September 26, 2018

How to Save Money and Eat Healthy

One common notion when it comes to healthy eating is that it’s expensive. In some aspects, this may be true, considering the numerous superfood items that we see in supermarkets and specialty stores. However, this does not mean that you cannot make healthy choices without breaking the bank. There are a lot of simple ways to ensure that you can eat what’s healthy for you and still save money.

In this list, we’ve rounded up several simple ways on how to save money when you’re trying to eat healthy:

Master meal planning

One great way to save money is creating a weekly meal plan. This entails making a grocery shopping list as well as some time and effort to create the dishes. Knowing the meals that you need to prepare means you will buy only the things that you need, plus it lessens the number of grocery trips which further helps you save money. Also, since you will always have food on standby, you will not be tempted to eat out, order some takeout or buy junk food.

Make plant-based food the star of your meals

Think whole grains, legumes such as lentils and kidney beans, and fruits and vegetables. These are all good for you and your wallet.

Go to the local markets

Take advantage of fresh produce that’s a lot cheaper compared to those found in supermarkets. Aside from saving money, you can support local farmers and help build a strong bond within the community.

Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season

While you’re at the local market, check which produce is in season which tends to be inexpensive. You can buy in bulk and store them in the freezer. You can likewise make homemade jams that are not only cheap but also healthier compared to store-bought jams loaded with sugar.

Eat first before going to the supermarket

When you shop on an empty stomach, you are more likely to buy food that’s not good for you. This also leads to impulse buying.

You cannot put a price on good health, and being healthy will help you save money in so many ways. If you have money to buy all those expensive healthy superfood items then go for it. There’s nothing wrong with it. The point is, trying to eat healthy does not have to be a financial burden. With a few simple tips, you can make healthy food choices and still save money.

Got other ways on how to save money when trying to eat healthy? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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5 Hacks to Save Money on Beauty Products

With the wide range of beauty products in Australia being used by many on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that they spend a lot on keeping their skin nice and healthy. But there are ways to save money on certain skincare products. With some research and a bit of time to make your own beauty essentials, you can save money and achieve healthy skin:

Make your own face and body scrub out of ground coffee beans

For a lot of people, a day is incomplete without a cup or two of coffee, but aside from a great pick-me-up to prepare you for the day’s tasks, coffee is used in do-it-yourself beauty products such as face and body scrub. Equipped with antioxidants, freshly ground coffee or even used grinds can effectively exfoliate your skin to remove dry, dead skin cells.

Save money by making your own face mask. Mix ground coffee with yogurt, and honey, then apply a light coat to your face. Leave it for about 15 minutes then remove it with a wash cloth. As for the body scrub, you can mix ground coffee with coconut oil and brown sugar. Massage the mixture onto wet skin then rinse with warm water.

Moisturise your skin by giving yourself an oil mask with kitchen oils

Another money-saving hack on beauty products is the use of olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil to make your own oil mask. Olive oil is great not only for cooking but also to make your hair and skin healthier. It is rich in vitamins that are beneficial for your body. Coconut oil offers healing and cleansing properties that is has become an amazing addition to beauty and personal grooming rituals. It is such a great skin moisturizer and cleanser for all skin types. On the other hand, avocado oil can be added to your DIY oil mask to retain your skin’s moisture and hydrate the skin particularly around your eyes.

Use your lipstick to colour your cheeks instead of buying blush

Save money on blush by using your lipstick to add colour to your cheeks. Just make sure to choose the right colour and formula to get that smooth finish. You may want to consider getting an oil-based cream lipstick as it generally blends easily to the skin, making it look more natural.

Buy unscented soap and add your own essential oils for scent

One of the ways to save money on beauty products is buying unscented soap which is, in general, cheaper that a scented one, and just add your own essential oils. Not only will it let you save money, it can also help you avoid too much chemicals normally found in many soap variants.

Use baby wipes to remove your makeup instead of expensive makeup wipes

After a long day at work, makeup wipes are helpful in removing makeup, but an easy way to save money is to opt for baby wipes. You’ll see a significant difference in the cost and these can do the job of removing your makeup.

Do you have other tips on how to save money on beauty products in Australia? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Save Money Fast for Your House Deposit

Saving money is not an easy task, especially if you want to save money fast to buy a house in Australia. It costs a lot of money and as the real estate industry grows and demand increases, saving money for a house deposit can be more challenging. But there are easy ways to save money. You just need to have the right strategy and enough motivation to grow your savings much faster.

