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How do you cut the cost of living?

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Posted by: Caféstudy

7th May 2014 02:58pm

With the budget looming and the high chance that we will have less money than before, how will you cut your everyday spending?

We asked you what you thought, and received an interesting response. Instead of making outright cuts, you will look for cheaper ways of buying the same things. Modifying instead of changing your shopping habits and finding creative ways to keep the same lifestyle. In other words, smart shopping. In the words of Hartmut; “you do not have to cut out anything, only modify your actions to save.”

Examples of smart shopping and creative cutbacks given by you include obvious changes such as taking advantage of specials and buying in bulk, but also saving through less obvious ways, for example, Janine, who works out the best day and time to shop at supermarkets in order to take advantage of reduced prices at certain times. “Be aware of the cycle and you can really save,” she advises.

Other ideas include choosing to shop at Aldi, or shopping around at local shops or markets, and buying cheaper brands where possible. More specific advice from SStC - “meeting friends out for a coffee, have it at each other’s homes instead.” Shop around for things like car and home insurance. Continue to eat out once a week, but choose cheaper deals or weeknight offers instead. It is clear that you would prefer to spend more time and effort in achieving the same lifestyle and buying the same things, than make actual cuts.

Some of you clearly see a silver lining in the budget cloud and say you would turn a drop in income into an opportunity to reap health benefits, for example by stopping smoking or cutting down on alcohol. Margie declares “I intend to cut my intake of wine to save money. Also my health will probably benefit as well.” A few of you with adult children still at home talked about charging them rent and insisting they start contributing to household expenses.

In summary, according to you, being faced with the prospect of cutting your spending does not mean cutting anything out. It just means adapting to the circumstances and shopping smarter.

Comments 25

  • 5th May 2018 06:06pm

Hate to admit it but nowadays I quite often work on the “only eat every second day” principle.

  • 15th Jul 2017 05:20pm

To be honest with me, I have found that by shopping around I can cut down on some of the items... I know when iga will put out some mark downs, I know where to look for coles and woolworths mark downs, and find this way I can on the whole, carefuly save a bit, with making sure I can use up what I buy. I notice that all the big shops do put out milk at reduced prices, and this is when I t will be just 2 litres, as I like fresh milk for coffee, made with all milk, and when I get it for one dollar for 2 litres at times, it is a good saving.. We then can have cereal as well, and I can make pancakes and make it go even further...I know the farmers need to be able to sell their milk, feed the animals, and survive themselves. saw last night that coles and woolworths are bringing down some prices of bread, but that a firm called Mias is only making 10 cents a loaf, and if they cut their price they will go out of business which is not fair. I checked the amount of slices in some loaves, and find that iga has a loaf for 99c. which has more slices than the 85c. loaf of coles, so it is worth it to pay the little extra for more bread in the loaf. I guess this is the only way we on pensions can survive. We dont use the heaters, but I make up hot water bags, and we use those for our legs when watching tv of a night. . we then can put our feet on them in bed after.

  • 15th Apr 2016 03:29pm

I think it's all about balancing what you want and what you need. These days there seems to be a sales every second week with the big retailers and department stores. As far as groceries go, buying what's in season always helps.

  • 29th Dec 2015 07:45pm

To cut the price of shopping I am very inclined to shop for groceries at Aldi where the prices are reasonable,I also am a shopper at Woolworths were I have a rewards card and am entitled to a discount of the grocery price,My husband also likes to look at the meat prices and buys it when there is any on special

  • 27th Mar 2015 01:55pm

Cook with others at university, buy home brands, only buy new clothes when needed and share transport when driving home.

Burnt Out Digger
  • 4th Feb 2015 04:21pm

It is also a good idea not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. That way it is much easier to resist the temptation of buying the strategically placed items, such as chocolate bars, that are near the cash register.

Also, look a the higher and lower shelves when picking out items. Those at eye level tend to be more expensive than the others.

  • 4th Jul 2014 03:58pm

When there is an extra good special on of something I use a lot of I buy a few, over the long term it saves money!! I also buy from aldi and from the local fruit market, which is normally cheaper than the shops and stays fresher for longer. I go without things when I can't afford them also!

  • 12th Jun 2014 01:12pm

Being pregnant I have stopped buying cigarettes and alcohol. The difference it has made to my weekly budget has helped. My partner has no also cut down on alcohol and has made it even better. I also do a weekly budget just so I know where I am at with my funds.

  • 14th Jun 2014 07:48pm

I'm just about to go through ivf so alcohol and cigarettes are a thing of the past now and it definitely helps with the budget.I find also shopping at aldi is great but there are items you can't get there and you have to go to the supermarket. I find if I shop at Coles in a higher economical area things are cheaper

  • 11th Jun 2014 10:18am

Only spend on necessity goods

  • 12th Jun 2014 09:57am

Yes I agree I have already started cutting back on a lot of things and always looking for a bargain I really think you have to shop around these days things are just getting so pricey we obviously can only buy what we can afford

  • 10th Jun 2014 07:38pm

I am a pensioner and today I wanted to buy some plants for my pots. I went to the local nursery for a change instead of the BIG ones and was pleasantly rewarded with punnets of pansies, violets and seaside daisy for $1 per punnet. It was because they were a bit dry and leggy. I went home and trimmed them up and they were fine, so far. So for $10 I purchased 10 punnets and that would have cost me between $4 to $5 per punnet and about $40 to $50. You just have to look around. Sometimes the supermarkets do the same.Well done me.

  • 5th Jun 2014 12:52pm

Bulk buy as much as possible, you then go shopping less, and actually buy less in the long run.

Buy in second hand shops.

Walk every day, saves petrol, makes you feel better, out the house so you cant be eating etc, every little helps.

  • 5th Jun 2014 10:43am

Always make the distinction between what you need and what you want. Advertising is to make you think that you need an article when in fact it is just a nice to have.

  • 3rd Jun 2014 10:54pm

I tried buy things at sale time

  • 3rd Jun 2014 10:17pm


  • 2nd Jun 2014 09:50am

Look at what you WANT and look at what you NEED. Introducing a budget to your household of your wants and needs could cut down your living costs. Categorize expenses and bills (needs - e.g rent, electricity, gas, phone) to co-inside with your income. Then set aside savings and play money (wants - e.g entertainment, movies, shopping). Easy!

  • 16th May 2014 02:58pm

I eagerly await the arrival of the Woolworths and Coles Catalogues in the letterbox and scan them for specials on the items that I usually buy. I purchase them whether I need them right now or not. I found this is the best way to save money overall. I hope this helps :o)

  • 16th May 2014 01:41pm

i would cut a lot of things that i enjoy....

  • 15th May 2014 10:03am

Buying second hand things is much cheaper and is a lot better for the environment. I feel today's society is very disposable, everyone wants something brand new and once something takes it's place they want the newer version and get rid of the old, THIS way of living is what makes modern life so expensive!!!

  • 14th May 2014 09:37pm

I think planning our spending is also an extremely beneficial exercise. I find that being clear about my upcoming needs helps me to identify good buying opportunities. Particularly on deal sites, through clubs etc

  • 14th May 2014 04:37am

you shouldn't need to give up or cut back on anything because politicians aren't doing their job properly. i'm all for cutting down on smokes and alcohol, for the sake of your health but if it affects your enjoyment of life in general, then finding cheaper ways to do things is the go. if you spill something on the carpet, get a jug of tap water and a towel straight away, while its wet, drown the stain with water, as much as it takes, work it in to dilute the offending liquid as much as possible and sponge it up with the towel. sometimes it takes multiple trips to the tap (usually i'll start with a glass of water) and towels but it beats paying for a drycleaner. red wine, green and red cordial and fruit juices on light carpets can be difficult sometimes but if it dries out even the $120 drycleaner wont get that out. you can buy some types of lettuce at the supermarket with the roots still on. stick it in the garden and it'll keep growing, you'll get 10-20 times the amount out of it. we love good food in australia and tend to spend way too much on sauces. if you want flavour GARLIC, SALT, PEPPER, CHILLI, and you can pick up herb plants basil,coriander,parsley,rosemary etc for about $3 each and they grow like no-ones business. even if you live in a flat, put them in a window box, and as long as you water them and they get some sun, they'll grow faster than you can eat them.

  • 13th May 2014 12:27pm

buy things in garage sale , sunday markets and second hand shops. make sure we buy cosmetics and dress from reputed shops.

  • 11th May 2014 02:18pm

buy during sale
share with people

  • 1st Apr 2015 12:54pm
buy during sale
share with people

Yes buying during sales helps a lot, and when you have extra money particularly at sales buy extra. Sharing with people is good too. Also only buying when you have run out of an item, means you dont buy items unneccasarily. Buying products in discounts stores helps a lot too. Refrigerating extra food or freezing food helps also. Also if you have pets and have leftovers give it to the pets this helps to reduce costs on buying pet food too.