Cash in the Couch – Living Lean


The benefits of having cheap friends

There are many areas we can focus on to find some extra cash for our goals. Here are some ideas from conversations with the other half and friends to find some more cash, some of these you would have heard before, but that is usually the case with tried and true classics.

What are some tricks that you do to find Loose notes in the Laundry, Shrapnel in the Shopping or Dollars in the Dining Room?


Grocery Shopping

  • Don’t shop hungry – BIG mistake is to go shopping just before lunch or dinner, because everything looks so much more enticing on an empty stomach.
  • Chew gum while you shop – same as above, and the minty smell also distracts from the sweet smell of chocolate, fruit in season or fresh baked bread.
  • Shop online – this has the benefit of being able to keep track of what you spend, while comfy in your pyjamas and having a glass of wine (or is that just me?)
  • Shop at the end of the Day – some great mark downs can be found an hour or so before closing.
  • Meal Plan – and use cheaper cuts of meat for meals


At Work

  • Drink the coffee that is supplied at work – bring your own travel mug to work and top up on the boss’s dime
  • Get the boss to shout meals – suggest how great team bonding can be over morning tea or breakfast



  • Pay money on your bills with each pay day – when the bills arrive the amount owing is much more manageable and they are even sometimes in credit.
  • TV Subscriptions – track what you actually watch and only buy what you ‘need’ (yes, need…such as footy for my sanity or Disney movies for the kids, also my sanity)



  • Regular Maintenance should be carried out by a popular mechanic – call around and ask your friends and co-workers who services their cars. Using a mechanical mate may be cheap in the short term, but they may take short cuts. When you go to trade your car in, service history from reputable mechanics can add a zero or two to the offered price.
  • Rotate your tyres, and don’t skimp on quality here – tyres are like shoes that your car wears everyday and they are the only thing between you and the road. As with servicing, go to a reputable tyre guy to discuss what you need.
  • Insurance – shop around to get the coverage that you actually need. Premiums can be altered based on age of drivers, how the car is stored and what type of cover you want (agreed or market value).
  • Use 98 high octane fuels – this has better fuel economy and is often better for the general running of your car.
  • Globes and Wipers – keep these handy in your glove box. Our mechanic recently completed a service and didn’t charge to change the globe since we already had spares in the car



In a nutshell…

Set yourself some challenges to find Cash in the Couch.

Saving $20 a week on groceries adds up to more than $1,000 over a year – that could be a holiday for you and your favourite person.

But remember, going cheap on some areas can cost you dearly. Set up a ‘Car’ Account so that you do not have to skimp on maintaining one of the biggest purchases we all make in our lives.


What are your best, bravest or brilliant ways to widen your wallet?


– Karen Patterson