85 Thrifty “Tipid” Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines:

Inflation. We’ve always felt its presence and if you’ve been watching the news daily, the increase in the PH’s inflation rate is no surprise. Although the credible BSP governor Benjamin Diokno adamantly says that there will be no recession in the Philippines, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab has advised otherwise. The latter urges us Filipinos to tighten our belts and brace for the looming global recession in the upcoming months which, in my opinion, is the most rational and sensible thing to do to somehow mitigate the financial distress whether a recession is about to unfold or not.

My mission has always remained the same and that is to help, or at the very least, remind my fellow citizens on the significance of one’s thriftiness and preparation towards financial resilience. With the prices of food and basic commodities greatly outpacing our salaries, worldwide increase in the inflation rate, skyrocketing fuel price hikes, looming food crisis, and the prolonged Russia-Ukraine War – what are we to do? Being innovative and exploring other streams of income is one viable way (yes, we’ve spoken about that in many articles), however, coupling it with thrifty tipid tips is like entering the battlefield with double the protection. Thus, I was urged to list down 85 Thrifty “Tipid” Tips we can incorporate to survive inflation in the Philippines

Grocery-related Thrifty “Tipid” Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines

  1. Learn to budget

The tip speaks for itself. Budgeting is the best inflation-response skill you can learn in the Philippines this 2022. A budget is your roadmap to what you’re supposed to buy and an estimate of how much you’re meant to spend. Having a guide is better than mindless shopping.

  1. Buying more for less

Buying in bulk can save big on some things, but always compare the price per unit rather than the ticket price to check if you’re really saving money. If mental arithmetic isn’t your strong point, well, there’s no harm in using your cellphone or calculator in public.

  1. Get the last drop of everything

Got an almost-depleted bottle of shampoo? Bodywash? Dilute the content with water and squeeze it dry.

  1. Use coupons or reward cards

Reward cards can let you receive special discounted prices for your desired items. Sometimes, supermarkets distribute freebies every once in a while if you’re a reward card holder.

  1. Check out the “lower part” of the grocery shelves

One of grocery stores’ marketing strategies is to put premium quality and pricey products on shelves that are at “eye-level” and the affordable deals are placed at the lower parts. Now you got a reason to bend down to the lower shelves to do a little bit of comparison shopping.

85 Thrifty "Tipid" Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines
  1. Avail Buy-1-Take-1 deals 

Buy-1-take-1 offers are typically offered for items near their expiry date. Feel free of taking these supplies, especially If you’ll use the items immediately after.

  1. Choose cheaper alternatives

If you can forego branded items for off-brand options that still get the job done, do so. It’s okay as long as the quality isn’t sacrificed with the price drop.

  1. Remember price scanner placements

Markets in the Philippines aren’t as organized as abroad. If there are no price tags, don’t make the mistake of “guessing” the price. Search for price scanners and double-check.

  1. Shop alone

Don’t ever shop with your child if they haven’t been taught about discipline. Otherwise, you’ll head home with a dozen of Kinderjoys with you. But in case you have no choice but to bring them along, set some rules. For example, you can tell them that they can choose only 2 items. If they want 3, then 1 item has to go back to the shelf.

  1. Plan your menu one week ahead

It’s better to shop when you already know what ingredients to buy, plus how many portions of each you’ll need.

  1. Bring your senior citizen card

Take advantage of all discounts you may get. If you’re a senior citizen, secure a senior ID and discount card from your barangay. Also, make comparisons on where you can get the biggest discounts. For example, my SC parents have discovered that Jollibee accepts two SC cards while KFC only accepts one.

  1. Avoid going grocery shopping when hungry

Did you know that new research confirms that grocery shopping when your stomach is rumbling is not a good idea? Why? 3 words: EVERYTHING LOOKS GOOD. When you shop hungry and are faced with a lot of food options, you tend to eye for junk food and sweets. And with that, you’ll end up spending a lot more and making unhealthy choices.

