Simple ways to save money

Saving made easy

Making small changes in your life can fatten your savings and help you budget better. Follow these tips to save more money.

Save on groceries

Here are some tips for saving money next time you're at the supermarket:

  • Plan ahead - Plan your meals in advance and write a shopping list with the ingredients you'll need.
  • Write a list - Keep a writing pad and pen in the kitchen. During the week, add to this list as you think of things you need and take it with you when you go shopping so you don't forget anything. Only buy what's on the list. This makes it easier to stick to your budget.
  • Budget - Put your grocery money in an envelope. Don't take any other cash or cards with you so you can only spend what you have.
  • Buy in bulk - Buy in bulk when things are cheaper and only go grocery shopping once a fortnight. Use all the food in your pantry before you buy more.
  • Leave the kids at home - Go shopping without the kids. You'll have more time to compare prices and won't fall victim to 'pester power'.
  • Eat before shopping - Eat a meal or snack before you go to the supermarket. When you are not hungry, you tend to buy less food.
  • Buy generic - Substitute brand names for generic products where you can.
  • Check the specials - You might be able to replace an item on your list with a cheaper alternative.
  • Check the dates - Check the 'use by' and 'best before' dates on food so you don't waste money buying things you won't use before you have to throw them out.
  • Try vegetarian meals - Meat can be expensive, so buy less of it and try making more meals without using it.

Use our budget planner to help you save.

Budget planner

""Case study: Nadia's chocolate choice

Nadia loves chocolate but knows it is bad for her. She decides to stop eating chocolate for 30 days as a health challenge. A month later, she not only feels much healthier but has also saved over $100.

Save electricity and water

If you're looking for ways to reduce how much water or electricity your household uses, you might be surprised at the difference just a few small changes can make. See our webpage how to save water and electricity.

Save money with a friend

It can be harder to save money when the people around you are keen to spend. Try and find a friend who also wants to save money. You can share tips, enjoy cheap nights out and borrow from each other rather than buy new things. You could even have a competition to see who saves the most money over a set time.

Save on clothes and other items

With fashion changing every season, you don't really need to buy new clothes all the time:

  • If you're buying clothes, check if you can wash them to avoid dry cleaning bills.
  • If you buy something, make sure it goes with at least two other things in your wardrobe so you can get a few different outfits out of one item.
  • Check op-shops and local markets for bargains.
  • Ask your neighbours, friends or family if you can borrow tools or gardening equipment, rather than buy new items.
  • Take advantage of stocktake sales or end-of-season clearances to pay less for the things you need.

Save on your wedding

Weddings are expensive but there are lots of ways you can cut costs. See our webpage cheap wedding ideas.

Save on your holiday

Holidays don't have to break the bank. There are some easy things to can do to cut holiday costs. See our webpage cheap holiday ideas.

Save on bank fees

Some financial institutions offer basic bank accounts with:

  • No account keeping fees
  • Free monthly statements
  • No minimum deposit amounts
  • No overdrawn fees

You can find which financial institutions offer these basic bank accounts on the Australian Bankers' Association's Affordable Banking website.

Change one habit and save

Small changes can make a big difference to your bank balance. Change one thing you do regularly and you could save money. Some examples are:

  • Give up drinking coffee or cut down on alcohol - it may sound scary but it will save you money and can have health benefits.
  • Cancel your gym membership and walk to work instead.
  • Make your lunch at home.
  • Have people over for dinner rather than going out and ask everyone to bring a plate of food.
  • Borrow books and DVDs from the library.
  • Lock up your credit card for a month and only pay for things with cash.
  • Get into the habit of checking your bank statements.
  • Set a limit for birthday and Christmas presents or give homemade gifts.

Savings goals calculator


Try the Saver Plus Program

Saver Plus helps families on low incomes develop a savings habit and improve financial skills. Saver Plus can help you set a savings goal and help you reach it.

When you reach your goal, your savings are matched, dollar for dollar, up to $500. Find out more about Saver Plus.

It's easy to save money by cutting out or reducing some things you buy. Try one or two of these money-saving tips and watch your savings grow.

Related links

Last updated: 24 Jun 2016