These frugal tips prove that it’s a fallacy that you need to live a life of deprivation in order to save money.
Hands up if you’re trying to save money to build your wealth right now. Everyone’s hand should be in the air, right? Whether you’re trying to save money to build wealth, buy a home, improve your kids future, or just sit on your piles of money Scrooge McDuck-style, these frugal tips are for you.
That said, nothing kills a savings plan faster than feeling like you’re missing out on life right now just because Future You wants more money. So I promise that not a single one of these frugal tips will make you feel deprived. Well, maybe a little bit, but never a lot.
Let’s get to it. 101 frugal tips to help you save money to ultimately live a richer, more fulfilling life. Let’s go!
Planning and tracking
1. Make sure you have a budget
Knowing what’s coming in and what’s going out is the quickest way to find financial leaks and patch them quick smart.
2. Know exactly what you’re saving for
Make sure you know exactly what your savings goals are and why you want to achieve them. Any budget without goals is going to be very hard to stick to. When you know that buying a takeaway coffee a day means you won’t be able to take a $2K holiday at the end of the year, it sure is easier to make your own damn coffee.
3. Make time to stay on track
4. Set up separate accounts
If you’ve got an offset account on your mortgage, keep your savings in there. Even if you don’t, keep your savings on your mortgage (check that you won’t be charged if you want to move them out). For those who don’t have a mortgage, set up a separate account to house your savings and move a set percentage of your income into that account each month. Find a bank account that doesn’t charge fees and hopefully one that rewards you for making regular deposits without withdrawals.
5. Track your spend
You could simply jot down what you spend in a notebook, but apps that track your spending are a real time saver. Many can automate a lot of your spending, others make it quick to manually enter your purchases. Try one of these:
6. Make it a challenge
It’s ironic, but turning your savings goal into a challenge makes it easier to stick to. Try one of these ideas:
7. Change your habits
Sometimes we just need a mindset overhaul to set us on the right track to saving. Take a look at your everyday habits and assess whether they will hinder or help you to your savings goal. Think long-term and troubleshoot what you can do when you find yourself giving short-term choices priority. There are loads of ideas to help you hack your mindset here.
8. Save any cash
Most of us don’t see a lot of actual money these days, but when you do get $10 in your hand, put it in a jar. Don’t count it, don’t think about it again. At the end of the year, you’ll hopefully have some real cash set aside that you can invest.
9. Set smaller targets to reach
It can be too daunting to make your only goal something huge like “save $50,000 for a home deposit“. Break that mountain down. Your first goal might be “I’m going to save $2,000 towards my home deposit by October” and reward yourself when you get there (see below).
10. Reward yourself along the way
Remember, rewards don’t need to cost much to be valuable. You might set a certain percentage aside of every target you hit to treat yourself. Maybe 5%? Maybe less? Or think of rewards that cost nothing at all. Giving yourself the gift of time will cost you nothing, but give you everything. A weekend without work, a week of free evenings to read your book, an afternoon watching movies are all deeply satisfying rewards.
11. Give every dollar a job
When you do your budget, allocate every single dollar somewhere. Make the categories as small as possible. So instead of just ‘utilities’, you’ll have ‘electricity’, ‘gas’ and ‘solar’ separately listed. It also means that instead of ‘savings’, you’ll be slapping a “holiday savings” tag on some money and a “home deposit” tag elsewhere. Every dollar, allocated somewhere important. By ensuring that every dollar has a home, you’ll be less likely to spend it somewhere impulsively.
12. Pay your future self first
When money comes in, allocate it immediately into each of your budget categories, starting with your savings. Then your super, then insurance and then education fees. After that, look at your food budget, then day-to-day bills categories like utilities and telecomms. Once all of the essentials are taken care of, look at what’s left over for non-essentials like entertainment and clothing. And yes, clothing is a non-essential for the purposes of your saving account. None of us are in danger of going naked if we can’t buy a new shirt for a few months.
13. Increase your appetite for risk
The higher the risk, the higher the rewards. Not only that, but low risk tolerance can result in bad money decisions. So it definitely pays to get comfortable with taking more financial risks. More on this: You need to get comfortable with risk to grow your wealth.
