10 simple ways to save money

people eating at home

Alice Piper

Posted April 26, 2022


Looking to save more money this year? Here are some classic, old-fashioned hacks to prevent pocket burn and help you keep more of your income. 

The last few months have seen petrol prices rise, the housing market boom, and food and grocery bills increase substantially. Even a simple coffee is now more than $5 at many Melbourne cafes.  

It’s little wonder then that many of us are looking for ways to trim outgoing costs, stick within budget, and even put extra money away into savings accounts.  

Whether you live a frugal life and monitor all outgoing costs already, or you’re more of a spender than a saver and enjoy shopping, there are plenty of ways to save money that don’t take a lot of effort. 


Easy ways to save money
 

Shop around at the supermarket

This one seems obvious, but it’s an old-school trick to saving money. Taking the time to look around at the supermarket and see what’s in season or on sale, as opposed to what simply catches your eye, can mean big savings at the checkout. Vegetables are usually less expensive than meats, while home or generic brands may be cheaper across some product lines and best of all, there may be little difference in taste, nutrition or quality. 

Pack your lunch and stop eating out so much  

With the return to workplaces, many people are having to think about what to take for lunch – because spending $20 a day for lunch and a coffee, three or so days a week, can add up to more than $2000 a year.  

Try making extra for dinner so you can keep the leftovers for lunch the next day.  

On that note, dinner for two can easily be $100 once you have a few shared meals and some drinks – and that could be a week’s worth of groceries.  

Use tea towels instead of paper towel 

Yes, paper towel is super handy to grab, wipe up and throw away. However, think about how much paper towel costs – between $3-5 at most supermarkets for a pack or two – and how frequently you’re using it. 

Buying paper towel just twice a month can be as much as $10, or $120 a year. Investing in some quality tea towels and simply washing and reusing these will see you come out on top. 

people eating pizza at a dinner party

Eating at home more instead of going out can deliver big savings each month. Image: Getty


 

Use homemade cleaners

Avoid buying expensive supermarket cleaners that not only contribute waste to the environment with their packaging but come at a cost that far outweighs making your own.  

Use the old school vinegar and water trick, where you add equal parts water and vinegar to a spray bottle – it's super cost effective and can do just as good a job.  

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer

Using a dryer might be convenient, but they are also one of the biggest money drainers in your household. 

Instead, use clothes racks, or a clothesline if the weather is nice. And switch to cold water when washing your clothes, as this can cut between 80 to 90 per cent of washing machine running costs, according to Energy Rating. 

Adjust the thermostat

Heating and cooling the home is one of the biggest contributors to your electricity bill.  

And when an extra degree on your heater's thermostat can increase energy use by up to 10 per cent, according to energy.gov.au, it’s worth putting on that extra jumper, or using an extra blanket to sleep if you’re cold.  

Speaking of winter, there are plenty of other thrifty ways to save money that won’t have you shivering through the colder months.  

clothes dying on a clothes horse with wooden pegs

Dryers are one of the biggest energy suckers in your home. Try a clothes horse instead. Image: Getty


 

Buy second-hand clothes 

Sustainable and vintage clothing has really come into focus in the fashion world, and not just because it’s more environmentally friendly – there are huge cost benefits to shopping second hand too. 

Head down to your local second-hand shop and forage around for some great finds. Alternatively, organise a clothes swap with friends where each of you bring pre-loved items to exchange amongst the group to give it a new life and avoid purchasing more clothing.

Use money saving apps  

This one might not classify as ‘old-school’ but using an app to help with savings goals is great for showing you how much of your income you can spend once all outgoing costs such as mortgage, rent, phone bills, and memberships are accounted for.  

It’s basically a budget calculator, and if used correctly, could see your bank account looking healthier.  

These apps also exist for things like groceries, clothing, event tickets and the like, allowing you to cash in on cheap deals at various times, saving small amounts in the process that can add up to big dollars in the long run.

Cancel memberships and subscriptions you don’t use

We’re all guilty of not cancelling memberships and subscriptions we no longer need or use. Think about a gym membership that’s about $25 a week – this adds up to $1,200 a year, which is a lot of money you’re if not utilising it regularly.  

Or perhaps it’s an app or streaming service with a monthly fee between $10-20. It doesn’t seem like much at the time, but this could be close to $250 a year simply going down the drain. That’s a lot of coffees, or even a plane ticket interstate.

person adjusting heater via remote

There are plenty of other ways to stay warm that don't involve cranking the heater, which is a huge contributor to household bills. Image: Getty


 

Drive less and shop around for fuel

The pain of petrol prices has been felt over the last couple of months, so looking for alternate ways of transport can be a solution to the pocket burn. 

If possible, walk to the grocery store instead of driving, or take public transport to work instead of driving in – reducing fuel consumption and parking fees. There are many more ways to save when it comes up fuelling up the car, all of which will help your bank account.