Cheapskate's Guide to Save Money in Malaysia: 17 Controvesial Money Saving Tips

‘Kedekut’ Malaysians Confess The Shameless Things They Do To Save Money

How far will you go to save a few ringgit?

Let’s face it. With rising prices and the weak ringgit, many Malaysians are definitely feeling the pinch when it comes to paying for their daily necessities.

Hence, it’s no surprise that some have gotten desperate enough to resort to more “creative” ways to save a few ringgit in these tough times:

Disclaimers: The following money-saving tricks may be unethical and even border on illegal. They should be regarded as informational and for entertainment purposes only, and SAYS does not advocate doing any of the things listed below.

All names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals and all images used are for illustration purposes only.
  1. “I use my student card to get discounts for movie tickets, clothes, karaoke sessions… basically wherever with student discounts. But I’m no longer a student. Heh.”

"You see, my student card from college has no expiry date, so I kept using it even after I graduated in 2011. It's not like they're gonna call up your college to verify if you're still a student, so I'm gonna keep using it for as long as I can.

Some student discounts are only available on weekdays, like clothing stores and cinemas, but you can still use it to get student prices for stuff like Happy Hour at RedBox, Seoul Garden, MPO tickets, and so on."

- Sarah
  1. “When your lecturer says you ‘need’ to buy a specific textbook, don’t. Look for a PDF online… or borrow from the library and photostat.”

    "College textbooks are SO EXPENSIVE and 99.9% of the time, you end up spending RM150 (or more) for a book you’re never gonna use. At most, you probably only needed to refer to one or two pages of the book for next week’s tutorial or an online access code or something.

    So seriously, save that money. This is probably considered piracy, but lots of textbooks can be found online if you know where to look. If you can’t find it on the Internet, borrow the textbook from the library when you need it and photocopy the page(s) you need.

    Just don’t let your lecturer(s) find out."

    • Jordan
  2. “I never had to buy salt and pepper when I was in college, all thanks to McDonald’s.”

    "I usually just grab a couple of packets, but my former housemates actually brought small containers to McDonald’s and patiently pour the little packets of salt in.

    None of the workers have actually noticed. Or maybe they just don’t care because lots of students have probably done this before."

    • Winnie
  3. “My mum switches Grade C eggs with Grade A eggs at the supermarket so we get bigger eggs for a cheaper price.”

    “I didn’t think too much of it when I was a kid, but she’s stopped doing it since I started scolding her coz - let’s be honest - it’s technically stealing.”

    • Leslie
  4. “Gatecrash a kenduri.”

    "I don’t do this any more lah, so don’t please don’t bash me, ok?

    It’s like this - my friends and I used to live in a hostel near a residential area, so whenever we find out there’s a kenduri (feast), we’ll just go and makan (eat). The tuan rumah (master of the house) always welcomes us with open arms coz they think we’re the son or daughter’s friends."

    • Amir
  5. “When getting chap fan (mixed rice), try to cover the expensive stuff - like meat - with rice and vegetables so it looks like you only took a little bit.”

    "You can try to cover ALL the meat, but that’s quite suspicious if you have a mountain of food on your plate.

    Plus, this doesn’t always work coz most chap fan aunties/uncles know their customers’ pattern already one."

    • Lee
  6. “Order one bottomless drink and share it with your friends.”

    “The waiters usually don’t care, but if they do, then you just curi-curi pass the drink around lah.”

    • Anita
  7. “Did you know you can get free bottomless soda at some fast food places?”

    “You know how some fast food restaurants have soda machines for anyone to refill their cups as many times as they want? I see aunties and their kids refill their bottles with Pepsi or whatever all the time.”

    • Navin
  8. “If you’re buying movie tickets online, get the senior citizen ones. They’re cheaper and the ushers don’t usually check properly one.”

    "They’re a few ringgit cheaper than the Adult tickets. Think of how much money you’d save in the long run! Plus, you won’t have any trouble going into ‘18 and above only’ movies.

    You usually scan your ticket barcode at the machine gate thing, so it’s highly unlikely that the usher will notice. Even if it’s scanned by the ushers themselves or you have a printed e-ticket, they don’t usually pay much attention to anything else other than the amount of tickets and your hall number, especially when it’s super crowded."

    • Kwan
  9. “My boyfriend and I watch movies back-to-back at the cinema… for the price of one ticket.”

    "Here’s how it works - we’d buy tickets for one movie. When the movie ends, we’d walk out of the hall from where we came in to sneak into another hall for a second free movie! Sometimes we’d even watch a third movie.

    To optimise our time, we’d look up the showtimes beforehand so we can figure out which movie starts right after the end of our first movie. Having the cinemas’ mobile apps in your phone is also VERY helpful - you can check to see which seats are still vacant so you don’t have to look for empty seats in the dark.

    We do buy popcorn and food and drinks though, so I suppose the cinema still kinda gets our money…?"

    • Nadia
  10. “Go to a high end restaurant with some friends and tell the waiter that you’re there to celebrate a birthday. At the very least, you’ll get a free slice of cake and/or dessert!”

    "It doesn’t even have to be anyone’s actual birthday. My friends tried this at a restaurant in an atas hotel. They told the waiter it was my birthday (we went in February, my birthday’s in April), and we got a free cake - not a slice, a whole cake! - and balloons. The head chef even came out to personally wish me a happy birthday!

    They usually won’t ask for an IC to verify if it’s actually your birthday, coz they don’t wanna risk offending their customers."

    • Mei
  11. “Don’t pay extra for breakfast when staying at a hotel. You can just walk into the buffet area and usually no one will stop you.”

    "Unfortunately, nicer hotels might also have someone checking your room number at the entrance, so that’s a no go.

    Unless you can find another point of entry. :)"

    • Henry
  12. “I create new accounts for online shopping sites all the time to take advantage of the first time user discounts.”

    “Fashion sites like Zalora offer about RM25 off for new users, and I know of a couple of start-ups with introductory rebates for first timers too. Sometimes I’d even use referral codes for a new account to get referral rewards. Sorry you guys, but a girl’s gotta eat.”

    • Priya
  13. “Sign up for 30-day free trial on Netflix or Spotify Premium. Cancel it on the 30th day. Create a new account with a new e-mail address. Repeat.”

    “Yes, you have to enter your credit card details and you will get charged RM1.00 or something when you sign up, but don’t worry about that. It’s just them verifying the validity of your card, it will get credited back to your account in two weeks or so.”

    • Diana
  14. “My brother, who’s a salesperson, gets a petrol card with about RM500 to RM600 every month from his company. Obviously, that’s how the rest of the family pays for petrol.”

    “The company is probably aware that everyone does this, but as long as you don’t exceed the limit they just close one eye lah.”

    • Jon
  15. “Accidentally bring stuff home from work. E.g. paper, Post-Its, pens, staplers, coffee beans, toilet paper…”

    “Pretty much everyone has done this at some point, so don’t judge me.”

    • Chee
  16. “Torrenting. Duh.”

    “Or streaming. Everyone does it.”

    • Chris

Source: Says