Personal Finance By News Canada 936 Views

4 ways to save money on household expenses

(NC) With inflation and high interest rates, most of us are feeling a little short of cash these days. Here are four tips for cutting back on your expenses.

Minimize food waste
Over the past couple of years, it seems like the price of everything at the grocery store has gone up. So, it’s important that you don’t waste the food you buy.

Try “upcycling” leftovers: use last night’s chicken in a sandwich for lunch or use the leftover veggies as part of a salad. Freeze fresh produce before it spoils. If extra bananas are starting to turn brown, for example, toss them in the freezer and use them later in smoothies.

Also, be aware that “best before” dates are not the same as expiry dates. They simply indicate peak freshness. Unopened and properly stored foods can be safely consumed after the best before date has passed.

Turn down the power
There are a number of little steps you can take to reduce daily energy use. Most appliances consume “phantom power” even when they’re not in use. So, unplug things like your toaster, DVD player and gaming console when not in use. And, when the weather’s nice, skip the dryer and hang your clothes on a line instead.

Invest in efficiency
Everyone knows the phrase, “you have to spend money to make money.” Well, if you’re investing in a home reno or replacing an aging appliance, it’s worth investing in energy efficient options. Adding extra insulation, for example, will help reduce your heating and cooling costs throughout the year. A programmable thermostat allows you to turn down the heating or cooling while the house is empty, and then set it to return to a comfortable level before you return. And choosing the most efficient appliances on the market will reduce energy consumption, saving you money in the long-term.

Opt out of the RRO
The regulated rate option, or RRO, is the default energy rate option for Albertans. The rate is approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission at the beginning of every month and can spike significantly based on market conditions. If you’re on the default electricity rate these days, you might have noticed you’re paying more than you used to. . But when you opt out, you can get a fixed rate from a provider like ATCOenergy. Then you’ll know precisely what rate you’ll pay every month and won’t have to worry about energy price spikes.