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How to save money in Australia

Hello everyone,

Did you plan your budget before your move to Australia? If so, how did you go about it?

How do you save money in your day to day life? Do you find there are any areas where you can't cut costs?

Do you have any tips about saving money in Australia? For example, getting the best deals on accommodation, grocery shopping and dining out, the best value transportation, etc..

Are there any apps or websites that have helped you to save money?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Apps:
Motor mouth - for best prices in fuel
Shop fully - for updated shopping catalogues

Word of mouth and information sharing helps. 

Best wishes
~Mark

It is very expensive here, no doubt. However, the best ways to cut costs are:
1. Use AirBnB.com for accommodations.
2. Be water and electricity frugal - These are huge drains on the budget.
3. When grocery shopping, compare the unit prices. Some items in the deli counter are less expensive than pre-packaged foods.
4. Buy a traditional coffee maker, rather than going out or using the Pod style.
5. Buy a Costco membership. The prices aren't hugely different, but the quality is much better.

Heating and Cooling cost.

In winter time (if you live in a cool environment)
- close your blinds/curtains during winter to stop the heat leaving your apartment.
- Buy and use a hot water bottle (available from most pharmacies of super markets) Fill and put the hot water bottle (with hot water) in your bed about an hour before you go to bed.  Electric blankets are expensive to run try to avoid using them.
- DO NOT use your gas oven to warm the house, this produces Carbon Monoxide, which is dangerous.  The worst case is that you would fill sleepy and then gradually fall asleep and then die if it is in high concentrations.

In Summer time "shut you house/apartment up"  this means
- When you are not there during the day, close your windows and blinds to stop the heat from coming in.  (if you are home during the day you may need to open the windows but still keep the curtains/blinds closed)
- At night time open the windows and doors and blinds to let the cool breeze flow through your house/apartment.

Saving on food:
- Cook at home. - Make enough food for the next point to happen.
- Take left over food to work for lunch  - or make a sandwich to take to work for lunch.
- Buy fruit for the yourself and your children - it is cheaper than lollies/sweet treats, and of course healthier.
- Cook in bulk and then freeze and then re-heat for a meal a few days away, it may look expensive when you buy all the food at once, but it saves you a trip to the supermarket and if the food is on sale you save money.  It also saves you from the the temptation of buying stuff you / or your children do not need, each time you visit the supermarket (i.e. "Mum/Dad can I have this, can I have that").

Saving on Pharmacy/Chemist.
- There are Discount Chemist shops around, find one and you will find that they are a lot cheaper than the a standard Chemist shop.

Buying items for the house:

Find a local charity shop (make sure it is run by the church or the Salvation Army or Red Cross) and buy all the things you need for your house there.  Pots / pans / knifes / forks / bed sheets and clothing and even furniture.

You may not get it all at once, if may take a couple of trips until the item you are looking for comes into the shop) but YOU WILL find quality (second hand) items there at 10% of the price of buying it new.  You will save a fortune.

Remember the staff at these shops are volunteers so be considerate you may not get the best service, but they will do there best to help you and will be symphystic if you are new to Australia and will try and help you as best they can.

If you are going to stay in Australia for a long time, then buy quality, expensive at the start but these items will save you money over time as they will last for a long, long time.  If you buy cheap items it may look cheap when you first buy it, but when you find that you have to replace it every year then it becomes expensive.

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