A runaway Euribor and a more expensive shopping basket. This is how February is said goodbye, a month in which household accounts are made again to pay all the bills and, in a few cases, try not to touch the savings. The January slope does not seem to end and more and more citizens are making speculations to scratch a euro off expenses. One of the first pieces of advice that Sara Muñoz, an expert in consumption habits and savings measures at home, gives is to monitor the so-called ant expenses.
A simple gesture can save us between 100 and 150 euros a year in the shopping cart in Spain. But it is not the only method to make better ends of the month and try to cope with the monthly increase of up to 500 euros that many of those with variable-rate mortgages that have just renewed or that increase in the shopping basket have to face due to to the increase in food and electricity bills.
The shopping cart and ant expenses
The ant expenses are those “small payments that we make on a regular basis, almost unconsciously, unplanned and on a regular basis, a small amount, but which are reducing our family budget, since they can represent between 100-150 euros of annual spending,” he explains. Sara Muñoz to Information. Expenditure that many times we can avoid because “we talk about those chewing gums or sweets that we took at the supermarket checkout (and that of course were not on our shopping list), that second coffee that we got from the machine at work, that subscription monthly to a magazine we never read, etc.” But are not the only ones.
The expert recommends repairing “non-negotiated bank commissions, the services necessary in our insurance or supply contracts, the fact of taking a taxi instead of public transport or even, when making an online purchase if we ‘chopped’ by adding more products to basket to avoid shipping costs”. We do not usually take these expenses into account because “they represent a few cents or euros in our day-to-day life, but little by little they are making holes in our domestic economy.” These are necessary expenses.
How much is the shopping cart worth?
The annual inflation rate has risen two tenths in February, up to 6.1%, due to the rise in electricity and food, according to advance data from the consumer price index (CPI). What tricks are there to avoid paying more? Is it more profitable to look for the offers of each supermarket or to make the purchase all in one? The expert assures that “although for convenience we tend to do the shopping in the same supermarket, it is very useful to spend a little while comparing prices between establishments. The differences can be up to 30%.”
Products to save in the shopping cart
Another tip is to try to fill the shopping basket with seasonal products that, in addition to saving money, “are healthier, more ecological.” If we take them into account “we can save around 30-40% in our shopping basket, betting on local and seasonal products”. The explanation, Núñez, is that “production costs are reduced because when they are in their natural cycle, there is a greater variety of food (and with a greater supply, lower price). Food preservation costs are also reduced and transportation and distribution costs, when opting for local products”.
We are in a good time of the year for vegetables such as spinach, eggplant or cauliflower. In fruits, strawberries begin to stand out, but citrus fruits such as oranges or tangerines continue. As for fish, sole or mackerel reach their lowest prices at this time of year.