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15 Cheapy McCheap ways to save a few bucks

Published 13 November 2020

They say if you look after the pennies, the pounds take care of themselves.

In a world of savings strategies using buckets, apps and a whole lot of sacrifice, sometimes the simplest ways to put aside a few bucks can be the most effective. Because the old adage is true, every cent counts. And every jingle of coins gets you a little bit closer to what you’re saving for.

We’ve compiled 15 ways to help skim off the top of your spending that are so easy and attainable you could see your coin jar brimming in months.

  1. Make $5 notes illegal
  2. Did you just get a fiver in change? Best pretend that isn’t legal tender and put it away. If notes are too rich for your blood, try this one with $2 coins. Of course, this only works if you actually pay in cash.

  3. Take the weekend off
  4. This one is for all the homebodies out there. Pick a weekend to put all of your lockdown skills into practice for two days of self-care. Have a bath, read a book, binge a season (or two?), and stay away from all the commercial temptations of the outside world.

  5. Just $1 more, every week
  6. This one only gets harder when you get better at it. At the end of this week, put away $1. The week after, $2, $3 the next week and so on. The most you’ll have to put away in a week is $52 and after a year you’ll have an extra $1378.

  7. Wrap gifts in newspaper
  8. At the end of the day, all wrapping paper really goes in the recycling. Take this a step further and ditch wrapping paper in favour of newspapers. It is just as much fun to tear open, we swear.

  9. Supersize your coffee
  10. Do you buy a coffee every day? How about two or three? A thermos of coffee made at home can keep your caffeine levels topped up throughout the day without making extra trips to your local coffee shop.

  11. Ditch deliveries
  12. Sure, food delivery is convenient, but if you pick it up instead you could save between $5 - $10 each time. Not to mention it’s usually faster and the food is hotter too. Transfer that money across every time you venture out to collect dinner and you could have extra savings in no time.

  13. Split streaming service accounts
  14. Odds are, most people in your group chat has a streaming account and one of them could be keeping it all to themselves. Why not offer to go halves with them, use their log-in, and delete yours?

  15. Meat-free week
  16. Cull the $15 porterhouse and $20 Sunday roast this week and try vegetarian options. Along with a tastier grocery bill, you could learn a few new recipes.

  17. Turn off the lights
  18. This is one taken right out of Dad’s book, because ‘we’re not made of money you know!’ If you’re not in the room, get into the habit of turning the light off. Hey, it works even if you are in the room. The 6pm news has just as much drama as the movies these days so why can’t it be as cinematic?

  19. Don’t get snacky in the supermarket
  20. Next time you’re doing a quick shop, try not to let yourself be tempted by the discounted yummies as the end of the aisle. That’s why they’re there - to tempt you to spend a few extra bucks!

  21. Become a book buddy
  22. Buying books can be costly, so why don’t you start a book swap with someone you know. Meet regularly to swap and discuss books you’ve both read or start a swap through the post. Can’t get anyone on board? Rekindle the days of your youth and support your local library.

  23. Watch your garden grow
  24. Gardening is a great way to bring some colour into your life, but seedlings can be surprisingly expensive. Ask friends, family members or neighbours with green thumbs to help grow you some plants from seeds or cuttings to help kick start your garden.

  25. Challenge a mate to a race
  26. If you’ve got a mate who has just as much trouble saving as you do, challenge them to a savings race. See who can save a couple hundred bucks the fastest - and hold them to it for a set amount of time. When one of you reaches the goal, spend a portion of your trove on celebrating. 

  27. Save your savings
  28. When you get your groceries receipt and it says you saved $1.37, transfer that much into your savings account. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.

  29. Fresh, frozen or canned
  30. Say it after me: put down the fresh raspberries. The frozen variety are just as healthy and can be used in smoothies or porridge for that hit of sweetness you crave. Plus, they’ll go further than the out of season punnet you’re contemplating at almost $10 a pop.

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.