14. Save windfalls
If you get a pay rise or a lump sum, don’t up your spending. Invest it instead. Or invest at least 80 per cent of it, and treat yourself to something you really want with the other 20 per cent. As these frugal tips all show, it’s about being a wise owl, not a McDuck.
15. Get into micro-investing
Micro-investing means you invest very small amounts of money over time into an investment portfolio. To get started, you don’t need to know a lot about investing, or even have a lot of money. Most of the time, you won’t even miss the money you’re investing. Get started here: How to get started micro-investing and why you’ll want to.
16. Get a financial adviser
Keeping your growing savings in a bank account is never going to be the best way to grow your wealth. This is where building a relationship with a good financial adviser can really help you get where you want to go. They’ll clarify your financial goals then advise you on the best way to achieve them through investing. Matter of fact, this might be the most important of all the frugal tips offered here.
Frugal tips to get the best deal
17. Know where the savings are
Make a list of all the utilities and services you use and what you’re currently paying. Note down exactly what you’re getting for your money so you can compare other offerings (see below). For every utility and service on your list, write down three ways you could use less or pay less.
18. Two words: comparison shop
Once you’ve made your list (see above), the next of my frugal tips is to jump onto a comparison website to check your current deal against the market. Any of these are good:
19. Make the call
If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Simple as that. Once you’ve seen what’s out there, call your supplier to ask for a better deal. Be specific and aim high when you’re asking for a discount. You want to give your supplier plenty of wiggle room, but ultimately end up with a good deal.
20. Bundle and save
Streamlining your services can help improve your negotiation leverage as your business is worth more overall to the supplier. Some common areas to bundle include:
- Communications – mobile phone(s), internet, entertainment
- Energy – electricity and gas
- Insurance – home, contents, personal, car, pet
- Home – cleaning, gardening, pool care
- Banking – savings, home loan, car loan, personal loan
21. Consolidate your debts
Minimise the interest you pay on your debts by consolidating them into one. More info on this here: Everything you need to know about debt consolidation
22. Stop wasting money on bank fees
Get out your bank statements and add up exactly how much you pay in bank fees each year. That includes account keeping and transaction costs, foreign exchange fees, late payment penalties, overdrawn account charges and ATM withdrawals.
Then check your fees against the rest of the market via a comparison site like Canstar. Negotiate a reduction in fees with your bank (see ‘make the call’ above) or be prepared to switch providers to reduce or get rid of bank fees entirely.
23. Check your credit score
A low credit score could be the reason why you’re not being offered a lower interest rate on your mortgage or paying more for utilities. Here’s how to find out what your credit score is. If yours isn’t up to scratch, make it a priority to fix it.
24. Maximise your tax return
These is potentially one of the more lucrative frugal tips. Millions of Australians are missing out on legitimate tax deductions every year. Maximise your return by researching exactly what you can and can’t claim for your specific income streams. Here’s a good place to start: Tips and tricks to maximise your tax return.
Ditch unnecessary purchases
25. Impose a 48-hour rule
This is a doozy, but it’s important that you keep trying to stop yourself from buying all the things. If you see something you must have, make a note of it and return it to the shelf/cart. Get a good night’s sleep and then another. If you still really, really, really want it two days later, you can go ahead and buy it. Guaranteed that nine times out of 10, you’ll leave it on the shelf.
26. Set a spending limit
In any given week, you can only spend $X on items you haven’t planned for. You can set your budget based on what you can afford to spend and the impact it will have on your savings goals. Once you reach your limit, no further spending until next week.
27. Know your triggers
Hopefully the above two tips will already be keeping the impulse spending at bay, but it also pays to know thyself. Try keeping a diary for a couple of weeks to see what tempts you. Don’t buy anything, of course, but write down what you want, where you are, why you want it, what else you are doing at the time and how you are feeling. So, you might write down that you really want to buy a new iPhone from the Apple store because you’re surrounded by all this shiny new technology and you feel left out.
This will provide you with some insights to eliminate your triggers going forward. In other words, avoid the Apple store in future.
