Recessionista challenge 2: Save $200 in one week

By Melina Byrne

Two weeks ago, we put Recessionista Melina Byrne to the test – asking her to save $100 in one week. But she surprised us by saving $215. So, convinced it was a fluke, we upped the stakes and convinced her to save another $200. We suspect she’ll buckle under the pressure this time…

1) D.I.Y. pedicure

Determined to save cash (and avoid rough treatment in a cheap nail bar), I painted my own toes. I followed all the steps that a professional would (i.e. base coat, two coats of colour and top coat), and the result was virtually flawless. Plus, it was relaxing – except for when I nearly spilt nail polish remover on the carpet.

Total saving: $40. 

Click here for professional manicure tips from Zoya.

2) Shopped in my own wardrobe

My work Christmas party is looming and I have nothing to wear. Or so I thought, until I looked in my wardrobe and found three dresses still with tags on (What?! They were from a year ago.) Two dresses (by Alannah Hill) didn’t fit so I sold them on eBay (final bids $70 and $57), but the other dress fitted even better due to my new curves. Finally gaining weight has its advantages!

By not buying something new, I saved at least $100. My body confidence was also slightly boosted.

3) Split the bill

This week, a work lunch landed me at an upmarket pub where a gourmet pizza was $19. So I suggested sharing a meal with a colleague. I was hoping for pizza, but she wouldn’t budge on wanting a salad.

In the end,I saved $8 on a salmon salad. But my stomach was cursing me!

4) Splurged with a Priceline Clubcard voucher

Thankfully, I’d received a Priceline Clubcard voucher for $9.82 so was able to splurge a tiny bit without a fraction of guilt.

My loyalty (okay, addiction) to Priceline has been lucrative lately – a few months ago, I received a $15 voucher.

5) Free DVD

A quiet night in generally involves hiring a DVD and buying takeaway. But this week, I borrowed a free DVD from the library (Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day starring Amy Adams) and decided to whip up a potato, rosemary and goat’s cheese tart. Yum!

Vegetarian dining is almost always cheaper, and borrowing a DVD from the library isn’t as daggy as it sounds. My local library has a good selection of DVDs, some new releases and not just art house movies – I even saw The Simpsons Movie.

Total savings: $7.50 for the DVD, $20+ for a meal for two people.

I also repeated the saving strategies from the first Recessionista challenge:

6) Brought lunch to work from home for 4 days ($60)

7) Didn’t buy takeaway beverages ($12.50)

8) Sent 25 free SMSes using SMS Pup. ($5.50)

9) Shopped using Coles Online so I didn’t impulse buy (approx $30)

GRAND TOTAL: $293.30


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