An Australian consumer advocate has revealed some simple measures that you can take to cut your household expenses.
JoAcukalo, consumer affairs commentator, said there were simple ways to save hundreds of dollars a year – and all that is needed is a little bit of prior knowledge.
FEMAIL looks at Jo's best suggestions, including why it is better to use a basket in the supermarket and how you could do it better without your own health insurance policy.
Even when your cell phone is on the move, you do not sign contracts with a new device until you are sure you have the best deal
1. Think twice before you buy a new phone
When it's time to upgrade your cell phone, resist the urge to race to the store to pay a lot of money for the latest device.
Consumer for consumer affairs Jo Ucukalo (photo) has revealed some of her best advice to save on the basics
Jo recommends taking the time to visit as many mobile phone providers as possible, especially as many now offer unlocked contracts.
Vodafone is a provider that makes it possible to exchange your old device for a new credit.
& # 39; It means that you can hand over your existing phone, upgrade to a new one, and receive cash back from your bill every month by exchanging your phone & # 39 ;, she said 7News.
It is also possible to save even more by making clear exactly what you need.
She said you might be in a situation where you need unlimited data, a solution that is ideal for single-use households.
If that is the case, it would be completely feasible to lose fixed services or broadband.
2. Meet the National Broadband Network (NBN)
The NBN is a broadband network that is currently being rolled out throughout Australia. It offers all houses and businesses a fast, reliable connection to the internet.
If you have been notified that you have to switch to NBN, you must be the first to know that this is being sold on four different speed plans.
Jo said to make it easier to choose the best plan for your home, to take into account the number of people you live with and how many devices will be used at the same time.
She advised that peak usage is between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., which means that if you did not purchase the right plan, you might experience some problems.
"There are 180 different providers to choose from, and the ACCC has great information about how the major providers are performing in terms of speed," she said.
3. Buy the best deals for gas and electricity
If you take the time to look around for better deals on gas and electricity, you can save as much as $ 800 a year
According to Jo, those who look around for the best deals on gas and electricity can save as much as $ 800 every year.
Although comparing prices can be tricky, the expert said that a government website called Energy Made Easy makes the task more manageable.
She said it is also possible to negotiate a better deal with the supplier by simply calling and asking what offers they have.
4. The layout of the supermarket is a science
Shopping with a basket instead of a cart means that you are less tempted to fill it to the brim
Whether you are a regular grocer or would rather visit a couple of times a week, chances are that you have too much money unless you are aware.
Jo said that supermarkets are designed to look as attractive as possible and at the same time encourage people to move between different areas.
To avoid the temptation of impulse buying, the expert advised to shop in the same store, so you know where everything is, always use a list and where possible a basket, the less space you have, the less likely you want to fill this up .
Five tips for shopping in a supermarket to save time and money:
Shop for products that are in season: Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables can only benefit you because you do not pay unreasonable prices, because the products are not shipped from far.
Shop around the middle aisles: By shopping on the edge of the middle aisles and only shopping the perimeter, you will only find the healthiest foods, including fruits, vegetables, products, meat and grains.
Look up down in aisles: When you reach an aisle, scan it from top to bottom and try to avoid the middle, unless you really need something.
Delete unwanted items before checkout: When you wait for the cashier to pay, load the items into your shopping cart and watch for the things that may have slipped. Use this opportunity to throw away any extras.
Always make a list: By making a list of essential items, you go into the store with a plan. Check each item in the list while adding it to your shopping cart.
5. Consider whether a private health insurance policy is suitable for you
Private health insurance policies are sold to many as something that is needed, but according to Jo this is not necessarily the case.
She said this type of insurance is useful for people over 60; women who want to become pregnant; those who suffer from chronic health problems or people with a high income who pay the Medicare tax surcharge.
Other than this, you may not need private health insurance and your medical conditions, if not too complex, can be treated within the private system.
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