The Scrimp and Scrape thread: tips to save money


I agree with the above - Dublin is small despite what people may feel to the contrary - I have always considered any two points between Rathmines Garda station and the Big Tree Pub in Drumcondra to be within walking distance of each other.

Just another point, I dont have a car either and like GB, will rent one occasionally if required. However, for people who need transport and are looking for a more cost effective alternative, I would reccommend looking into getting a scooter/motor cycle. I run a 125 (which admittedly I only use occasionally, normally at the weekends) on about 10 euro every few weeks. I used to need it daily when working in a different part of the city and it still only cost me about 10 euro every week/week and a half. Traffic is not an issue with these machines and it gets me all over the city when required, including on occasion as far as Glendalough or the Sally Gap at the weekends. Much cheaper than a car although it can be unpleasant on occasion in the depths of winter. They are the perfect solution for Dublins traffic problems and will save you a lot of money also.


OK, I’m seeing the smiley but this definitely deserves a response, as there are a just a few too many questions and comments on the person who’s written the post, namely me, rather than dealing with the topic itself.

To put the situation in perspective here are some background details:

  1. I’ve just in the last year returned home to live with my parents. I had previously rented during the 18 years before that.
  2. I am currently commuting between County Cork and Kerry.
  3. I have an offer in on one place that has been on the market for 6 weeks. The auctioneer has received no other offers and claims that the other interested parties are “sitting on the fence”. He was unwilling to accept my offer, which I made to him 3 weeks ago, and said that he would “put it under his hat”. I’m going to let him have my offer under his hat until next week, then I’m going to withdraw that offer and contact the owner myself directly. He has claimed that the market is “cautious”, obviously his other interested parties are more cautious than I am…
  4. I’ve earlier (about 2 months ago) entered in a bidding war on another place back in Kerry near my work. I withdrew from the bidding because I was not satisfied with the behaviours of the auctioneer. I had asked for an extension of time to the following day but I was refused. So I withdrew. I probably would have gone substantially (5%) higher but basically the auctioneers attitude cost the auctioneer, and more importantly the client, an opportunity to achieve a higher price. But then whenever did an auctioneer have the interest of the client in mind.

I try to interfere as little as possible with their lives. My parents are fortunate to have a large house and we all get on very well, I’m able to have a reasonably independent live at home, but not the level of independece that I’m looking for (which is complete and total independence from home) and I will move out soon to achieve this. For that reason I have been working on making offers (see above).

I let them stay in their nest. It’s their house after all.

No outsourcing here to any nursing homes. I would not be happy with that, neither would they. I don’t believe that nursing homes are the solution to old age in this country. Some are very nice, some work very well for some people, some aren’t so nice. Even when I get my own place my parents will live and die in their own home. It’s how they wish it to be and we (me and my other siblings, and my parents) all agree.

Nothing to do with my sex life at all. There are other issues involved - more on the emotional and psychological level that I believe are of much greater importance. These are what are leading me to seek quickly for my own independence. I’m sure that I have as much an effect on them as they do on me. I help as I can where I can. I’m grateful that I am able to be able to live with my parents and able to benefit from that generosity. I hope to be able to repay that generosity in years ahead.

I wasn’t whinging about the HSE. I am very grateful for the help that my parents are providing to me at this time. I help out as much as I can now and I will too in the future.
From my own personal experience of the HSE it is every bit as useless as it’s made out to be, in fact wose than that. I’m not going to get into a HSE issue here - that too was totally off the cost saving topic that I presented.

No I won’t be. I do hope to live as long and as well as my parents but not the same. We’re all human for sure and the differences between us are not so great but I do wish to live differently than my parents so for that reason alone I will not be in that same place. I could be any place.


Buy a bike.

Cycle to work, cycle to the shop if you need a pint of milk.


Buy a second-hand bike that looks beat up, flashy new ones tend to get stolen.

Unfortunately cycling in Dublin city centre or heavy traffic areas is dangerous. I did it for a while but after one too many near misses, I gave it up. Even with the cycling lanes there are too many drivers that will run you off the road, the human body is not as robust as a lorry/van/SUV.

