If you don’t have a budget, or haven’t revisited your budget in a while, Moneysmart.gov.au have a great budget planner. There are also some great spending-tracker apps available for both Android and Apple.

1. Plan and prep your meals

Not just for the gym junkies! Planning and prepping meals can reduce your overall spend, and give you back some time at the end of the day.

Try making larger amounts and freezing portions; it’s more economical, and voilà, lunch or a dinner for next week is sorted!

Always look at what you have on hand in your fridge and pantry when planning your meals. Try to plan your meals around what you already have, reducing cost and waste.

2. Shop with a list – and stick to it!

Shopping with a list reduces the urge to impulse buy, and while writing your list you can plan for meals that are cheaper too!

3. Shop around (and look for specials!)

Check out your local shops for their weekly specials and plan your meals accordingly. If practical, you may wish to visit more than one supermarket or shop to take advantage of various specials and pricing differences.

4. Reduce your meat consumption

Embrace meat-free Monday! Meat can be expensive, even if you look for specials. Plan for some meat-free meals or bulk meals up with hearty vegetables and legumes.

Recipe: Mushroom and lentil bolognese

5. Shop once a week (if you can!)

Once a week can seem a bit daunting at first. If so, try to shop for a few days at a time. Shopping less means there is less opportunity to purchase impulse items.

6. Don’t shop while you’re hungry

When you’re hungry you are more likely to purchase food you don’t need.

7. Remember: just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good buy

Even if it seemed like a bargain, you don’t save money purchasing something you don’t need!

8. Look for alternatives

Alternatives could include the supermarket’s line of everyday products, usually at a much lower cost than the bigger brands. Or you could also try making your own products such baby wipes or cleaning products.

9. Sleep on it

We all need to treat ourselves every now and again – a new bag, coat or shoes – but whenever these items are not essential, try going home and sleeping on the idea. You may just find in the morning the desire is no longer there.


Graduate Student Association