A healthy savings account is a privilege, especially in these unprecedented times. The Coronavirus pandemic has hit many South African households hard; people have suffered tremendous job and income losses due to the national state of emergency. While slowly seen civilian life starts to go back to a semblance of normalcy and businesses are resuming operations, the majority of the workforce is getting back to the office, and those who still can work from home are doing so.
Now that the initial panic of COVID-19 has somewhat subsided – although we are not in the clear – it’s time to replenish those savings that took a hit during the pandemic. It’s never too late to start saving, and we have a few tips that will save you some coins that you can put back into your savings.
Here are five tips on how to save money in lockdown:
Save on utilities
Here are easy ways to save on utilities like water and electricity:
- Turn your geyser temperature down
- Only wash full loads of laundry
- Wash your clothes in cold water
- Limit the rinse cycles on your washing machine to one
- Use natural lighting whenever possible
- Unplug appliances when you’re not using them
- Use a bucket to wash your car as opposed to a hosepipe
- Water the lawn when the sun has set
Cook at home
Now that restaurants are operational as well as your favourite food delivery apps, MRD and UberEats, it’s tempting to order-in instead of cook. Food delivery apps notoriously charge up to 32% more for your meal, excluding the delivery charge, according to research conducted. Cooking at home can save you a lot of money as opposed to using a food delivery app.
The article further states that:
“The results showed that all of the fast-food outlets charged more for their food items on these delivery apps when compared to their in-store prices.”
If you don’t have enough time to prepare your meals after work at home, consider meal-prepping. Take a few hours to peel veggies and steam your meats to freeze. Meal prepping will ensure that you have a set menu for the week and are less likely to fall into the temptation of ordering in. For fast cooking, invest in an Air Fryer – the revolutionary machine is a favourite among millennials who don’t have enough time to cook.
Use price-comparison apps
Before making a big purchase, do your research and compare prices. If you’re the type to buy something at the first retailer you see it from, take this time in lockdown to do research and get the best price. Use price-comparison apps like PriceCheck to get a thorough price comparison.
It’s essential to check prices and to understand the retail cycle. New items typically require you to pay full price. After about 30 days, however, the item will most likely be available on discount because retailers don’t want to keep old inventory. If an item is not an immediate or emergency need for you, it’s better to wait until it’s on sale. If you need it urgently, however, do shop around and compare prices.
Stay abreast of specials at your local supermarkets
Ask about the daily deals or specials at your local supermarket, or you might be missing out on massive savings on household items. Joining loyalty programs is also beneficial, and the biggest grocery chain stores in South Africa all have respective loyalty program structures.
In addition to joining loyalty programs, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the benefits so you can take full advantage of the perks.
Seasonal eating means consuming fresh produce at the time that it is harvested and in-season. In addition to the health benefits of eating seasonally, there are clear monetary benefits too. When fresh produce is more abundant and in-season, the price is lower. And eating locally also drives the price down, because there are less travelling expenses and storage required.
Saving money takes a lot of discipline, and we hope the tips in this article will get you off to a good start and allow you to have more disposable money to put towards your savings.