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5 Easy Ways to Save Money in Melbourne

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by Van Phan (subscribe)
I am a fun-seeking writer living in Melbourne. I have been actively looking for fun and most importantly, free, events and/or activities. I will try my best to keep you, the readers, informed of the most exciting stuff in Melbourne!
Published June 11th 2012
Okay, so you have known about the "theoretical" ways to save money, for example, saving accounts, spend less than you earn, etc. To be honest, when I read about them, I thought "Yeah, sure, very "helpful", who doesn't know that". Now I will present to you 5 extremely easy ways to do it, and believe me, after reading them, you will be amazed at how effective and exciting they are.

1. Cheap (Brand New) Books

When you want or have to buy a book, you may say "Oh no, I want to read The Hunger Games Trilogy, but the cost is huge", or "Oh no, the textbooks for uni are so expensive. What am I gonna do? My (or my children's) academic career is screwed!". Take it easy, because believe it or not, I will tell you how to save up to 60% of the normal price you find on other places.

Okay, you can think "Second hand books? Duh, you don't say". Well, I am talking about brand new, yes, brand new, books. Just remember the title, go to this website, type it in, and it will return 10, maybe 15, results of that book from many different places. In addition, shipping fee and status (new or used) are also showed.

Excited now, ladies and gentlemen? The website is Booko.com.au.

I will present you 2 examples from this website, because I find it is easier to demonstrate what I mean by this way: I have to buy a book called Modern Engineering Mathematics, which is sold at $132 at Monash University bookstore. So I searched for it on Booko, and I was amazed to see that it would cost only $62, brand new with free shipping from Book Depository UK. Isn't that ridiculously good? (For sceptics, Book Depository is a famous online books site, which has 2 branches, one in the UK, where our lovely Queen lives, and one in the US).

Here is another example: do you know 50 Shades of Grey, the hottest novel at the moment (ahem, I mean hot as in a hot topic, if you know what I mean)? The cheapest price of the first book of the trilogy, found on eBay Australia, is $16.90 including shipping. Do you know how much I have to pay for it if I look it up in Booko? $10.81. Wow, saving 36%. That is so good, isn't it.

I wish that someone had told me about this website before I bought my textbooks. Grrr, such a waste of money.

2. Trash & Treasure Australia Market

Are you kind of short on money? Are you a big fan of buying cars' parts to tweet your own car? Or are you sick of the indoor, and want to walk around under the clear sky? Here is the best place for you: the Trash & Treasure Australia Market.

Located at 115 South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong South, the site is used for outdoor cinemas on the weekdays. On the weekends, it becomes an outdoor market, where people sell their goods, both new and used.

Google's Maps


If you go around, you can find any type of products you can think of: shoes, socks, grass trimmer, and even generator. If you are fine with second hand stuff, you will have a wide range to choose from. Even if you aren't, don't be disappointed, because many goods are brand new too. Just be sure to ask the seller.

I have 3 tips for you guys when going there: try bargaining; I got a pair of runner shoes with $10, while the initial price was $15, and paid $20 for a punching bag, down from $30. The other tip is: no matter what you do, you HAVE to check out the foodstore in there. They offer very nice chips and crunchy chickens. Last but not least, be careful of the people there, they might get pretty aggressive.

3. Cheap and Delicious Dumplings

So far, I have only shown you about entertainment. Are you hungry now? Well, I am. So what is the best food to eat without getting bored? For me, the answer is obvious: Yum Cha.

I have been to Chinese restaurants in Melbourne as well as Brisbane. And frankly, they are so expensive. It's nice, but I can't afford it. So how about buying dumplings home, and steam it for yourself?

I know a place to buy extremely delicious dumplings for an unreasonable cheap price: Henry's Seafood Plus. Located at the T-junction of Heatherton Rd/Gardiner Ave., Dandenong North, it provides you with the finest fresh dumplings you have ever had. Just buy some trays, boil the water, steam it and you will be extremely satisfied eating it. I find it worth the effort of steaming, because waiting makes me hungrier (duh!), and also it helps you relax (it doesn't take that long for us men to become impatient before it is ready).

Taken from Google Map


Also, it sells fresh seafood, which is also a good point, but not so much for us because we can't bother complicated cooking, isn't it gentlemen? But it would be helpful for the ladies to know about this store, who are way better at cooking.

The front of Henry's Seafood Plus
Taken from Google Map's Street View


And another tip: try the hash browns there. Put in the oven, cook it for 10 minutes and voilą, you will not be able to stop thinking about its taste and its crunchiness.

4. Free Online University Level's Materials

This section is intended for tertiary students, so you can skip this part if you are not interested. However, I strongly recommend reading this, because some of the people you know might find it helpful. Who knows.

As a university student, I know the pain that me and my friends are suffering. I have provided a website for cheap books, which is invaluable for us. Now I will help you guys further. There are 3 websites that I find to be extremely useful (especially for cramming purpose, if you know what I mean): MIT Open Courseware, Academic Earth and Khan Academy.

Homepage of Academic Earth


For engineering and science subjects, I find the MIT and Academic Earth ones to be greatly helpful. The first one gives you lecture notes, problem sets (only nerds will use this, of course) and even exams. The second one enables you to watch every single lecture videos of each unit from top universities in the world, including Australian ones.

Personally, I don't find the Khan Academy to be as good, but perhaps it's just me. Please check it out for yourself.

I guarantee that those 3 websites give the best options to choose from. If you are still sceptical, MIT stands for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the arguably best technology and science university in the world. The "top universities" I mentioned before, to name a few, are Stanford, Princeton, Yale, even Harvard and University of New South Wales (it's kinda sad since no university in Melbourne has done the same). More than enough to convince you now, isn't it?

5. Deal Hunters

Attention, Mr and Ms deal hunters. Are you obsessed about finding deals? Have you got tired of searching every single website you can think of just to find the promotions available? Well, worry no more 'cause I will give you the best website gathering all other deal hunters: OzBargain.

Because Aussies are nice people, we find out the deals and share it to other people. The problem is the "other people" don't know where the deals are shared. So now, we all know about that "where". Every deal, from KFC to McDonald's to Virgin Mobile, they are all there. I could buy a 3-year subscription to Panda Internest Security 2012 for $15 thanks to a nice guy on OzBargain. Do you know that RedBull mobile had a deal of $10 sim for 60-days unlimited calls and text, as well as 8 Gb? I bet most of you don't. That's why OzBargain exists. Just by checking the website whenever you want, you will manage to find invaluable offers from stores that you can't even think of.

I can guarantee you that at least one of the deals showing up there will meet your current needs somehow.

So that's it. My 5 ways to save on money. This is quite a long post, isn't it? But trust me, you will be surprised by how effective, yet easy they are when you have tried my suggestions. Cheers.
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Your Comment
wow cheers legend very helpful awesome :D
by tekui (score: 0|2) 777 days ago
Thanks Van, some useful information, particularly OzBargain.

Wanted to also let you know of another "deals" site which I ran into recently entitledwww.powerwithnumbers.com.au. They are exclusively for Victorians and are getting people together to buy gas and electricity as a group. This should save people money if enough people join!
by nkaro (score: 0|2) 421 days ago
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