This article will show you how to save money with some simple tips and tricks:

Understand your budget

Create a list of your expenses, utilities, and debts that you need to pay on a monthly basis, and look for areas where you can cut expenses that are not really necessary. You’ll be surprised at how much of your income goes to your daily coffee once you add the costs up. Giving up even the small things can really make a big difference in saving money.

Allot a certain percentage of your monthly income to your savings account

Save money fast by setting aside about 10% of your paycheck for your home deposit. Pay yourself first and do it regularly. It does not matter if it’s a small amount at first. You can increase it later on. The key to saving money is consistency.

Pay off all your debts

Saving money is hard enough, but doing this while having debts is much harder. Get rid of credit card debts and other loans as soon as possible so you can avoid high interest and allot more money to your home deposit. Also, make sure that you’re free from loans before getting a mortgage.

Consider getting a high interest savings account

There are several benefits of having a savings account that yields higher interest. It makes your money work for you, as compared to saving money in a typical transaction account. It’s also not that easy to access your money, so you will not be tempted to withdraw your savings.

Get another source of income

You can save money fast for your future home by getting a part-time job. That additional source of income can quickly increase your savings. Earn extra money by utilising your skills to teach arts and crafts or design. If you have a teaching background, you can serve as a tutor. You can also be a freelance writer, graphic artist or admin assistant.

If you’re serious about saving money, take a good look at your finance and see if you can cut some extra costs. Simple changes in your lifestyle can also do the trick. Every little thing counts and before you know it, you’ll be ready with a house deposit.

Do you know other ways to save money in Australia? Share your tips in the comments section.

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How to Save Money on the Gym by Using Youtube to Exercise

YouTube is a great place to find challenging exercise classes. Just mind you don’t get distracted by all the cat videos.

Staying fit is important for staying healthy and feeling good. While there are many reasons why people don’t exercise, the cost of doing so is a legitimate one. Personal trainers, gym memberships, and exercise classes in Australia are expensive and can add quite a bit to your ‘fixed costs’.

Fortunately, you don’t need any of these things to exercise. You can always go for a run, do you own circuit class, or play some sport for staying healthy and saving money. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get motivated without a formal class or know what to do if you’re a beginner.

That is where YouTube comes in.

YouTube workouts

Did you know that YouTube is the second most common place people go to search for something on the internet? This makes perfect sense when you think about it. Why spend 20 minutes reading a detail description of how to bake a cake when a video can show you how to do it, in a fraction of the time?

There are an infinite number of workout videos on YouTube. Whether you want to do yoga, a boot camp style session, or a classic Jane Fonder aerobic class, you can find it on YouTube.

Benefits of YouTube workouts

Watching a video can also help you stay focused and motivated. It is all too easy to just give up or cut things short when you are making things up for yourself. But, if you have someone telling you what to do, you are much more likely to do it.

It also saves you time. No driving to the gym, getting unpacked or wasting time talking to the receptionist.

Challenges

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a gym is that it has all the nice equipment. While the machines are prohibitively expensive to buy, you should be able to find a basic set of weights and a mat relatively inexpensively.

Most videos understand that people are doing them at home and don’t require you to have any special equipment. If you do need something, you could try DIYing. It’s simple to make a kettle bell or install a chin up bar.

The other benefit of a gym is that group exercise is way more fun and effective. But, just because you’re exercising to a video doesn’t means you must do it alone. If you want to take your YouTube workouts to the next level; watch them in a group!

If you have little experience, it’s worth checking out some ‘how to’ video for different exercises, and then trying them in front of a mirror (not so you can check yourself out, but so you can see if you’re doing the movement correctly!).

If you’re comfortable with most movements, then go right ahead and start using YouTube as your trainer/class instructor. You’ll save some serious money and get the same result as going to a gym in Australia.

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5 Ways to Save Money on Books and eBooks

Reading is a great activity for people of all ages in Australia. Some prefer hardcover and paperback books, while others go for the digital route through eBooks. Whether for school, work or as a hobby, reading plays a big role in how we learn new things and develop our communication skills. While it comes with many benefits, it can also be very expensive. This shouldn’t be a concern as there are simple ways to save money and enjoy this activity.

