Interest rates have gone up for the third time in 2006 putting the average household budget under stress. Our quick tips help you save.
Knowing how to beat the supermarket sales tactics and when to buy generic can save you hundreds each year. Use these CHOICE shopping tips:
1. Buy petrol on a Tuesday. According to the ACCC, petrol is usually cheapest on Tuesdays in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. In Perth it's cheapest on Sundays.
2. Make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket. It's the key to avoiding impulse buying. Meal planning also helps you focus on the things you really need.
3. Look up and down and avoid in-store displays. More expensive items tend to be right in the line of sight while cheaper or supermarket own-brands tend to be located on the higher or lower shelves. Don't assume in-store displays, particularly at the end of the aisles and at the checkout are a special offer — compare their price with the same items that aren't being promoted.
4. Buy your shampoo from the supermarket. The three brands most preferred by our trialists were supermarket 'cheapies', which stacked up better than some of the pricier, more prestigious salon brands. They are:
- FRUITRIENCE Raspberry and Pink Grapefruit Enriched
- DOVE Revitalising
- GARNIER Fructis Fortifying
6. Try 'no-name' and supermarket own-brands for staples like sugar, salt and flour — they tend to be hard to pick from branded equivalents. Our taste testers also found little difference between generics and expensive brands for English breakfast tea bags, spaghetti and baked beans.
7. Use tap water instead of expensive bottled water. Our taste panel couldn't distinguish between either of the two leading brands of bottled water (MOUNT FRANKLIN and FRANTELLE) and Sydney tap water. It may be different in other places.
8. Buy treats and snacks in the supermarket instead of going to the convenience store.
9. Get at least three quotes before renewing your annual insurance cover. For comprehensive car insurance we found average annual savings between $250 for claim-free adult drivers to $1650 for a young driver just by shopping around.
10. BYO lunch. If you bring your own lunch to work three to four times a week, you could save over $500 per year.