  1. Ask yourself how much an item costs – not in cash value, but through time.

Let’s say you’ve been eyeing a branded watch worth P8,000. Doesn’t sound too much, does it?
But what if you are getting paid P1k per hour? (example only). Then it would take you 8 hours to pay for the watch. That’s a whole day of work for most Pinoys. Of course, you can use this for big expenses too. What if you’re about to check out your cart worth P30k? Are you really willing to spend 30 hours at work to fund that? In these times where we are just starting to feel the effects of inflation, we need to work on our MINDSET. This is just a small hack to help you change your mindset and move it to a more positive direction: a direction where you take control of your finances and tell it where it needs to go.

85 Thrifty "Tipid" Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines
  1. Keep your eyes on the monitor

Our kababayan cashiers get exhausted too. Mistakes happen. Watch out for items that they may accidentally scan twice.

  1. Chill ka lang bhie

If you’re after a new product or service, don’t let salespeople pressure you into taking a deal on the spot. Always walk away or hang up and think about it.

Gas-saving Thrifty “Tipid” Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines

  1. Have your car tuned-up

Your ride’s combustion system may affect your gas efficiency. Make sure your car’s in tip-top shape through bi-annual tune-ups.

  1. Travel light

Declutter your trunk and your backseat with everything that can add more weight to your vehicle. The heavier the car, the more energy it uses to run.

  1. Plan your trips

Consider what activities you can aggregate in a single trip. This will save you gas, and time, and make your life overall efficient.

  1. Carpool when possible

Instead of going on a convoy with your buddies, you can carpool to save gas money, especially if you’re on a barkada trip.

  1. Pay via credit card

Some banks have collab deals with oil companies in the Philippines. Save as much as 5% through credit rebates or cashback offers if you pay using select credit cards.

  1. Get a bike

Having a car in this economically stricken era is overrated. Do you know what isn’t? A bike. Burn calories instead of gas. 

  1. Try walking for a change

Life was simple before the age of automobiles. Humans have these in-born tools called “legs” which we can use instead of hopping on our whip and driving around town. Jokes aside. If it’s only a few blocks away, walking would be a good change of pace — physically and economically.

  1. Ride public transpo instead

If you can manage to be a mandirigma or an amazona after a bus or train ride, go ahead. You’ll save a ton.

  1. Obey traffic rules

Okay, hear me out. Overstepping laws can incur tickets that will cost you. Be smart, don’t do that hazard-parking-OG-Filipino-“may hinihintay lang ako”-style. It doesn’t work anymore, take it from me.

  1. Don’t slam the breaks

Aside from scaring your partner to death, sudden stops and abrupt accelerations burn up more gasoline than gradually reducing or increasing your speed.

Online-shopping Tipid Tips in the Philippines

  1. Delay purchases with the 30-day rule

One way to avoid overspending is to give yourself a cooling-off period between when an item catches your eye and when you actually make the purchase. See if you still want the item by then, you might be surprised about how 30 days can change your perspective.

  1. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.

It’s easy to spend online when your card information is connected to an account. The best way to break this habit is simply deleting your card from the platform. This you’ll be forced to get out of your way to dig out your card details. That can be real pesky. Most of the time, we’re simply too lazy to take the extra steps that we figure “we don’t need them after all.”

  1. Try the “Abandon Cart’’ tactic

Place the desired items in your cart and then abandon them for 5-7 days. Some stores offer coupon codes or discounts to convince shoppers to complete their purchase. You may be lucky *fingers-crossed*

  1. Use Shopeepay or Lazada Wallet

These online shopping platforms typically offer exclusive discounts or cashback vouchers if you pay through their dedicated currency.

  1. Take advantage of their monthly sale

Remember 11.11? 12.12? Shopee and Lazada offer monthly site-wide discounts on all items. Consider deferring your “I deserve this!” moments during those times.

  1. Log-in daily for free coins

You can use coins to chip a few bucks off your total payables. Take advantage of free coins by logging in daily.

  1. Unsubscribe from your favorite stores

Want a preventative measure? Keep temptation off your system by unsubscribing from stores that love shooting those product emails you love.

  1. Participate in Shopee Games or LazGames

Both platforms have dedicated games where avid users can earn free coins that they can use for shopping in select stores.

