Frugal living tips that can make a big impact

Whatever your motivations for saving money, being intentional with how you spend can make a huge difference to your bank account. Stretch out your dollar by following our top tips for living frugally. 

Ways to save at home

Turn off appliances after use

A simple and easy way to save money on your electricity is simply by turning off any appliances that aren’t being used. Flick off the switch to the kettle, microwave, phone charger and computer monitor the minute you’re done with them.  Standby power can cost you up to $100 per year.

Consider solar alternatives

If you’ve got wired garden lights outside, consider switching to a solar option. While they might not shine for quite as long as their wired counterparts, they’re easy to maintain, come in a variety of styles and colours, and have no ongoing running costs! 

Ways to save on getting around

Walk instead of drive

Whether you’re headed to the shops, gym, school or local library, consider walking instead of driving. Not only will you save money on petrol and car maintenance in the long run, you’ll smash your daily step count too.

Choose public transport

Ride share services can add up, especially when surge prices hit. If it’s safe and manageable, take a train, tram or bus to your destination instead. It might take a little longer, and a bit more planning, but it’s a cheaper alternative that can get you from A to B just as effectively. 

Ways to save on food

Shop smart

At the beginning of each week, write out a meal plan, being sure to only use ingredients that are in season. Then, create a shopping list of the ingredients needed and stick to it! Avoid impulse buys of cheap choccies or biscuits near the checkouts. By avoiding ingredients that aren’t in season (they tend to cost more because they’re imported) and sticking to a plan, you’ll save money and produce less waste.

Do a pantry audit

You’ll be surprised how much you can make with just a few simple ingredients. If you’re getting to the end of the week and find yourself running low on produce – check the pantry before you head off for another shop. With some flour, an egg, basil, an onion and tinned tomatoes – you could be on your way to a delicious home-made pasta! If you’re lacking inspiration, check out It’s a handy site that generates meal ideas based off the ingredients you have left in the cupboard. 

Batch cook like a boss

Easy one-pot meals like chilli con carne, Bolognese sauce, and Japanese curry require few ingredients and can be cooked in big batches. Buy ingredients when they’re fresh, on sale and in season, then whip up a big pot that you can portion out and freeze. Pull them out on nights when you can’t be bothered cooking – it will not only save energy from needing to cook every day, it will also save you ordering fast-food takeaway too, which can be expensive. 

Ways to save on entertainment

Cut down on subscriptions or ditch them all together

Monthly subscriptions to various streaming services can add up. Cull the ones you don’t frequently use to reduce your spend, or better yet, stick to free-to-air streaming services like Ten Play, SBS On Demand, 7Plus and 9Now that have a heap of shows available on demand with zero monthly subscription fees. 

Enjoy the great outdoors

There are so many free activities you can enjoy outside your home – especially when the weather is good! Think picnics in parks, swimming at the beach, taking the kids for a bike ride or heading out for a hike. By going outside, you can avoid using electricity in your home for a period (saving on bills when you remember to switch everything off), and you can recharge in nature.

Ways to make your money go further

Check your shopping receipts

Before you throw out your last shopping receipt, make sure you check it for any coupon deals that have been advertised. You may be able to score a couple of cents off petrol next time you fill up (everything adds up!) or get a great deal on food or drinks thanks to a limited deal. 

Join Origin Spike

Origin customers with a smart meter installed can participate in our energy-saving reward program, Spike. Save energy during times of peak demand to earn points that can be transformed into PayPal cash or gift cards. Not only will you save money on your electricity bill, you’ll earn money when you beat your SpikeHour! 

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