* Jennifer Charlton offers advice on how to save a few cents *
I know that some of the advice I’m going to give will apply only to someone who has a certain amount of money to spend, and who is able to have more than one credit card, but these are some of the ways I save my cents:
- When shopping, I always look out for specials, especially on things that have some shelf life. I don’t think I ever pay full price for a box of tissues – I buy a few every time they’re on special. If you don’t have rats in your ceiling, buy extra toilet paper when it’s on sale and store it in the ceiling – it will double up as insulation!
- Some shops offer cut prices on fresh items that are about to exceed their shelf life. I know that if I go to Checkers after 4pm on any given day, I’m likely to be able to buy my veggies, fruit and some baked goods for half or sometimes less than half price.
- Always check what the Rands per kilo cost is on the shelf at the shops – that’s the only way to compare brands against each other when the sizes of the packaging differs. And even within an item – don’t always assume that the bigger package has the lower Rands/kilo cost! I sometimes find 750g of cornflakes are cheaper per kilo than 1kg.
- Don’t be too proud to buy, or receive, second-hand school clothes. When the children are young, they grow so quickly, they might only end up wearing something for one term. If your school has a second-hand shop, use it. Otherwise, get to know other parents and receive and pass on school clothes that are in good condition. It will save you a fortune in the end.
- If it doesn’t cost you anything, get whatever benefit cards stores offer you – Dischem, the Jet/CNA Thank-U card, the MySchool Card – even if the benefits are slow to add up, or even benefit someone else and not you, at some point you’ll be able to use them to save some cents!
- If I’m buying my groceries at Pick ‘n Pay, then it’s important to use my Discovery Credit Card. That’s because I can double or triple my Smart Shopper points, as well as earn cash back on Vitality on money spent on healthy foods. From time to time I print out my Smart Shopper points as cash, and reduce my grocery bill by a healthy amount!
- If I’m shopping at Clicks, then I use my Clicks credit card, which is linked to my Clicks Clubcard. I double my points on everything I spend at Clicks. I also get a percentage of what I spend on my Clicks card at other shops – up to a limit. I earn Clicks vouchers which I can spend in the store – reducing my spend on health products and earning me points towards my next payout at the same time!
- Use free ways of communicating wherever possible. Send a What’s app rather than an SMS. Send a text rather than making a call. Use free wifi wherever possible and save the data package on your phone for when you really need it. We’ve got a package on our Telkom line that gives us “free” landline to landline calls nationwide up to one hour. (I know we’re paying for it as part of the package, but since we need the package anyway for our internet connection, it’s no additional cost). And research the best possible packages for your cellphone and home connectivity.
- If you can, install a pre-paid electricity meter in your house. It makes you so much more aware of exactly how much electricity you’re using!
Jennifer Charlton is the Film and Radio Manager at Heartlines