66 Ways To Save Money In Dubai UAE-Frugal Living
Saving for the future is as important as eating and taking care of your personal health. No one has seen tomorrow but we need to have a positive attitude that tomorrow will be better and bigger. For that to happen, you need to take action today and start somewhere. Money gives power and also helps one to express himself in a better way. Life is to be lived in abundance and money plays a major role. Money is not everything but it secures your future, brings peace of mind and also your options will open up.
UAE is place where one can live lavishly without giving much thought to tomorrow. Such is the charm of Dubai and other Emirates. Having said that, we need to plan our future, save for our kids’ education and also save for our retired life.
To give you a head start, here are 66 Tips To Save Money in UAE:
General Money Saving Tips
#1. Piggy Bank
Coins and currencies of lower denominations collected over a period of time can accumulate into a small fortune. So don’t ignore the power of this simple tip. Get a small piggy bank and start putting your lose change in it. Keep the piggy bank where you would see it every day.
#2. Track Your Spending By Saving Receipts
The receipts that you get from retailers and other stores can be good reminders of the money that you spend. Rack up those receipts for purchases made during the month and go through them at the end of the month. These receipts will help you understand and control your spending on unwanted and unnecessary items.
#3. Buy Groceries For A Week
You can enjoy the economies of scale only when volume is high. So rather than waiting for the last minute and buying from your local grocery, plan in advance and prepare a list. This way you can save few bucks every week, which can make a huge difference when you compare them annually.
#4. Saving Goal On A Daily Basis
Small targets are always achievable. Rather than saying ‘I will save AED 30,000 dirhams this year’, set a small target of saving AED 80 per day. This looks achievable, isn’t it?
If you are an expat, ultimately you might have plans to leave this country and settle down in your own country. So don’t hoard unwanted things. If you ask me, I would say, don’t buy them in the first place!
#6. Have Dreams
Dream big and talk about them often. If you have a vision on mind, you tend to take action today that which is necessary to move towards that dream. If you have a dreams of becoming rich, you will save responsibly today.
#7. Delete Cookies from your Computer
Whenever you make online purchases or visit a website, that particular website will install cookies on your browser.
“Cookies are used to identify users, store shopping cart information, and prepare customized web pages that utilize user information.”
Your online behavior could be mimicked and the advertisements could be customized according to your tastes and preferences. Enticing advertisements of products that you like might urge you to make purchases even if you can’t afford it. And credit cards provide that much need cushion that make every purchase urge a possibility.
So clear and delete your browser cache from time to time.
Check out this Infographic which summarizes all money saving tips via
Food Money Saving Tips
#8. Big Refrigerator With A Deep Freezer
A bigger fridge helps you to store more food and as such you can buy in bulk. In UAE, households waste a lot of food because there is no other go. But if you have a fridge which can accommodate remains of the day, you can store them and utilize them on other days. Also, when you purchase groceries from Carrefour or Lulu, buy them in bulk.
#9. Basic Beverages
Stick to basic beverages like tea and coffee. Fancy juices and carbonated beverages are slight deviations from your basic drinks. Huge premium is added for small minor additions. So save by sticking to basic beverages.
#10. Home Lunch
Nothing is better than home lunch. It tastes better and it is healthier too. In UAE, there are a lot of options to eat out and once your start eating out, it becomes an addiction. Try and pack your lunch from home. It does save a great deal of money and also helps you to stay healthy.
#11. Eating Out In Fancy Restaurants
Don’t make it a habit to eat out in fancy restaurants every other day. Yes, there are some exotic restaurants in Dubai which which you need to visit because the ambiance and experience is just out-of-this-world. But if you have to cherish this experience, visit them once in a while. Plan that lunch or dinner much in advance.
#13. Shopping List
When you are shopping, it is always better to have a list. It helps you from forgetting anything and also helps you to stick to the list. If you do not have a list, you tend to wander and deviate and end up buying something that you don’t need.
#14. Drink Water
Allow water to take the place of juices and carbonated drinks. Water is cheaper and healthier.
#15. Stored Food
On some days, just eat the stored food in the fridge. This will ensure that the food is not wasted and money is also saved.
#16. Cheap Grocery
If you have to make a frugal living in Dubai, you need to compare grocery prices and buy from the supermarkets which offer great deals and discounts. As I see it, Lulu is cheaper than Carrefour and Carrefour is cheaper than Spinneys.
#17. Avoid Junk Food
No doubt junk food tastes great but they offer very low nutritional value. Depending on junk and packaged food can have dire health affects which in turn escalate your medical bills.
#18. Avoid Meat
Meat is a staple of developed countries and UAE is no exception. But avoid red meat and eat fruits and vegetables. You can not only save money but also can stay healthy.
Health Money Saving Tips
#19. Dental Care
In UAE, most of the companies do not cover dental bills. Even if they do, they cover just 20% or 30%. So take care of your teeth because a dental bill in Dubai can make a huge hole in your pocket.
