Rich food can keep you poor – Captain CRUNCH By FIONA ELLIS
THERE’S one thing more predictable than breaking resolutions, and that’s starting the new year with a black hole in your bank balance.
Your drinks cabinet is as dry as leftover turkey sandwiches and your wallet is as empty as a Roses tin.
We’re all feeling the pinch after the festivities.
According to research, shoppers forked out around €600 over Christmas, with more than half getting into debt to cover costs. And it’ll be well into February before we recover from Yuletide over-spending.
But there is no need to get the post revelry blues. There are plenty of penny-pinching ways to make sure you survive until pay day and you can start with what you eat . . .
COOK AT HOME
With the average person piling on up to 7lbs over Christmas, home cooking is a great start in the fight against flab.
Those who more frequently cook dinner at home consume a healthier and lower calorie diet than those who dine out.
And as well as being good for your health, home cooking is easier on your pocket.
You can bring the leftovers for lunch at work next day saving you forking out for sandwiches or salty snacks.
Cheapeats.ie has everything you need to know about eating well while getting value for your money.
VISIT FREE ATTRACTIONS
There are a whole host of free or cheap things to do all across the country.
You can celebrate the Year of Design with a visit to the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, pedal your way around the three Moneygall Kearney Cycling Loops in Offaly or get your oar out for a kayak trip exploring Lough Lein in Kerry.
You can travel to Newgrange or the Cliffs of Moher or pay a visit for free to the National Gallery of Ireland or the Chester Beatty Library. Visit Discover- Ireland.ie for inspiration.
Having one meat-free meal once or twice a week will save you cash, giving up take-away coffees will bank you at least €3 a day, while walking to lose weight is free, as opposed to forking out for a pricey gym membership.
Many people use January to give up booze and by cutting out the demon drink you could save bags of cash.
MAKE A SWITCH
Research has shown Irish consumers are missing out on savings of more than €2,000 a year by failing to shop around for better value on their household bills, including their bank.
You can save substantial amounts of money by shopping around for your service providers or what bank you do business with.
There is really no excuse when sites such as Bonkers.ie make it easy for you to compare, and banks are making it simpler to switch.
TURN CLUTTER INTO CASH
Everyone has items at the back of the wardrobe they don’t wear anymore or, gulp, which don’t fit anymore. And there are those Christmas pressies that just didn’t tickle your fancy.
The old saying, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, comes to mind. Why not flog those gorgeous shoes that pinch a bit too much or the cashmere scarf your nan got you that still has its tags on?
eBay is great for selling and buying almost everything, and check out Depop.com to sell your unwanted fashion items.