Changing the way you shop on a day to day basis can help increase your savings massively. Your shopping habits say a lot about you as a person, for example supermarket snobs who only use Waitrose or Marks & Spencer because ‘nothing else is good enough’ – WRONG!

Supermarkets all have their pro’s and con’s so you should be using a variety of them to make sure you are getting the most value for money. Whether it is a budget supermarket (who by the way, have some of the most delicious deli meats!) or a local corner shop that just happens to be having a special offer on coffee. So how can you make the most of your money?

Well, firstly shop around! It doesn’t pay anymore to be loyal to one supermarket for your whole shop. Yes, sometimes it’s easier that having to go to two different stores, but if you think and plan ahead, then you should be able to manage it just fine. Check online price comparison sites for the main items that you buy, and also have a look at the prices of the stores own brand alternatives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with own brand items – in fact, most are just as good as the real brand, if not better. Also, if you sign up for email updates from your favourite manufacturers you can sometimes be sent money off vouchers which can also help reduce the cost! But it’s not just as simple as that. Sometimes there are some really good offers which you know are not going to be back for a while – and if it’s a product that you buy a lot of, then it makes sense to buy a few extra whilst they are at a reduced price (depending on how much money you have to spend, and the space that you have at home) – Supermarkets make it really easy to see if you are getting the best value for money – on the label with the price it also gives you a cost per amount, for example “£0.20/100g” so even though the overall price of the item your buying is the cheapest, sometimes it can work out cheaper to buy in a larger quantity because the price vs. weight is lower.

I know one thing that I always had a problem with was impulse buying. Filling my trolley or basket with useless crap that I really didn’t need was a day to day occurrence. Through sheer will power I have managed to overcome that, but some people may struggle to do that and need a little bit of an extra push. One way of doing this is by doing your grocery shopping online – then there’s no shop displays to tempt you. No big “Special Offer” signs to draw you in. You can just simply do the shopping that you need to, and that’s it. It’s simply delivered to your door. No problems with additional spending there then.

The last thing that I’ve found is that I can actually manage to get fresher fruit and vegetable, at a lower cost from my local markets! The produce is always delicious, and you can always barter with the man or woman to give you an even better deal when you are buying a lot from them.

Cutting the Costs of Car Hire

More often than not, people are convinced that all car hire companies have the same rates and hence, shopping for the best price is a waste of their time. False! The rates at which you can rent a car vary quite a lot based on the company as well as the reason you need the automobile in the first place.

In addition to comparing rates, you should know there are numerous ways you can find a vehicle to rent at a highly affordable price. Let’s elaborate.

Virtual discounts
The costs associated with leasing a car can be considerably reduced if you check out the main coupon sites on a regular basis. Even if you are not a regular on these websites, you can still find discount codes by simply typing in the name of the company you want to do business with followed by coupon code. Moreover, if you are currently a member of:

One of the frequent flyer programs
A corporate travel association
…then you can be certain to benefit from price cuts!

Stay clear of airport rentals
In spite of the fact that it is very handy to hire a car from a location near the airport, it is necessary to mention that such rentals are usually accompanied by an extra fee. Granted, the last thing you want to do after a 10-hour trip is to shop around for the best rates on renting a car. However, do not let the convenience of such car rental providers overshadow other important considerations, like the price. As a rule of thumb, hiring a car from an airport location usually means you will be paying approximately 10% extra for the rental. On a side note, the ideal situation implies booking a car before your trip and having it waiting for you at the airport.

Skip suspicious pre-fill options
In general, accepting the topped-off the gas tank option when renting a car will result in having to pay an incredible price per gallon when you return the automobile with an empty tank. The best approach is to ask the rental company to fill the car prior to your departure and remember to refill the tank with gas before you return it in order to avoid paying extra fees.

Rent the car for longer than you actually need it
In the eventuality that you are reserving a car just for the weekend, then it is a good idea to hire it for a few extra hours or even another day. In case you did not know, many car rental companies are involved in marketing campaigns addressing leisure travellers who benefit from lower prices than those travelling on weekends.

Avoid over-paying for the insurance
Even though most drivers know this one, the truth is that they always end up getting more insurance coverage than they actually need. Essentially, you should not give into the pressure exerted by various clerks when you sign the papers, as most of the time the coverage does not really apply for your case. Also, don’t forget to check out your current auto insurance to see if it includes coverage for rental cars.



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