What is the tightest thing you do on a regular basis?

Here I am heating my apartment with my gas stovetop, purely because the gas isn't individually metered so is included in our rent. It got me thinking, I wonder what the tightest thing ozbargain users do on a regular basis.

What are your worst tight-arse habits?


      • +1

        No sun at night in my room

    • +2

      LOL… You just reminded me - our clothes dryer broke, so we were drying clothes a couple of weeks ago, on one of those small wire rack things coated with white plastic - sitting with its legs straddled either side of our oven, which was cooking dinner.

      • Exactly same concept. Except I used heater to heat up my room at night

      • +1

        Your clothes must smell delicious!

  • Saw the tail end of a TV program where they were saying that cheaper to use a kettle on gas stove than boiling the jug. Anyone know if this is true/worthwhile?

    • Probably true - gas heats at full blast from the start, whereas the element in a jug stays cool longer by the heatsink of the water.

      Oh - and the other week we bought a "dishmop" - a stick with mop strings at one end for washing dishes. Now we only put a small amount of hot water in the sink - and use the dish mop to bring the hot water up to the dishes. Less water, less electricity…

      • it stays cool because the energy is going into the water, heating it up.

        Seeing that gas water heaters are known to be cheaper to run than electric, it should be the same with a kettle.

        Some apartments charge a fixed daily rate for gas usage so boiling water with a stove in that situation is effectively free.

  • +2

    I always try to time my train travel after 9 or close to 9 so I can save on fares. When it's close to 9, usually next train say 8:58 is treated as off peak. I wait until few mins before to get ticket.

    I reuse all the package, bubble wrap, boxes and wrapping from online purchases for posting eg. Ebay sales.

    Identify which credit card is best for which purpose, reward points, and fees. Clear out balance every month. Pay no interest.

    I check our ozbargain often at work, is that tight too? lol surely a lot of people do the same

  • +1

    I always pick up dumped electronics that I see beside the road. (if not obviously uber broken or a million years out of date). often people throw stuff because they are clueless on basic repairs.

    a co-worker of mine (who had heard that I fix mobiles) asked if I wanted her old Samsung galaxy 2 because it "wasn't working any more". wouldn't power on so I took out the battery and saw some corrosion on the points. cleaned it off with a knife, whacked it back in, charged it for 5 minutes and it powered on. I gave it back to her.

    Hard rubbish collection. love it. picked up my last 3 computers from hard rubbish. one came with a 19 inch LCD monitor, key board and mouse. replaced the M/B battery and put in a hdd and it went fine for 12 months. it died so I just replaced the box with a spare and sold it on ebay for $15.

    Garage sales - I had a 2 page spread in the Woolworths magazine in 2001 about how to spot bargains and going to garage sales. though I notice in Bris they are no where as good as the garages sales I used to go to in Melb.

  • i came here to learn some tips

  • +2

    Here's a radical thought … how about people stop making impulse purchases that I see all the time on ozbargain?

    Saving money isn't about finding the best bargains, but rather forgoing the urge to buy..?

    edit: spelling

    • +2

      I concur!

    • +5

      My mate once told me don't fall for those 25% off, 50% off or whatever discounts… You'd save 100% if you don't impulse purchase. Give things you saw you really want to buy a few days - add them to the wishlist/cart, then let it simmer a few days. Usually you'll find that you can live without them :)

  • My regular tight ass move is shopping just before closing time at supermarkets.

    No q's and cheap chickens/Bakery.

    • Not anymore, might mark down to $8 max. Coles sell any left over chicken in the deli chopped up for $15 p/kg.

  • Switch currency types on some websites for the best exchange rate. Usually only saving about 30c or so…

    • To me this makes a good difference 3-8%

      I always buy in the foreign currency and let my credit card to the exchange.

      The reason for this is the foreign companies usually have really bad currency conversion on their sites. Always check this.

      Ideally buy do this combined with the 28degrees credit card, no fee and tightest exchange rate.

  • +2

    I don't have any debt at all. I will never buy anything on credit.

    • +1

      Surely you're smart enough to take advantage of what credit cards offer you, without actually using credit and paying interest.