Believe me, everyone is trying to sell you something. Usually through a newsletter (but not ours, of course!). Unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails and you’ll be surprised how much temptation you remove.
29. Remove your credit card
Don’t keep your credit card details on your phone or computer. You’ll quickly realise that most purchases you desperately want aren’t even worth the bother of getting up and finding your credit card to input.
30. Buy nothing new
Remove all temptation by going on a ‘buy nothing new’ challenge. You can do it for a week, a month or a year. The idea is to make use of what you already have for a set period of time. If you absolutely need a particular item, you have to buy it second hand or barter for it. A frugal tips challenge like this very quickly shows you where your priorities are and what you can and can’t live without.
31. Need versus want
Which brings us to one of the most important frugal tips: the ability to know when you really need something, and when you just want something. You can live without wants for as long as it takes to save your goal. You can’t live without needs, so they need to be budgeted for. It’s good practice to estimate how much of your budget you currently spend on wants and how much are actually needs. Cut out the wants as much as you can.
32. Bring friends and family on board
Just like it’s way easier to stick to a healthy eating plan when you tell everyone about it, you can stick to your money goals this way too. Hopefully because friends and family will be supportive of your goals. But also because it’s helpful that they know you’ll be going two star for a while, not five.
33. Keep a spending journal
Think of this as a more detailed version of tracking your budget. You want to write down what you bought, how much it was and on what date. But you also want to add how you were feeling before you made the purchase and after. Also note how stressful life was at the time of purchase. You may start to see patterns emerging that will help you understand your spending habits. Or you might just stop spending so much because you can’t be bothered with the self-analysis every time you want a chocolate bar. Either way, it’s helpful.
34. Get some help
It’s generally funny to talk about being a shopaholic, but not for everyone. Shopping addiction is an actual thing. If you think you might suffer from omiomania, talk to your doctor.
35. Trade your skills
Work out what skills you have that are valuable to friends and family and trade them for skills you don’t have. Fix someone’s computer in exchange for a haircut. Mow your neighbour’s lawn and get paid in plant cuttings. Babysit for a friend and coffee is on him for the week. You get the idea…
36. Get into SS
Christmas is a guaranteed budget-breaker for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be. Embrace the concept of Secret Santa and cut down on the number of gifts you have to buy. Put everyone in the group’s names into a hat and draw a name for each person to give a gift to. Everyone writes down a few things they would like to receive for a set spending limit and then their person chooses one gift from the list. So it’s a surprise, but not a surprise. The great thing is that everyone ends up with one substantial gift they’ve asked for, rather than lots of little things they may not want.
Frugal tips to spend less on meals
37. Plan your meals
You’ll have seen this as an organisation tip time and time again. But meal planning can also save you money by eliminating food wastage and impulse purchases at the supermarket.
38. Plan meals around bargains
Have a flick through your supermarket’s weekly discounts list or catalogue before you plan your menu. That way you can take advantage of the items on special and work your meal choices around them.
39. Use an in-store rewards card
The savings might not be much, but every little bit counts. You can cash back your points for money off your grocery bill. You can also take advantage of special offers that are only available to card holders.
40. Use a loyalty credit card
For further savings, consider using a rewards credit card with a loyalty program partnered with the supermarket you frequent. You’ll earn more rewards points with every shop. Only consider this option if you’re meticulous about paying off your credit cards in full every month.
41. Buy in bulk
If something is on special at the grocer, stock up. You’ll save plenty if you take advantage of the many half-price specials that do the rounds at the supermarkets. Canned foods and frozen foods all keep for months. You can also buy meat in bulk and split it up to freeze in meal-size portions. Remember to plan your meals ahead when you buy in bulk so you are sure to use up all of the bargain food you’ve so carefully stored. More tips for family meals here: 10 easy tips to help feed your family on a budget
42. Buy close to expiry
Supermarkets and produce suppliers often discount goods like bread, meat and deli items at the end of the day. Snag those bargains then put them straight into the freezer when you get home.
43. Visit farmer’s markets
Buying organic, in season produce direct from the grower will save you money. You’ll also be getting the freshest possible food from a trusted source. Find your nearest farmer’s market here.
