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How to ..... ?

This blog is intended to be helpful to English-speaking foreign residents in Spain by explaining "How to ... " do certain things. "The Crazy Guy" has lived in Spain full time since 2008. A fluent Spanish-speaker he reckons he knows his way round the bureaucracy, the indifference and sometimes downright rudeness of "funcionarios".

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 @ 4:42 PM

In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis currently raging through Spain, Europe and the world, The Crazy Guy recommends the following 13 money-saving tips. Maybe he's not so crazy after all?




Air conditioning

Avoid using it. There are other ways to keep your house cool in the summer. Click here to find out how.

Air conditioning in your car increases fuel consumption. Open your window instead.


Airport water

Once through baggage control, most outlets at Málaga Airport charge 2.40€ for half-a-litre. At the newsagents FOYER you can get two bottles for 2.90€. All rather expensive.

TIP 1: After you have gone through passport control you only need to pay 1€. The dispensing machines are clearly marked.

After you have gone through passport control you only need to pay 1€. The dispensing machines are clearly marked.

TIP 2: If you take an empty plastic bottle through the baggage control (permitted) you can fill up for free.


TIP: Shop around for the best deal. You should NOT be paying maintenance charges. Check this article here

After carrying out this research I switched to CaixaBank where the criteria for free banking are easier to meet. In fact, we both switched from Unicaja Banco, who had started charging, to CaixaBank and are each saving 240€ per year.



Car use

TIP 1: Use public transport instead.

TIP 2: For airport runs consider parking at the airport, which saves two legs over somebody taking you by car.



TIP 1: Shop around for a better deal, We just switched to IBERDROLA where we are guaranteed 14% saving on the bills from our previous supplier.

TIP 2: Use the cheapest tariff, typically from 00.00 to 08.00, for certain devices, eg washing machine and tumble drier, dishwasher, ironing, pool pump and watering system.

TIP 3: Install solar panels – there is currently still a 40% discount available, but hurry!

TIP 4: Install LED bulbs.

TIP 5: Don’t leave devices like TVs, computers, charging cables, etc on standby.

TIP 6: If you have electric heating, turn it down or off and put on warmer clothes.




TIP: Cancel your logs order. Scavenge wood from the tip, eg pallets, and saw or chop it up. Sure, it burns quickly, but at least it’s free.



TIP 1: If you can fly midweek and/or at unsocial hours, you can save a fortune.

TIP 2: Travel light, if possible with just the small carry-on bag (free). It’s surprising what you can fit into a small mochila.

TIP 3: Avoid buying food and drink on the plane. Take your own food from home or buy a meal deal at the airport (eg WH Smith). Buy 1€ water at the airport (see above) or fill up an empty bottle free-of-charge.



TIP 1: Shop around for the best price in your area. Avoid the big chains like BP, Cepsa, Esso, Galp, Repsol and Shell. AGLA (Asociacion de Gasolineras Libres de Andalucía) are often the cheapest.

TIP 2: Consider going by public transport, eg bus or train. We recently went to Sevilla by bus and it only cost us about 26€ return for both of us (with a tarjeta sesentycinco, a discount card for over 65s). Way cheaper than fuel and parking charges.



TIP 1: Go to Vicky’s, C/ Pozo, 6, 29400 Ronda (Malaga). After 6.00 pm every evening gents can get a free haircut. Your barnet will be cut by a trainee, but to save at least 10€, why not?

TIP 2: Let your hair grow, like I am.






TIP: Carry out your research on, say, then contact the hotel of your choice direct for an even better deal. We’ve done it twice recently in Chiclana and Sevilla and saved money.



TIP: Shop around at renewal time. We recently saved a load on our monthly private healthcare insurance premium by switching from DKV to Sanitas.

Our current car insurer still offers us the cheapest premium, so we stayed put. CASER via Abbeygate.



TIP 1: Shop at ALDI, Día, LIDL and Supeco instead of at Al Campo, Carrefour, Hipercor and Mercadona.

TIP 2: Buy marcas blancas (own-brand goods).

TIP 3: Shop late in the day – perishable goods are often marked down in price.





TIP 1: Shower instead of having a bath.

TIP 2: Don’t leave the tap running , eg when cleaning your teeth.


With energy, food and transport costs soaring, not to mention services like banking and insurance, it pays to make savings where one can.

Good luck!


©  The Crazy Guy

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