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Set your own agenda for living

Yet another 10 ways to save you money

1. Plan your menus for the week so that you donít buy too much and end up throwing half of it away. Food is expensive now so you will be surprised how much you can save with just a little planning. Try to limit yourself to two visits to the shops for food. This way you will not only save on petrol but also buy less.

2. Donít buy ready meals, cook yourself, it is a lot cheaper, healthier and more fun. Invest in a decent cook book with the classic dishes in, like Good Housekeeping, which is solid on the basics with easy recipes to follow, unlike a lot of the new TV chefsí cook books. You can also cook for a couple of days, stews, casseroles, curries, lasagne etc all taste much better the next day.

3. Make your own lunch. Again it is cheaper and healthier. You can make sandwiches for a whole week for what you pay for one in the shop. Be versatile with your lunch, make a pasta or rice dish, lentils couscous, take fruit etc, etc.

4. Donít buy bottled water. It is a total and utter waste of money and the plastic from all those bottles is destroying the planet. You already pay for your tap water to be safe. Get a sports bottle and fill it up at home. Make a stand on this for all our sakes.

5. Buy a bike for those short journeys you make or perhaps you are close enough to work. You will be surprised how quickly you will recoup your outlay. You can get a brand new bike for £90.00 or shop around and get a second hand one. Not only will you be saving the planet but you will be getting fit as well. I bought one recently and I really enjoy cycling now. It is surprising how many cycle paths there are these days.

6. Get you house insulated properly otherwise your money will be leaking out of your roof or through your walls, windows and doors. It may take a little longer than most ideas here to save you money but it is good for the planet and after a couple of years youíll easily recoup your outlay.

7. Donít buy designer clothes Ė No one can really tell and the few people that can must be so shallow (knowing the price of everything but not the value) that they are not worth knowing. If I am going to advertise a designer's label I want to get paid for it. The fashion industry, like the car industry is one big con. It is like the fairy tale of the 'Emperor's new clothes'. Be an individual donít follow the rest of the sheep.

8. Donít smoke Ė for wasting money this must be near the top of the list. Just give it up. See How to Stop Smoking

9. Cut back on your alcohol consumption. Make sure you have at least 3 days a week where you donít drink and every so often give you kidneys a 10 day break. Youíll feel a lot better for it and you will save a fortune.

10. Donít gamble Ė the occasional lottery ticket is ok but make sure that is all you are gambling on.