Easy ways to save money

Here are some ways you’re saving money without knowing.

Easy ways to save money

Thinking of ways to save money can put you off the entire process, but it’s more than likely you’re already doing a few things to hold on to that extra money in your bank account. Here are some ways you’re unknowingly saving money.

‘Free’ calls

You have a plan with unlimited mobile calls. These days, finding an affordable phone plan with included unlimited calls isn’t so difficult. Having this option available also means you can dump your landline if you want.

Pick your produce

Not only is buying loose vegies instead of packaged ones often cheaper per kilo, it also means that you have your pick of the produce and not wind up finding a piece of rotten produce when you get home.

Cash only

Every now and then, you leave your credit and debit cards at home and just take cash when you go out. This is a good way to limit spending.

Home entertainment

Instead of going out to restaurants and cafes for meals, you prefer dinner parties and barbeques. While hosting often costs you more than a meal out, having guests bring a plate can work out, with you being able to enjoy leftovers for a few days afterwards.

Waste not

Instead of throwing out stale bread, you process it and turn it into breadcrumbs, or you cut it into pieces and bake it in the oven – et voila, croutons!

Gifts from the heart

Who doesn’t appreciate homemade gifts? Whether it’s a knitted baby’s jumper, baked goods and preserves,or a vase handmade from clay, homemade gifts are not only cheaper, they’re also more personal.

Online deals

You subscribe to deal websites, such as Catch of the Day, OzSale and Scoopon, to find great deals on goods, services and travel. This can pay off in a big way – as long as you use it to keep an eye out for things you need and not just things that take your fancy.

Frugal friends

It makes sense that we end up adopting the habits of those around us, so if your friends tend to have responsible attitudes towards spending money, then it’s likely to rub off on you too. Keeping up with the Joneses is no one’s idea of a good life.

Turn it off

Turning electrical appliances off at the switch is a nightly ritual for some people, and it’s actually a good idea financially too. Around 10 per cent of the average Australian electricity bill is spent on standby power.

What are other good ways you’re saving? Please give us your tips.