Here are five money-saving tips on books and eBooks:

Visit your local library

This ones seems obvious right? Looking for a place filled with books and where you don’t need to spend money to read? Go to the local library. It should be the most obvious answer but in this world where everything seems to go digital, the good old library may be taken for granted. It’s the easiest way to save money on books – just be mindful of any fines for books that are not returned on time.

Buy secondhand books

If you’re serious about cutting costs, consider buying pre-loved books. There are so many bookstores and online shops that offer a wide selection of books and other reading materials. Obviously, secondhand books come at discounted prices, letting you save money.  eBay.com is a great source for secondhand books in Australia!

Sell your old books to fund your new ones

Speaking of eBay, once you are finished reading a book, instead of cluttering up your house with books you are never going to touch again, consider selling your old books online. Likewise second hand book stores usually have a booking buying and trading scheme. Go in and ask them what you offer.

Don’t buy books at regular prices

As with most purchases, wait until the books you’ve been eyeing for become on sale, especially if you don’t need them right away. Watch out for the sale season of bookstores in your area. Also, a quick search online and you’ll find several websites that offer discount codes and digital coupons that can help a lot in saving money.

Watch out for eBook bargains and free eBook offers.

eBooks are generally less expensive compared to their hard copy counterparts. To further save money, keep tab of websites that offer eBooks at lower prices. Some websites even release eBook best-sellers that you can get for free.

Borrow eBooks online.

If you are a regular eBook reader, then consider getting a Kindle Unlimited account via Amazon Australia. For a fee of $13.99 per month, you can download up to 10 books at a time. When you read your 10 book limit, it simply asks you to pick a book in your library to return. This is also great for a family who can share one login and use that low monthly fee for the entire family.

Final Thought

Books and eBooks can be costly, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning new things through reading. Keep these simple tips in mind so you can read more and save money.

Got other tips on saving money when it comes to books and eBooks in Australia? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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How to Save Money on Shoes

Shoes form an essential part in anyone’s outfit. More than for comfort and safety, shoes usually complement one’s clothes. Sometimes, people decide what clothes to wear based on the pair that they want to wear on that day. Heck, shoes are just an addiction for some of us!!

For those who are into fashion, it’s normal to have a lot of shoes and to buy a pair or two frequently. For the money-conscious, it can be hard to resist those shoes that come in a wide range of styles and colours. The good thing is, you don’t need to break the bank to buy shoes. There are so many ways to save money on shoes. With some resourcefulness and great money-saving ideas, you can go shoe shopping without overspending.

Here are some easy ways to save money when buying shoes in Australia:

Opt for quality over quantity

While our goal is to save money on our shoe addiction, it doesn’t automatically mean that we will only buy inexpensive ones. Consider investing in one or two pairs of high quality shoes instead of buying several cheap pairs that don’t really last long. When you have durable shoes, you don’t have to buy a new pair that often. Plus, you can be sure that your feet are well-protected.

Wait until it’s sale season

Another great cost-saving tip is to wait until the pair that you need goes on sale. You can save a lot just by being patient.

Try shoes in store and shop online

Most of the time when you shop around online, you can always find a better deal. There are so many new online retailers of shoes in Australia that offer a lot of brands and variety. So go down to your local store, but before you buy, shop around online to see if you can get a better deal. Here’s another tip, if you show the online price to the shop assistant, they may be able to meet the price in order to get the sale!

If you shop online, make sure the return policy is good

Shopping online can get you a better deal, but if the shoe doesn’t fit, it can cost you money to return it! A good online retailer will give you free returns within a number of days of purchase. If not you have to decide if it is really going to be worth it. Will you be stuck either paying for a return or being forced to hold onto a store credit until you find something else? It pays to read the fine print!

Subscribe to email newsletters

Save money fast by subscribing to promo alerts and email newsletters of online retail stores. You can get exclusive offers and be one of the first few customers to know which items will go on sale. But subscriber beware! Sometimes being subscribed to newsletters can increase your temptation to buy shoes you wouldn’t have otherwise seen!

Buy shoes with friends

I have a best friend and we have the same shoe size. So much in common, I know! But this is good when it comes to buying shoes. We just raid each others wardrobes and the shoe addiction is fulfilled for that little bit longer!

Use shoe coupon codes

Another money-saving trick is to take advantage of coupon codes. There are a lot of websites that offer great deals that look like you’ve paid too much but in fact, you’ve saved a lot, thanks to coupon codes.

Final Thought

If you’re on a budget, you can keep these cost saving tips in mind so you can have the shoes that you need without spending a lot.

