Rising inflation drives up prices. The current situation is becoming a financial emergency, especially for families. FOCUS Online gives practical savings tips for families so that they can save a lot of money every month.

Electricity, petrol and groceries are particularly expensive. Inflation drives prices up. The situation is particularly difficult for many people on low incomes. You have to turn over every penny twice. But families are also struggling. Debt advisors warn of a tsunami. The impending utility bill is partly to blame for this.

For a few weeks, counseling centers have been registering increased requests for appointments. The demand has risen sharply, says the federal working group for debt counseling. In view of the situation, families have come under massive economic pressure, explains the authority, which has around 1,400 public advice centers in Germany.

keep a household book

First of all, it is important to get an overview. What is the income and what are the expenses?

You list your salary, rental income, child benefit and social benefits under Income. List the costs for rent, electricity, telephone, mobile phone, groceries, clothing or memberships under Expenses.

In the next step, it is important to reduce unnecessary costs. For this it is important:

a. Reduce costs through concrete savings targets

You can save up to 20 percent on groceries if you look for special offers, shop with a shopping list, use discount vouchers or buy your own brands. Paying only with cash can also help to reduce impulse purchases and thus keep the receipt small.

However, the following always applies: You should not do without, but choose more specifically. Often you will find branded products with discounts. The goods are often even cheaper than no-name items. In addition, you can often save a lot on meat, vegetables, sausage, fruit and yoghurt in the supermarket in the evening hours.

Set yourself monthly savings goals that you want to meet and document them. When it comes to fixed expenses such as rent, electricity or the subscription card to go to work, the scope for action is limited.

b. Cut expenses or look for cheaper tariffs

You can usually cancel a cell phone or landline tariff after the end of the contract. Always take a closer look at bills from insurance companies, landline connections, mobile phone providers, fitness studios, streaming services or subscriptions. Which tariffs do you get from other providers at a lower price? Which expenses can you even eliminate entirely?

For example, coffee on the go and breakfast rolls from the bakery cost over 100 euros a month. It is cheaper to make a butter sandwich at home and take the coffee to the office in a thermos mug.

But you can also save on the monthly gym membership if you train there once every three months. It is better to use season tickets or alternative training offers. There are also family tariffs or memberships that are transferable within a family. Such offers are almost 20 percent cheaper than classic individual contracts.

You can also save with your bank account. You can save the monthly fees at other banks or receive services at much lower prices. If you have taken out several loans, it helps to bundle the loans. In many cases, the conditions are significantly better.

If you have slipped into the overdraft facility and are having trouble getting back into the green zone, you should think about a loan. Interest rates are much lower here.

In the kitchen

Electricity costs in the kitchen can be reduced if you regularly defrost the freezer and set the refrigerator correctly. Case study: With a one centimeter layer of ice, the refrigerator uses 50 percent more electricity.

When cooking and baking, you can use the residual heat from the hotplate or stove. A cooking plan can also help. Think about what you want to cook the following week and shop accordingly. Not only do you keep an overview of the costs, you can also plan better with the leftovers from the previous day. For example, you and your counterpart simply take the food from the previous day to work. This saves you both going to the canteen. With two meals a day, a family saves 100 euros per month.

In the bathroom and on the toilet

Anyone who takes a shower for eleven minutes uses over 170 liters of water and around six kWh of energy. You can save on showering with water-saving shower heads.

There are models with a save button. When sufferers lather, they press the button and the flow stops. Other models light up and warn when water consumption is particularly high due to a higher temperature. You can find such a model here.

Water-saving shower heads are slightly more expensive. This saves between 60 and 120 euros per person and per year.

Families can also save water when flushing the toilet if you use the right model. On average, a person uses ten liters of water per flush.

New toilet crates have an economy button with an integrated flush stop (for example here). This halves the water consumption per wash cycle to under six liters. A family of four can save more than 170 euros per year with the economy button on the toilet cistern compared to the classic old model without a economy button.

In the living room

Rely on LED bulbs and lamps. The purchase costs a lot of money, but it can be worth it in the long run. The saving is ten percent in electricity costs compared to the classic light bulb.

TVs, receivers, stereo systems, laptops or game consoles continue to consume electricity in standby mode. These annoying and unnecessary electricity costs can be avoided with multiple sockets that have an on and off button.

The prices for swimming pools, the zoo or other leisure activities have increased in recent months.

Families can still save if they use family tariffs, family cards or family days, for example. It’s worth keeping an eye out for. Possible savings for a family: Over 10 euros when entering the zoo. In the museum, it is even more than 20 euros for a family of four on “Museum Day”.

Children’s books have also become more expensive. The culprit is the rising paper price on the raw materials market. It is cheaper to borrow books from the city library.

Supermarket prices are skyrocketing, but we consumers also have to dig deeper into our pockets for electricity, petrol, furniture and clothing. What did you observe? What do you do to save money each month for yourself and your family? Send an e-mail to Konstantinos.mitsis@burda-forward.de with your name and telephone number