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    30th Oct 2015
    What about,
    1. staying out of coffee shops, restaurants and the like
    2. not taking expensive holidays every year
    3. not buying 'stuff' you really don't need
    The problem is probably that as a nation we have turned into narcissistic people, over indulging in ourselves with the attitude that 'we deserve 'it'.
    Methinks we need to take a leaf out of the book of life from our parents and their parents. Sure 'times were different' but debt is debt is debt. The next decade will bring that one home to many Australians and it will not be very palatable to most after the last few decades of free for all.
    Happy cyclist
    30th Oct 2015
    While I can't agree with Mich about staying out of coffee shops because I love a good coffee in any one of my favourite cafes, I certainly agree that we buy far too much 'stuff'. Who needs all the rubbish that we buy? I stopped buying for the sake of it more than 10 years ago and feel so much better for no longer weighing down my life with unnecessary stuff. Even to the extent that I gave up changing my car every 3 years and now have had the same one for 15 years and tho I could buy a new one if I wanted, I wouldn't change it unless I had to. Once you start really asking yourself if you need to buy something its amazing how little stuff we really do need to buy without feeling in any way deprived. I suggest giving most of the money saved to charity for even extra good feelings!
    30th Oct 2015
    Do a menu and shop based on the menu. Australian buy lots of food that they then waste as it goes off before they can eat it.
    Polly Esther
    30th Oct 2015
    Save money by stashing it away in a jar for a rainy day, and then go and blow it all on a real fancy pants swisho umbrella.
    30th Oct 2015
    I save 2 dollar pieces in a bottle every time I go shopping and get them in my change. I buy what I call luxuries when I have enough saved.
    30th Oct 2015
    Do a budget and stick to it.
    30th Oct 2015
    A group of us go out to lunch monthly or bi-monthly. We go to places which have Seniors Meal Charges which also includes vegetable and salad bars. Some of us don't drink alcohol and unless we particularly want soft drink we ask for jugs or bottles of water and glasses which are free unless they only have water they have to buy specifically if their mains water is bore water which may be safe to drink but no to your taste.
    I partially budget for groceries. If I see something on special which wasn't advertised that I use all the time I buy extra, then may not have to buy more until it is on special again.
    I don't like carrying much cash so I have a savings account with a debit card and can only spend the balance that I have in it. I save for holidays - budget accomodation as long as everything is clean and the bed is comfortable I am happy. I often take some food with me for lunch the first day, bottles of water and snacks for a few days. As motels have small fridges in their rooms we often take breakfast provisions if travelling by car. My parents did that or they wouldn't have been able to take us away on holidays - budget but just as much fun as those who reckoned they had to have all the luxuries they could get. We loved the picnic lunches my Mum made sandwiches, fresh fruit or stewed fruit set in jelly - all packed and put into one large container. In Summer the container was then wrapped in newspaper with a bathtowel around that to keep the food cold. That was before eskys, cooler bags and ice bricks etc. appeared. Our lunches were always cold even in hot weather. Some of our drink bottles were frozen solid, some were partly frozen and some cold water added - they gradually thawed by lunch time, and we had really cold bottles that we drank first.
    We always had a good meal at night, be it budgeted for. If we went on occasional day outing the same thing applied. Apart from tea at night if we were going to be getting home late, lunches, drinks and snacks were always packed at home. Mum made cake and biscuits from scratch - not packet mixes. We had them when we had a break to get out and walk in the fresh air for a few minutes, re-fuel the car if we needed to and use the public conveniences. Sometimes we found lovely parks to relax in during our break. They would swap drivers every 2 - 3 hours so one could rest after each break. Most people have no concept of a budget holiday and the savings you can make during it.
    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    30th Oct 2015
    Yes I know that I have an interest in this, but one way to save a good amount of money is to stay free when on holiday. Home Exchange is such a great idea and a wonderful way to travel, many of our members estimate they can save thousands each year by swapping their home to allow them to travel far and wide.
    30th Oct 2015
    we are currently caretaking on a non-operational mine site and have some young guys here temporarily for a drilling program. We cannot get over the amount of food being thrown out each day. No such thing as eating left overs. Anything that looks remotely off is thrown out including several kilos of potatoes because they had "eyes", onions because some had started to sprout...as well as the food, we have had to dispose of their discarded clothes because they are too lazy to wash or repair or don't know how.... I wonder how these guys will cope when they hit our age and have little income.....talk about a throw away society...
    30th Oct 2015
    You are wrong. i have done the sums. A plan for my mobile would be more expensive than the landline and prepaid mobile. I do not make enough phone calls to find that a plan would be cheaper. A plan would cost me more than a landline and mobile.
    Lucky Lady
    31st Oct 2015
    We live in Sydney NSW - but there's possibly the same options avail in other states.
    A few years ago our joint income was cut in half or less (we are now pensioners) so we had to come up with 'easy ways to save money' quickly. Am posting this as our 3mths full-on 'seeking cheaper deals/options' may help others!
    1) Gas/elect supplier - just the 2 of us so we don't use much & get a pensioner discount.
    We are with Origin Energy - each time our contract is up for renewal we 'shop around' for best discounts then ring our supplier, quoting other suppliers discount offers & they either match or better the competitor's offers! including bonus Vouchers/Credits off bills etc.
    We pay approx. $20 gas & $30 Elect'y per f'night via their Direct Debit system which generally covers these bills - if not, they 'don't panic' & pursue you but ring & ask if it's ok to raise the direct debit amount by a few dollars, just til it's caught up.
    Needed new hot water system urgently - Origin installed one straight away on an affordable p'ment plan - thank heavens for their offer to current customers re this, & air-con!
    Water - Receive Pensioner rebate now from Sydney Water so basically only pay about $50 per quarter for actual 'water usage' - yes, we're very frugal & don't waste water e.g. save up enough 'whites/blacks' to wash a complete load!
    Clothes dryer - barely used at all, only in Winter months to finish off drying.
    Lights - only 2 of us so usually only 2 on most night!.

    2) Mobile phone - we used to both have pre-paid mobile phone plans - we have cut this back to one, my partner's - as I'm usually at home (with landline accessibility), plus he/others can still ring me on my mobile.
    Mobile phone pre-paid thru Vodaphone costs $30 per month & we never use it all, but it's there if/when needed....