      • +3

        Many people are not capable of self control with money.

      • +1

        I don't do it. Too much of a risk having the chance of going in debt. The way the economy is run, they want us in debt. I refuse to comply.

        • ahh ok then. If you're worried you might get tempted to use credit, then avoid it.

          Those who can resist the temptation however, stand to benefit quite a bit by using a credit card without actually using credit.

        • i suppose it's a calculated risk. I live within my means, have a stable job, and my credit card isn't that much (i never go anywhere near my limit). It's those who live outside their means/can't control their spending that run into problems

  • +8

    If you have 2 right footed thongs try this:
    1. Take the strap off one.
    2. Turn this one upside down
    3. Carefully pick out any catheads, bindiis, small sharp stones and other nasties.
    4. Attach the strap.
    For the fashion conscious there may be an issue with colour coordination.
    This procedure is just as effective for 2 left footed thongs.
    It's a handy hint if you go trekking as you only have to take one spare thong.

    • +1 for making me LOL

  • I hope you dont have any children in that apartment!

    Extremely dangerous CO is not detectable by nose. I have a CO meter
    and notice how fast a kitchen can fill up to over 100ppm of gas which start giving you headaches.. Those levels over extended hours can make you sleepy…. then the risk of not waking up ever!!

    Whats your life worth… I remember last winter a news story of a family heating up house with bbq and family members collapsed and called 000.

    dont risk it!!!

    • I don't know about gas burners, but charcoal is a very bad idea indoors. It's actually a popular suicide method in some Asian countries because charcoal is used as a primary form of heating in more rural areas. Cheap and painless since you pass out from lack of oxygen then suffocate. So using it as a heating method is just plain no.

  • +2

    Take the batteries out of your clocks as you leave the house.
    When you return, replace the batteries and reset the time.

    • +1

      Use rechargeable batteries and take them with you when you leave the house so you can recharge them while you are at work or on the train. hahaha

    • Makes me think, are there any solar powered clocks? Come to think of it don't recall if solar panels were mentioned in this thread.

      On another note you could get a watch that doesn't run on batteries but winds a spring as you move about with it on your wrist. Those tend to be expensive to begin with though. Do the same with a clock medallion that doubles as necklace bling :p

      • flavour flav style.

  • Rather than pay for a life time of psychology sessions I went to uni to study it.
    I'm mid way through a post grad psych degree.

    disclaimer - this is not to say I needed I needed a life time of psychology sessions. but you never know what could happen i the future.

    • +2

      Reminds me of something I read where most people in psychology are motivated to be there because they want to try to understand whats wrong with themselves. With the more influential psychologist generally having some condition which they develop theories that they become renowned for.

      Do you have an abnormal obsession with learning about the Oedipus complex per chance? :p

      • Makes sense. Most psychologists I know are as mad as a passel of pigeons.

    • I would not consider the uni fees (Hecs debt) to be a bargain …

  • +1

    At the moment this:


    You will never pay for popcorn bags again when you have learnt it. I even burns the kernels less than using the prepackaged bags.

    • yeah, put in a little bit of olive oil with the kernels and shake it up. then drop in a little salt. 1.5 minutes. bam- popcorn,

      • To make them REALLY tasty, you have to make it unhealthy. Use globs of coconut oil and awesome caramel or butter flavouring from Gold Medal.

        • we have just started using coconut oil for cooking. it seems to last longer when cooking with it. olive oil tends to absorb more quickly.

        • Coconut oil is the best!

  • +2

    Breastfeeding my twins for almost a year and a half!!! so
    - i've saved $$$ on baby formula
    - happy,healthy babies. saved $$$ on pediatrician bills.
    - lost the weight I've put on while pregnant within 6 weeks without needing to go to the gym.Saved on gym membership.
    - it delayed my menses, so saved HEAPS on contraceptive for almost 7 months.
    - hv a close bond with my kids…hopefully will still have the same close bond when they become teenagers and we'll never have to bail them out of prison or take them to counselling.
    - studies have shown that breastfeeding may lead to reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.It may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. so saving heaps on future medical bills.
    - I went up a cup size.