#20. Generic Medicines
Generic medicines are great substitutes for medicines from big pharma companies. Pharma companies charge a huge premium for good reasons. They spend a lot of money on research and development and also on patents. And for a drug or pill to be launched in market, it takes at least 10-20 years.
But you can ask your doctor if there are any generic substitutes for those expensive medicines. Doctors are always willing to help and in turn you can save money.
I am a smoker and I shouldn’t be giving you this advice. But try and quit smoking. Affects your health and also steals money from your pocket.
Credit Card Money Saving Tips
#22. Lock Your Credit Card
A bulging wallet in UAE infer stacks of credit cards. Do not use your credit cards to purchase anything and everything. Avoid using your credit card for groceries and utilities. If you do not pay your bill in full, then you will be paying for groceries for a long time to come. Don’t waste money on unwanted interest and fees.
#23. Pay Your Credit Card In Full
Make it a habit to pay credit card bills in full. This way, you not only can you enjoy the benefits of cards in the form of rewards and perks, but also you can save your money on interest and fee, if you carry a balance month-on-month.
#24. Consolidate Your Debt
If you have credit card debt on multiple cards, then it is better to consolidate them on a card or two. This way it becomes easier to track and also you will find balance transfer credit cards which offer initial 0% or low interest rates.
#25. Cash Advances On Credit Cards
Do not take cash advances on your credit card. They get slapped with a high interest rate, you do not have any grace period and there is also a cash advance fee.
Insurance Money Saving Tips
#26. Shop Around
Whether you want to take a life insurance or auto insurance, always shop around. Compare and collect information about various options. There is always a cheap and credible option.
#27. Medical Insurance
Most of the companies in UAE cover your medical bills. Read your benefits and privileges thoroughly. If you are already covered for your medical bills, do not duplicate.
#28. Your Needs and Coverage Should Match
Buying protection more than what one needs is splurging money unnecessarily. So try and match your coverage with your needs.
Transportation and Commutation Money Saving Tips
#29. Public Transport
UAE now offers all modes of public transport. Now that petrol prices have increased, public transport makes more sense. The metro in Dubai is well connected and even the buses are frequent and cheap. Opt for public transport at least thrice in a week. If your colleague and you live in the same locality, think about car pooling.
#30. Take Care of Your Car’s Tires
Now that petrol prices are high, it is in your best interests to keep your tires inflated as they ensure better mileage.
#31. Cheap Petrol
When it comes to petrol, you may either go to Emarati Petrol Station or ADNOC or Enoc. Compare the prices at each of these stations. I usually go to Emarati cause it falls on my way to office and there is less queue. But the main reason is I don’t waste much time and that way I save money too. The cliche ‘time is money’
#32. Drive Safe And Slow
Speeding and breaking suddenly can burn the break pads and tires thus increasing your maintenance cost. They may cause unnecessary accidents resulting in damage to life and property. Driving slower and treating your car more than a clunker which takes you from one place to another can save you a lot of money.
#33. Flight Tickets
If you are a frequent traveler, look for a credit card which allows you to rack up air-miles which you can redeem against free tickets and other privileges. When you are buying a flight ticket look for options and compare prices. You don’t need a great deal of first class comfort when your flight duration is just 3-4 hours.
#34. Service Your Car Regularly
Timely servicing of your car ensures its running smoothly and reduces maintenance costs too. Ignoring oil change and cleaning air filters can slowly deteriorate your car’s health leading to unnecessary repair expenses.
#35. Speed Tickets
Penalties for speeding is the worst way you can waste your hard earned money. In UAE, there are speed limits on every road and radars will punish if you don’t adhere. Don’t waste your money on speeding fines. The world will not come to an end if you reach 2 minutes late.
Housing Money Saving Tips
#36. Closer to Work Place Or Low Rent
Moving closer to work place can save you a lot of time considering the traffic in Sharjah and Dubai and also will save you a lot of money on petrol considering the hike in petrol price in the recent past. If rents weigh higher than time and fuel cost, you can consider moving to Sharjah or Ajman, if your working in Dubai. The rents are relatively lower in these Emirates. But if you weigh time more than money, then moving closer to office makes sense. End of the day, it should result in saving of some kind, especially money.
#37. Studio Flat
If you are single, you can opt for a studio flat thus saving a lot on rents. Families with kids need minimum one bed room flat.
Do not buy furniture which occupies a lot of space. Take ideas from the preset model furnishings at IKEA. You can use the ideas to use the space available efficiently.
#39. Water And Electricity
Do not waste power and water unnecessarily. Keep those lights on which are absolutely necessary. During day time, make use of fresh sunlight. Do not use Geezers during summer. Don’t leave the water running while shaving or taking bath. Replace tubes and bulbs with power saving LED lights.
