Clever things to do with $20

These days, $20 may not go very far, but if you have a spare ‘lobster’ hanging around, these five clever ways to spend it will make it feel like a whole lot more.

Invest in rechargeable batteries
Even when you buy them on special, batteries are expensive. Not only are rechargeable batteries more environmentally friendly, they’re also more cost effective. The initial outlay can be costly, but with a spare $20, you can ensure you’re never short of a double AA.

Buy a slow cooker
The best way to cook cheaper, and often tougher, cuts of meat is in a slow cooker. But it’s not only meat that benefits from a long cooking time. A few vegetables, stock and some seasoning simmering away for six hours makes a very tasty soup. Keep your eyes out for one that’s on offer, or check your local supermarket – you should be able to pick one up for near the $20 mark.

Buy some herb pots
Not only can shop-bought herbs be expensive, they usually don’t last very long. For $20 you could by a nice selection of herbs you would use everyday and make the most of the cheaper cuts of meat or vegetables you plan on having for dinner. Basil, coriander, thyme, rosemary, parsley and chives can be used in just about everything.

Buy something in bulk
How often have you seen a great deal in the supermarket that applies to buying something in bulk, only to not be able to afford it? If you choose your product wisely – i.e. something that won’t expire and you will use for months to come (think loo roll, dishwashing liquid, shampoo, etc) – you could actually end up saving yourself quite a bit of cash.

Treat yourself
Of course the sensible thing to do with even a small windfall is to make it work for you, but sometimes the best thing you can actually do is to simply do something that makes you feel better. It may be a nice meal, a pedicure, or your favourite expensive chocolate – whatever it is, enjoy.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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