on utility bills!

Do you remember getting in trouble for leaving the lights and fans on even when no one was using them? When I was a child, I used to be concerned about saving electricity only for our environment. However, my perspective changed when I saw our power bill for June, approximately nine years ago, amounting to a staggering Rs.11,000 (approx.). This experience helped me understand the substantial impact electricity bills can have on one's monthly budget.

Saving on utility bills like electricity, water, and gas is critical to reduce expenses and conserve valuable resources.

To save on electricity bills, you must use energy-efficient appliances, turn off lights when not in use, and unplug electronics when not needed. Even in standby mode, many devices still draw power. Take advantage of natural light during the day to reduce electricity consumption.

Setting your AC to a higher temperature like 27 can also help save energy. However, the optimal temperature for energy efficiency may vary depending on factors like outdoor temperature and personal comfort. You can experiment with different settings to find the right balance between comfort and energy savings.

To save on your water bills, fixing leaky faucets, toilets, or pipes can help prevent unnecessary water wastage. Moreover, taking shorter showers and using water-saving fixtures such as low-flow shower heads can make a difference.

Lastly, PNG gas pipelines have made saving on your cooking gas bills easier. PNG gas pipelines are safer and more economical compared to refill cylinders. It has now become the most widely used option since a hike in the prices of refill cylinders.

The Economic Times spoke to five people from different walks of life, who had one thing in common - they all use PNG. A resident of Gurugram, Haryana explains how PNG piped gas has been a cost-effective option for her.

The price of a refill cylinder by Bharatgas stands at ₹1103 today.

Please look at the piped gas bill for a house provided below.

₹555 for one and a half months! Compare this to the price of a refill cylinder. In both cases, your consumption plays a key role, though you need not worry about periodic cylinder refills if your house gets equipped with PNG gas pipeline.

So, you see, when better options are available, there is no harm in switching to them to increase your savings!

3. Compare for the best prices!

Have you ever observed the prices of grocery items online and compared their online price and market price? If not, look!

Let me make you understand this with the help of an example. Mustard oil is used by many people for their daily cooking needs. A 1 liter bottle of Fortune's Mustard oil would cost around Rs.180 at your nearest retail grocery store. Retail stores often sell products at their MRP.

If online shopping is unfamiliar to you, it would be best to consider purchasing groceries for your house from a wholesaler or departmental store where you can find excellent discounts and enticing combo offers. However, if you consider buying that product from an online grocery store, there are higher chances of getting it at a better discount.

You also have the freedom to conveniently compare the prices of products on various online stores, ensuring you get the best deal available.

When dealing with your travel expenses, employ a similar approach. We all possess a profound passion for traveling, yet occasionally we find ourselves reluctant to embark on impromptu journeys, hindered by financial limitations and competing obligations. However, when you plan a trip, make sure that you compare the best deals for hotels and transportation online. Doing so can help you save a significant amount on your upcoming adventures. For example, websites like Trivago allow you to effortlessly compare prices for accommodations from various booking sites, ensuring that you obtain the most exceptional deal available.

Today, we are constantly surrounded by an extraordinary range of remarkable inventions, from smartphones and smart TVs to lifestyle options that enable us to work conveniently from the comfort of our homes. The world is developing, so should we. All these facts point towards the value of internet in our lives.

The Internet has become a necessity today. You must research about different internet service providers and their offerings. Compare prices, speeds, and additional benefits they provide, such as discounted or bundled OTT subscriptions. Ask for any promotional offers or available discounts before making the payment. There are many articles, blogs and YouTube videos that help you compare broadband plans. For example, explore the article by Paytm below to compare broadband plans by Jio and Airtel.

This way, you can find the best value for your money.

4. Thrifty treasures – Embrace secondhand shopping!

Shopping at thrift stores can be a great way to save money. There are many flea markets in different states of India, such as Delhi's famous Sarojini Nagar market. These places often offer gently used items at a fraction of the cost of buying new ones. You can find unique pieces while keeping your budget in check.

Additionally, consider selling stuff you no longer need on these platforms to earn extra cash. Applications like Free Up, Olx, Quikr and Cashify offer secondhand items like clothing, electronics, furniture, home appliances, vehicle sand spare parts at negotiable prices.

In this way, you also contribute to sustainable and eco-friendly practices by giving items a new life. It is a win-win situation for your wallet and the environment!

5. Take advantage of cash-back or rewards programs.

Utility payment applications like Paytm and PhonePe offer exciting cash-back offers. Let me tell you about my own experience. I recently added ₹500 to my Paytm wallet and applied a promo code. Doing so will provide me a cash-back of ₹100 on booking two movie tickets! In other words, I'll pay ₹431 for two movie tickets initially but will get ₹100 back within 24 hours of booking the tickets. Now the tickets will cost me ₹331!