#40. Garbage Bags
Reuse the plastic bags which you get while shopping for groceries.
#41. Washing Machine
Try and accumulate dirty clothes for a week or so. Using the washing machine everyday wastes a lot of power and water and also wears your machine.
#42. Decorative Stuff
You can easily and elegantly decorate your house with stuff that you get from Dirham and gift shops across UAE. Day To Day markets also offer a wide range of items for AED 10 or less. Browse through these shops and I am sure you will find great stuff to decorate your home
#44. Switch Off Electrical Appliances
When not in use, switch off the electrical appliances. When you are working in the kitchen, you don’t need the TV in living room on. If you living in a window AC apartment, then while you are not home, switch it off.
The house needs to be cleaned frequently. You can use the Vacuum once in a week. Rest of the days you can use a long handled sweeping brush or a broom.
Clothing Money Saving Tips
#46. Shop At Discount Stores
It is not hard to find shops and stores in UAE which offer a great deal of discounts. It is good to have brands but for casual wear, you can buy trendy cheap stuff which can be discarded after few wears. That way you can keep yourself fashionable and also save a lot of money.
#47. Re-use Old Clothes
The clothes which have gotten old can be worn at home. If they need a little bit of repair and re-modelling, do it. You can convert an old jeans into a short pant easily. Cut the legs!
Communication Money Saving Tips
If everyone at home owns a cell phone, you don’t need a landline. Of course, in UAE the landline comes free with the internet package. But if you are hardly using the internet or if you have an internet package installed on your phone, then you don’t need internet at home.
I use my phone to call, message and check mail. Other than that I don’t do any thing. Neither have I installed any apps nor I use it for gaming. So a normal smart phone which is ideal for these functions works great with me. So determine your requirements and the choose the right phone. There is no point in buying super-smart phone if you do not use it effectively.
Entertainment Money Saving Tips
#50. Cable TV
If you have a high speed internet, then you can save on Cable TV. You can watch programs online. There is so much available online these days.
#51. Home Parties
If your planing a party, do it at home. You can save a lot of money on food and drinks and of course, the place is free. Going out to a bar or a restaurant can cause a real drain on your pockets.
Opt for credit cards which offer great discounts on movie tickets. Read reviews and recommendations. Watch only hit movies. Will save you time and also money.
There are a lot of free games available on your mobile phones. Don’t unnecessarily waste money on gaming.
Reading habit is one of the best ways to keep yourself entertained. Borrow books from friends or buy second hand books.
Gardening is a great hobby. It will keep you occupied and entertained. Learn ways to develop a garden frugally. Look for plants which will need minimum water. Replace plant pots with wooden pallets. They look classic.
#56. Board Games
Board games like scrabble, monopoly and ludo can be a lot of fun. Switch off all electronic gadgets and play these games once in a while like old times. They stimulate our minds and also entertain us greatly.
Bonus Money Saving Tips
#57. Club Memberships
If you have enrolled or joined any club and you if you quit going to that club or do not participate in their activities, then it is better to cancel that membership and ask for refund.
#58. Cook At Home
Eating out daily is costly and also unhealthy. Try and cook at home every day. With one hour’s of concentrated effort in kitchen, you can cook a great meal at home. With practice you can reduce that time and also try new recipes.
#59. Magazine subscriptions
If you have subscribed to different kinds of magazines or newspapers and if you hardly find any time to read, then cancel those subscriptions. A physical copy of a magazine or a newspaper makes a better read but you can access the same news and articles, online. Maybe you can buy a tab.
#60. Become Mr Fix-it
Repairs and renovations can be costly in Dubai. If you have to fix a bulb or do some basic plumbing job, try your hand at it. They are much easier than you think. Buy a set of cheap tools and keep them handy. You don’t have to call an electrician to fix a nail on wall.
Everything and anything can be negotiated. Always try to strike a better deal and bargain with vendors and retailers.
#62. Potluck Parties
Plan potluck parties. Everyone cooks something. Such parties are great fun, you get to enjoy home food and most of all, everyone saves a lot of money.
#63. Park Parties And Gatherings
Winter is great time to have parties in Dubai. You can either go to Mamzar Park or Zabeel Park. Parks are great places to have fun games and events too.
Going to a gym can be costly in UAE. You can substitute it with jogging in a park or doing ground exercises at home.
Prepare a budget every month and stick to it. Budgeting is a great way to make a frugal living. With a budget on hand, you will know exactly how much to spend and where. This way you can avoid unnecessary purchases.
#66. Always Look For Ways To Save Money
When you want to save money, no other strategy works better than consciously making an effort to looking for ways to save money. Whenever you want to purchase something or use something, think about how you can do it more efficiently and effectively. Ideas strike from nowhere and some ideas will keep saving you money for a long time to come.
How do you save money in UAE? Tell us your strategies in comments!