Do you know other ways to save money on shoes in Australia? You can share your tips in the comments section below.

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How to Use Your Smartphone to Ask for a Discount in Store

A smartphone is your best friend when it comes to getting a discount in store.

When it’s time to update your TV or get a bigger refrigerator you can save hundreds of dollars by asking for a discount. But, no self-respecting salesperson is going to give you one, unless they feel like they absolutely must do so to close the deal.

Using your smartphone to research prices and find cheaper deals is the easiest way to get a discount and save money. Here’s how to use your smartphone to get a discount in store.

Get a price guide

Do a quick internet search for the product you are looking to buy. This will give you a rough price guide and where else it retails.

Find previous sale prices

Everything goes on sale; it’s just a matter of when. You can use camelcamelcamel.com to search price charts and find the lowest price a product has ever sold for. If you can’t find your product, use a calculator to work out what a 30% discount would be and use that as a guide.

Check competitor prices

Pretty much every store will price match with a competitor. Check the price at one or two of the store’s main competitors, preferably ones that are close by. For small electronics, you should definitely look up the price on Ebay or Amazon.

Remember, you must compare the same product. Search for the model number instead of generic names as you might end up finding a different version. Also be careful with overseas results; the prices and models can be different from the ones in Australia.

Saving time

Now that you have done your research, you’re ready to ask for a discount.

All you have to say is:

“Hey. I want to buy this … (TV, etc.), but it’s only $…  at ABC Pty. Ltd. (competitor) down the road. If you can beat their price and I’ll buy it right now.”

You should be ready to buy it on the spot. The quicker the deal is done, the less time the salesperson spends with you. This gives them more time to sell to someone else. Make it obvious that you know what you want and a quick close will have you handing over your money.

You might be able to bluff a competitor price, but having an advertised price will give you a solid bargaining tool. Salespeople know their margins, and what competitors can afford to sell something for, so don’t be unrealistic with your offer.

Try these tips next time you are buying something in store. Instead of just watching cat videos, use your smartphone to help you ask for a discount and save more.

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4 Reasons Why Shopping at Markets will Save You Money on Your Grocery Bill

Most of us in Australia are inclined to go to supermarkets for our weekly grocery shopping. Be it for convenience or accessibility, supermarkets are the go-to place for our basic food essentials. But it comes with disadvantages. For instance, there are a lot of marketing strategies being implemented in supermarkets that, before you know it, you have filled up your trolley with things that you don’t really need. For the money-conscious, it can be difficult sometimes to stick to your budget with all the marketing tactics employed by supermarket giants.

So how can you save money on your grocery bill? You can cut grocery costs by simply knowing where and how to shop. One great money-saving tip is to skip the supermarket and head to your local fresh food market. Here are four reasons why shopping at markets will help you save money:

Products in local markets are usually cheaper (and fresher) than those in supermarkets

Fruits, vegetables, and other products in markets are offered at much lower prices since they incur less overhead costs and are normally grown locally. Not only are they less expensive, they are also of better quality.

You can negotiate on price in markets

For those who are on a budget, negotiating is the name of the game, especially if you can buy in bulk. In general, you are usually dealing with the vendor directly and sometimes can negotiate when buying various produce and items in markets. You can save a lot of money just by asking about the lowest price the vendor can offer for some products. Just be friendly and not too aggressive.

Local markets have less options

This may be the case, but you’ll find that markets usually have everything you need as far as fresh produce and other grocery items are concerned. In supermarkets where there are a lot of options and marketing tactics, it’s very easy to overspend on things that you don’t really need. With local markets, you can be sure that you will buy only the things that you need, enabling you to save money and avoid food wastage.

Markets can be social as well

Organise to meet your friends at the market and grab a coffee when you are there! Usually at markets these days, there is a lineup of quality coffee vans and food vans so you can make the trip to the markets an outing for the entire family. If you meet your friends there too, it can be a good excuse for a catch-up while you shop! Usually the atmosphere is a lot nicer than your local Coles or Woolworths!

Saving money when grocery shopping does not have to be difficult. One of the things that you can do is to visit your local markets and buy most of your grocery items such as fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, eggs, and root crops. In this way, you can save money on your grocery bill and at the same time, make healthier food choices and help local farmers and vendors.

Do you know other easy ways to save money when grocery shopping? You can share your money saving ideas in the comments section below.

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