  1. Delay your gratification

Postpone an immediate gain from your online shopping, and prioritize your more imminent needs. Those items can wait.

  1. Sell your old stuff and use funds for shopping

If you’re itching for new clothes, sell the things you no longer wear from your wardrobe. This will help freshen up your dresser without hurting your pocket as much.

  1. Be skeptical and read negative reviews

Anything that’s too good to be true is probably fake. Read customer reviews. Yep, sorry to break it to you but there’s no iPhone 13 worth ₱3,000.

85 Thrifty "Tipid" Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines
  1. Ask for a price match

Some shops have a policy that if you find a lower price, they will beat it. While this isn’t the case at all retailers, it’s always worth asking. Just do your research online first so that you can back up your claim.

Tech-related Tipid Tips in the Philippines

  1. Reconsider your broadband package

Having decent broadband and wifi is a must for many of us but do you really need the deluxe package for your family of five? If not, reduce your package. Haggling with your supplier is another way you can cut costs; as the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

  1. Future-proof your phone

Buying a cheap device, like a phone, can help you save money upfront. The problem with sub-₱10,000 budget phones is they last about a year at best before problems show up. On the other hand, slightly premium midrange devices (₱15,000-₱20,000) can be good for at least 3-5 years with proper care.

  1. Don’t settle for cheap laptops

Following the future-proofing tip above, don’t skimp on your laptop especially if you’re career relies on it. Here’s a simple guideline for bare minimum specs that’ll get the job done and last a good length:

  • 8 GB RAM (ideal, 4 GB minimum)
  • Core-i3 (ideal, Intel Pentium/AMD Athlon minimum)
  • SSD (HDD will ruin your life in 6 months)
  1. Don’t plug and play

Unless your phone or laptops are near their battery’s end, don’t keep them charged as doing such draws power continuously. This may affect your device’s battery longevity, not to mention the electric bill.

  1. Use rewards by Globe
  2. Ditch subscriptions you don’t need

If you rarely watch Netflix, consider cancelling your subscription.

  1. Pick up a battery charger

Almost every device at home uses batteries. Consider getting a rechargeable set, instead of having to buy one every single time.

  1. Learn to troubleshoot your own tech

Changing phone battery? Youtube. Troubleshooting computer? Youtube. All information you need is online. Stop throwing away money to Youtube-trained technicians.

  1. Take advantage of free subscriptions

One-month or three-month subscription deals are a steal. If you come across one, take advantage of them especially if they’re useful.

  1. Use cashback apps

There are mobile apps that tie in with online platforms where you can earn cashback from your spending. It’s a bandaid solution at best to a bigger, systemic problem. However, it’s nice to have these apps at our disposal.

  1. Go incognito

Looking for a flight? Open an incognito or private window so your browsing history isn’t stored. This stops companies from tracking what you’re looking at and increasing prices deliberately for you.

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Household Tipid Tips in the Philippines

  1. Unplug appliances when not in use

Appliances use power even when switched off. Unplug them when idle to save on monthly electric bills.

  1. Repurpose used furniture

Don’t throw out the furniture you’ve outlived. Find another purpose for them. In this day and age, they’re especially valuable. 

  1. Repurpose old fabrics

Got tattered clothes? Don’t throw them away. You can use the scraps as cleaning materials. Instead of buying a new set of basahan your clothes will do. 

  1. Set up a clothesline

You’d be surprised if I told you most of my buddies dry clean their clothes. Installing a clothesline will significantly reduce power usage, plus it takes no more than extra 2-3 hours to dry your clothes. We can’t be picky in this era.

  1. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Don’t throw your plastic bottles, you may find ingenious ways to use them. One example is using them as pots for gardening. Speaking of gardening:

  1. Grow your own food

Not being a “Green thumb” is a poor excuse to avoid getting your hands dirty with soil. Everyone can grow their own food, and this can be an awesome way to save. Pechay, for example, is very easy and quick to grow.

  1. Buy energy-efficient products

Look for the EEF and EER symbols brandished over refrigerators and air conditioning units, respectively. They’re sold more expensively, but they use less power. Basically, higher cost upfront but is more money-saving in the long run.