44. Grow your own herbs
Growing vegetables might feel daunting, but growing herbs is simple. It’s also super-cost effective because gram for gram, herbs cost more than most veggies at the supermarket. Plus you always end up having to buy more than you’re going to use. In fact, herbs cost a ridiculous amount considering you have to buy a whole bunch just to add two tablespoons to a recipe. Try these easy-to-grow herbs in the garden and save up to $4 a bunch:
45. Cook from scratch
The more work you do yourself in the kitchen, the less you’ll pay someone else to it. So skip the plastic-wrapped cut green beans or side of beef and slice your own. Cooking from scratch is easier than you think. Start with these recipes from SBS Food that will take you less time than it takes to order a takeaway.
46. Stop getting takeaway
Speaking of takeaway, stop it. I’ve proved above that anyone can cook a quick, cheap meal. Ordering food in should be seen as a luxury, not a weekly (or help, daily) event. Take lunch, for example. You can make a salad to take into work for around $5. Buying a salad in the city can cost around $15. Do it daily and you’re spending an extra $50 a week buying your lunch. And don’t get me started on dinner…
47. Eat less meat
Whatever your ethical or sustainable beliefs, budget-wise alone it makes sense to go meatless as often as possible. Not only will your health thank you for it, your hip pocket will too. In fact, researchers at Deakin University found that the average family could save up to$1800 a year making more sustainable food choices.
48. Shop your pantry
Every other week try to cut down on your weekly shop by using what you already have – or even skip a weekly shop altogether. Get creative with menus that use up your pantry staples and especially whatever you’ve got stored in the freezer. Not only will you put an entire week’s worth of grocery money back in your pocket, you’ll also reduce overall food waste.
49. Check where you shop
When it comes to what you’ll pay at the checkout, not all big supermarkets are made equal. According to Canstar, Aldi consistently rates highest for value-for-money satisfaction. Foodland pops in at number two. CHOICE found that you could save as much as 59% when buying your groceries from Aldi rather than Coles or Woolworths. So, unless you’re a shareholder of the big two supermarkets, it might be worth switching.
50. Buy store brands
Generic supermarket products are often much cheaper than brands. They are often Australian-made and beat out the expensive competitors in flavour and freshness trials, too.
51. Grow your own
We looked a starting a herb garden above, but it’s worth investigating vegetable and fruit gardening too. Growing your own food means you’ll cut down on waste and know you’re eating quality food. If you currently buy organic produce, growing your own will undoubtedly save you a packet as well. You’ll have some upfront costs to get started, but they needn’t be huge. You might also find yourself ditching your expensive gym membership once you start digging and ploughing in the garden on the daily.
52. Stop buying bottled water
It’s wrecking the planet. Full stop.*
* Also, it costs loads of money and tap water is free. If you’re worried about water quality (and CHOICE says don’t be), buy a filter. Filters don’t have to cost much and work out far cheaper than buying plastic bottles everyday.
53. Eat less
Eat less food in general and save heaps – AKA the ‘don’t buy it diet’. Save money, lose weight, feel great. You read it here first.
Frugal tips to spend less on utilities
54. Switch off
Your dad (the original frugal tips man) probably drove you nuts as a kid telling you to switch off the lights the moment you left the room. Ahem, Dad had a point. A power point. Make sure you’re also using energy-saving bulbs in the first place. And keep the lights dim at night anyway as it’s better for your sleep.
55. Cut down on the AC
No matter where in Australia you live (whether that requires more heating or cooling), your air conditioning is costing you a pretty penny each year. According to CHOICE, it’s actually costing you up to 58,600 pretty pennies. That’s right, up to $586 a year. To put this figure on ice, try:
- reducing the size of your AC unit (a smaller 4kV unit costs up to $492 a year, almost $100 less)
- running an energy-efficient model (remember, the higher the stars, the lower the costs)
- improve the energy efficiency of your home (block drafts, double-glaze your windows or cover them with thick curtains, insulate your roof)
- cool or heat only the rooms you are using
- dress appropriate to the season and then cool or heat your home (ie, if you’re wearing a tank top in Melbourne in winter, you’re spending way too much on heating)
Turning off the central heating at night is also a good way to save money and improve your sleep. Now that’s switching off at night.
