Shameless tricks to save money you never thought were possible

It’s your hard-earned money, so why let scruples get in the way of savings? Here are tips for the daring – and the dare-not

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Shameless: “I once bought an evening clutch for a ball. As I rarely attend such events, I saw no sense in paying for something I’d use only once. So I kept the price tag on (but out of sight) that night. The next day, I returned it to the store for a refund.” – Mabel*

Scrupulous: Borrow a clutch from a gal pal. You’ll save yourself another trip back to the shop AND badgering the manager for a refund. Or invest in a simple black clutch – it’ll be good for any occasion.


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Shameless: “I save whatever I need to print in a thumb drive. This includes bills, CPF statements, interesting articles and my daughter’s weekly schedule. Then I arrive at work earlier to print from the office computer. It’s easy to catch my printouts coming out of the shared printer when nobody’s around!” – Gerry*

Scrupulous: Ink’s expensive so buy ink cartridges in bulk at IT fairs to enjoy the cost savings. Just make sure you use them before they dry up. A good trick is to change the font and its size before printing. Thinner fonts like Century Gothic can save you 30 percent more ink than Arial. Otherwise, any font with the words “Narrow” or “Light” is good. 

Also, buy your own printing paper – it costs slightly less than a grande-size latte, so don’t complain. But you can still save a little. For just $12 a year, you get 10 per cent off if you’re a loyalty club member with the ubiquitous Popular Bookstore.


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Shameless: “I’ll book a taxi but when I see it turning into my road, I quickly call the hotline and cancel the booking. When the ‘On Call’ sign flickers off, I hail it and hop on. That saves me from a potentially long wait and the primetime booking surcharge of $3.50.” – Beth*

Scrupulous: There are other Scrooge-less ways to cut your fare, like planning your route so you can tell the cabby exactly what roads to take and to let you off just before an ERP gantry. This can save you as much as $5.


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Shameless: “Instead of buying lunch, I keep an eye out for food fairs at shopping centres. I then go from stall to stall and taste everything – for free! That fills me up enough that I don’t need a proper meal.” – Susan*

Scrupulous: If you’re not up to a standing lunch, monitor deal-of-the-day websites like for fab deals, such as 50 percent off a $20 meal at Japanese restaurant Shin Minori.

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent


This story was originally published in the April 2011 issue of Her World.

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