Recent Hints

Keep the straws from unwanted drink bottles

If you have a drink bottle with an internal straw, when the bottle cracks, leaks or dies, don't throw the straw out! Remove it from the bottle and keep it in your cutlery drawer for whenever you need a straw, or keep a couple in your bag for use when you're out. I keep three in a little cotton bag in my handbag for when we order a drink that would normally come with a disposable straw (milkshakes, iced coffees, spiders, soft drinks). After use, I just give the straw a quick rinse in the restroom sink, or wrap in a serviette, and give a good wash when I get home. A simple way to reduce waste and help the planet!

By: Muirin

Full strength DIY 'Dettol' spray for just 2c a bottle!

A little supermarket research led me to making a huge saving on keeping germs at bay! When my two young children had a gastro bug, I needed anti-bacterial spray to clean up and stop the spread of germs, which vinegar didn't touch. The cheapest anti-bacterial spray I could find was Dettol anti-bacterial spray which cost $4.20 for 500ml. On reading the active ingredients it said it contained Benzalkonium Chloride 0.095%. Then, I saw that a bottle of Coles brand disinfectant was $1.40 for two litres. I read the ingredients and saw Benzalkonium Chloride 1%. The instructions said to dilute it in a ratio of 1:20, or 30ml to 600ml water. So I bought that one, made up the solution and put it in an old spray bottle I already had. It worked just as well and cost just over 2c per spray bottle of prepared solution, compared to $4.20 for the Dettol spray! While Coles brand disinfectant says it can only be used on “floors, walls, bathroom and toilet areas”, not in kitchen areas like the Dettol spray, for me these were the only areas that I needed to disinfect and worked a treat!

By: Freedom from the machine 2 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

One tablespoon only per wash

Slash your washing powder costs by using a tablespoon of washing powder in your machine instead of a scoop. It works just as well! My sister was learning about budgeting and the speaker mentioned that you could get the same wash results by using one flat tablespoon of washing powder as you could if you used a whole scoop. I decided to test this theory and found that even with a full load of washing this proved to be true. I buy a top brand washing powder that costs around $10 per two kilo box and it contains around 148 tablespoons. I used to go through a two kilo box of powder every four to six weeks when I was using a scoop. Generally I do a load of washing every second day, so using one tablespoon per wash, my box of washing powder should now last me nearly 10 months! Just changing this small habit will save me $90 every 10 months on washing powder!

By: Bec C 70 responses in the members' forum

Asking for damaged stock saved a fortune

When shopping for large furniture items, it's well worth asking the furniture retailers if they have any damaged stock. We saved over $400 on our beautiful new dining table. Thanks to putting into practice some hints from Simple Savings, my husband and I found ourselves with enough money saved to spend on a new kitchen/dining table.

We shopped around for a long time. We knew we wanted something big - an eight-seater preferably, with a beautiful wood grain and lots of character. We looked at second hand as well as new, then finally found one we loved. But the price, at $930 was still beyond our budget. We sadly let it go.

Several days later I had a thought and I convinced hubby to go with me back to the shop again. We got talking to a sales person and I decided to be completely honest. 'We love this table but we just can't afford it at that price - can you do a better price?' He did a few calculations but the answer came back 'No'. I said we'd even be willing to consider a damaged table if they had one.

He thought for a minute, and then rang one of the guys out in the warehouse. Sure enough they had the table we wanted, in the eight-seater size, with a scratch on it. He arranged for us to go and look and - we got our beautiful mahogany table, imported from India, for half price (a saving of $465).

We don't mind the scratch at all - in fact, when people admire our gorgeous table (which they do all the time), I proudly point out the scratch to them (which they would probably not even notice otherwise) and tell them the story of how we would never have got the table if it weren't for the scratch!

By: Karan Gabriel 2 responses in the members' forum