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Are these the world’s wackiest ways to save?


Laine Gordon

By Laine Gordon

4 min read

From the sensible to the quirky, everybody has ways they try to save to reach goals or bring themselves those little moments of joy, such as the moment you’ve earned that free coffee from a loyalty card!  

Latest research from ING Direct shows that we’ve become a nation of savers; Australians are saving more than ever, with the average household managing to triple savings in the past two years.

With that in mind, RateCity asked Australians to share their best money saving tips and the responses ranged from the wacky to wonderful, here are some of the best. 

Visual reminders of a goal can help

A holiday? A special purchase? A surprise gift? RateCity user Malcolm suggests pining pictures of whatever he is saving for around the house as constant encouragement for prudent saving.

Setting a goal with visual reminders was a popular motivator to save among respondents. Kim added, “I’ve stuck a photo of my dream holiday destination onto the front of my credit card. It's helped me think twice about unnecessary purchases!”

Christine agrees, “Every time I'm tempted to buy lunch at work I put the money in a jar decorated with a picture of what I'm saving for.”

Get thrifty in the kitchen

One area of the home where many respondents found big savings was in the kitchen. It may not come as a huge surprise though, given that not-for-profit group DoSomething – organisers of the FoodWise campaign, found that Australians throw out about $8 billion worth of edible food every year.

To curb this waste, Geoff told RateCity he reuses teabags by storing them in the fridge, while Jeff pours leftover milk from his breakfast cereal back in to the bottle.

Some other practical ways to save money on groceries included Alison’s tip to shop online and avoid unnecessary impulse buys.

Katrina adds, “Never go shopping on an empty stomach, otherwise you always end up buying things that aren’t on the list.”

Russell eats more vegetarian meals to save money spent on meat, while Elizabeth suggests eating food sourced from your pantry and freezer only for one week every month.

Lots of respondents also told RateCity they save money with homemade lunch and coffees during the working week.

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Set some rules…

Setting a few simple rules for how you spend money can have a big impact on how much you save. For example, Avery suggests waiting 30 days before committing to a purchase she is considering. “I ask myself if I still want it [the purchase]. The urge usually passes.”

Other ways to avoid temptation include freezing credit cards, according to Rachael. “If you really want something you have to come home and thaw them out first. Most times, you don’t end up buying,” she adds.

Kimberly’s top tip is to treat saving as if it’s a regular bill that you must pay, “deposit it into a separate savings account that doesn’t have card access.”

And of course, every cent counts when it comes to saving for big ticket items. Hollie’s tip is to never spend $5 notes. “It’s amazing how placing these aside adds up to a huge amount – it makes an awesome Christmas fund.”

While Rachel offers this thrifty tip, “When I get my shopping receipt, at the bottom where it says the amount saved [from discounts on grocery items] I put that amount into a money box – it soon adds up!”

…And break a few

Some of the more cheeky savings tips from Australians included using the free Wi-Fi connection at a local library or café for any mobile downloads.

While Karen collects free toiletries from hotels during a holiday, Ryan suggests checking between the cushions on a couch at friends’ and relatives’ houses for loose change!

If you’re an obsessive saver and have a clever savings tip to share, let us know, or check out other great savings tips on Facebook.

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