Get discounts on utility bills with direct deposit

Living within your means can be very difficult if your means are already limited.  Furthermore, if you have bills that are paid quarterly, it can sometimes be hard to plan ahead when you have emergencies.  We’ve found that if we know in advance what our utilities payments are, it helps us to plan better.To this end, we decided to approach the utilities companies with options for monthly payments.  Some are more willing than others to set up monthly payments.  I guess they find it a hassle to chase you up monthly rather than quarterly.  However, if you tell them that you want to do monthly direct deposits, they would be much more receptive.  The direct deposits would be automatic and they wouldn’t have to worry about bills.  Nevertheless, they would probably have to keep checking to make sure your monthly payments do not need adjustment for changes in your usage.

The direct deposits make life a lot simpler for you as well, because you don’t have to remember to pay your bills in time.  Because of this convenience on both sides, some utility companies offer discounts for this.  Another bonus when you are already financially strapped.

Get discounts when you buy foods close to expiration date

Those who enjoy finding ways to cut corners have probably already discovered this method – buy foods on a short date.  Yes, especially now, when they are discussing changing the “Best by” and “Use by” dating system.

Many supermarkets have a scheme in place, where they offer foods on a short date at incredible discounts.  This is to clear their shelves and prevent waste.  Nevertheless, they may still end up throwing out a lot of good food just because they are now “expired”.  As a result of lobbying, there is talk that they will do away with expiration dates and increase education on home storage in order to keep foods fresh and safe.  The use of the dating system was for health and safety issues, but it has gone overboard.

It’s not the first time that people have stepped forward to proclaim that a “Best by” date does not mean that the food goes bad after that.  It is just a recommendation on freshness and flavour.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to have eaten food past their so-called expiration date and I did not get sick from it.  That’s not to say I always take the risk.  There is an element of common sense in all this.  If the food looks bad, smells bad or tastes bad, don’t eat it.

Similarly, if you buy meat on a short date and it is starting to brown, think twice before you buy.  Check to see whether there would be sufficient meat left if you cut out the “bad” areas.  It may be worth the discount.  Remember that some foods may be frozen, so freezing it before the “best by” date still keeps it fresh.  Bread is a good example of this.  There are people out there who already have this down to an art.  Like the guy who claims to have witnessed a man buying a pack of 6 scones & 2 packs of kippers for only 15p.  Now, there’s a bargain-hunter.

But, if the government plans to make changes to the “Best by”, “Use by” and “Expires” dating system, we may see an end to the discounts on foods with short dates.  So, it’s best to take advantage of that now.