56. Cover up
Instead of relying on the AC, cover windows with heavy curtains, blinds or shutters to insulate your windows. These will keep the cool out in winter and the heat out in summer. Consider double-glazing your windows or installing eaves, awnings or outside shutters to further insulate your home.
57. Install a smart meter
Monitor how and when you use your electricity with a smart meter and then consider how you can do things differently to take advantage of off-peak rates. Set the timer on your washing machine to do a load in the dead of night. Run the dishwasher later at night as well.
58. Dim the lights
We sleep better after an evening spent in low light anyway.
By all means, try to cut down on using electrical devices like the television and heater as often as you can. But if that’s not appealing, at least unplug them from the wall when you’re not using them. If you’ve got loads of appliances plugged in and switched on, they are most likely pulling a phantom charge even if you’re not using them. Little things add up.
60. Lower the temp
Many homes have the hot water system set to a scalding temperature that’s way too hot for both safety and your hip pocket. Newer hot water systems won’t even allow these temperatures as plumbing safety regulations allow a maximum temperature of 50° Celsius. So, check your system and reduce the max temperature to save both money and your skin.
61. Cold wash your clothes
It costs almost three times as much to wash three loads of laundry a week on a warm wash than a cold wash. Enough said. For maximum clean, wash cold and then line dry in the sun (see below).
62. Stop using the dryer
This is one of those frugal trips that the environment loves you for as well. An average 6kg dryer costs $1.17 a load to run. So, if you’re doing three dryer runs a week, you’re paying $182.52 for the privilege. You’re also missing out on all the benefits of sun-drying your clothes. Line-dried clothes last longer, don’t shrink and are naturally disinfected and whitened by the sun.
63. Buy energy-efficient
When it’s time to replace an old appliance (and that time is always during the sales), be sure to replace it with one with as many energy-efficiency stars as possible. Also check that it offers an economy cycle and use it as often as possible. You can compare brands and calculate your costs here.
64. Keep things clean
Clean appliances run more efficiently, so dust those vents, empty that canister, change those filters and trim back those bushes near your outside AC unit.
65. Always do a full load
Whether it’s the dishwasher or the washing machine, one of the easiest frugal tips says that you’ll never run it unless you’ve got a complete load. Unless your machine has a particular setting, half-loads are just a complete waste of energy and money.
66. Convert to solar energy
While the upfront cost of solar energy seems daunting, you’ll save money in the long-term getting your energy from the sun instead of the grid. Check in with your neighbours to see if they are also interested in going solar. You should be able to get a discount if a supplier can fit all your houses out at once.
67. Check your seals
The seals on your fridge, freezer and oven become loose or wear out over time. You should be able to close the door on a piece of paper and have it stay in place. If you can’t, get your seals replaced as they are effectively leaking energy (and money) from your appliance.
68. Half-flush each time
Most modern toilets have a ‘half flush’ option, but do you use it? Be sure you do and you’ll use half as much water and stop money literally going down the drain. If your loo doesn’t offer a reduced flush, fill up a couple of 600ml soft drink bottles and drop them into your cistern away from the operating mechanisms. They’ll reduce the volume of water used per flush. Trust me, a half flush is enough for 99.9 per cent of occasions.
69. Water wisely
Attach a barrel to your down pipe to collect water to use on your garden. While you’re there, install a drip-irrigation system to water your plants in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. They don’t cost much to set up yourself and you’ll make the money back in the water you’ll save in a year or two. Plus you’ll feel awesome as you sit in your lush garden knowing you’ve done your bit to drought-proof the country.
70. Switch your phone plan
Keep up with how much data you’re using on your family’s phones and internet and adjust your plan to suit. If you’re paying $10 more for a plan your don’t use, you’re paying $120 a year for nothing.
71. Bundle your comms
If you have more than one mobile phone on the go, you can generally bundle them together on one data plan to make big savings. Talk to your telco and if they can’t offer you a better deal, shop around and be prepared to go somewhere that will.
