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.
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
- Give up drinking coffee or cut down on alcohol - it will save
you money and can have health benefits.
- Make your lunch at home.
- Borrow books and DVDs from the library.
- Lock up your credit card for a month and only pay for things
- Set a limit for birthday and Christmas presents or give
Record your everyday expenses to work out where you can make
Save on clothes
- If you're buying clothes, check if you can wash them to avoid
dry cleaning bills.
- Make sure anything you buy goes with at least two other things
in your wardrobe so you can get a few different outfits out of one
- Check op-shops and local markets for bargains.
- Take advantage of end-of-season clearances to pay less for the
things you need.
Cut your grocery bill
- Take a shopping list to the supermarket and only buy what's on
- Plan meals in advance and add the ingredients to your shopping
- If you have very young children, ask a friend to mind them
while you go shopping. You'll have more time to compare prices and
won't fall victim to 'pester power'.
- Set a budget for your shopping trip, withdraw the cash from an
ATM and only take this money with you when you go shopping.
- Try growing your own food at home.
- Eat a meal or snack before you go to the supermarket. When
you're not hungry, you tend to buy less food.
- Buy in bulk when things are cheaper. Meat can be cut into
smaller portions and frozen so you can use it as you need it.
- If you usually shop each week, try shopping once a fortnight to
get into the habit of using all the food in your pantry before
- Swap the brand names you always buy for generic products when
- 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
- Supermarkets usually promote the items at eye-level, so check
the shelves above and below for cheaper alternatives.
- Meat can be expensive, so buy less of it and try making more
meals without using it.
Save on electricity, gas and
- Turn off appliances at the powerpoint when you're not using
- Dress for the temperature by putting on a jumper and warm socks
instead of turning on the heater.
- Avoid using the dryer. Instead, hang your washing outside on
sunny days, and use an indoor clothes rack when it's raining.
- Use a hot water bottle instead of an electric blanket.
- Take advantage of the sun and rely on natural light as much as
you can each day, rather than automatically turning on the
- Compare energy suppliers to make sure you're getting the best
deal. Visit the Australian Government's Energy Made Easy website, the Victorian Energy Compare
website if you live in Victoria, or Energy Switch if you live in New
- Use a door snake under the door and seal up any gaps or cracks
around your windows, doors, ceilings and floors.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
- Consider installing solar panels with a gas booster, allowing
the sun to heat up the water in the day, and the booster when the
sun isn't warm enough.
- Turn your stove top or oven off just before the food is done,
allowing it to cook with the residual heat from the oven, frypan or
- Take shorter showers.
- Install a water efficient showerhead and a dual flush on
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
- Fix plumbing leaks around the house. To check for hidden leaks,
look at the reading on your water meter, then leave the house so
that no-one uses water for a couple of hours. When you get back
home, check the reading again. If it has changed, there is a hidden
leak and you should call a plumber to fix it.
- Save water to re-use on your garden - Save the water you use
when boiling eggs, vegetables or pasta, and use it to water your
plants. You can also water your plants with grey water from your
washing machine or shower.
- Put a plug in the sink if you're running the tap to wash dishes
by hand or rinse fruit and vegetables.
- Only use the washing machine and the dishwasher when they are
full. Otherwise, adjust the water level to match a partial
- Wash clothes with cold water.
Rein in restaurant
- Cut back on how often you go out for dinner
- Try cheaper alternatives on the menu
- Order water instead of expensive drinks
- Skip the dessert menu and get a cheaper alternative
Reduce your 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
Save on your holidays
- Save on flights by travelling before 8am or after 8pm, on
public holidays like Christmas or New Year's Day or during
- Hotel deals on comparison sites aren't always the cheapest -
see if the hotel offers a better deal direct.
- Booking an apartment can work out cheaper, especially if you're
travelling as a group.
- Look for discount passes to museums, galleries and public
- Pick up tourist brochures and magazines. They may have
two-for-one deals and discount coupons such as 'kids eat for free',
'free entry before 6 pm' and other cheap tickets.
- If you're 60 or older, you can sometimes access cheap tickets,
meals or transport. It doesn't hurt to ask, even if senior
discounts aren't advertised.
- If you are travelling in Australia, you can usually get good,
low cost meals at bowling clubs and RSLs. You can also try visiting
a shopping centre food court near closing time and grab some food
for a fraction of the cost.
Cheap ways to get fit
- Get free exercise doing laps around your local oval,
walking the dog or by using free apps or YouTube
- Shop around to get the best gym membership deal.
- Team sports, boot camps or group personal training can be cost
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. To find out more, visit the 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.
Last updated: 08 Jul 2019