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Best ways to save money in winter

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2024-05-20 00:00

Estimated reading time
6 min

Learn more about

  • How to reduce heating and food bills
  • Savvy tips for take-out meals
  • Tips to help you save even more this winter

It’s no secret that every cent counts. And while your social life may go into hibernation in winter, your budget and savings don’t have to!

If you’re feeling the pinch right now, these winter savings tips will help you to get some buffer back into your monthly spend without giving up heating in the cooler weather or a cosy meal out every now and then.

1. Make savvy takeaway choices

We all love a good takeaway dish – especially when the weather makes you want to hide under your doona cover. But not all takeaway is created equal!

Some tricks for getting the best deal on your meal include:

  • Place your order directly to the store—food apps often have a surcharge
  • Collect your order in person—save on delivery fees
  • Cut down on the added extras—perhaps supplement with what’s at home already
  • Seek out local, family-run businesses—they often charge less for better quality
  • Look for deals in the app or online—two-for-one offers or discounts
  • Get meals that stretch to the next day—enjoy leftovers for lunch
  • Order your dinner as a group—can save by sharing mains and sides

Alternatively, try these cheap and easy recipes to get you through the week!

2. Drop the temp and reduce your heating bill

In Australia's cooler climates, heating can account for nearly half of a household's energy bill. Stay warm without relying solely on your heater by layering up with cosy clothes, beanies, and blankets whenever you can. And when you do need to use your heater consider dropping your temperature setting to 18–20 degrees. Every degree higher than this can add around 15% to your gas bill.

3. Take the weekend off this winter

This one is for all the homebodies out there. Pick a cold and grey weekend to put all your lockdown skills into practice for two days of self-care, on the cheap! Have a bath, read a book, binge a season (or two?), cook with what’s in your cupboard, and stay away from all the commercial temptations of the outside world.

4. Save the difference between your summer and winter spend

It’s not uncommon for our social diaries to be a little quieter during winter—so make the most of this quality time with your couch by setting a serious savings goal. Here’s how: look at your bank statements for the most recent summer and compare it to what you spent last winter. See a difference? That should be your savings goal.

5. Swap out your old heater for a more efficient model

It might be worth changing your heating system by replacing old, inefficient gas heaters with more modern reverse-cycle air conditioning units that save money in the long run. Regularly cleaning your heater filter is essential too, to ensuring the best efficiency and performance. Only heating rooms you use is also a savings winner if your heating system allows.

6. Prepare your veggie garden 

Growing your own fruit or vegetables can be great way to save money in Australia, with our (mostly) sunny climate and decent rainfall. Winter is the perfect time to design and plan your patch, planters and pots. Ask friends, family members or neighbours with green thumbs to help grow you some plants from seeds or cuttings to help kick start your patch.

7. Insulate to keep cosy

Drafty homes aren't just a nuisance—they can mess with your health and crank up those energy bills. But there are loads of easy and budget-friendly DIY fixes you can do. Try using door snakes to block out drafts under doors, use sealants to fill in gaps around wall vents or between floorboards, fit draught seals around windows and doors, and hang curtains or blinds to keep that cosy warmth inside where it belongs. Good ceiling insulation can reduce your heating bills by up to 20% too.

8. Save your change 

Did you just get a fiver in change? Pop any change into a piggy bank, jam jar or coin dish and watch it add up over Winter. Of course, these days more and more of us are digital with our spending. If that’s the case take advantage of clever tools in your banking app that can help you round up all your spending and send it straight to your savings. Intrigued? Check out Round Up in ANZ Plus. Or be manual and jump in and do a quick transfer to your savings.

9. Cheap night in with friends

Whether it’s a Pajama Party or Loungeroom Disco, give your lounge room a mini-makeover with whatever you’ve got lying around the house. Pop some tea lights into glass jars, lower the lights and get into your comfy PJs to relax with friends. Or pump up the tunes and create a living room disco instead—a fun way to party with friends without dealing with entry fees, a big bar tab, or an expensive ride home.

10. Join the 52-week challenge

The 52-week challenge extends beyond winter but now is the perfect time to get started, and it’s all about saving just $1 more, every week. This is how you do the challenge: at the end of this week, put away $1. The week after, $2, then $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 $1,378.

11. Meat-free Monday

Perhaps cull the $15 porterhouse and $20 Sunday roast for one day a week? Meat-free Mondays have become a trend! The veggies in season during winter are delicioius so it’s a great time to start exploring those vegetarian options. Plus along with a tastier grocery bill, you could learn a few new recipes and help your health along the way.

12. Get energy efficient

“Turn off the lights!”. This is one straight from Dad’s book, because "we’re not made of money you know!" Switching off lights, unplugging appliances, replacing bulbs and getting better deals from energy providers are all good tactics to reduce the cost of bills, especially over winter. Check out these sustainability tips.

13. Winter sweetness for your porridge and puddings

Say it after me: put down the fresh raspberries. The frozen variety are just as healthy and can be used in smoothies, on puddings or porridge for that hit of sweetness you crave. Plus, they’ll go further than the out of season punnet you’re contemplating (which, at times, can be up to $10 a pop!).

14. Take a low or no-spend challenge

It’s all the rave over Winter—and can help you save some serious coin. Low-spend and no-spend challenges come in a range of extremes: you could give up a vice that you spend your money on (like alcohol) for a month, or you could challenge yourself to try to spend nothing for a day, a week, or if you’re really committed even a month. Then funnel it all into your savings.

Embrace loud budgeting

While not a tip per se, creating a budget this winter is one of the best ways to keep your money accounted for!  All you need to do is input your income, expenses and other key monthly costs and you’ll have created your very own budget to keep you on track.

And here’s where the loud comes in—don’t keep your budget to yourself, sing it loud and clear. From sharing it with your social squad to being open with your besties, the more we talk about our money the better we’ll get with it.



Best ways to save money in winter
Financial Wellbeing Coach

Learn how to be a winter goal-getter

If you can see it, you can save for it – so let us show you how to set goals that stick and do the math to save for them. By the end of winter, you’ll have a spring in your step – and your budget.

Show me how



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.