Our high five tips

A reader has asked for a quick summary of some quick and easy ways to save money so we have put together our “top five” money saving tips in some money hungry areas.


1. Reduce your speed and save money. Slowing down from 110 km to 100 km will result in a 15% fuel saving, and you will avoid speeding tickets!


2. Make sure tyre pressures are right. According to Beaurepairs, every 10% under the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure costs about 2.5% in extra fuel consumption.


3. Turn off the air conditioner and save about 10% of your fuel consumption. A car’s air conditioning system needs power, which comes from the engine. Air conditioners can use about 10 per cent extra fuel when operating.


4. Drive with a “soft” foot on the pedal. Irregular accelerating and breaking uses more fuel. A manic driver will use 25% more fuel and a fast driver 10% more than a smooth driver.


5. Make sure your vehicle is tuned. A poorly maintained vehicle will consume 5% more fuel.




1. Use the cheapest supplier, based on your needs. A quick and easy way to do that is using the online Powerswitch calculator www.powerswitch.co.nz. One reader cut their power bill by $900 a year!


2. For Mr & Mrs Normal, hot water accounts for over 40% of their electricity bill. Make sure the thermostat on your hot water cylinder is not set too high. 50-60 degree Celsius (150 to 160 Fahrenheit) is sufficient.


3. A cold water wash in the washing machine costs about 10% of the cost of a hot water wash.


4. Eliminate draughts around windows and floors. About 12% of the heat of a household is lost through windows. Leaky window and door joinery can be sealed with sealants or a self-adhesive foam strip and well-made, full-length curtains or thermal drapes will minimize loss. Because a lot of air is lost around the edges, the curtains should extend 150mm on each side, and below the base of the window. Heavy drapes are more heat efficient than blinds. Scout around for a cheap material that could save on your heating costs.


5. Install a ceiling fan in rooms with an open fire. It will increase the comfort level and circulate the heat that gets trapped on the ceiling.




1. Double to the life-span of paintwork on weatherboards by washing it once a year.


2. Learn how to do basic repairs. First step – read the manual! If that fails, try YouTube which has literally thousands of “DIY” uploaded videos on how to fix anything and everything. One oily ragger says they saw how to change a washing machine hose – before YouTube they would have just rung the plumber!


3. If you have not yet bought a home, enrol in KiwiSaver to receive the substantial subsidies available.


4. Rather than build a home and take on a huge mortgage, build the shell and fit out the interior as you can afford to do so. Or build something small and add on as the family grows!


5. Buying an existing home is usually cheaper than building new, but be careful if it requires lots of work.




1. Unbranded products are on average 36% cheaper than the same branded products. That will save the average family about $50 a week, or $2,600 a year!


2. Grow your own! It really is dead simple. You don’t even need much space. One oily ragger has made a garden out of car tyres. They simply lay a tyre flat on the ground and fill it with soil. For bigger plants they stack on another tyre and top it up with soil. Easy, and portable!


3. Milk is milk. Buy house brands, discount brand, or an independent brand rather than the premium brands. Alternatively, make your own from powdered milk.


4. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables directly from local growers, orchards, or look for bargains at the local growers market. Buy what’s cheap and plentiful and preserve for use later.


5. Stock or pantry with bargain buys and make meals using what you have in stock. You will always be feasting cheap!


Don’t forget to send your money-saving tips to us so we can share them with others.