Always wear bright vest and a safety helmet even on a sunny day and keep your distance from lorries where possible, especially continental lorries (they can’t see you)


Handy side effect of saving on gym membership :smiley:


Only if your place of work has a shower which you can use when you arrive…


Agreed, I lived in Ranelagh and the SCR for most of my time in Dublin. It’s a 20 minute stroll to Grafton St. When I’m in Dublin these days I stay with friend in Crumlin, again about a 30 min stroll into town, under an hour from there to Croke Park.

Assuming you are anywhere near the city centre you are far quicker just walking it than waiting at bus stops and then sitting round in a bus in a traffic jam! All the Dubliners I knew thought I was completely mad. “You walked from where?!? That’s miles away!”


I was in both Lidl and Tesco today. A net of mandarins in Lidl was €1.39 in Tesco €2.49.

It all adds up.


Dublin is definitely not like our continental neighbours in terms of dedicated cycle lanes but it is still relatively safe. I have cycled to work for the last 5 years, it’s not that far, only 8km in each direction but it is through the city centre (O’Connell, D’Olier, Westmoreland, College Green) and I have had two accidents in that time, one was my own fault in frosty weather and the other was a driver’s fault. I do agree that sometimes you can have near misses, road rage incidents and the nuisance factor of punctures but in general I think that the pros outweigh the cons.

Also, as another poster mentioned, showers as essential if it is a substantial commute.


If you are in the market for a car check up the north where the savings can be huge with a little bit of homework, you still have to pay VRT but the savings on a second hand car from a main dealor in comparison to the south can be jaw dropping. But I would only buy from a main dealor where you get the warranty and not some of these potential fly by night chancers at the side of the road.


Insulate your attic, you should have at least 250mm of insulation -100mm running between the joists and 150mm running on top of this across the joists. Heat loss through uninsulated or badly insulated attics accounts for around 30% of the total heat losses from a house. Even if you are renting you should insist your landlord carries out this work for you. It only costs around €500. You can do it yourself but make sure that you insulate the storage tank and the pipes in the attic and maintain the ventilation. Plenty of info online for diy-ers.


Which helps with the 'leccy bill at home.

A few more tips that might not previously been mentioned:

  1. Don’t pay bank charges. There’s plenty of places offering fee free banking, and interest on current accounts.
  2. Turn off appliances at the wall, it’s a cliché, but you’ll save money and help with the environment.
  3. Charge your mobile in work (though best avoided if you work for Ryanair).


Here’s another good one, get some remote control sockets. these let you turn off everything plugged into a wall socket with one press of a button: … &U=strat15

We have two in our place one for all the TV stuff and one for all the network stuff. Going to bed we turn them both off so nothing is left on standby and hackers don’t get a chance to get into our wifi network when we are not using it. So long as teh plugs themselves don’t drain too much power you are laughing.


Don’t buy a house :smiley:

I’ll get my coat…


get rid of your Eircom phone line.

get VOIP instead, we pay €10 per month for unlimited voice calls (domestic/international) with blueface. You can keep your old eircom number too.

saved us a feckin’ fortune!!

oh, and shop around for car insurance. Mrs S got a renewal notice for 950 with AXA last week, a few phone calls later and she’d sorted a new policy for 320


Yeah, I got a renewal quote for 694 from AXA, and shopped around and got a renewal for 530 from, wait for it, AXA!

It’s to your advantage to get a new policy as many of them offer cash off for new policies booked online, but you don’t get this discount for renewal - 50 euro of the saving I made was just by doing this.


Probably a € in Moore St. The quantity and quality varies during the day and week but is nearly always beeter than the supermarkets. Avoid the scobie auldwans that won’t let you pick your own stuff cos they want to stick in the mouldy stuff. There are plently of good sellers on Moore St and a few bad apples selling bad apples


OW cycling tips.

Get schwalbe tyres with Kevlar lining. (dont’ cycle a racer with skinny)
I’ve had mine for 4 years and not one puncture! Amazing.

Cycle a hybrid bike, less work, less sweating. More cruising.
Never cycle with a bag on your back. reduces sweating.

Use panniers or try get the topeak bag system! I have it and its great, no sore fingers fiddling with bungee cords in the winter OUCH!

You won’t need a shower :wink:

Bags (slide on system check it out)

Slide on Racks


Invite friends around for dinner more often. It doesn’t cost much more to cook for 4 or 6 people compared to 2 or 1 persons. And then get pay back when its their turn


Increase your salary in work through a promotion by being more productive and not surfing the web all day adding comments onto (very helpful) websites! :laughing: