Your Money Matters: Life hacks, bargains and local deals
- Credit: Brittany Woodman
As the EDP's Your Money Matters campaign continues, today we launch a weekly round-up of tips and advice to help people in our region tackle the cost of living crisis
Many of us are searching for ways to streamline our spending at the moment. Sometimes the best advice can be simple – as presented in this week’s life hacks.
British Gas has highlighted the marginal gains of keeping a close eye on ‘vampire devices’ that can drain power when on standby, such as televisions and microwaves.
The firm’s research indicates UK households are spending £3.16bn annually by leaving such devices on standby when not being used, the equivalent of around £147 a year per household.
The research found it costs around £24.61 a year to leave a television on standby and a further £23.10 for a set top box such as from BT, Sky or Virgin media.
Games consoles (£12.17), microwaves (£16.37), showers (£9.80) and washing machines (£4.73) are all mentioned as well.
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Be willing to haggle
UK consumer champion Which? surveyed broadband customers to find those who had haggled with their supplier over price had saved an average of £85 per year, a discount of around 20pc.
This rose to £128 on average annually for those with a combined broadband and TV package. Which? pointed out that the worst that can happen is the salesperson can say no.
Summoning up some courage can be worth it though, with Which?’s research also finding that discounts of up to 20pc can be secured from popular retailers online through the chat function.
Streaming service subscriptions have become common for many of us, whether it’s to watch your favourite shows from Netflix, Amazon, Disney or elsewhere.
Results of our own cost of living survey were revealed this week and found that 31pc said they had cut subscriptions.
Many will also be familiar with the habit of scrolling through the many options available to us – often being blinded by choice, while trying to settle on something that appeals to everyone who is watching.
Reducing the options available can not only streamline that often frustrating process but will also save money. With most services available on a monthly direct debit, stick to one service and then cancel once you’ve watched your top choices, to switch to another service for a few months.
Each week we’ll bring you some of the best deals on offer in local towns. Aaron McMillan brings us the best of Dereham.
Harris Hardware, in the town's Market Place, is running a sale featuring various items, from gardening gear to tools and everything in between.
The sale has offers reaching up to 50pc off and includes items on display in the shop window. As products sell, the display is being continuously replenished.
Hawthorn and Bee, which sells eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products, is inviting people to help themselves to free fruit and veg from a box in the store.
The Wellington Road firm has teamed up with the charity Rethink Food, and is refilling the box every Tuesday and Thursday.
Starlings toy shop, in Wright's Walk, is offering up to 30pc off some of its Lego sets, and up to 50pc off Playmobile sets. They also have up to £20 off toys like tractors and trailers.
Francesca Marie’s, a newly-opened salon in Aldiss Court, is offering 10pc off when you spend £50.
Deals are subject to change, check with companies beforehand.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Those receiving certain benefits who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or who have at least one child under four years old can receive Healthy Start vouchers. These can be used to buy cows' milk, formula milk, fruit, veg and other food. Go to services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/apply-for-healthy-start for details.
Moorish Falafel Bar in the Norwich Lanes has a two-for-one offer running on all falafel classics, from Tuesday to Friday between 3pm and 5pm, to those who download their app. Check out their Instagram for details.
We asked followers of the EDP Facebook group Money Saving Tips UK to share their advice.
Ruth Houghton: Make sure when shopping you buy the items that have the best value per kilogram or litre etc. Sometimes you have to look at several tickets on the shelves to find the best price.
Maria Rix: Don't leave lights on unless they are essential. Fill your kettle before you go to bed, it will save energy because the water won’t be so cold. Put washing on the line until nearly dry and finish the process in tumble dryer - every little helps!
Richard James Bonham: When making a hot drink don't over-fill the kettle, just put in what you need as kettles eat up the units.
Maureen Hargreaves: When cooking, do more than one meal. Otherwise, batch cooking. Ovens use more fuel.
Roisin Burnett: Squeeze the last little bit out of the bottle, or pack, it'll save in the long run.
Lily Dallimore: Any money that comes to you in cash, if you get given £50 or if you find 5p behind the sofa, it all goes away into a pot.
Sylvia Jackson: Set a budget for presents and look in charity shops. Amazing what you can get for a tenner or less.
Heather Bird Wayman: Use leftover veg for homemade soup, lots of tasty soups can be made cheaply, are healthy and warming. Look up recipes online for inspiration.
Taylor Brammer: Put a set amount of money every month into a locked savings account as soon as you're paid so you don't have chance to spend it.
Samuel Mathewson: Sticking to a budget for social occasions!