Cash-back points and rewards also help you get deals on branded products. I have earned Paytm vouchers that offer free Lenskart Gold Membership, ₹100 discount + free delivery on ordering groceries from Swiggy Instamart and a ₹120 discount on pizza by Domino's. It's a simple way to save on your favourite stuff!

6. Commute smart, save smart!

Save on fuel costs by using public transportation like the metro. Not only will you save a significant amount, but you will also stay away from traffic jams! Try not to rely on your wheels for short distances and save the cost by walking when possible. Many people take out their two-wheelers only to visit their relatives who live a street away! You may also consider carpooling with friends or colleagues when you go out for lunch or movie! Not only will you save money on fuel or fare, but you'll also reduce your carbon footprint.

7. Cancel any inactive subscriptions or services.

Look at your monthly subscriptions and cancel the ones you no longer use or need to free up extra money. It's an easy way to reduce expenses and save every month.

For example, firstly, you must buy a gym membership or a sports club membership if you truly need it. When you buy a membership, make sure you are regularto avoid wastage of your money.

Secondly, it might be tempting to opt for WiFi plans that include OTT subscriptions. However, you must assess whether the increased speed and extra subscriptions are genuinely necessary for your requirements. Before making any decisions about your internet plan, evaluate how you use the internet and the internet speed required for your online activities and streaming preferences, and ultimately select the plan that perfectly fits your requirements without any unnecessary add-ons. Standalone subscriptions allow you more control over which services to pay for, so you can choose the ones you truly enjoy.

8. DIY – Do it yourself!

DIY projects can help you save money on home repairs and renovations. Instead of hiring professionals for every home repair or renovation project, consider tackling some tasks yourself. Many online tutorials and resources are available to help you learn and save money on labour costs. Plus, it can be a fun and rewarding experience! Furthermore, it is worthwhile to consider repairing items rather than replacing them. Many people still throw away electronic goods that are repairable. Remember, according to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, E-waste is growing in India at the rate of 10%. Hence, before rushing to buy a new item, consider if it can be repaired. For example, if your clothing has a small tear, you can mend it instead of buying a new one. Similarly, if a household appliance breaks down, you can explore repair options before deciding to replace it. This approach not only allows you to savemoney but also helps you reduce waste.

Safety First: When dealing with electrical repairs, always prioritise your safety and consult a professional technician or electrician for any electrical concerns. Mishandling electricity without proper experience or prior knowledge can be extremely dangerous.

9. The joy of saving through home-cooked delights.

Try to cut back on eating out at restaurants frequently because you can save money by planning and preparing your meals at home. For instance, before you leave for work, you can pack a homemade lunch with sandwiches, salads, or leftovers from dinner. Moreover, homemade food is more nutritious and hygienic when compared to outside food.

10. From garden to table – a unique way to slash grocery expenses.

It is an interest-specific tip, but indeed a smart one! Consider growing fruits and vegetables at your home. If you have a small garden or even just a few pots, you can experiment with fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow. You will get access to fresh and organic produce and save money on grocery bills. Nowadays, many people have a small kitchen and terrace garden to grow flowers, fruits and vegetables. In fact, according to the Godrej Food Trends Report 2022, 33.3% of home-grown fruits and vegetable production comes from window, kitchen and terrace gardens.

11. Affordable learning options.

Instead of purchasing physical books, you can borrow e-books and digital materials from e-libraries. It's a cost-effective way to enjoy reading and learning without spending money on individual books. If you are a student, you can use platforms like YouTube for free or affordable learning experiences because you get access to many e-learning resources. Nowadays, students in schools and colleges have easy access to many e-books in PDF format, free of charge.

12. Shop during sales and clearance events.

Almost all online shopping websites offer products in huge sales near festivals and clear their stock through a clearance sale at the end of every season. In June 2023, Myntra made a grand announcement for its highly anticipated 18th edition of the End of Reason Sale (EORS). The renowned e-commerce giant also appointed Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for this event. EORS is a famous fashion carnival awaited by many shopping enthusiasts in India! Keep a track on such sales and clearance events when shopping for clothes, electronics, or household items.

Final Thoughts

Practice mindful spending. Distinguish between your wants and needs to effectively manage your daily expenses. It is important to evaluate your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back without sacrificing your essential needs. Small changes can add up to significant savings over time. So, be proactive and experiment with the above-mentioned tips to reduce your everyday expenses and achieve your financial goals.

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