    3) Council Rates - get Pensioner Discount now & pay the annual $1,200 approx. by quarterly intalments, all budgeted for.

    4) Car - Recently got 2nd hand 'company vehicle' Ford station wagon - we cart a lot of things around to family/friends but figure 'at a pinch' we can sleep in the back if can't locate a motel whilst travelling around Aus. Best thing we've ever done re cars!
    The BIG saving with this car is it runs on LPG! so instead of spending say $80 per week on fuel we now only need to fill up for about $50 per month (approx. 500klms) = Huge saving!
    Plus, it keeps engine heaps cleaner & engine lasts 'years' longer! hence, so will car!
    Car Rego - Free car rego for Pensioners PLUS can now get car stered for 6mths, so if short on cash for green slip insurance this can be mighty helpful!

    5) Internet & Home Phone - We pay approx. $56 month to iprimus for our internet plus VOIPT Home Phone line - this amt includes us both virtually 'continually' on the net (not gaming) on both desktop computer & wireless laptop, plus free local & STD calls, plus several charged 1300 numbers we need to ring & the odd overseas (cheap) calls we make!

    6) Food - We eat very well, fresh food, meat, vegies, fruit, nuts etc. Biggest outlay is for meat - so instead of buying sml packaged meat we buy larger bulk packaged meat & section it up into gladwrapped/chinese container nightly frozen portions.
    Meat 'budget' is $4 per night for the two of us!
    Mince meat - bought bulk, cooked into Bolognaise, frozen into zip-lock bags/Chinese food containers - Eaten with spaghett7/noodles/lasagna with salad.
    Sausages bought on large bulk tray from Woolies, sectioned up into say 5 per meal glad-wrapped & frozen - eaten as snags in onion gravy with veg, bbq snags with par-boiled vegies sliced on bbg or curried snags with rice, etc.
    Steak - We only buy 'Eye Fillet' that's cryovacked' - that is packaged in 1 piece & sealed airtight - we slice it to desired thickness/es, glad-wrap & freeze. Eaten 'thinly sliced' as steak sandwiches, steak with mushroom sauce with 5 vegies, char-grilled with salad etc. Sure the piece may cost $30 but we get say 8 meals for the 2 of us from it, so it's under our '$4 meat meal budget' plan.
    Vegies & fruit- we only buy enough for a few days at a time for 2 of us - that way they're fresh, edible & tasty & we don't waste any.

    7) Clothes & Gifts - usually bought online thru BuyInvite - designer gear offered at fraction of original price - we buy it when we see it offered during the year (have about 70 family gifts to acquire each year) - everyone's thrilled to bits wth their 'designer' gift & unaware we may have only paid a few dollars for it!
    We generally buy our own clothes, shoes here too or at K-mart (good fit for us larger sizes).
    Also pick up our linen, towels, pillows, kitchenware etc here - top qlt'y, low price.

    8)Eating out/Holidays/Hair revamps etc - We buy Vouchers from deal places online such as Groupn, Scoopon, Our Deal, Hotels.com etc with Amazing' savings!

    9) Movies - 'Events' Theatres -simply join their 'cici-club' when you visit there - Seniors $8 movies most times except Sat night, I think! Wednesday morning 'new release' 10.30am sessions often include 'free morning tea, prior to movie!

    So 'in a nutshell' this is how we managed to suddenly cut our expenditure by half - do hope 'by sharing' it helps others out there.

    10) Also, Join up for 'free' with some online Community Groups to find homes for your unwanted goods, receive goods, save landfill & perhaps post a wanted ad & receive something you really need like a fridge, washing machine, bed/s, furniture etc - some Groups that come to mind are Freecycle, Re-usit, Gumtree, Tushare.
    Hope this info helps you save money too!

    31st Oct 2015
    I have found that deal websites like catch of the day only do one thing, try to catch you at buying something which you can often find cheaper elsewhere. Do your research before buying a deal.
    25th Jul 2018
    I agree with Happy Cyclist that we do too buy too many things that we do not need which creates clutter,Before shopping write out a menu plan. If you can grow your own fruit and vegetables if you can, Much healthier and saves a couple of dollars

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