As costs rise demand falls. It’s a basic premise of economics. But demand can only fall so far and then you’ve got to get smart.

Here are some basic tips to saving money without compromising your quality of life:

Not since 2009 have we seen grocery prices rising as fast as they are now (an estimated 6.8 per cent). The current drought in many crop growing western areas means the price growth for groceries will continue for some time to come.

The Big Cost of Living Switch campaign (backed by New Corp Australia) has managed to arm-twist a 5 per cent discount from supermarket giant Woolworths. Read more about One Big Switch here.

Greater competition, especially from new players in the mortgage market, are making lenders more pliable. While current interest rates are low, the banks also factor in their own profit margins. But this margin is negotiable.

Savvy negotiators are haggling 0.9 to 1 per cent off standard variable rate loans.

It is estimated that anyone wanting $250,000, with a good credit history, and ready to turn the screws, can get a 5 per cent loan. Just a 0.3 per cent saving on a $500,000 loan means savings of $1,092 each year!

The same abundance of competition extends to energy retailers. Some providers have ‘said’ they have offered cuts of 20 per cent electricity and 17 per cent to gas to keep customers who have threatened to leave. One has to wonder about the profits they have been making if they can offer discounts like these?

Personal loans are benefitting from peer-to-peer lending It’s already a $100 billion market enabling low interest personal loans. Already the CBA has slashed its variable home loan rate by 0.7 per cent in an effort to stay competitive.

The largest P2P leader is SocietyOne. Its rates undercut those of the big Four banks by 4 percentage points for unsecured personal loans

So, on a $10,000 loan you’ll save $400 a year.

Finally, check out the Motormouth app to find where and when petrol is cheapest in your area.

The ACCC is currently hounding petrol retailers about percieved collusion through the data sercie Informed Sources. While the battle is ongoing using Motormouth has been shown to save up to 10 cent s a litre on occasions.

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