Proven Strategies To Save On Your Next Grocery And Hydro Bill (and Get Financially Smarter)

Proven Strategies To Save On Your Next Grocery And Hydro Bill (and Get Financially Smarter)

Saving on your monthly bills may be a financial goal for you right now. Savings are especially important when the economy is struggling. Having some funds in your account for a rainy day is a common tactic that any financial advisor may recommend. However, how easy is it to save on your grocery and hydro bill? Here are a few strategies that can directly help with your annual expenses. Some may seem like small changes to your spending habits but can have larger impacts in the long run.

Strategies for saving on your grocery bill

Buy generic brands instead of name brands 

You can save 25% on your groceries if you buy generic brand groceries instead of name brands. Sometimes generic brands don’t taste as good as brand names, but you can work around this. For example, real Cheerios taste better than generic brands of Cheerios, but if you’re buying for a toddler, they probably won’t care. When it comes to staples like sugar, salt, flour, bleach, and many other items, for most people there is no discernible difference in quality—only in the price. You might not want to completely ignore brand name groceries—they do go on sale—however, if you can substitute generic or no name brands for brand names, you can begin to experience some real savings.

Shop at a discount produce store 

Choosing a discount produce store can help you save on your grocery bills. In some cases shopping at a discount produce store can save you at least 10% when compared to more premium retailers. This again relates to the previous point above that premium priced goods does not always mean better tasting or higher quality. These discounts can be based on comparing name brand goods that are available at every retailer. By shopping at a budget produce store or a farmer's market, you may save up to 30% on fruits and vegetables. Some farmer markets will save you a significant amount of money, while others will not. Some  supermarkets sell high-quality vegetables and discount stores typically sell lower-quality food at drastically reduced costs. If you value premium or organic food, you will have to pay more for it. In contrast, if your produce does not always have to be flawless, you may be able to save a lot by shopping at a budget produce store. Compare pricing at local vegetable stores, farmer's markets, and grocery stores to see if you can discover some excellent deals.

Price match with flyers or deals online 

Shopping at a grocery store that price matches competitor's flyers can save you at least 10%. Bring your flyers with you when you go shopping to take advantage of this. This type of strategy may not appeal to everyone, but if you want to save roughly 10% on your annual grocery bill, this is an excellent tip to follow. Some big name  grocery stores are ideal for this as some do not offer this benefit. If you are unsure it is best to ask the associate if they price match before you begin filing your basket or cart. 

Shop with cash and stow that credit card away

If you leave your credit cards at home and purchase with cash, you may save up to 12% to 18%. According to some studies, those who use credit cards spend twelve to eighteen percent more than those who use cash.  If you just use cash or a debit card to shop, you can only spend what you have. Shopping with $50 in your wallet is very different from shopping with a $10,000 credit limit. This will force you to make more mindful choices on your essentials rather than buying anything you may like. Try utilizing cash for all of your purchases, such as clothing, shoes, gadgets, and restaurants, and see how much you can save. If you truly want to use your credit card to earn points, stick to your food or shopping list and you may still come out ahead.


Strategies for saving on your hydro bill

Get a programmable thermostat

Heating accounts for almost 60% of your yearly power bill, and it can be observed that your expenditures grow by 5% for every degree over 20 you set the thermostat. One way to manage your heating and cooling that can help in saving on your hydro bill is by incorporating a programmable thermostat. It can allow you to set the temperature based on your schedule. If no one is home your thermostat can reduce heating and cooling. With a set schedule programmed it can turn on 30 minutes before you arrive home for a comfortable indoor temperature. A programmable thermostat easily allows you to manage your heating and cooling without having to manually take care of it, it is more like set-it-and-forget-it. 

Lower the temperature in any empty rooms 

As mentioned when you are not home or not using a room, there is no reason for a room to be fully heated while it is not in use. It is recommended to lower the temperature in unoccupied rooms by roughly 9 degrees Celsius and lower it by a few degrees Celsius if you are only going out for a few hours. Your programmable thermostat will be useful here, where you can set the appropriate temperature even when you are not home or you can set the temperature to lower if you always leave at the same time.

Caulk and weather strip doors and windows 

A silent issue that can attack your hydro bill is the presence of drafts around any of the fixtures of your home. It is crucial that these areas are properly sealed to ensure no leakage is occurring that can cause the heat or air conditioning from seeping outdoors. Caulking and weather stripping can help keep heat inside by reducing drafts. It is recommended to seal any gaps around windows, fireplaces, doors, and the hatch to the roof area, as well as replacing the weather stripping around the garage door, mail hole in the front door, and dog flap. In some cases, it may even be better if you can block up some of these openings entirely to preserve your indoor temperature. 

Wash laundry with cold water and hang it to dry

Save on your hydro bill with this simple but effective tactic. Washing your laundry with cold water is such an effective money saving technique because it preserves the electricity that would otherwise be used to heat the water that would wash your laundry. In addition, it is best to do larger fuller loads rather than doing smaller, more frequent washes. When your washer is done you can further save on your hydro bill by hanging your clothes to dry. This may prove to be difficult in the winter months where clothing will only freeze more than dry when placed outside. When using your dryer during the winter you could place a dry towel with your load. This can reduce your drying time. Just be sure to plan ahead and account for the extra space when you first start washing your laundry. 

Saving on your monthly bills can translate to annual savings. These strategies can be implemented when you get home or the next time you are in the grocery store. Taking small steps and slowly incorporating these strategies can directly affect your bills and just watch your spending go down from your expenses.