5 Ways to Save Money and Keep Living Your Best Life

5 Ways to Save Money and Keep Living Your Best Life

By Kellie Maloney

Whether it’s taking a long, relaxing walk or simply lazing in the sun, we all do self-care differently in 2024. And while you might think that spending big on fragrant bath products and organic meals is the easiest way to feel good — we’re here to tell you it’s quite the opposite. In fact, you’ll be missing out if you never try the alternative!  

Taking a creative spin on self-care is one of the most fulfilling ways to save money and be kind to yourself at the same time. 

Not sure how DIY can do all of that? Here are 5 tips from local Aussie makers and small business owners that will empower you to DIY, save money at home and self-care without compromise.

Get your glow on with DIY skincare

Lu from Sage Cosmetic Coaching

As Lu Wilson from Sage Cosmetic Coaching in Sydney says, “if you can consume it, then you can certainly use it on your skin!”

On average you can expect to pay $30 to $40 on a store-bought body scrub and with the cost of living increasing, this will only go up. What if we told you that can cut those costs significantly (and create fully customisable products) just by rummaging through your pantry and embracing natural DIY.

“Creating a regular routine where you prepare your skincare products also gives you a great chance to reflect on your own needs and make sure you are listening to your heart and soul,” Lu adds. 

Sage’s top tips for DIY skincare in 2024

  1. Make an invigorating body scrub using equal parts granulated salt, sugar and vegetable oil to remove dead skin cells.

  2. Combine herbal tea or milk powder with Epsom salts and a little essential oil to make a bath soak — perfect for soothing tired muscles and softening your skin.

  3. Use Jojoba oil on its own as a face serum or combine it with a small amount of beeswax to make your own lip balm. 

  4. Feeling anxious? Add essential oils like Neroli, lavender or Ylang Ylang or boost your confidence with bergamot, orange sweet or lime. 

  5. Select ingredients that you know your skin will love and incorporate aromas that resonate with you emotionally.

Express your love with home cooking

Mel from Vanilla Zulu

“I truly believe that food is a wonderful way of expressing your love,” says Mel Alafaci, the founder of Brisbane cooking school Vanilla Zulu. “Sharing food with friends and family and letting them know how much you care is such a simple life hack.”

Home cooking is one of the best ways to save money, too. From meal-prepping to buying seasonal ingredients, you’ll save on food delivery and nourish your body with fresh, locally-sourced meals.

Vanilla Zulu’s top tips for home cooking in 2024

  1. Master the basics. The minute you add a new ingredient to a dish it becomes a new dish — you don't have to learn a new repertoire of recipes; you can simply start by adding a bit of bling to your old ones.

  2. Kitchen rules — get your pan swearword hot, step away from the pan, don’t stir too much and manage the sizzle. Season your food, it shows you care.

  3. Save weekly by making sure you have a list of household basics and then shop for FRESH produce. Buy with your eyes — see what looks fresh and delicious and is on sale. Seasonal will always taste better and save you money.

  4. Cook double batches and freeze some for later. Simply reheat on nights you don’t want to cook and don’t want to spend on takeout.

Unleash your playful side with candle making

Jig from This Candle

“DIYing candles allows us to open up and get back to being playful and expressing ourselves,” says Jignesh Parbhu one half of This Candle, a workshop business in North Sydney.

The process of candle making is soothing — giving you the time and space to slow down and be in the moment. There’s also the added aromatherapy benefits that come from burning essential oils, and that instantly calm feeling you get from watching the flickering flame of a scented soy candle.

DIY candles are cheaper to make too! “An average retail name brand, 380g, triple scented candle would cost approximately $55,” says Jig, “you could make your own for over 50% cheaper with the same quality materials.”

This Candle’s top tips for candle making in 2024

  1. For gifts and/or party favours, smaller candles can be made for under $7.

  2. By the time we browse, buy and post candles to ourselves, you could have made your very own candle at home.

  3. Don’t rush candle making, it’s about slowing down and enjoying the process so you can create something that is bespoke and unique.

  4. Have fun with it! It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around as long as you enjoy it.

Soak up some me-time with DIY bath bombs

Louella from Kiss Ready Lips

“Elevate your bath time even more by learning how to make your own bath bombs and bath soaks,” says Louella Docot from Kiss Ready Lips in Marrickville.

As well as being the sweetest bathtime treat (you can even make yours donut-themed!) DIY bath bombs come with a stack of aromatherapy benefits — so you’ll feel calm and completely in the zone while making them. 

They’re also great ways to save money costing about $9 to $12 a pop per bath bomb. And like Louella says, “finishing a day with a dreamy bath — that’s priceless!”

Kiss Ready Lip’s top tips for bath bomb making in 2024

  1. Bath bomb ingredients are easy to source — you can find them in supermarkets, pharmacies and health shops.

  2. They’re also super fun to make, and you get to personalise them with your favourite natural ingredients like fragrant oils, florals and herbs.

  3. The key is to learn which ingredients to buy and how to use them like an expert so you can make fail-proof bath bombs every single time.

Treat yourself with home baking

Caroline from Just4Me Bake Club

“Home-baked cakes are a rewarding way to spoil yourself and others with a treat,” says Caroline Rowe, founder of Just4Me Bake Club in Adelaide.

With a few simple tips, you can bring the sweet aromas of your favourite local bakery right into your kitchen — at a portion of the cost!

Caroline’s Classic Butter Cake — filled with loads of butter, eggs and sugar — is less than $4.50 for six serves or $0.75 per serve. “I found that making cakes in a size to suit my lifestyle saved me money on buying treats and reduced food waste.” 

Never fear if you don’t think you’re baking skills are up to scratch. According to Caroline, it’s all about finding the recipes that work for you and going for it.

Caroline’s top tips for home baking in 2024

  1. Find a cake recipe that suits your lifestyle, discourages overeating and reduces food waste.

  2. A great plus of home baking is knowing what ingredients are in your cakes and exactly what you’re consuming.

  3. If cakes are made with natural, whole foods they are an essential, occasional treat in a diet that promotes health.  

Whether you’re an aspiring crafter, baker or candlestick maker, DIY can be an empowering way to boost your self-care routine and save you money at the same time. And lucky for you, there’s a whole community of passionate makers ready to help you get started!

DIY now

Gift a unique experience

Pick a fun experience for them, or let them choose from our thousands of creative classes and kits.

Valid for 3 years.

card_giftcard Discover gift cards


Follow us, stay inspired

Subscribe to our newsletter for a discount off your next experience

V48I01Z33L 34c052b7f77f35dccea660a6ce51910d production Sydney NSW AU sydney