The past year has posed significant challenges for many Australians, characterised by interest rate hikes and a mounting cost of living crisis. As these concerns continue to weigh heavily on the minds of many, revisiting simple and practical strategies for saving money proves invaluable.

Discover 20 insightful tips and tricks we’ve curated, with the help of  CHOICE consumer advocacy group:

Save at the supermarket:

  • Compare unit prices – Have you ever noticed unit prices on supermarket price tags? If not, take a closer look next time you’re shopping. These wee gems can be an excellent tool for comparing prices of like-for-like products. Unit prices represent the cost of the product broken down into standard units of measurement, such as per 100 grams. For example, a 2kg packet of oats may cost $5.60, but its unit price is 35c per 100g.
  • Consider supermarket brands – The quality of supermarket ‘Home’ brands has significantly improved in recent years. According to the consumer advocacy group CHOICE, supermarkets have enhanced the quality of their own brands, recognising the profitability of these products. It’s a win-win for consumers.
  • Choose refills – Most products have a refill option. Not only do these save money but they reduce the amount of waste produced.
  • Avoid pre-cut food items – These are often a lot more expensive than unprocessed originals and are often wrapped in plastic!
  • Buy frozen – If you plan to buy out-of-season fruit and vegetables, it’s often cheaper to go with the frozen option.
  • Plan a mid-week fruit and vege shop – To reduce waste only buy a small amount of fruit and vege at the start of the week, then plan for a mid-week shop to top up your stash.

Save on electricity and gas:

  • Clear filters – Keep filters on driers and air conditioners clear of debris, that way they don’t have to work so hard which reduces energy consumption.
  • Utilise ceiling fans in the winter (not just in summer) – Put ceiling fans on reverse mode (clockwise) and use them in combination with your heating system to distribute the heat in the ceiling.
  • Insulate! If your home isn’t properly insulated, you’ll be losing a lot of heat through walls and your ceiling, not to mention your energy bill will be soaring as your heater works overtime.
  • Turn off power-sucking devices – Many household appliances and devices stealthily suck energy when not in use. Try turning these off at the wall to save money. Ones to watch are routers, printers, and microwaves.
  • Cooking with gas? According to the CHOICE consumer advocacy group, switching from gas to electric can deliver decent savings in the long term. Next time you need an upgrade or carry out a reno, be sure to switch your gas cooker to induction.

Save with your vehicle:

  • Use Apps to compare bowser prices – There are many fuel apps available that will provide you with up-to-date petrol prices right across the states and territories.
  • Consider electric – If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, switching to an electric vehicle will not only save money at the petrol pump but will save significantly on maintenance too.
  • Slow down and plan your trip! By driving slower and easing off the accelerator you’ll save on fuel. Did you know that starting your car when it’s cold uses more fuel? Consider consolidating your errands into one trip instead of making multiple short trips on different days to save fuel.
  • Optimise fuel efficiency – Use air conditioning sparingly as it increases fuel consumption. In moderate temperatures, open windows provide cooling without extra fuel use. However, at high speeds, open windows create drag, increasing fuel consumption. Consider using open windows at lower speeds and air conditioning at higher speeds.

Looking for vehicle finance? Talk to us

Save with insurance:

  • Look for cheaper health cover – Shop around as there are often big differences between health insurance providers.
  • Restricted driver discounts on car insurance – Some insurers will discount your premiums if you agree to restrict the use of your car to nominated drivers or those over a certain age.
  • Does your insurance match the value of your car? If your car isn’t worth much, save money by getting it insured under a cheaper policy. Or consider cheaper third-party cover, which only covers you for damage you cause to other cars.
  • Working from home? If you’re working from home instead of going to the office, inform your insurance provider. Working from home can lower the risk of burglary, potentially reducing your home and contents insurance premium. It’s worth asking your insurer for adjustments.
  • Compare your policy and avoid the ‘loyalty tax.’ Sticking with the same insurer year after year can lead to you paying more in premiums. So be sure to compare what you’re paying with online quotes for new customers, before renewing your policy.

By incorporating these tips into your lifestyle, you can navigate financial challenges more effectively while building a stronger financial future.