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Common cents 50 savvy ways to save

Saving can be simple when you know how. Yes, sacrifice is needed to get ahead but you can also be frugal without being a total scrooge. Follow our 50 tips to sneak more savings into your life.

  1. Talk to me to see if you can save on one of your biggest outlays – your home loan.
  2. Switch all your household lights to energy-efficient globes.
  3. Sell old smart phones on eBay or Gumtree – families with tweens often want second-hand tech vs expensive new. An old iPhone could get you $200 on eBay.
  4. Bag your fruit and vegies at fresh food markets instead of supermarkets.
  5. Review your broadband and mobile plans – do you really need all that data?
  6. Book holidays for off-peak or shoulder periods. Even better, save on accommodation costs by using a holiday housesitting website such as or
  7. MYO breakfast and lunch on work days.
  8. Freeze your credit card. Stick it in a glass of water in the freezer – you’ll need to thaw it to use it, by which time the impulse buy will have passed.
  9. Shop around for better deals on your car, home and health insurances. Time-consuming maybe, but there are big savings to be made.
  10. Love gigs and shows? Sign up to ticket agency and music venue email alerts to keep informed of two-for-one and ticket discount deals.
  11. Try replacing expensive dishwasher tablets with a mix of two tablespoons of Borax combined with two tablespoons of bicarb soda. It’ll clean your dishes and the machine.
  12. Split bulk-buy meat with buddies.
  13. Make sure your dentist, optometrist and physio are among your health fund’s preferred providers.
  14. If flying domestically, save with early morning or late evening flights on weekends or midday flights Monday to Friday.
  15. Take advantage of free community events such as festivals, outdoor fitness classes and open-air movies.
  16. Cancel your cable TV and subscribe to a more affordable streaming service.
  17. Run your dishwasher and pool filter during off-peak energy periods, e.g. after 10pm or before 6am.
  18. Make an agreement that you and your partner won’t spend more than $100 without checking with the other first.
  19. Book your beauty appointments (waxing, pedicure etc) at a training college.
  20. Make a grocery list and stick to it to save on impulse buying (and don’t shop hungry!).
  21. Eat in, but head outside with a picnic blanket to make it a bit special.
  22. Check you’re not paying extra for monthly car and home insurance payments.
  23. Organise a fashion or book swap with friends and co-workers.
  24. Flush less – we use 6 to 18 litres of water every time.
  25. Cook bigger batches of discounted meat and seasonal produce and freeze meals.
  26. Unplug unused appliances and save on standby energy.
  27. Pay your mortgage fortnightly instead of monthly.
  28. The ‘op’ in op shop stands for opportunity – you never know what you might find.
  29. Enjoy a movie night at home with friends.
  30. Grow salad greens and herbs – easy to grow and manage in pots.
  31. Pay your bills on time to avoid penalties.
  32. Give homemade gifts: biscuits, granola, pasta sauce, chutney, jam, cards.
  33. Don’t discount the savings from shopper dockets.
  34. Book quality, three-star hotels for overnight stays – you just need a comfy bed.
  35. Wash and groom your own dog.
  36. Turn your next dinner party into a pot luck.
  37. Say yes to freebies and rewards and create a free email account just to receive deals.
  38. Join the refill revolution with your own water bottle – save money and the environment.
  39. Find a GP that bulk bills.
  40. Dissolve four teaspoons of bicarb soda in one litre of water to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  41. Buy loose fruit and vegies – snow peas, green beans, spuds – instead of pre-packed.
  42. Never buy a new car.
  43. Give favours instead of gifts – babysitting, mowing, cleaning, painting, car detailing, gardening etc.
  44. Check out your local library for free activities, especially for kids.
  45. Take advantage of sales on staples – laundry powder, shampoo, toilet paper etc. – and buy in bulk.
  46. Tap into any workplace perks e.g. discounts on health insurance, gym memberships, entertainment, accommodation.
  47. Consolidate your credit cards into one low-interest card.
  48. Snuggle under a blanket instead of jacking up the heater.
  49. Plan your meals around supermarket specials.
  50. Exercise without a gym – there are loads of online workouts to help you cancel that membership. Or better still, go for a walk. The dog will love you for it!
Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.