  1. Buy generic

Generics and branded medicine work the same. Don’t believe me? Ask any pharmacist you know. 

  1. Cut your ties with cable

When was the last time you watched cable? Let me guess. Never in the past months? Everything is accessible online. Cut ties with cable instead of paying for a service you rarely (or don’t) use.

  1. Get a thermos

Save propane gas by heating a large volume of water and storing it in a thermos. They’re still pretty hot after 12 hours.

  1. DIY things (so long as they’re within reason)

Everything you need to know can be found online. If you can get away with doing things yourself, I highly recommend you do so. On the other hand, extreme repairs like refrigerators or aircon may be overreaching on your part. As long as it’s within reason and expertise, take a crack at them.

  1. Teach your constituents to save

Saving should be a family affair. You won’t manage to save nearly enough if your family hasn’t got your back in the endeavor. Teach your family to replicate the same practices.

Lifestyle Thrifty “Tipid” Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines

  1. Incorporate Minimalism and downsizing

Minimalism is defined as a design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. Have a look at our example below:

85 Thrifty "Tipid" Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines
  1. Minimize restaurant spending

The keyword here is to “minimize”, and not completely give up eating outside. One of the easiest expenses to cut when you want to save more is restaurant meals, since eating out tends to be pricier than cooking at home. If you ever decide to continue dining out, try to reduce the frequency and take advantage of credit cards for rebates. 

Pro tip: You can also opt for appetizers or split an entree with your dining companion to save money when you eat out. Skipping drinks and dessert can help stretch your budget as well.

  1. Overspending on beauty services

We never said to eliminate these from your life, alright? It’s easy to say “I deserve this” when we’re staring blankly at a pampering service. Manicures, pedicures, and facial treatments have therapeutic effects but overspending on these services can take a toll on your finances when mismanaged. Set aside a dedicated day every month or two for pampering. Otherwise, buy your own tools and do them yourself.

  1. Save every coin, literally

Coins can make the difference between breaking or keeping your bills from intact. You know what they say: “Pag nabasag na (ang buong pera) madali nang maubos.

  1. Try a new form of entertainment

Stop watching mindless TV shows and senseless films. Books are rich sources of valuable information, and they entertain pretty well too.

  1. Learn a new skill

Why call a professional to paint your living room or put up shelves when you can do it yourself? If you need a refresher on DIY basics, you can find helpful videos on YouTube. Or go to skillshare.com, which offers thousands of online classes.

  1. Practice money-mindfulness

Mindfulness is a big thing nowadays. According to gurus, it is the practice of acknowledging your feelings at the moment without any sense of judgment. Aside from relieving stress and sleeping peacefully, you can use mindfulness to help manage your finances. Taking five minutes to visualize, say, your debt getting smaller or your savings increasing in value, you may change your perspective.

  1. Ditch the “pink tax”

According to research, female-targetted products are often tagged with higher price points compared to their male counterparts. For example, toiletries like razors (which pretty much work similarly across genders) are often sold higher in feminine packaging. A good and time-tested workaround is buying male products instead. This way, you can avoid the “pink tax” yet still avail of the same form of service.

  1. Maintain your Ideal Weight to avoid buying new clothes

Alright! This is so much easier said than done, but it makes sense! I’ve had my fair share of losing weight and gaining them all back after a few weeks. That is why I know this one’s a bit difficult to achieve.
Avoid gaining too much weight so you won’t get forced to spend on a new set of loose clothes. The same goes for underwear too. Your budget for new clothes can be used towards something more worthwhile

85 Thrifty "Tipid" Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines
  1. Drinks? Have yourself some clear juice

Soda, iced tea, juice — there are tons of drink options in restaurants, but they can also cost a leg if you’re financially struggling. If you can, always choose water. Get yourself a bottle you can bring to work daily to keep you refreshed and too satiated for an order of boba.

