by Tracey Lynch
I am a self-confessed tight ass. I don’t go to extremes like reusing my tea bags or portioning out squares of loo paper, but I do like to be tight where I can. Not because I’m broke or live on a fixed income, my husband and I each earn a healthy income, but I figure if I can save in some areas of my life, then I can spend more in others!
Let’s be honest for a second though, there are definitely some areas of my life that I refuse to scrimp on, like health care, footwear, heating and cooling, and holidaying! But then there are areas like the ones below where I think ‘eh, I can cut corners here to be able to afford the ‘fun bits’ of being an adult’!
- Pay the mortgage weekly to save on interest payments and to pay the mortgage down quicker – do the sums, there are big savings to be had here
- Do a supplier check annually to see if you can score a better deal on health, car, home and contents insurance, utilities, telephone and internet
- If you live on a fixed income, paying a nominal amount against utilities each week can really help to reduce bill shock
- Trying to pay off a credit card? Look at doing a balance transfer. Then take the total amount owed and divide it by the number of months that are interest free and pay it off religiously to be credit card debt free! But watch out, if you don’t pay it back before the interest free period ends, you may end up paying exorbitant interest!
- Take advantage of Groupon, Cudos and the like for family outings
- Search out free community events
- Buy gift cards in bulk when they are on sale… Most gift cards now have a 2 year expiry date, so when they’re 25% off they’re great for gift giving or even for saving for Christmas shopping
- Go on midweek dates! A tight ass Tuesday trip to the movies can save heaps for a family!
- Create a pantry that allows you to have a ‘pantry meal’ once a week – meaning you need not buy anything for that meal. i.e. pancakes, omelettes,
- Menu plan for the week and buy only according to the list of requirements
- Shop in season!
- Make your menu flexible, so if for instance a leg of lamb isn’t on special this week, but a piece of beef silverside it, swap it out!
- Stock up on toiletries, nappies, cleaning products and shelf items when they’re on special
- Look at the upper and lower shelves in the supermarket, not just the eye level ones for bargains
- Look at what the price is per kilo or 100 grams to ascertain if you are getting the best price
- Shop in the deli in the supermarket rather than buying pre-packed smallgoods, olives and chicken. The difference in the price per kg is huge in most cases
- Set a budget and stick to it. Once you have maintained the budget for a couple of months, see if you can find a way to shave the budget down slightly, perhaps trying home brands that you wouldn’t normally?
- Cook meals in double, triple and quadruple quantity and freeze for later
- Prepare meals that have the potential to be repurposed into something else on another night, i.e. make a roast chicken and then repurpose the left overs into chicken pot pies
- Speaking of pies, buy yourself a pie maker – left over casseroles can be made into pies that can be stashed in the freezer for a quick and easy dinner or lunch at a later date
- Store your leftovers correctly to save on wastage
Where to Find Discounts
- When buying online, always google the shop name and “promo code” on the off chance you find a saving. 5 minutes of googling can come up with a great reward!
- Sign up for emails. Yes they can clog your inbox, but they can also bring savings – as long as what they’re advertising is what you actually need. Buying because it was on sale isn’t actually a saving!
- Want to do a course but not sure on if it’s really up you’re alley? Try checking out the many free courses available online. From climate change to warehouse management to psychology and beyond; there are a plethora of courses out there all FREE!!
- Try a hairdresser or beautician who works from home rather than a salon in a shopping centre. More often than not they have great prices and you’re guaranteed personalised service each time you see them
- If you have a pet and want it desexed check out the National Desexing Network – they often run specials
- Happy hour. One usually equates happy hour with holidays… but why not take advantage of happy hour at your local restaurants and bars!