With 2022 now over (phew!) it’s onwards and upwards to a better brighter and more organised 2023.

The first part of the year is the perfect time to review where your money ultimately ends up, starting by looking at how you can minimise expenses – ahem, stop buying stuff you don’t need – so you can start saving money for the things that matter.

If you’re wanting to take control of your finances this year, instead of being controlled (and limited!) by money woes, organisational expert Steph Pase has put together some of her top saving tips to squeeze a few extra dollars out of your budget this year.

Steph says by switching up some habits and culling unnecessary expenses, you can save money, reduce waste, and feel more in control of your spending. Here are her best hacks.

  1. Takeaway coffee

Takeaway coffee is a huge expense for a lot of households. Before I purchased our coffee machine and reusable coffee cups, I’d buy a takeaway coffee every single day. It’s expensive, it’s not eco-friendly, and it can be pretty unhealthy. Even if you’re a bonafide coffee fiend like me, it’s possible to switch to homemade options and still enjoy your fave hot or iced brew. Once we made the switch to a coffee machine, we saw instant savings of $60 per week! When you find the perfect coffee-making machine to suit your lifestyle and the savings start rolling in, you’ll never look back.

  1. App subscriptions

When did you last check the apps you’re subscribed to and paying for? It’s so easy to sign up for a free trial and then forget all about it, and before you know it, you’re paying $9.99 per month for an app you’ve never even opened. Log in to your app store of choice, go to ‘subscriptions’ and unsubscribe from anything you’re not using. And remember…deleting an app isn’t always enough to end the subscription.

  1. TV subscriptions

Did you sign up to Foxtel just so you could watch the last season of Game Of Thrones? Maybe you downloaded Stan to binge on the latest true crime show. Oh wait, that’s me. Whatever your show of choice, go through all the apps and channel subscriptions on your TV and deactivate any you don’t watch. Some of these apps are super-expensive and you could save heaps of money by ditching the subscriptions you aren’t currently using.

  1. Paper towels

Omg, I used to clean my whole kitchen with these! Making the switch to reusable cleaning cloths is a gamechanger when it comes to household budget, waste, and your impact on the environment. Buy a few in different colours so you can allocate them to different areas of the house and throw them in the wash every couple of days so they stay fresh.

  1. Makeup wipes

Makeup remover wipes and wet wipes can be pricey, and they take a huge toll on our environment. Did you know they can take up to 100 years to break down? They’re actually not that great at removing makeup either, and can leave your pores clogged, causing breakouts. By switching to reusable face washers, you’ll save money, reduce waste and get better results for your skin.

  1. Unnecessary food

This is a big one! Do you check your pantry before you go grocery shopping? Do you plan meals around what’s already in the fridge? Take a look at what ingredients you already have and use that as the basis for your meal plan, rather than choosing meals randomly. Start with ingredients that are already open or almost gone and be sure to incorporate them into this week’s meals. Save money and reduce food waste – winning.

  1. Bottled water

Still buying bottled water? Look, I get it. It’s convenient and it tastes better than tap water, but it’s also a massive cost and comes with a hefty carbon footprint. I don’t need to tell you any stats about plastic in the ocean. Invest in a filtered water jug so you’ve always got cold, fresh water ready in the fridge to fill bottles. Or, if you have a fridge with a water dispenser, make sure you replace the filter regularly to maintain that fresh taste.

  1. Reusable food storage and straws

Sandwich bags, plastic straws, glad wrap. Every kitchen on earth uses these items, so you can imagine how much money you’d save if you stopped buying them. Take some time to research alternatives that’d work for your family. For kids lunches and storing leftovers, I use Stasher bags which are available in different sizes. They’re airtight, easy to wash and come in lots of different colours. While you’re there, check out the options for reusable straws, baking sheets and food covers. Your bank account and the planet will thank you. Using this blog to save some hard-earned cash? Keep a record of your savings over the next few months and share your results with me below.

For magnetic meal planners and more organisational products visit stephpaseplanners.com.au