  1. Get creative with gifts

You can save money with affordable gift ideas, like herb gardens and books, or go the do-it-yourself route. Baking cookies, creating art, or preparing someone’s dinner can demonstrate that you care just as much as making an expensive purchase, perhaps even more so. You can also shower someone with the gift of your time by offering to take them to a local (free) museum or other events.

  1. Cut back on your vacation spending.

Instead of going on a big, extravagant trip, pack up the car and see some of the sights in your surrounding area. Another strategy is to look into travel rewards credit cards for ways to earn free hotel stays and airfare.

  1. Give the gift of labor.

For new parents, give an evening of babysitting as a gift. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their fur pals when they travel. These types of gifts are always a hit. I know that, as a parent of a toddler, I loved receiving a babysitting gift, probably more than any “stuff” I might get otherwise.

  1. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays.

Most people use this technique for Christmas, but it works for every holiday. Wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for items you need that are themed for that day. I have noticed this myself with the yearly Christmas hamonado and quezo de bola.

  1. Prepare for next year’s splurge a year prior

Get a Mother’s Day card for next year the day after Mother’s Day. Get Easter egg decorating kits the day after Easter, and Halloween decorations on Nov. 1. Get wrapping paper, cards, bows, and gift bags the day after Christmas. The discounts are tremendous, and you can just put this stuff in the closet until next year.

  1. Don’t Go Overboard for Savings

Be thrifty but not cheap. Being too cheap may not be financially wise. Don’t blindly choose the least expensive item when it’s low-quality, for instance. And make sure extreme couponing or a long drive to find the cheapest gas isn’t wasting more time than it’s worth.

  1. Get a gym membership

Availing memberships are proven cheaper compared to paying every single time you step foot in gyms. However, if you visit McDonald’s more than you do your local gym, cancel the membership and pay per entry, instead.

  1. Travel in incognito 

Incognito mode keeps your browser history from being stored. When your travel information and details are concealed, you won’t receive local ads and prices won’t bump in response to your arrival. This is not necessarily proven, but being under wraps is always a good thing.

Networth-Boosting Tips

  1. Improve your net worth

In a nutshell, net worth is your measure of wealth. Grow your net worth by acquiring non-depreciating resources like real estate and gold, or assets like stocks, and then cutting back on your liabilities. Doing so gives you headroom for extreme crises as you may sell off your assets to keep you afloat.

  1. Try out freelancing

Another online stream isn’t so bad in this era. If you have the chops and the time to do freelancing, I highly recommend you do so. Beginner freelance writers can earn as much as ₱5,000 per piece. 

  1. Get a full-time online job

If you’re up for it, ditching your day job for an online job can be another strategy to cope with inflation. Prices of goods get more expensive by the hour while your salary remains as is. As the Filipino peso devalues versus dollars, your salary’s conversion rate also increases if you have a dollar-earning career.

  1. Learn how banking products can help you make the most of your funds

Don’t be scared of banks. They’re not out there to eat your funds if you know what you’re doing. Try expanding your horizon by learning what banking products can be beneficial in growing your money.

  1. Save your emergency fund (or what’s left of it) in a high-yield savings account

Emergency funds are a must. Try to save as much as 6 months’ worth of salary in a high-yield savings account where it will have the opportunity to grow. Extreme and dire situations like inflation may deplete your resources, and having emergency funds will prop you up during desperate times.

  1. Setting up a sinking fund

Sinking funds work by setting aside a small amount of money dedicated for a future expense. Essentially, sinking funds are just a professional rendition of your traditional piggy banks. In the past, kids used piggy banks to save up for an item, the same applies to sinking funds. Instead of taking the burden from your savings account, sinking funds will be your prime source. 

86. Build a Financial Plan

A financial plan is a comprehensive overview of your financial goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Having a financial plan helps you to responsibly manage your money and plan for the future. Though making one may take time and dedication, it will likely pay off in the long run. In turn, you’ll have a clearer path of the future for yourself and your family. 

And that’s it! I hope you found this long list of thrifty “tipid” tips helpful so we can survive Inflation in the Philippines. If you have any more tips in mind, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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85 Thrifty “Tipid” Tips to Survive Inflation in the Philippines

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.