    - Because I've gone up a cup size,i spend heaps on lingerie now. Not that hubby mind :)

    Edit: I also gave them wholesome, home-made baby food.Its cheaper, you know what goes in and its made with love:) My kids loved it.

    • +9

      pics of cons or it didnt happen

      • +14

        Here u go : Pic :) Green one was pre-babies.

        • +1

          today you win the internetz! epic pic ;P

        • Thanks Natt :)

        • +2

          well played

    • +1

      I went up a cup size.

      Ah, yes… I fondly remember (and still have an ongoing appreciation for) that benefit of having kids. It wasn't only one in our case though. :-O

      • +2

        Thinking of getting this for hubby for when baby #3 comes along. He can wear it when he goes for his morning run:-)

        • +1

          Ha, hah! Cough, gag… (Just don't get it from Vistaprint. Their white shirts are see-through tissue paper.)

    • +1

      I could have written this post wicket1120, I will never understand why woman choose to formula feed. The costs of the formula, bottles, sterilising equipment etc & then having to lug it around everywhere with them, it seems like such a bother. I stick a nappy or two & wipes in my hand bag before I leave the house and that's it. I wonder how woman survived in days gone by without all the baby gadgets & must have baby items. It's all a con.

      (Yes, there are a percentage of woman who can't actually breastfeed due to certain problems, but it is a very small percentage, something like 0.05%. The rest don't breastfeed due to bad advice, ignorance or they just choose not to.)

    • Saved on contraceptives Con for hubby

  • +1

    I technically don't have any but I do get a lot of benefits from work like being able to use the work ute to save fuel, company housing to save rent, laptop from work, mobile phone from work, we have a bar too but it's harder to get at…

  • +2

    I always take a poo and shower at uni (not at the same time). I don't pay for toilet paper or hot water.


  • Remember this idiot i (momentarily) knew using a fan to dry his clothes that were on a clothes horse, simply as the power bill was shared with his flatmates, but he would have been up for the total cost of the electric dryer.

    What a prat.

    Jesus, just remembered his appalling rotten teeth. Urgh.

    • Standard pedastel fan would be 40w vs 2000w for a dryer. Would have taken a lot longer to dry

  • +2

    I ask to sample all the flavours at an ice cream store.

  • +1

    I return stuff from Coles or Woolies if we do not like it.

    • You mean like fruits and vegies? http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/45128

      • I bought some carrots from Aldi last week. Very annoying to throw them out, slimy and hairy. I'm an Aldi fan usually, but hate feeling ripped off when I've only used one carrot out of the bag. I was this close to taking them back (and probably will next time)

        • If anything is visibly bad you can take it back and they will replace it no questions asked. You can even take back the coles branded stuff for a refund simply cos you didnt like it, and they have to honour it. Read it for yourself, its on the label/package.

  • +1

    If it's brown, flush it down
    If it's yellow, let it mellow

    My dog drinks out of the toilet so I flush every time.

  • +6

    One thing that saves a bit of money is when you have guests, keep old wine bottles and refill them with cheap cask, when you are about to offer the wine, make the motion you are uncorking the bottle and make a witty remark such as "time for the good stuff people".

  • +4

    Many companies have 300 numbers for customer service and then an 800 number for sales/HR. I routinely call the 800# on Voip and then act confused so I get transferred to customer service. Works every time.

    I also got charged a $2.50 fee from CBA because I typed the wrong account number for an online transfer. I called up and pretended to not know what the fee was and when they explained it to me told them it was excessive and unfair (which it is). They waived it for me very quickly. (5 min call saved $2.50 = $30/hr).

  • I phoned a building society last week. Got to talking about housing loan qualification for young people. They look for 5-7% of loan amount saved consistently in a separate account untouched. Occurred to me that as a parent of a kid in first year uni I could put say $200 a week into an account for him. That gets 7% of 400k into an account in under 3 years. When he leaves uni and finds a job, he will be ready to start househunting if the market is right. And ready to pay me back the $200 a week. :)

    • you have have a look at the first home buyers account too.

