Sorting out your finances for the new year – particularly during an ongoing cost-of-living crisis – can seem daunting, but CHOICE experts are here to help with a few simple tips that could save you thousands.
“Saving money doesn’t always have to be a grind. Simply switching your health insurance provider or spreading your weekly shop across different supermarkets could save you a significant amount of cash.”Mark Serrels, CHOICE Editorial Director
Here are six ways to save more than $7200 this year:
1. Turn your appliances off at the powerpoint – save up to $240 a year
“Our nationally representative survey showed that in September 2023, 85% of Australians were concerned about electricity costs. There are several appliances around your house that cost you money even when you think you’ve turned them off. Printers and wireless routers are known to be big energy hogs. By turning them off at the powerpoint, you will ensure you’re not wasting unnecessary money,” says Serrels.
2. Switch your health insurance provider – save up to $1730 a year
CHOICE experts independently compare policies across 46 health funds and often see significant savings on offer if you shop around. The same cover with a different insurer can be hundreds of dollars cheaper. Whether you have Gold, Silver or a Bronze policy, you’ll likely be able to find a cheaper deal that will give you the same amount of cover.
3. Change the way you wash your clothes – save up to $970 a year
By washing a full load of clothes on a cold cycle rather than small loads in warm water, plus switching to a cheaper (but just as effective) detergent and using less of it, you could save about $440.
If you want to cut your costs even further, try ditching fabric softener to save about $76 per year. Line drying your clothes could also save you nearly $450 a year.
4. Get smart with your beverages – save up to $2350 a year
CHOICE compared the cost of making your coffee at home versus buying coffee from a cafe. Making your coffee at home, including the costs for buying the machine, ingredients and upkeep, would cost around $1284 for two cups daily over a year. The same amount from a cafe could cost around $3504 – saving you $2200 by making your own at home.
“Making your own sparkling water at home using a soda maker could also save you $150 a year when compared to purchasing bottles from the supermarket,” says Serrels.
5. Change your energy provider – save around $285.50 a year
Energy retailers love to lure us in with cheaper rates, knowing we’ll usually stick with them even when prices increase to avoid the hassle of switching. Luckily, CHOICE has partnered with BillHero to make it easier for you to find a better deal on your energy bills. A BillHero annual subscription will cost between $49 and $79, with the average first switch saving being $350 – meaning you could save between $271 and $300.
6. Spread your weekly shop – save around $1664 a year
Doing your weekly shop at one supermarket is convenient, but it might cost you at the checkout. We’ve found you can save up to 20% on your groceries if you shop around to find the best deals. If you’re lucky enough to have a few supermarkets in a nearby shopping centre, it’s worth spreading your weekly shop across different stores to reduce your grocery bill.