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Expenses at home.  How to get around high inflation

Expenses at home. How to get around high inflation

Electricity consumption


One expense that has actually gone up is the electricity bill, leading the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) to propose a 2.6% reduction in consumers’ bill in the regulated market from July 1. The proposal covers 921,000 consumers in the regulated market, representing 6% of the total consumption, and consumers in the free market who have chosen a similar tariff. To avoid unnecessary expenditures, the Portuguese Consumer Protection Association advises to carefully manage running appliances, so as not to waste energy as little as possible. In addition, it is suggested that household appliances with high electricity consumption – such as electric coffee makers, electric ovens, washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners – should not be connected at the same time to reduce peak consumption on the power grid. . The tips don’t stop here. When washing clothes and dishes, use washing machines with a full load. Unplug the device from the mains, so that it does not consume standby mode, and use accessories with a switch, for example. To help with this savings task, ComparaJá.pt has made available an energy tariff comparison, which aggregates several 457 offers.



gas expenses


Here, too, the news is not encouraging. Natural gas prices in the regulated market will rise by €2 per megawatt-hour (MWh), or 3.3%, from July. In October 2022 there will be a new average increase of 3.9%. To avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the month, you need to be more careful when cooking or bathing. It’s important to choose the right containers to be more profitable, and simple things like chopping food into small pieces so it cooks faster can make a big difference.


But there are other tricks to follow. Reduce the time you spend in the shower and avoid immersive baths. Also, avoid using very high temperatures in your dishwasher and washing machine: the higher the temperature, the more time it takes for the heating process and the gases to heat up.

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Always choose to dry your clothes outdoors, rather than using the dryer. And if you have a gas clothes dryer, choose to dry it several times in a row.


Thus, by reducing the number of times the device is heated and dried, you will reduce heat loss and reduce gas consumption.



water calculation


In February, EPAL updated prices for the vast majority of domestic customers – average monthly consumption is 8 cubic meters and meter up to 25 mm) – by 9 cents per month. And one of the best ways to save on a daily basis, without a doubt, is to reduce water consumption. Almost all of us use water unnecessarily, but how do we conserve it? In the bathroom, choose to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or hair, for example. This small gesture, applied daily, can represent very big savings on your monthly bill. In addition, you should choose a shower, because it consumes between 30 and 80 liters of water, unlike an immersion bath, whose consumption can reach 200 liters.


In the kitchen, the machines that consume the most water are dishwashers and washing machines. In this sense, try to operate the machines only when they are fully charged. Nowadays, there are also machines that have a half load option, in order to invest in savings.


Use cold water whenever possible so you can save on hot water. Also, avoid defrosting food while there is running water – make an effort to defrost it naturally or use the microwave.



Trips to the supermarket


According to Deco Proteste, which tracks rising prices, inflation has left a basket of 63 products created based on typical household consumption – fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, preserves, pasta, flour, dairy products, etc. – 10% more expensive on average. However, there are tricks you can follow to try to control the extra expenses as much as possible. The ideal is to carry a list of things to buy: if you know exactly what you need and if you are guided exclusively by this list, then you risk less buying unnecessary and often expensive products. Another golden tip is to be aware of promotions and discounts, and be able to choose supermarkets. And since most brands offer promotions constantly, it doesn’t always pay to opt for white brands, which until recently were seen as champions of low prices.

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The care to be taken does not stop here. Do not forget that sometimes it is worth taking larger and more expensive packages. If you compare with the cheapest package, you will pay more for taking two small packages instead of one big one. Always pay attention to the expiration dates.



fuel price control


The fuel increase does not seem to want to give drivers’ wallets a respite since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Be aware of the four major oil companies – Galp, Repsol, BP and Cepsa – that continue to bet on loyalty cards, giving points that can be exchanged for the most diverse products. At the same time, oil companies had to find alternative promotions that would respond to the main aspirations of customers: discounts on the hour and on the final price. Hence the discount cards. Another bet for brands is the discount on the day or on the weekend, the initiative that has the greatest impact on increasing sales and which has even managed to bring back some of those old customers who were seduced by supermarkets. Also count on white label gas stations.


And driving at high speeds means spending more fuel. If the car is equipped with cruise control, then use it on the highway, because automatic driving is more economical. And when parking, shaded places are preferred, the sun prefers fuel evaporation.



Check your expenses


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For those who have already received a refund from the IRS or are already making calculations for vacation allowance, this is the best time to do a real check on your family budget. One of the golden rules is to assess the health of your finances, i.e. know where your money is going. To do this, make a chart of income and expenses, indicating all the daily fees, from a home loan to a coffee shop. Only by making a comprehensive list of expenses will it be possible to assess the path your money is taking. In addition, it will be possible to assess the weight of various expenses in the family budget, in order to rebalance the accounts at home.


For example, in the case of household expenses (loan, interest, water, electricity, gas, etc.), ideally they should weigh no more than 35%-40% of your total budget.


After determining income and expenses, you should try to identify unnecessary expenses that can be reduced or eliminated without affecting your well-being. From there you can make some changes that can make a big difference at the end of the month. This is the case, for example, with a communications bill or even your home loan insurance, which you can take advantage of for renegotiation.