The cost of living is exploding. Rent, electricity, energy and groceries are more expensive than ever. A visit to a restaurant or ice cream parlor becomes a luxury item. FOCUS Online says how you can save hundreds of euros a month with small immediate measures in households.
Inflation has been around eight percent for months. Gasoline is still expensive despite the tank discount and a small weekly purchase in the supermarket is almost ten euros more expensive than a year ago.
More and more readers of FOCUS Online complain by e-mail to Germany’s price champion, vent their anger. The basic tenor: Everything is getting more expensive, nowadays you can’t even afford to visit a restaurant, café or ice cream parlour.
Saving is the motto to get through this phase of price increases. But how do you start? FOCUS Online says how you can save hundreds of euros a month with simple immediate measures. Get started in July.
Debt advice centers explain when asked by FOCUS Online: “Many people often do not know how high their monthly expenses are.” It is therefore worthwhile immediately to get an overview of regular and irregular costs and income.
First, note the income. What goes into the account each month? List your salary, wages, pension, child benefit or income from real estate here.
The next step is to write down the regular expenses. These are fixed costs that are deducted from the account each month. These include rent, insurance, electricity, telephone, internet, cell phone, streaming services, installment payments, broadcasting or membership fees.
For insurance that is incurred annually, parking fees or car insurance, use the “annual expenses” item. Add up the costs and divide the total by twelve months.
Now it is important to find out how much money you have to live on each month. Simply deduct regular expenses from income. You should now divide this sum well. You use it to pay for groceries, clothing, special household expenses, drugstore items or leisure activities. FOCUS Online advises: put money on the side for the utility bill and also an emergency buffer. Even if it’s only five bucks a month you can put aside, do it.
Now write down what you spent. Keep all invoices and receipts.
Towards the middle of the month you make a cash register crash. You calculate how much money you have already spent and what is left to live on. This way you keep track of things and don’t slip into the red. In principle, you should not skimp on groceries.
Supermarkets and discounters have greatly reduced special offers. In the brochures there are significantly fewer offers, as an analysis by FOCUS Online shows.
In June in particular, supply shrank by almost 10 percent compared to May. Coffee, jam, ice cream and detergent were much less common in the special offer. Butter, milk, yoghurt and meat more frequently.
In order to get the greatest savings potential, it helps to rely on no-name brands. Here, too, there were massive upward price adjustments, but compared to brand manufacturers, the products are significantly cheaper.
If money for groceries has become tight, you have to pay attention to special offers. Here it helps to involve several supermarkets and discounters and to divide the purchases according to discounts. If you need detergent and there is an offer at Rewe, go shopping there. If your favorite yoghurt is reduced at Lidl, visit these discounter branches and if Aldi has an offer for meat, grab it there.
If you have found offers at several supermarkets and want to save money on petrol, ask people around you in a friendly manner whether good friends, neighbors or colleagues will shop there and can bring you the products.
Calculations show that a family of four can save almost 30 euros on weekly shopping with special offers.
You can shower less and save money as a result, but doing without is generally not a good advisor.
You can achieve a high savings potential if you buy an economical shower head. Rather invest in a higher quality model. A single minute in the shower uses 15 liters of water. The economical shower head reduces consumption to seven liters.
The more water you save per minute, the less limescale builds up on the shower head. There are cheap models for around 20 euros in hardware stores and online. You can find an example here.
If you are used to taking very hot showers, reduce the temperature in stages. Always a few degrees less per shower, soon you will get used to the lower temperatures.
You should also turn off the water when you lather yourself, this will save you from wasting water. As a rule, showering should not last longer than six minutes. With a savings shower head, you get about 30 cents per shower.
FOCUS Online advises: Listen to music while showering. After two songs (three minutes each) you should be done.
With an aerator that you attach to the tap, you can also save money when brushing your teeth and when cleaning your head and face. This economy aerator or economy aerator is a small sieve that mixes air into the water jet so that you need less water for the usual strong jet. This can halve the water consumption.
Such assignments are also available online. For example at Amazon for less than four euros (or here ).
Also read: Immediate savings measures for the home – Brings over 100 euros a year! What you should now change when it comes to hot water
The washing machine is a big power guzzler. On average, a family with two children turns on the washing machine a good five times a week. That’s a lot of money.
Surf tip: How to save up to 250 euros a year with your washing machine
The most important rule when washing dishes: short programs use more water and electricity than normal and eco programs because the washing water has to be brought to a higher temperature within a shorter period of time. In addition, the cleaning agents can act for longer with programs that run longer.
It is therefore better to use an eco program or one with a low 45 to 55 degrees. Pre-rinsing is usually not necessary.
Always fill up the machine. If the dishwasher is only half full, you are using water and electricity unnecessarily.
Every household appliance that we don’t use saves energy and costs. You can do without the dryer in summer. Drying clothes outside is free.
The Industry Association for Personal Care and Detergents (IKW) estimates savings of around 150 euros per year if a four-person household dries half of the laundry outside.
If you want to keep an eye on your water consumption when watering your plants, you should think about a garden water meter .
It determines how much water is used in the garden on the supply line to the outside water tap, explain the garden professionals from the Association of Homeowners (VWE). Because the price for drinking water is made up of two parts: the water used and the costs for the dirty water produced.
In most cases, the suppliers do not measure the wastewater. It appears on the bill at the same rate as the drinking water. But the water used in the garden seeps into the ground and does not cause any waste water, so garden owners may be able to save here.
The water supply is regulated very differently locally. Garden owners should inquire with their municipality or their water supplier whether and under what conditions a garden water meter is permitted. It is conceivable, for example, that a specialist company will have to assemble it.
Ultimately, you have to calculate the costs and effort carefully and see in each individual case whether the installation is worthwhile. Especially since the prices for waste water can vary greatly locally. According to VWE, differences of up to 3 euros per cubic meter are not uncommon.
Either way, drinking water should be used sparingly in the garden and on the balcony. Collecting water in a rain barrel can therefore be a cheap alternative. But this is often not enough for large properties, and there is usually not enough space on the balcony.