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NSM Tips: How to save money on everyday living

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When you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, saving money on everyday expenses is a great way of making your dollar go further. Below, North Shore Mums share their tips on how to save money…

  • Get cheaper movie tickets being a Telstra customer. Get a copy of your Telstra bill, log onto their website and set up your account.
  • Save 5% on anything Woolworths. Buy a gift card (I think you can buy from a $50 – $500) and when you purchase this you save your 5%. So a $500 gift card will cost $475. You order it online and it gets send to your house for free. Plus, it is unlimited! You can buy as many as your want. Whenever you purchase, you use your gift card to pay instead of cash or credit card. You can use it at any Woolies shop, Dick Smith, Big W, Petrol Station. Really adds up.
  • I now do my weekly shop at Aldi.
  • Night out with Scoopon or Groupon vouchers.
  • Coles has free delivery on Wednesdays.
  • If you pay AGL on direct debit (not credit card), you get an additional 7% off every billing period. Same deal for family insurance (10% off) and Telstra. And yeah, we buy entertainment books.
  • I am a Costco member… that is worth it for the savings I make on one month of dog food alone! Also I only buy clothes and shoes and such on sale (not just a bit on sale; has to be drastic sale). Also I have a big freezer so I use it! Especially for baby food, I buy the pouches and freeze meal-sized amounts.
  • Become a Zoo Friend! Get unlimted entry to the zoo for the year for $115 (adult). Kids under 4 are free.
  • I’ve started putting $25 away each week for ‘special occasions’ and only ever buy in bulk or sale.
  • Put dishwasher on after 8pm. Also do washing when cheaper (although I don’t always manage)
  • We get emails from the Entertainment Book company saying that we can get discount from Woolworths, we just present the card at the petrol station and for woollies online delivery I got a discount code that gave me 10% off and three free deliveries.
  • We get the Coles discount vouchers. I also do a biggish shop on Sunday at Coles as they usually have meat on discount on Sundays. I also have Flybuys, which have loads of discounts etc.
  • I’m saving heaps of money selling the baby/kids stuff we no longer need. All of the funds go into my DD’s bank account to keep it separate and I keep a tally on a spreadsheet. We plan on taking an overseas holiday in a couple of years which will be fully paid by sold stuff! We are up to $1850 already and the baby is almost one! I sell mostly through this facebook group  but some stuff on Gumtree and other groups.
  • I check Ozbargain to see if there are any good deals that interest me. Last deal I found there was getting $10 statement credit on my Amex when shopping at Target if I registered for it.
  • NRMA offers discounted movie/theatre tix.
  • ING Direct Visa Paywave has 5% cash back for first six month and then 2% after that for purchase up to $99.
  • Hubby and I used to have a money tin each. One of the ones you can’t open. We threw in our $1/$2 coins at the end of every day. In 4 years we banked over $8000 and that’s from loose change, which you typically don’t miss. That’s not being strict either, we spent them if we needed to, it was just the coins left over at the end of the day. The key is to get a tin you can’t open until you break it when it’s full!
  • We get 5% off our groceries by using gift cards. We get it though work, but the Entertainment books works too. We get $2500 worth of gift cards and get all groceries with that.
  • I buy all my kids clothes second hand, from the baby and kids markets. There’s some fabulous quality stuff, hardly worn, for just a few dollars. I just can’t justify spending $25+ on an item for them that will only be worn for 6 months maximum.
  • I learnt a lot from Simple Savings website. When we bought our house five years ago, I was sure I would have to work full time to keep up with the mortgage. But I learnt to manage what we earn a lot better. I work part time – about 20hrs a week and we have three kids 2, 4 and 6 and fortunately I didn’t have to give up too much to afford everything.
  • I just started making my own yoghurt (tiny steps…) which is heaps cheaper than buying it. Super easy too. And my next project will be to start growing my own herbs and salad veggies which should stack up too. And I buy meat direct from the farmer (Mudgee lamb for example) which works out very cheap and is better for you too. Mudgee Lamb deliver to Sydney and they are just about to start doing beef too. $100 for half a lamb which works out about $10/kg for the most beautiful quality meat.
  • I never buy pre-packed kids snacks. I buy a large block of cheese and cut slices for morning tea rather than the (plastic-wrapped) cheese and crackers. Same for nuts, sultanas, chips (on the rare occasions I buy them!). While it’s not the main reason I do it, it’s also better for the environment. It’s also the really big purchases like cars – all those extra features cost loads…
  • Not buying silly food, growing own herbs in the garden.
  • Get an annual zoo pass – instead of taking kids to an indoor playground take them to the zoo specifically to the barnyard animals area and playgrounds. Also, go to the different pubs with indoor playgrounds and buy yourself a drink while the kids have a play. Use the parks. Buy some kids clothes on eBay.co.uk – you can pick up brand new items in the right season for next to nothing where people have been given clothes their kids were too big for. Buy a coffee machine – it takes a bit of effort but it will cost you 80 cents per coffee vs $4 at the cafe. Drinks are where cafes make most of their money, not food.
  • Buying veggies from Harvest Hub and Organics from Honest to Goodness. I rarely go to Woolies/Coles so don’t need to buy snacks, juices etc that adds up. Baking my own bread and eating more organic brown rice seems to be helping too. The best part was we hardly spent any medical bill last year. No trips to hospital, no medicine, not even a box of Panadol was bought.
  • We buy pretty much everything with credit cards that earn rewards points, then use those points to get Coles/Myer/JB HiFi  vouchers and use those for Christmas presents or for ourselves throughout the year. Just about to get solar panels which will cut our electricity bill dramatically too.
  • I got lots of free stuff on the recycling groups I belong – reuseitnetwork, freecycle, freebies in fb.
  • I cook 90% of our meals from scratch and we rarely eat takeaway. I do big batches of casseroles and pastas etc for DH to take to work for lunch instead of him spending $10 per day on sushi or something. We use the Entertainment book where we can. I catch up with friends for coffee as opposed to lunches or dinners.
  • I think Groupon vouchers are a great way to get out and experience new places. I also love shopping at Aldi, they have some amazing bargains and great quality food! Also think it helps to not eat out all the time or get coffees every day – instead to see those things as special treats (you also appreciate them more).
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