      • Yes Davo been looking at that. 238 a fortnight will get you the max govt tip-in of $1050? per year. You have to keep saving for 4 years. Truly though you need 20% deposit so you don't give the mortgage insurers anything. You can kiss 6k goodbye on mortgage insurance if you only have 5% deposit on 400k loan. Means he wont be borrowing til a couple of years down the track but that's ok.

  • I rang CBA and complained that they had cancelled my new credit card instead of just send me a new one. They refunded the annual fee $49 plus the fee for have a secondary card holder $15 not bad for 15 mins on the phone.

  • +1

    We used organic cloth nappies (almost exclusively) instead of disposable ones for our kids. We read somewhere that using an average of 6 nappies over 2 1/2 yrs produces about 735kg of solid waste.With twins that would have been 1.5 tonne going to the landfill! And we machine washed the soiled nappies in cold water and line dry, to further reduce the environmental impact. But yeah,it was pretty full on …which could be why we were so motivated to get them potty-trained ASAP:) They kind of got the hang of thing by the time they were 10 months.Pretty impressive, i'm told. To think my wife wants to do it all over again sigh

    • Yep, we used cloth. However… it's hard to find the plastic covers now. Last time we needed them a couple of years ago, they were terrible quality and tore after just a couple of uses. Then BigW still sold the cloth nappies, but no longer sold the plastic covers at all!

      • We couldn't find any here. Mother-in-law brought some from Mauritius.She said they were really cheap because "only poor people use them":)

  • Man, realfamilyman kicks all our arses when it comes to being a tightarse. I am in awe.

    Just a couple of things FWIW:-

    1) I'm a vegan. Most of what I eat is legumes and rice. I buy 25kg of rice for $30 from the Chinese shop, and usually buy various legumes for $3 a kilo or so from the Indian shop. When my wife went on holidays for three weeks I never went to the shops once. I just ate the legumes and rice, cooked with tins of tomatos and odds and sods from the garden.

    2) Foraging and gardening. I eat nettles, dandelion greens, basically anything that I can forage. I am a lazy gardener, and so will only plant stuff that grows with minimal effort. Cherry tomatoes grow like weeds. I threw a handful of black-eye peas into the garden and when they grew I ate the greens. Cowpea greens actually have the highest protein content of any vegetable. Dandelion greens have an excellent nutritional profile, better than spinach or even kale.

    3) The wife has two Indian runner ducks that she keeps for the eggs. That way she has fresh eggs, plus the ducks largely look after themselves. They are probably happier than most poultry too.

  • My mother takes a small pocket knife when she goes shopping and cuts the stalks off the Brocoli as she doesnt lie the stalk and says it weighs too much :)

    • brocolli is usually sold ea, not per kg.

      • Not where I shop. But most of the stalk can be cut into coins and used in stirfry/casseroles. Too good to waste- just cut off the woody bits.

    • Is that even allowed? Might as well cut half a carrot- cause I only like the bottom half, or bring a peeler and peel the orange skin….cause I dont like orange skin.

      • +2

        Might peel my bananas because I only want the skin

        • Split a melon to de-seed it?

      • No, it's theft.

  • +2

    My girlfriend!
    Jokes — I'm too tight to have one.

  • i use the kids school + kindy art as gift wrapping paper.

  • +2

    i study so I can get the student fares on public transport. I catch the train to work everyday so half price fares really add up over the year. also study will help me get a better job with higher salary in the future. my current workplace recognises the benefit to my job that this study provides towards my position so my student fees are a tax deduction (as are books, stationery, photcopying, computers, train fare to uni, etc).

    ultimately the study also keeps me mentally active and thinking outside the drone of my 9-5 job

  • Another saving tip… for the ladies:


    Enough said.

    (No, really!)

