Finance Your Budget Frugal living: Ten ways to slash your living costs
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Frugal living: Ten ways to slash your living costs

Building a more structured routine could help you save money.
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Shopping around for the best deals on big expenses like your home loan repayments and health insurance should be your starting point to save money. 

But what about more routine things you can do to keep more money in your pocket? 

Here are 10 frugal hacks to supercharge your savings.

Food

Tip one 

You’re probably going to be peeved that we started here because you’ve heard it before, but drawing up meal plans make such a big difference to your weekly grocery bill.

Some people get really hardcore about this and map out their meals for an entire month, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

For the less type-A among us, just planning your weekly dinners, even if you leave weekends open, will make it less tempting to revert to pricey takeaways at 6pm when you’re tired and uninspired.

As you decide on your dinners, consider cooking meals that use some of the same ingredients so you aren’t buying many things you will only use once.

Tip two

Cook once, eat twice. When you are meal planning, keep this mantra in mind.

Just double or triple whatever you are making and save the rest for later in the week, which will save you money and time.

Tip three

Consider buying things like meat in bulk, direct from farmers, if you have the space in your freezer.

This option will work if you are a capable cook who can handle a range of cuts, but it will fall flat if you only eat eye fillet steaks.

Tip four

Shop online and pick up your groceries using click and collect.

You will be more likely to stick to a shopping list if you are not physically walking the aisles, because you will avoid being tempted by random items.

It is also easier to remove items from your cart if you go over budget with the click of a button rather than with a line of people behind you at physical checkout.

Make sure you've done the right research before calling your lender.
Asking for a better deal on your home loan is the best way to save. But simple changes will help, too.

Home

Tip five

Think second-hand first with items like furniture, toys, books and clothes. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Gumtree and op shops are treasure troves of pre-loved goods.

You can also use these resources to sell your own unwanted items to boost your savings.

If you are used to automatically buying whatever you need new, this can be a big mindset shift so make a note of this new intention and display it somewhere visible, like in your wallet, so you don’t forget to check the pre-loved marketplace before you go to the shops.

Tip six

Do you really need your own drill, water pressure cleaner, and other tools you only use occasionally?

Instead of forking out cash on expensive tools to upkeep your home or garden, consider borrowing them from a friend and offer to lend them something they need in return. Or just buy them a bottle of wine to say thanks.

Tip seven

Do you have a car that you rarely use? Consider renting it out via a car-sharing service like Car Next Door. Or do the maths and work out if you would be better off selling your car and being a car renter yourself to save on costs like petrol, registration and insurance.

You

Tip eight

Buy winter clothes in summer and vice versa because items that are out of season are often on sale.

Obviously, this takes some planning but you will save cash and it’s a useful way to only shop for clothes a few times a year, rather than being tempted to snap up the latest trend at full price (unsubscribe to any retailers in your inbox, too).  

You can time your purchases with big sales like Black Friday in November, Boxing Day or at the end of the financial year.

Tip nine

If you’re going to be a guest at a wedding or other formal event and have nothing to wear, consider renting your outfit from somewhere like Her Wardrobe, instead of splashing cash on something that will probably gather dust in your wardrobe after one outing.

Tip ten

This one depends on how precious you are about your locks.

Get your hair cut by students at a hairdressing college, even if you just go for trims in between major style changes done by more seasoned technicians.

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