Comparing energy suppliers and carefully reviewing your bills are key steps in becoming an informed consumer.
Ongoing cost of living pressures continue to impact household budgets.
With all Canberrans trying to make their dollars stretch further, here are some tips that may help you become a savvy consumer and save some money along the way.
- Set up a realistic budget
- Shop around
- Read and keep paperwork in relation to purchases
- Look after your receipts
- Know your consumer guarantee rights and when you’re entitled to a refund, repair or replacement
- If something goes wrong with a purchase, talk to the business and describe the problem and explain how you would like them to fix it.
Learn more about consumer guarantees in the ACT.
Use unit pricing when grocery shopping
Considering unit pricing is one way to help you budget and save while grocery shopping.
Unit pricing at supermarkets shows not just the cost of a product, but the value of that product as a cost per standard unit of measurement. This is usually displayed on shelf labels.
Unit pricing allows you to compare the cost of grocery products quickly and accurately – for example between brands, specials and package sizes, between packaged and unpackaged, or between fresh and frozen.
Learn more about unit pricing.
Other tips to help you get the most out of your grocery shopping
- Meal plan and check what you’ve got in your cupboards, fridge and freezer before going shopping, so you use up things before they go out of date
- Write a shopping list
- Choose in season fruit and vegetables
- Shop around for the best prices
- Try supermarket or home brands.
Review your memberships and subscription services
Whether it’s a gym membership, newspaper subscription, streaming service or food delivery service you’re signed up to, it pays to review your memberships regularly. These small monthly costs can soon add up.
Before signing up to a new subscription, make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions and are aware of any ongoing fees before clicking through online.
When reviewing membership and subscription services consider:
- What services do I use?
- Is there a better deal or a cheaper plan?
- Is there a low-cost alternative?
- Can I rotate through subscriptions?
Look for the best deal before filling up
Feeling the pinch at the petrol bowser? Doing a little research before you fill up might help save you money.
While a lot of factors can influence the price you pay for fuel, a quick look at a petrol price app or website before you fill up can help you compare and save.
Have a look at the list of fuel price reporting apps and websites available.
Review your bills
When it comes to paying utilities or renewing annual insurances beware of paying a ‘loyalty or lazy tax’.
A loyalty tax refers to the practice of businesses offering lower rates or premiums to new customers while charging higher rates or premiums to long-term customers, who have been loyal to a company or institution for many years.
Consider comparison websites
It pays to shop around and compare premiums with other providers to ensure you’re getting the best product, premium or policy based on your circumstances.
To compare energy suppliers and make sure you’re getting the best deal, you can use the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website.
Using comparison websites can be helpful but they have limitations and may not cover all your options. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has tips on using comparison websites.
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with regular payments like gas, electricity and phone, visit Moneysmart for steps you can take to sort things out.
You can also call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.
Visit ASIC’s Moneysmart website
ASIC’s Moneysmart website contains tips, tools and resources to help you manage your money, reduce your debt and plan for your future.
It also has information on budgeting, reducing living costs and getting help if you need it.
Do you know what concessions, rebates and other supports are available to Canberrans from the ACT Government? See what you might be eligible for.
If you require emergency support or financial assistance, you can find contact details for a range of support services on the Australian Government website.
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