  • Tightest thing i do is go on ozbargain looking for freebies :)

  • The best tip I have is build your own computer, unless you need a laptop. When I say build it I mean you can actually learn and build it yourself, or pay a pc shop $70-100 to assemble it. All those pc brands you know of and prebuilt ones from harvey norman/jb hi fi are for businesses and people with no time. My last pc was a high end "pre designed" ones from a now extinct PC shop. Cost me $2000 for a pc that had expensive parts I didnt use, and a very average graphics card when my main use for it was gaming. 4 years later and I utilised whirlpools wisdom to guide me through buying and building my own pc from scratch. Cost me $1400 (500 alone for a High end GFX card + sound card) and I couldnt be happier. Used my 1st SONY LCD 32" TV as the monitor (100mhz so no motion blur) and used my other money to save up for a 51" plasma tv I got from big brown box for 760 odd $.

    • Used to do that when I was young. Used to host websites on my old Linux boxes at home via ADSL link as well. However after a few dead-hard drive incidents due to under-powered PSU, sleepless nights doing fsck, crawling under the desk to replace fried NIC, etc — enough is enough.

      Not to mention when people become older, they tend to become…

      … are for … and people with no time

      • Yeh fair enough, its not for everybody. But still, buying premade pc's bar a select few can be be extremely costly and almost everytime you buy things you dont need/wont use to its full extent.

        Also hdd's dont need that much power, but its important that you get a top quality PSU, they are the heart of any computer and its essential to have a good one.

        • its important that you get a top quality PSU

          Unfortunately I learnt the hard way :(

        • Its funny, I almost learnt the hard way too but I was really lucky. My $2000 piece of crap had a 430w thermaltake el cheapo PSU and when my pc kept dieing I thought my gfx card crapped it since I was getting some graphics related BSOD errors. Found out that to prevent hardware failure my gpu would cause a shutdown when it didnt recieve enough power (found out through the guys on whirlpool btw) so I replaced the PSU with one they recommended and voila! Good as new.

          That was the valuable lesson I learnt that made me dig deeper into the world of pc building.

    • You didn't buy that awful Samsung PS51E531 did you?! Because I did (also from BBB), and it developed 5 vertical lines top to bottom after just 10 months.
      Samsung replaced it with a PS51F5000 (2013 equivalent) but I still have concerns.

      • Yeh I think it was that one. Mine has been perfect, no probs whatsoever.

        • Ahh, lucky for you then!
          I was a little unfair to the TV; it's okay after some calibration (it's a low-end model after all). It was delivered from interstate so who knows, may have copped a few knocks on the way to me.

          To be fair to Samsung, they didn't give me the runaround I was expecting (I'd read many horror stories at various places, including NGE).
          From pickup to replacement took exactly a month.

    • 4 Years in technology age is like decades! Things get better and cheaper, so its a little hard to compare cost like that.

  • +2

    My tight tip is to enter competitions in your free time. I do and would consider it one of my hobbies. While sitting in front of the TV, I enter competitions on my laptop.

    Even winning small things, like movie tickets, is a saving. I went to the movies last weekend for free, and am going again this weekend. Pair it with a can of Coke from the fridge and some snacks / chocolate from the cupboard and it's an afternoon out for 2 for less than $5.

    I have a worm farm, which after the inital outlay of about $80 (covered mostly by gift cards given as a housewarming present), it is self sufficient and provides fertaliser for the garden. Also, I like being able to feed the worms any left over fruit and veges and even cardboard, rather than sending it to landfill.

    • Late reply, but where do you enter most of the competitions from? I'm looking at getting into it. Is there a central site for competitions?

  • +3

    I check under fridges and freezers on my graveyard shift (servo) and find anything from 5 cents to $16 in coins every time.

  • I have 2 X 20l jerry cans, so when I fill up the ute with petrol I hang out for the best deal(which I can do as i have 40l spare at home. it is a petrol buffer)
    then when i get a good coupon or see a cheap servo I fill up the ute and jerries. surpising how much a 16c coupon can save over a 120l buy, it is a decent saving :)

    • Don't keep it for too long, petrol can lose its potency in storage.
      (and/or gunk up your engine)

  • +6

    In QLD after you make 9 trips on your public transport Go Card in a week, all further trips in the week are free. I get the train to work from a long distance away, so have expensive fares. A work mate and I walk down the road several times on Monday and Tuesday to get the bus one stop. This costs about $4 less per fare than my train fare. After Tuesday, the train is free for the rest of the week :)

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