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Thread: Your BEST tips for saving money......

  1. #1

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    Default Your BEST tips for saving money......

    DH and I just bought our first home and we are very excited except that we need to cut about a million corners to stay on top.

    So please shoot me your best tips for saving money.

    We will be having a 4 min timer in the shower to save water, we will be redirecting all grey water onto our gardens, we already shop at aldi, buy in bulk, make sure no lights or appliances are turned on unnecessarily, ummmmmm what else?

    I wont be putting the dishwasher on unless it is totally full and not full of big bowls like i currently do

    I will wash dishes in a sink full of water rather than running water.



    Ok thats about all i can think of.

  2. #2

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    shop with a list and buy only on the list
    walk rather than drive to the local shops (assuming this is a possibility)
    eat before you go out somewhere (shopping etc) so you don't need to eat while out doing stuff
    take a bottle of water rather than buying whilst out - and if you only drink bottled water buy a pack from the likes of big w and take this rather than buying whilst out
    make lists of things you want for those who ask re birthday christmas gifts so you can get some things you need then rather than buying yourself


    ETA - look at meals that can be made with cheaper cuts of meat (doesn't have to be all the time but can help)
    take lunches don't buy
    as Liz said - light bulbs make a difference and they don't have to be the expensive energy efficient ones we find the $4each (usually come in packs of 4) last just as long
    if you are going to restaurants - byo is much cheaper
    shop at op shops
    go to the movies tuesday rather than any other night (cheaper)
    visit the library rather than buying books
    have coffee with friends at peoples houses rather than cafes
    plan your wardrobe so not buying on impulse
    sell any stuff you don't want need at garage sale/ebay/classifieds
    if you want to garden visit other people who have plants you like and ask for clippings rather than purchasing new plants
    only run one fridge - they chew power
    consider seriously whether you can survive with just one car
    make sure you ring around/get on the net when insurances are due - the cheapest company in an area changes from year to year - can save you hundreds
    ensure you pay things early/on time if it means getting a discount - rates etc.
    take holidays outside peak times
    don't buy something unless you can pay cash for it
    only use your mobile for people to be able to contact you - ring out from a landline if you have one (assumption here that you aren't on mobile only) especially if a local call
    turn off voicemail on mobiles - it is costing you 60c or so everytime someone leaves a message if they really want you they will try again or sms you
    if using aircons only use ones in the immediate areayou need - shut doors to everywhere else
    if you have a pool look at getting the pump wired into the electricty in a similar manner to your hot water so it can run on offpeak rates and look at getting a pool blanket to cover it
    by petrol midweek - usually cheaper
    don't fall into the trap of spending money to save money - its only a special if you use it and would normally do so
    if you are having people over and they offer to bring something - let them - you don't always have to fully cater for everybody


    Now I realise not all of these may apply or be suitable to your situation but just rattling them off as I think of them
    Last edited by jaspen; February 15th, 2008 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3

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    I've found shopping online saves money because if I know I've got say $100 to spend, then I can fiddle around with what's in my cart until I'm within budget, whereas shopping at the shops you just gotta pay whatever it adds up to at the till! My only problem with online shopping is I'm never organised enough to do it. They don't do same day deliveries anymore, and you have to place your order before noon for the next day.. and I usually need stuff straight away so end up just grabbing the kids and going shopping.

    Have you replaced all your lightbulbs with energy efficient bulbs? This saves a LOT. We have a stack of halogen lights in this house.. we had a monstrous electricity bill, so we stopped using halogens.. we bought a couple of lamps and put the CFL bulbs in them, and we knocked $400 off our bill!! (including a couple of other things like turning off a spare fridge and getting the hot water system replaced). But I swear it was the halogen lighting that was killing us.

  4. #4

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    This is more of a budgeting tip, we are about to buy our second home & find it's bills that get us each month.
    Now each pay an automatic payment of a certain amount of $$$ goes directly to ph, water, elec, rego, savings etc regardless of how much the bills are. That way we only spend what we have left & don't spend too much before the bills come in & when the bills do come in the are either in cr or not much at all.