How to reduce general expenses
72. Save on fuel
Buy fuel from stations attached to your supermarket card so you can take advantage of money off per litre. Or use sites like Petrol Spy, Motor Mouth or Fuel Check to find the cheapest fuel near you in real time.
73. Make your own coffee
If you’re buying just one cup of coffee every workday, you could be spending anywhere between $780 and $1,300 per year. Depends on how much you’re getting ripped off for your latte… Make your own espresso and you’ll save up to $1,000 a year and plenty of those awful plastic lids from landfill. If it makes you feel better, make your coffee at home and put it in a reusable cup with a lid, so you still feel like a boss drinking it on the train.
74. Take the train/bus
It costs a five-day a week Australian commuter $5,490 less per year to take public transport than to drive. Even more, depending on where you live. Imagine if you doubled down and walked part of the way as well. There’s your annual overseas holiday saved for right there. Something you can plan as you sit on the train with nothing to do but relax and dream. Oh, the luxury of having someone drive you places!
75. Stop using your credit card
No matter how diligent we are, those darn interest charges have a way of catching us. The frugal tips solution is to cut up the credit cards and only spend what you have. If you use a debit card, you should still have access to many of the Visa or Mastercard benefits without the looming fees.
76. Car pool
When a friend offers to give you a lift somewhere, accept graciously. Then arrange to make it a regular thing. You drive one week, they drive the next. You’ll basically halve your travel costs and strengthen your friendship as you go.
77. Run just one car
With all the car pooling and public transporting you’ll be doing, chances are you can get by with one family car. According to the RACV, even a small car wracks up monthly running costs of $928.64. Upgrade to a SUV and that goes up to $1804.61. So, you could either downgrade your larger car to halve your running costs, or ditch the second car altogether and save stacks.
78. Cancel old memberships
Look, sometimes we just need to face facts: we’re not gym people. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is paying the gym fees month after month on the promise that you’ll get there eventually. Better to cut your losses, pay the cancellation fee (or, better yet, find someone to take over your membership), and go for a walk instead. That goes for work and club memberships as well.
79. Exercise for free
Exercising outdoors is free and addictive. Many councils have outdoor fitness equipment in at least one park. Fitness stations have full instructions and are run as a circuit, making them easy to use. You can also swim for nothing at the beach or most beach pools. On Saturday mornings across Australia, people take part in a free five kilometre timed Parkrun. Lastly, meet up with a friend for a walk instead of a coffee.
80. Only buy on sale
Sales are so ubiquitous these days that you really shouldn’t ever have to pay full price for anything. It might mean a small wait, but it will be worth it when you can buy the exact same item at 10, 20, 50 or more per cent off.
81. Buy second hand
Try not to buy new as often as you can. Op shops, Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace – it’s all there, waiting for a new owner. You can even buy high-end fashion second hand through sites like Revoir, The Closet and Blue Spinach. More tips here: 16 ways to look luxe for less and save yourself a fortune.
82. Rent, don’t buy
Instead of spending hundreds on a dress or pair of shoes you might only wear for one or two occasions, rent your dream outfit instead. There are load of places online that will kit you out, try these:
83. Barter, don’t buy
Unless you’re mad-keen, you don’t need to keep a garage-full of camping equipment, sporting paraphernalia or fishing gear. Most of us only use this kind of equipment from time to time, so arrange to borrow what you need from your neighbours and friends instead. The same goes for things like lawn mowers and other gardening tools. Work out what your neighbour has and you keep what they don’t have. Swap when you need things.
84. Just. stop. buying. stuff
If you’ve ever contemplated renting a storage facility, or your guests sleep in the study because the ‘spare room’ isn’t accessible, or you can’t fit the car into the garage, this one is for you. Australians are drowning in excess stuff and it’s killing our planet and our bank balance. So stop buying all the things. Especially things you don’t need. Which is any more than one white shirt or an upgrade to a perfectly working phone/PC/sound system, etc. Step off the over-buying train once and for all.
