Our readers tips will save you thousands
We’ve been flooded with tips from our savvy shoppers who have tricks to help you navigate your way through the rising cost of living crisis. By following their advice, you won’t be drawn into a dreaded debt freefall, but instead, have a budget-friendly way to live without sacrificing the things you love – the key here is not to splurge on items and find cheaper alternatives.
Follow these tips and you will be on the road to financial success.
1. Cut down on your meat intake
Anyone who has been to the supermarket recently knows that the cost of meat is becoming increasingly expensive, but reader Michaela Grace has a cost-cutting solution.
“Have meat-less meals – like meat-less Mondays and add beans, legumes to replace the meat to bulk out meals,” Michaela explains. “Its healthier anyway, and we are supposed to eat lots of beans in our diet. Mushrooms are another alternative to meat which you can add to soups, stews, pastas, salads. There’s lots of variety!”
2. Skip the hairdressers – dye your own hair
Going the hairdressers to get rid of the grays or regrowth can be a costly affair, often seeing you fork out over $150 per visit. Kristina Mattar has found a cheaper option while still retaining her luscious locks
“I dye my own hair,” she says. “This is really easy if you have dark hair. I purchase the hair colour when it’s on special for $9 and I only use half each time for regrowth. It costs me $4.50 each time – saving me hundreds a year. Having a simple style that doesn’t require a haircut often also saves me lots of $$ per year and I only purchase hair products when they are on special.”
3. Get mobile apps to find the cheapest gas
The rising cost of fuel prices is creating a headache for everyone, with little chance of them subsiding on the horizon. Savvy shopper Scott Aikin has found a way get the best bang for his bucket when he’s at the pump.
He reveals: “Use fuel prices apps like Motormouth and Petrol Spy to find out where the cheapest gas stations are. Also, use the 7-11 app to look at prices for the week before gas goes up.”
4. Buy second-hand products
We’re all tempted to splash the cash on new household items, but Melinda Scott says to “search online for second-hand products before buying anything new!”
She continues: “Whenever we need to buy something new, whether it be something for the home or presents for the kids I check if we can buy a used version first. Cash Converters, Facebook Market Place and Gumtree are great places to look. I picked up some Nintendo Switch games second-hand from Cash Converters for birthday gifts this year and the kid’s couldn’t tell the difference, saving me at least $30-$50 per game.”
5. Ditch your home Wi-Fi and use your mobile data instead
Let’s face it: we’re constantly on the Internet, but when we combine our home Wi-Fi and mobile bill, the costs can be quite hefty.
Michelle Arcane advises you to “ditch your home Wi-Fi and use your mobile as a data hotspot.”
“I buy my phone outright (usually upgrading every 3 years) and get a sim only plan, which gives me the flexibility to change plans as the prices drop and the data included goes up,” she explains. “Right now I’m paying $45 per month for 200gb of data which I find is more than enough for everything I need to do online (email, social media, stream video content, web browsing, including running my own business online).”
6. Skip buying the early morning coffee
With the average cup of coffee in Australia coming in around $4.13, it starts to add up if you purchase one or more a day. Now, we’re not suggesting you refrain from getting your caffeine fix, but savvy shopper Kerrie MacDonald has found a way to shave off costs on her weekly budget.
“I love my morning coffee and used to enjoy the barista made ones from a local coffee van that visits work, BUT it was costing a minimum of $20 a week, which is over $1,040 a year! So I invested in a basic coffee pod machine on sale that takes different mainstream branded pods, and buy my coffee pods when on special from the supermarket. Instead of spending $4 dollars a cup I’m spending 50c a cup. Even with the cost of the machine in the first instance, I saved at least $800 a year,” she says.
7. Use natural cleaning products
We all like to keep a clean home but did you know some of the best cleaning products are already in your pantry?
Linda Luczak explains: “Use natural cleaning products. Lemons, bicarb and vinegar which still haven’t gone up in price and will clean most things. Don’t buy chemical-laden things. Most commercial products tend to be more expensive and harmful to the environment, too.”
8. Have a no spend day
Do you tend to buy something every day, whether it be a small grocery item or a drink of some sort? Our savvy reader Abby Brook suggests that we all should have a day or two off of dipping into our wallets.
“Instead of buying dinner, use up some of the ingredients in your pantry,” she says. “Not only will you discover creative new meals, but you’ll reduce waste and appreciate the value of using what you have. This will help create momentum to make conscious spending choices and doing it on a regular basis adds up!”
9. Cancel automatic subscriptions
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting the numerous subscriptions we have and seeing the money from each one come out of our account monthly – and it adds up.
Kevin Kelly suggests: “Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships, ones that you normally just let roll over on renewal time and have a direct debit, and you sometimes cant be bothered to ring and cancel, you may have had them going for years, with prices going up.”
10. Find cheaper alternatives to skin cream
Statistics claim that Australians spend between $1,000 – $2,000 a year on skin creams all in the bid to retain their looks.
But you can still look great without breaking the bank.
Vanda Bacich reveals her beauty secret tip.
“Do not be fooled into buying expensive skin care or anti-aging products in department stores, supermarket products are just as effective and will save you thousands per year,” she says.
Win a month’s worth of groceries from Woolworths
We’re giving away a $400 Woolworths voucher to one lucky saver.
Let us know your best savings tip and you can win a month’s worth of groceries!