  5. #5

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    As what Jaspen said, some mates of ours just had a baby and they went through a recipe book, picked enough dinners for the week, and then bought the ingredients they needed in one shop... they only spent $70 or so on food. So that's pretty good, we're thinking about doing the same.

  6. #6

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    List shopping is great I also enter comps so we can get the extras like movie tickets etc and well as mystery shopping PM me and I can give you some deatails there is also a good group called simple savings if you would like to google them

  7. #7

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    Hey there
    Congrats on making it to mortageville!
    A couple of tips which work for us:
    1. Try to do a budget, annualise your bills and put away a certain monthly amount away to cover them if cashflow allows i find this makes life quite a bit easier when it comes up to those big bill months;
    2. In doing your budget provide an allowance for yourself and DH - Pay yourself first whether by setting aside funds in another account or by withdrawing the cash - I have found having even a little money a week leaves me feeling like i am not on a budget and its good to do what i want to with my $$;
    3. If you or DH are working - take lunch to work - total total $$ saver you can buy a weeks worth of lunch ingredients for the cost of one shop bought sandwich and drink.
    4. Meal plan prior to shopping this helps you do the list (the online shop is a good tip one but alot more expensive than Aldi, also I find alot of the specials are not available online)
    5. Eat whats in season, if you eat alot of asian try shopping at your local asian grocery (if you have one) they have a lovely variety of ingredients including great asian vegies at prices heaps cheaper than supermarkets;
    6. Try some vegetarian meals, beans and pulses are alot cheaper to cook with than meat and chicken we have found them to be suprisingly delicious;
    7. See if you can find a wholesale butcher who sells to the public in your local area, we have one locally and most items are between 1/2 and 2/3 the price of meat even at Aldi (where do you live?)
    8. Try and minimise waste by quantifying the cost of using things and throwing unused things out, sounds silly but it works, eg costs a couple of bucks to use the dryer so will hang the washing instead, a couple of bucks to chuck out the tomatoes which went bad etc etc.
    Sounds like you are already on the right track so you probably do all of the above already!
    Good luck!
    Cheerio
    Belinda.

  8. #8

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    Work out what you can save money on and what you can't. For instance, I've decided never to pay full-price for DD's clothes - I'll either buy them in the sales for her next size up or I'll buy secondhand on eBay. I also bought her cot on an online auction site and SAVED $450! You can also usually save on electrical goods if you wait for the sales.

    Equally, sell the stuff you no longer use. I've just sold a chair I bought for $35 for $31!!!

    I'm now a lot more choosy about what clothes I buy for myself. Once you've seen what things get marked down to in the sales, it makes you really resent paying full-price! But I do treat myself if it's something I really like and that I know I'll wear a lot.

    Food takes up an enormous amount of money. I love food though and that's one area I won't scrimp on. Menu planning and lists are essential. You will also save HEAPS if you buy meat, fruit and veggies at the market (not sure how this compares to Aldi) and freeze the meat. You can buy tins on special.

    I treat myself with expensive bread and stuff from the deli and I've actually saved money that way. I'm more likely to be happy with a sandwich for lunch if it's on my favourite olive bread and it's really nice ham. So less wastage.

    If you 'deny' yourself stuff, you're more likely to end up resentful and then go and blow your budget. So work out little things that you can treat yourselves with to keep you on track.

  9. #9

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    Shop with a calculator so you stick to your budget, you'd be surprised how many little extras can sneak into the grocery trolley!

    The other thing we do is have several nights where you eat a 'scratch' dinner - something cheap and quick like an omelette, pilau rice & tuna, soup, etc. Eat sandwiches for lunch then have a night where you combine the previous few nights' leftoevers. Then you can still afford to have a nicer cut of meat or fish a couple of times a week & you'd be surprised that you can actually shave $$ off your groceries.

    The other big one for me - make sure you have a bill paying system - so that all your bills are paid before the due date, they love to charge late fees!

  10. #10

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    i shouldnt answer this cause im a bad saver up, but i have those cards for water,gas and elec were you can put money on to cut down you're bill...it works really well.