Entertainment for less
85. Go coupon mad
There are plenty of discount companies that will save you a truckload on your entertainment expenses. Everything from a date night meal out to a lap or two around a race track. These sites save your money by either buying up group deals (in which case, the offer is only activated after a certain number of people agree to buy) or by passing on a discount offered by a vendor for a limited time or to first-time customers only. Either way, you save money. Try one of these bargain-gathering sites:
86. Use the library
Buying books, magazines, toys and movies is expensive, which is why it’s so great that you don’t have to. Your local library will let you have the lot on loan for free. Check your council website to find out how you can sign up and start saving.
87. Settle on one streaming service
Do you really need Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Binge, Foxtel and Apple TV? Firstly, you can actually watch free-to-air TV for free, you know. Secondly, more than one streaming service adds up pretty quick. Twenty bucks a month is probably okay, but double, triple or even more that figure and it’s really biting a hole in your budget. Settle on one service and save the money you spend on the others.
88. Save at the cinema
You can go see the same movie for half the price on certain days at most cinemas. There are also certain times of day when a discounted session might be on offer (midday is a good one). Many cinemas have movie clubs that offer discounts to members all day, every day. You can also purchase books of ten tickets for considerably less than ten individual tickets. Oh, and plenty of companies (like Optus, Telstra, etc) offer discount movie tickets to their customers, too. So many options to save at the cinema!
89. See shows half-price
Buy tickets to shows around Australia at the last minute and you can get them up to 50 per cent off. Check out sites like Lasttix, Tix and Halftix Melbourne If you’re under 30, contact the venue directly as most have ongoing discounts for younger types.
90. Know what’s on for free
Sign up for your council (and nearby council’s) newsletter to stay up to date with what’s on for free. Festivals, movies, art and craft classes, workshops and talks and music gigs are just some of the entertainment options most councils host.
91. Cut down on eating out
Eating out is nice and it’s great to support small businesses, so it’s hard to give it up completely. But try doing it less and try eating only one course while you’re there. So you might enjoy your main and then head home for dessert. Or eat dinner at home, but head out for a sweet treat after.
92. Don’t eat out on Sundays
Many venues charge a Sunday or public holiday surcharge of up to 20 per cent. So unless you absolutely have to, avoid eating out on Sundays.
93. But do eat out on special’s nights
Most clubs and pubs have themed nights where food is substantially discounted. So save your schnitty craving for a Tuesday night and it’s $10 instead of $20. If you’ve got kids, you should also check out the Kids Eat Free special nights.
94. Book through a discount site
Discount booking sites like EatClub and TheFork can score you up to 50 per cent off your food bill. Most of the deals will be ‘last minute’, so hold off making your arrangements and you’ll save loads.
95. Try your pot luck
By all means, invite your friends over for a fun night, but ask them to bring a dish to cut down on the cost of entertaining at home. Most Aussies are used to ‘bring a plate’ requests and won’t bat an eyelid.
96. Meet for a picnic
Meet friends at a local park, beach or river for a picnic instead of at a café for lunch.
97. Preload at home
If you absolutely have to have more than one drink on a night out, have it at home before you go. Or have a couple out and then head back home to keep partying. Bar prices are ridiculous.
98. Hit the BYO venues
Half your dining out money is often spent on buying a bottle of wine and a pre dinner beer. BYO instead and save a packet. Do check the corkage price, however. It’s not unheard of for venues to charge up to $10 a bottle, which kind of defeats the purpose of bringing your own.
99. Go off-peak
Many venues experience a seasonal down-turn, so try to time your visit when the crowds have left. Shoulder season at the water park, for example. It might be a little chilly, but the lower entry price and reduced waiting time on the slides will soon warm you up. Likewise, many ‘summer’ outdoor bars and restaurants are far quieter in winter.
100. House swap
Holidays are expensive, but you can save stacks on accommodation by house swapping. You’ll not only have a base for your holiday, it’s also reassuring to have someone staying at your place while you’re away. Some home swapping sites to check out:
101. Get a hotel deal
Book your accommodation through a discount booking site and you’ll have money leftover to spend on the rest of your holiday. Try one of these companies: