- Avoid Food Waste at Home
- Super-Saver Work Lunches
- Amazing Cheap Date Ideas
- How to Save Money when Shopping
- Tips to Save on Petrol
Saving Money at Home
Food Wastage Stats, Facts & Figures In Australia
- $8 billion dollars worth of food is thrown out each year by Australians
- That is 4 tonnes of food
- That is around 500KG per Australian household wasted
- $1036 is the cost to your pocket per year for wasting food
How much money would you save by becoming food-waste conscious?
In terms of budgeting, adopting a food-waste conscious mindset is crucial for a few reasons:
- You aren’t unnecessarily wasting money
- You’re developing a mindset where you only buy what you need and will use
- You’re learning to live within your means
Top reasons for food wastage
- We buy too much food
- We overcook quantities and need to relearn portion requirements
- We are terrible at storing food correctly
- We don’t understand how to use leftovers
What kind of food do we often waste in Australia?
- Fresh produce (33%)
- Leftovers (27%)
- Products that are packaged (15%)
- Drinks (9%)
- Frozen food items (9%)
- Takeaway food (7%)
What you need to do to start saving money
- Stop food wastage. Save money.
- Start meal planning better.
- Look to reduce your grocery bill and opt instead to become more accountable for the fresh food you buy.
- Always store leftovers and use them the next day for lunch or similar.
- Learn what vegetables go off quickly – use them first.
- Study the use-by dates of items you put into your fridge.
Saving Money at Work
- You save money
- You eat a healthier lunch that is home-made, not heavily fried or processed with extra calories
- You spend your lunch time relaxing and taking personal time instead of deciding on where to buy food
- You have a solid 30 - 60 minutes each day to accomplish personal tasks (like paying bills or catching up on the news)
How to save $4,800 a year on lunch
Yearly Cost of Your Lunch
|Daily Lunch Spend||Yearly Cost|
Top 5 Tips on Saving Money By Making Your Own Lunch
- Utilise leftovers. Stop food wastage, save more money. Anything you don’t eat at home, whether it be dinner from the night before or fruit and veggies that run the risk of going off, bring them to work and eat them. See yourself as a human vacuum to eat up all the leftover food that would otherwise go to waste (but be careful not to hoover up too much). Reducing waste is as good as saving money, as you don’t need to outlay even more money.
- Have lunch at the same time every day. Routine helps you save money. If you eat lunch at different times of the day over the week, your body does not get into a routine and can leave you starving at different times. This in turn makes you more vulnerable to simply get up and join the masses exiting the building for a takeaway lunch at the food court.
- Use your savings for good. Work out your daily lunch and food expenses. Once you know the figure, ensure you save the money and use it to build wealth, pay off debt and generally get ahead. No point not eating lunch to save $3,000 a year only to pick up a lottery ticket hobbit of equal value. Consider making a separate high-interest savings account that is dedicated to your lunch savings, or alternatively, make micro transfers to your bad debts (like credit cards and personal loans) to pay less in daily interest.
- Stock up on long life and healthy ‘desk draw’ foods. Go to ALDI, buy a heap of tuna and 4 bean mixes. They are super healthy, high in protein and nourishment and will survive almost forever. Stock up on items like this and other long-life canned goods (be careful to not buy soups that are high in salt content). Having items in your desk drawer means that if you ever forget your lunch or feel tempted to eat elsewhere, you have food close by to dull your cravings.
- Meal plan motivation. Many of us feel too rushed in the mornings to find the time to make lunch before work. The five minutes spent preparing lunch the night before will prevent spending $20 a day on eating food that isn’t as healthy as the lunch you can bring from home. Take the time to prepare, save and get ahead.
