Welcome to Cheap Tuesday Tips

Cheap Tuesday

For some time now Australian retailers and entertainment venues have been trying to lure customers our of their homes on Tuesdays with discounted rates which are colloquially known as “Cheap Tuesdays” (or “Tight a*$ed Tuesday” for the less genteelly inclined).  This offer is largely dominated by movie theatres and restaurants located around them – most Australians know that if you want to see a movie Tuesday is the cheapest day to do it.

I have decided to start a regular Cheap Tuesday Tip.  These will be small tips or tricks to help cut the budget or our social/environmental impact in small ways that hopefully will add up as we implement a few small easy to swallow changes.


This week the tip is “Close the medicine cabinet”.  Clear as mud?  Let me explain.

In our bathroom the medicine cabinet is on the wall beside the hand basin which is under a window.  We usually leave one side of the cabinet door open as it does not get in the way in the small space and provides easy access to the side of the cabinet that houses our toothbrushes and hair brushes/combs etc.  It also blocks the window.  It was getting almost Pavlovian to walk into the bathroom and turn on the light straight away.  One day I realised that if I shut the medicine cabinet, there would be enough light to have a shower without needing to turn the light on, so now I walk into the bathroom, shut the medicine cabinet and then decide if I need need the light on.

Now I know this is not earth shattering advice but I do believe that this is the type of behavioural change that can have long term effects as far as not using more that we need, being more mindful of what we do need, and setting a good example for our children.  Children learn by example not by being told what (not) to do.  If we want our natural resources to be conserved we have to teach our children to value them, and simply, we have to value them.

Do you have a small habit that you can change that will mean you use less?  Here are some ideas of what they might be for you:

  • shut the medicine cabinet (or another door) to increase natural light and require less artificial light
  • open the curtains/blinds so the lights don’t need be turned on
  • put left overs directly into single serve containers and then the freezer so they don’t go off by the time you want to eat them
  • decide that a bulk pack is only a bargain if you can actually use all of it before  the product spoils
  • decide that single serves might be convenient but buying a larger pack and decanting it into smaller containers is not only cheaper, there is less waste to go into land fill
  • instead of wrapping a take to work/school sandwich in plastic wrap, buying a reusable wrap/container will reduce landfill and mean you are buying less products to simply throw away
  • using a refillable coffee cup instead of buying a coffee in a disposable cup
  • filling a reusable drink bottle with filtered water rather than buying bottled water
  • taking a recyclable bottle/can home to put in your recycling bin rather than putting it into a general waste container whilst out somewhere that does not recycle
  • set your air conditioner one or two degrees warmer than you think you’d ideally like (or heater a little cooler than you’d ideally like)
  • take a slightly shorter shower – 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute – you don’t need a timer, just be aware/conscious of what you are using
  • if you drive to work usually, can you catch public transport/ride a bike/walk once a week/fortnight month
  • if you usually catch public transport and get charged by the stop/zone can you walk to the next stop/zone occasionally to save some money and get some exercise?
  • take left overs to work for lunch one day a week/fortnight/month instead of buying lunch that day

You might find yourself thinking that some of these ideas are ridiculous or prohibitively hard to do.  If you can’t see yourself doing any of these types of things all day every day, can you have your first coffee of the day in a “keep cup”?  Or once a week can you put your lunch into a reusable container instead of wrapping it?

Can you think of a small change you can make that has the potential to make a small (but important) financial/social/environmental gain?  Pick one thing you can easily do with just a little thought and effort, and try to remember to do it.



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