Bills, taxes, and death… the only 3 certainties in life! Here at The Bargain Radar, we know there are ways for you to cut your outgoings and want to tell you about some of the options out there to evaluate the ways you spend your hard-earned cash each month.
Save on your energy bills
There are a few ways to lower your electricity bill, especially moving into the winter months.
- Make sure your air filter is cleaned and replaced.
- Lowering the temperature on your water heater by a small amount can make a real difference in the long run.
- Check the insulation in your home and even wear comfortable but warm clothes at home. Actively check your thermostat. Turn it down when you are out, or getting a timer, can have up to a 10% effect on your overall energy bill over the year.
- Don’t dawdle in the shower and check your showerhead for limescale – an old and inefficient showerhead can really drive up your energy bill.
- Use energy-saving lightbulbs – just by doing this you could be looking at a saving of close to $100 a year.
- Unplug your electrical items when you leave the house – leaving them plugged in but off will mean a small amount of electricity is flowing into them, even if they are on standby. Think of the number of electrical items you have plugged in at one time and you can see this can add up.
- Use the microwave and your stove oven less by switching out one or two meals a week to salads, hummus & chips, and fruit!
Negotiate your bills via a ‘bill reduction site’
There are now multiple companies in the market to review all your bills and negotiate on your behalf to reduce bills by up to 25%. Sound too good to be true?
We looked at Billshark – they will negotiate Cable TV, Mobile Phone, Satellite TV, Internet services and Home Security bills and claim to have saved one lucky user $9,500 in total! You send them your bills, via an account on their site and they charge 40% of the total amount saved over the next 24 months. They have done this with over 50,000 bills, so it seems like a no-lose situation.
BillFixers also have excellent reviews and claim to save their users an average of $300 a year. And BillExperts say they save up to 30% across all the bills you work with them on. These services are often free if the company cannot make you any savings!
Switch to cleaner, cheaper energy
Arcadia Power gives you $25 off your next electricity bill and advocates for you to discover if moving to clean energy is possible in your area. This is heavily targeted to California, Florida, and New York at present, but there are more projects in place.
Evaluate your mobile phone bills
Read through – REALLY read through – your mobile phone bill. One of the staff here at The Bargain Radar did this two months ago and noticed that their data usage was month-on-month consistently well below what they paid for on their plan. This is NOT something your mobile phone provider is going to tell you. However, it was possible to call the provider directly and have the package changed to reflect the actual data usage. This simple call saved our staff member $60 a month – that’s over $700 a YEAR!
Lower your Grocery bills
There are a multitude of ways to lower what you spend each week on groceries and your food bill in general. Firstly, evaluate how much you spend each week on take away food. One delivered meal can easily be $100, so if you order in twice a week, that could be close to $1,000 a month. Try to halve what you get delivered and plan your grocery visits like military operations. Plan out meals and share the preparation around the family, so it’s doesn’t just come down to one person. Get your kids involved and make it fun and save money at the same time!
Consolidate your credit card bills
The average household in the US owes $5,700 in credit card bills. Those monthly payments sometimes only see you tread water, not actually lower your overall balances. It’s as simple as listing all your credit card balances and total monthly payments and see if consolidation via a debt company, or via a personal loan, is a positive option. This consolidates all your debts into one monthly payment and can be easier to handle. Read more about our advice on debt consolidation here.