Costs of buying lunch vs making your own lunch
Cost of Homemade Lunch vs Buying Lunch
|Lunch Food||Cost To Buy||Cost To Make at Home||How much you save|
Long-term motivation for making your own lunch
Saving Money on Dates
Cheap Date Ideas & Dating Ideas For People On A Budget
- Dance lessons - There are heaps of dancing lessons around town, a quick internet search will help you find the best ones. A one-time lesson is usually under $25 for a couple, and for that price you could even afford a couple of drinks before you hit the dance floor.
- A night under the stars at the observatory - You can often head to the observatory for under $20 each, and spend the evening checking out all the wonders of the night sky.
- Picnics - Invest in some reasonable bubbly, set aside some time to make some nice picnic food and choose a venue based on weather and scenery. Take a comfy rug, a basket of goodies and go somewhere picturesque. Simple.
- Go for a romantic date night walk - Fresh air, sunshine and greenery all around can make you feel like you’re in a lost fantasy world, and a little light exercise will make you both feel alive. Contact your local council to get a walking map that includes local attractions. You could even combine it with a picnic, and get to know each other and your town in the meantime.
- Lawn bowls for you trendy daters - Choose your candidate wisely for this one, but lawn bowls is a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a very reasonably priced date. There is club-priced beer, sun, and a healthy dose of friendly competition.
- Art after hours - Museums during the day might not be the best option for an impressive date, but at night they can be perfection. Start with a glass of champagne at the bar, then wander around the late-opening exhibits, duck into an old French movie or check out the latest talk being held - all for free.
- Affordable theatre - Amateur theatre can be truly dreadful. The same goes with open-mic nights or amateur poetry gatherings, but it’s all part of the appeal. Find out what is going on in your local area and make it a date. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad; it’s always great to see people having a go.
- Have a movie night for date night - Challenge each other to bring a film to a themed movie night. Categories could be ‘worst movie ever made’, or ‘best classic movie’. You could even take it one step further and instead of just sitting down on the couch to watch movies, set your living area up differently to embrace the event. Perhaps you could put the TV on the patio and watch a movie over a nice home-cooked dinner. You could even make a theme; if you are watching a French film, go with French food!
- Go to the Farmers Markets for a practical date - A lovely way to spend a weekend morning for a day-date is to check out your local grower’s markets. Spend the day wandering around the markets, discussing what you’d like to eat. You can buy delicious food straight from the producer, and then head home and cook up a meal for your date, or take it out for an impromptu picnic!
- Show some team spirit and go for a sporting date - If your partner is a wild sports fan, why not go and see a local rugby match or perhaps a game of cricket at the local park. Generally, you’ll only pay a nominal fee for anything held at the stadiums and you’ll get free entry to the local sports ground. Maybe pack a thermos of hot chocolate during winter or in a fresh lemonade in summer, and have something to drink whilst cheering on the team.
- Chocolate and Candy Shopping - Who does the best cupcakes in town? This is the perfect opportunity to find out! Organise to go on a date with your partner and hunt down the best chocolates or candy stores in the city. All the sugar will give you a good excuse to enjoy the walk from store to store, and you can rarely go wrong with a cupcake store or chocolatier!
- The beach - You might not want to get into your swimsuit this early on in the relationship, but fish and chips on the beach at sunset is romantic in any weather. Go for a stroll, pick up shells and enjoy a perfect, priceless backdrop for your date.
- The arcade - Dating a gamer? Head to your local games arcade and play some two-player games with - or against! - each other. Chances are you’ll find something you both like, whether it’s air hockey, shooting games, or good, old-fashioned Street Fighter!
- Geocaching! - You might not have heard of this one before, but geocaching is a relatively new phenomenon combining traditional orienteering with modern technology - the result is hours of free fun! Players hunt for treasures hidden by other players in locations all over Australia - you can check on available cache locations here. Make sure you take a treat to leave behind for the next player and don’t get too obsessive about finding it. Remember, the goal isn’t actually the cache, it’s having a great time with your date - without having to spend a cent.
