It's possible to live well on a tight budget, says Aideen Sheehan
Could you save nearly €7,000 a year without scrimping? That's what one savvy family has managed to do.
From servicing their own cars to buying oranges at half price, they've managed to shave thousands off their annual outgoings and say it hasn't impacted on their quality of life.
Corkman James O'Donovan now wants to help others and has written a book giving his tips.
Further details can be found on How to Save 5000: This Year and Every Year!, Oaktree Press €8.99, ePub/Kindle €2.99
One of the biggest household expenses after mortgage or rent, but this is where big savings can be made with James estimating he's saved €2,331 a year by careful shopping.
Check supermarket websites for special offers in advance so you can target your purchases and buy a lot of own-brand products.
For example a tin of own-brand tomatoes typically costs 50c compared to €1 for a branded tin, saving you €100 a year if you go through two tins a week.
Bring your own sandwiches, coffee and snacks to work to save over €1,000 a year instead of buying pricey lunches and takeaway drinks.
For non-perishable items such as dishwasher tablets and washing powder that you will definitely use, watch out for two for one offers.
James said his family gets through 1,095 oranges a year because they always squeeze fresh juice for breakfast.
He was paying 55c per orange in one supermarket but switched to a different store where he gets them for 27c each, so he now saves €306 a year.
Potential savings: €2,000
James said that basics such as changing wiper blades, light bulbs and the air filter are simple for anyone who can already change a home lightbulb or vacuum bag.
Changing the oil and filter, spark plugs etc is a step up but is also quite easy and there's lot of helpful online videos to walk you through it.
Tyres – keep car tyres inflated to correct pressure, this will save you €100 a year in lower fuel costs and also make you safer on the road.