How to have an economical home

Poles believe that they did not get appropriate financial knowledge in childhood, which has a negative impact on the way in which they manage money and the household budget in adulthood. That is why it is worth to learn about the methods which will help take care of our household finances and gain additional funds.

According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), in 2013 Poles spent the most money on food and non-alcoholic beverages (24.9%), on household exploitation and energy carriers (20.8%), and also on transport (9.6%)[1]. Is there a possibility to reduce these expenses? Certainly but provided one regularly complies with a few simple rules of running a household.

First of all: learn how to cook.

There are many ways to save money spent on food. It all starts in the shops where there are many traps awaiting us. That is why always go shopping with a ready list of necessary articles - do not succumb to special offers and discounts on products which you do not need at the moment. Buy only the products you really need. This will prevent us from wasting food. But if we bought too much, remember that can freeze many products or make conserves.

It is a good idea to plan at the beginning of each week or month a specific amount we want to spend on food. This enables a precise control of expenses. Also, try checking all planned shopping (especially the large one) earlier in price comparison engines. They can help you save a lot of money.

The next step is to prepare meals on your own. We should start by giving up frequent eating out. A dinner or simply sandwiches prepared at home are certainly cheaper and also healthier and often tastier than the food offered e.g. by catering companies at work.

It is also a good idea to learn the cooking tricks of the trade and try simple solutions. For example, steam cooking saves up to 70% of energy and is definitely healthier and very simple. All you need is an ordinary pot and a metal strainer covered with a lid. Preparing meals this way saves even PLN 350 a year.

Second of all: let your household appliances rest.

Act with reason instead of following the trends. Often already at the planning stage of our flat or house we make mistakes when choosing audio-video equipment and home appliances, which, instead of being energy-efficient, become a generator of expenses for years. Do not buy a refrigerator having a number of different functions which we will not use. Such a model is much more expensive and also this type of refrigerators consume more energy. Invest in new household appliances reasonably. Choose those that consume less energy, of energy class from A to A+++. Buy also simpler models as usually they last longer. Why? They have fewer elements that could break.

Remember also to switch a washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full. This way you will not only save time but also washing detergents, water, and energy. Also, wash in low temperatures and use the ECO mode.

Do not forget about switching off unused appliances and do not leave them in the standby mode. This may save you about PLN 50 a year. E.g. an ordinary extension cable with a switch will prove helpful, so that you can switch off all connected appliance in a single motion. This will not only lower your bills but may also protect your devices against damage, e.g. during a storm.

Thirdly: choose a bicycle.

If you use a car, collect points at petrol stations and try to drive to work with friends. Consider buying a city card or a monthly ticket, as it may be cheaper than buying petrol. "Park and ride" car parks are becoming increasingly popular in big cities. You can leave there your car for free and take the rest of the route in public transport. In the summer season, if the distance between your work and home is not very long, it is worth riding a bike. You save the costs of petrol and improve your body shape.

 

[1] GUS: Situation of households in 2013 in the light of the results of the study of household budgets.

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