Most of us work hard during the week, stick to our budget and when Friday rolls around it all goes out the window – a bit like a diet! We ‘reward’ ourselves by spending up big which is why many budget blowouts happen over the weekend.
Many of us see weekends as an opportunity to relax, spend time with friends, and do whatever it is that gives us a reprieve from the daily grind, but it can mean we slip up financially.
It’s a good idea to set yourself a weekend budget and stick to it. Make sure you track your spending and if you’re worried you might go overboard consider locking your accounts or keeping your cards at home and only taking cash.
There are typically three big expenses that will sting you over the weekend – dining out, filling up the tank and grocery shopping. Here are a few ways you can cut those costs and potentially save $152.50 over the weekend.
Eating out is probably top on the list of reasons we bust our budget on the weekend. There are a number of ways you can save money when dining out. One option is to check out group buying sites such as Groupon, Scoopon and Cudo which have special deals from a large number of restaurants. Find a deal you like, pay for it and then you’ll be sent a voucher you can use at the venue. It’s important to read the fine print and check when you can use the deal as well as the expiry date.
At the time of writing you could purchase a voucher for the ‘Spring Awakens Degustation with Lobster Upgrade’ at The Rocks Teppanyaki by Kobe Jones for $196 for two people at Groupon. That’s a saving of $194 or $97 per person. There are more affordable restaurants available but if you wanted a bit of a splurge this demonstrates how big the savings can be.
Potential saving: $97
Filling up your tank
You may find yourself driving more over the weekend which may mean you end up having to spend more on fuel. This is where fuel pricing apps such as Fuel Map Australia, GasBuddy or MotorMouth can come in handy. You can use them to find the best price for petrol.
Using Fuel Map Australia to compare prices I found there was a massive 21 cents per litre difference for Unleaded 95 petrol in my area. The cheapest was 108.9 while the most expensive was 129.9. That’s a potential saving of $10.50 if you were filling up a 50-litre tank.
Potential saving: $10.50
Many people tend to do their grocery shopping on the weekend. This can be one of the biggest expenses of the week. Here are a few ways you can possibly save at the supermarket.
- Take a good look at what you have in your fridge and pantry before you head to the supermarket. That way you can avoid doubling up on things you may already have.
- Plan your meals for the week and shop accordingly.
- Consider using the Half Price app which tracks down everything that’s 50% off at Coles and Woolworths.
- Pay attention to unit pricing. You can use unit pricing to work out if you’re better off buying the bigger or smaller item of a particular product or look at special offers to see if they do have the lowest unit price.
- Check your receipts for store errors. Under the Scanning Code of Practice if an item scans higher than the advertised price you may be entitled to the first one free and the others at the lower price. Some exceptions may apply.
Households spend on average about $150 a week on groceries according to Rabobank. Let’s say you manage to shave 30% off your grocery bill using these tips, that amounts to $45.
Potential saving: $45
Cover image source: Olesya Kuznetsova (Shutterstock)
About Effie Zahos
Canstar’s Editor-at-Large, Effie Zahos, has more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money. Prior to joining Canstar, Effie was the editor of Money Magazine, having helped establish it in 1999. She is an author and one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators, appearing regularly on TV and radio.