Supplies are going down, bills are going up, inflation is rising, wages not rising with it: everyone is penny pinching right now. It’s a sad state of affairs to be stuck in, caused by everything from politics to war to pandemics, none of it within our control. The best we can do is save where we can.

So, we’ve put together a list of penny-pinching tips to make things easier. Read on for all the details. 

Get smart about your electrics

The world is going through an energy crisis right now, due to a range of factors including the effects of Covid and Putin’s war on Ukraine, which means energy prices are going through the roof. There’s a lot of talk of families choosing between staying warm and feeding themselves.

Unfortunately, a lot of the solutions that are available require an up front purchase. Fortunately, a lot of smart tech is hitting the shelves that is becoming more affordable and was designed to use less energy, or solve the problem of using less energy. Not only will you spend less, but you’ll help the planet in the long run.

Smart tech actually stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, which means the gadget will monitor a situation and flag up a problem to you via your smart phone. For example, there is the smart thermometer, which will steady the temperature in a room by constantly turning on and off the heating as needed. On a smaller scale in terms of price, there are the smart sockets, which you can plug in between the wall and your device. You can then set a timer and watch as all your devices turn off after you’ve fallen asleep on the sofa. You’ll avoid a lot of energy going into devices that are only on standby that way.

And finally, there are smart lights. You can get motion detection lights that only turn on when you enter a room and turn off when you leave it, and there are other devices that fit nicely onto any lamp and will offer nice mood lighting by dimming the bulb.

Quit smoking

The best thing you can do for your wallet and your body is to quit smoking. You know all the health problems with smoking, like the heart disease, the 12 types of cancer, the breathlessness, and the general unfit feelings, and if lecturing about it would help anything you’d have quit long ago. So, we’ll focus on elements that you might not have considered.

Like the aesthetic decision to quit smoking, such as the fact that you won’t smell like a walking cigarette, your smile will start to shine again with less yellow teeth, your skin will clear up and get less texture, and you’ll be less gross to be around when you don’t have a cold (or something worse that’s viral) every other week because your immune system is down. You won’t need to be embarrassed for taking a minute to breathe after a flight of stairs or that your wallet is empty due to all your money going to cigarettes.

If you can’t quit entirely, that’s understandable, but it would be best to at least switch to vaping. Vaping is a lot cheaper and comes without any of the negatives of smoking while still giving you that nicotine hit. And the best part is that you can lower the dose gradually and come off nicotine entirely.

Get thrifty

Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you have to entirely give up on treating yourself, just get smarter about where you get it.

A lot of people swear by going into charity shops and thrift stores. You are bound to find a gem or two in there with the amount that people buy and then donate when they realise it doesn’t fit or look like they want it to. It’s the one positive side affect of fast fashion: you’re very likely to see the latest trends in the thrift store.

Plus, it appeals to anyone who likes to look a little vintage or alternative. Both of those aesthetics lend themselves to wearing something that goes against the hottest trends right now.

And it’s not just clothing. You can find everything from tableware to furniture at the thrift store. It’s the best place if you’re newly moving out of home and need to not smuggle your parents glassware out of the house and into your dorm, but also anyone who likes the mix and match aesthetic at home. Even if you don’t there are so many that you’re likely to find a full set that look the same.

All of it, for single dollar prices. Except the furniture. You might still be in the double digits there.