When to spend money on a date
Saving Money when Shopping
1. Store Location and Layout
The location of certain products is crucial for supermarkets to make you spend more money. The milk will almost certainly be at the back of the layout and will make you walk past easily purchased impulse items such as junk food and bare essentials.
2. Supermarket Checkout Sellers
3. Increasing your appetite with baking
An interesting thing to remember is that smell plays a large part in consumer buying behaviour. Take Starbucks for instance, where a highly popular food item was quickly from the menu as the smell was so good that customers abandoned the idea of coffee - it actually created a sales drop!
4. Boosting your confidence with music
Music plays a fundamental role in making you want to buy something. Department stores will likely be playing soothing music, part of a strategy to slow you down and encourage you to take your time looking at all the items that surround you.
5. Visual displays that put you in the picture
Visual merchandisers will purposely set up items to appeal to how you would use them - one visit to IKEA and you’ll see they have the chair you are after situated perfectly at an aesthetically appealing desk - just like your home!
6. Eye-catching designs and bold specials
The human eye is excited by certain colours and shapes, and retailers use this knowledge to draw your attention away from other places you might be looking.
7. Product placement on shelves
This is one of those ‘once-you-see-it’ tips that will genuinely shock you. Walk through any supermarket and you’ll see the most expensive items situated on the middle shelf - right at eye level.
8. Multi-buy offers aren’t always the best bargain
There seems to be a never-ending supply of multi-buy promotions in grocery stores. Buy two bottles of shampoo and get one free. What a bargain - or is it?
9. How much can you fit in your basket?
Have you ever wondered why there are hundreds of neatly displayed trolleys right at the entrance to the store but the baskets are hidden away within the entrance? Convenience, right?
10. Selling to your taste buds with free samples
Most supermarkets will set up taste-testing booths for new product launches. People go on to buy those products because they either feel a sense of obligation afterward, or because the small sample made them hungry!
Saving Money on Petrol
Research which car is going to save you the most petrol
Slow down and drive sensibly
Fill up with petrol when its cold
Plan your travel routes to work and cheap petrol station locations
Fuel Watch and Motor Mouth Petrol Watch
Extra tips to help you save money on petrol
- Ensure your tyre pressure is correct - A deflated tyre, even by a couple of PSI can amount to a 5% loss in fuel and severe safety under-performance by your car. Check your tyres fortnightly to ensure maximum PSI is always in effect.
- Lighten your car's weight by removing any unnecessary items - Excess weight is extra energy required to move it, so put the car on a diet and save on fuel.
- Use cruise control - When doing long trips, set the control function; it stops you unnecessarily accelerating and using petrol that is effectively useless on the open road. This can save around 5% of your petrol in just 30mins of cruising.
- Get to a higher gear quicker - Get to a higher gear in manual cars as quick as possible. This reduces engine use and petrol consumption by moving the car in a more economical gear.
- Consider carpooling to reduce petrol - Save money by organising a car pool, maybe only once or twice a week to begin with. Swap driver shifts with your mates for your summer partying season so everyone can be safe, and frugal.
- Walk instead, it will save you money - Instead of jumping in the car every time we head to the shops, why not walk instead? If you live reasonably close to your workplace, why not get up half an hour earlier and walk in? You’ll get all your recommended exercise (for free) and save on huge amounts of petrol. Frugality is about changing our unconscious routines, and all those small trips in the car can add up to some significant savings.
- Use credit card gift rewards to buy petrol - If you have rewards with your credit card, think about using it for petrol gift cards. Rewards are fun to use for new gadgets and appliances, but using them for petrol is a great way to add some space into your budget and really make your credit card rewards work for you.
- Reduce your air conditioning, it uses up petrol - That air-conditioner in your car is using petrol. In fact, all of the accessories are, but none are guzzling the juice like that little cooling system. Take your jacket off and roll the windows down if you’re hot in the car and save the air con for those stinking hot days. Put the windows down. Leave the air conditioning off. This does not make a huge difference, but can help save between 4-5% of petrol in your tank.