What frugal actions did we take to save $2,300 recently? The truth is – it has gotten more challenging as the years pass no thanks to inflation.
In this post, I’ll share how our family made great savings recently just by doing these 11 things.
Saving Tactic #1
We often make use of a local buy and sell online platform to earn cash from our unwanted stuff.
However, some potential buyers have been exploiting this site by contacting sellers with questions such as “Will you take $10 for this book?” when the listing price has clearly been set at $33 .
Ok. I admit it. I was at the receiving end of one such question. After voicing my unhappiness to Mr MMT, he had a brilliant idea to turn this to our advantage.
As he was looking to replace the wheel covers of our newly bought second hand car, he used this site to source a set of wheel covers for only . . .$1. Can you beat that?
They usually go for $40 as they are original equipment, meaning they come with the car from the manufacturer.
Saving Tactic #2
We recently purchased an older car for our son to learn driving as Mr MMT and my car are deemed too precious for a new driver.
Being an extreme frugalist, my son has been hoping to use our cars at zero cost to himself.
However, it’s time for him to face the facts of reality – he does need to spend money on essentials.
What is interesting is Mr MMT bought this car in an online auction.
As it was a repossessed car, potential buyers were not allowed to view the car or to test-drive it. Photos of the car were not attractive at all with loads of rubbish strewn all over the inside.
Lots of competition was eliminated because of this. The result was a great reduction in price.
Mr MMT did put in some elbow grease to clean and clear the rubbish in the car which turned out to be superficial. He actually found a new can of beer amongst the rubbish!
The ugly duckling was transformed into a diamond!
Saving Tactic #3
As the car also needed 2 more parts, Mr MMT went to a scrap yard to find a pair of replacement tailgate gas struts.
The cost? $40
This was less than half the price of used struts available over the counter ($80).
By dismantling the parts himself, he did his part for the environment and saved good money too.
(He learnt for free how to dismantle it by watching a YouTube video).
Bonus – he had some fun on his first visit to a scrap yard, a place he’d always been curious about.
Saving Tactic #4
He also bought a pair of great condition second-hand tires. They were only a couple of years old, with about 80 percent of the full tread on them.
The labor to fit and balance them was free at the shop he visited!
The total cost for the two tires was $100. New tires would have cost double: $200.
Saving Tactic #5
While shopping for carrots at our local organic shop, I noticed that a box of organic table carrots were going for $7.78 per kg and the other was $4.70 per kg.
The difference in price was that the juicing carrots came in odd sizes. There were either tiny or the big ones had broken into larger chunks. The table carrots were bigger carrots that were whole.
Since I use carrots mainly for stews and sandwiches, their appearance doesn’t matter as they’ll be sliced anyway.
Saving Tactic #6
While waiting for our car to undergo a compulsory check, Mr MMT discovered a shelf full of books in newish condition in the waiting room.
A notice nearby said “FREE”, so he helped himself to a book on cats and remarked that we could list it for sale after reading it.
Saving Tactic #7
We had originally planned for a holiday to Carters Beach where a three-night accommodation would only cost $210 as my union offers heavily discounted rates on holiday accommodation.
However, we decided to forgo this even though it was within our budget as Mr MMT found it relaxing to have a staycation instead. Besides, I would save time and effort on packing.
As our son was not involved with the financing, driving or packing, I’m afraid his protests were not taken into consideration.
We examined local maps and discovered new places that were only a ten-minute drive from our home.
Why must it be ten-minute you may ask? So that we’ll save on gas and time.
Watch the video of our Walk here. Admire the beautiful scenery! We had strong winds that day. On clear days, you would see the mountains beyond.
Saving Tactic #8
Always on the lookout for food items on sale in our supermarkets, I pounced on our family’s favorite milk which was on sale, with a dollar off for each carton.
Saving Tactic #9
I always try to get refunds on bought produce that are uneatable.
After showing the state of some organic apples with the accompanying receipts, I was refunded a total of $3.54.
Another dollar was refunded for a spoiled avocado. This amount may not look like a lot of money, but I don’t believe I should pay for produce that my family could not safely consume.
If this happens to you, it’s best to get your money back in this way.
Saving Tactic #10
Instead of taking two capsules of algae oil a day, Mr MMT and I have been taking one capsule on most days instead. This reduces the frequency of buying more bottles.
Each bottle costs $47 and we usually need to replenish our supply every 22 days.
By spacing out our consumption, we could stretch each bottle to twice the number of days instead. We have just started this practice, so over time, our savings should be greater.
Saving Tactic #11
Until recently, I had been using either cash or credit card for my purchases. The former for shops that charge a fee for purchases under $30 and the latter for supermarket spending.
Thinking that it would simplify my life, I started using a debit card.
The only problem is it needs topping up periodically to ensure adequate funds are available. What I didn’t realize was that it could go on overdraft and I’d get charged a $5 fee.
Now I take care to deduct the amounts from my balance each time I use the debit card by faithfully recording the balance in my diary.
However, there was still that little matter I needed to take care of.
Approaching a bank teller one afternoon, I explained to her what had happened and asked for her help and understanding.
A kind soul, she refunded me my overdraft fee of $5 as I had only overdrawn it by just 7 cents.
Some of these tactics would mean more savings in the long run as I only started #10 recently. Our saving success stems from our ‘iron’ discipline on spending what is absolutely necessary.
To sum up, our total savings amounted to a grand total of $2,377.54
I hope our strategies will inspire you to make a great financial start to 2020 and beyond.
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