  11. #11

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    Everyone has some great tips here!
    A few more that I use:
    1. Make your own cleaning supplies (eg using vingear, making your own laundry powder)
    2. Re-gift appropriately, saves money on presents (just google to find the "guidelines" of re-gifting!)
    3. Make your own greeting cards (cut up and re use old cards, save wrapping paper)
    4. Make homemade gifts - letter writing set, bath salts, mixes etc.
    5. Learn how to make your own spice mixes.
    6. Make your own gourmet breads (rather than paying $4 for a vienna loaf at Brumbies!)

    DH and I have always been thrifty as we got married while both still uni students! Now we are paying off one mortgage and about to start paying off a second, so I'll be looking at everyone else's tips carefully.

  12. #12

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    All I can say is - go back to basics as much as possible. Make things from scratch, have more veggo meals, invite friends over for coffee instead of going out (get them to bring morning/afternoon tea), have BBQs instead of takeaway or dining out, set up direct debits for your bills so you are paying off a little at a time, shop at op shops and the like. It works from our perspective.

  13. #13

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    Oh, and learn to layby instead of using your credit card!

  14. #14

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    - De-clutter your home and sell all the excess stuff online or at a garage sale
    - Pay yourself first. Put some money away automatically from your pay in a separate high interest savings account. If you don't see it you won't miss it. Likewise if you get a pay rise or bonus stick it straight into savings. If you have been living off the lower income then you don't need to increase your expenses to match your pay rise.
    - Create a budget, list ALL your expenses and income in 2 columns in a spreadsheet or even just on a piece of paper. The FIDO website has a great budget template spreadsheet and tips. Review your budget regularly.
    - Plan your meals before you go shopping and make a list and stick to it. Don't go shopping when you're hungry either!
    - Buy cheap cuts of meat and make casseroles and curries etc.
    - Supermarket bought cleaning products are expensive. Make your own using vinegar, bicarb, etc.
    - Get petrol mid week when the cycle is low even if your tank is not empty.
    - Instead of going out for dinner, have a 'pot luck' night with your friends where everyone brings a dish each.
    - Check out the Simple Savings and Cheapskates websites, they have some great tips on saving money.

  15. #15
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    D... there is a meat place called Tasman Meats which is in Werribee which sells really cheap meat and it's great! So maybe give that a try

  16. #16

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    Saving Money With a Baby

    Ps. I read your sig and I reckon there are no such things as mistakes unless you don't learn from them. Then you can have no regrets
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  17. #17

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    wow BB folk are a clever thrifty lot. awesome ideas

    * cut out impromptu coffees at a coffee shop.
    * insulate your home the best you can. you can get draft stopper, door and window seals for your whole home for under $50. the more heat/cool you loose the more you have to heat/cool. if you don't have it already, put good insulation in your roof (minimum rating of 4) - it is cheaper to do it yourself and isn't that hard. the upfront cost will bring you savings even in the first couple of years and you will wish you did it earlier especially if you have high energy bills.
    * if you live in drier climate, in summer close your house up to keep out the day's radiant heat. use fans instead of airconditioners, they use heaps less energy.
    * plant a vegie/herb garden from seeds which are cheaper than ready plants and gives you yummy food all year round and makes it feel like 'home'.
    * do away with energy demanding appliances especially big flat screen TVs that cost the earth to buy and run. discover games to play with your family and friends. ie 'go out' at home with your family and friends having game nights where everyone brings a dish to share.
    * if you have electric hot water system, turn it down a few degrees. most of the time they are set too high anyway and we have to 'cool' it down with cold water.
    * reduce the limit on your credit card so that you have to think more about purchases each month and you have a better idea of how much you are spending.

    just some suggestions. enjoy your new home and happy saving!

  18. #18

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    I shouldn't be answering this either as we don't "budget" as such but we have reached some amazing financial goals through living frugally (managed to pay for our DD's private primary school fees for example, on mostly a single wage).

    My basic philosophy is to live simply. Think of solutions that your Nana may have used to economise. You need to make it a way of life. Our ego's are often our biggest expense. If you can examine your 'needs' and discover that they are only "nice to haves" you'll save a fortune. Do you need new clothes? No, you can most likely do with second hand. Do you need a late model car? No, you only need a car that's safe and reliable. Don't let it affect you that you aren't keeping up with the Jones in terms of what "stuff" you have. Remember the best things in life are free!

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