German money-saving tips

Germans have a reputation as thrifty people who would rather put their money under their mattress than make risky investments. Our tips can help you save some money – and will make you feel right at home in Germany!

11 German money-saving tips for you

It’s good for the environment, your health and your wallet: discover your neighbourhood, enjoy nature or get to work on Germany’s growing network of bike paths.

Since May 2023, the Deutschland-Ticket offers access to all German regional public transport across states and tariff zones. For 49 euros a month, you can travel from Hamburg to Munich and everywhere in between.

Many cities and towns in Germany have weekly markets. Try buying your groceries in the afternoon when vendors often reduce their prices significantly.

You need to hang up some pictures in your new flat? Why not use the opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbours! If you are too shy in person, you can try platforms like Alternatively, many libraries now include “Libraries of Things” where you can borrow almost anything – from gardening equipment to musical instruments.

If you want to save money and reduce food waste, food-sharing platforms and apps are your friend. Check out which one is the best for you.

Apart from popular online portals for buying second-hand clothes, many German cities and towns have a good selection of second-hand shops or even “Umsonstläden” (give-away shops). If you want to buy new, try to do so out of season when many items are on sale.

Flea markets are a great way to spend a lazy Sunday, meet new people and hunt for unique and low-budget treasures.

The EU plans to introduce a “right to repair” legislation to save resources, money and CO2. While this might still take a while, you can repair many appliances yourself or find a local Repair Café to get some help.

Day trips or spending the day with your family at a public swimming pool can get expensive fast. Luckily, Germany is full of bathing lakes with good water quality and free beaches. Careful, though: if you are not a good swimmer or prefer the presence of lifeguards, you should pay the entrance fee to a public bathing beach.

While most museums and cultural institutions in Germany cost money, many offer free entry on special days throughout the year, and cinemas often have reduced prices on certain weekdays.

We saved the big one for last: with rising energy prices, many people are trying to be as budget-conscious as possible when it comes to heating, water and electricity. Here are some useful tips:

  • Do not overheat your rooms, particularly the bedroom, and don’t open your windows to regulate the room temperature.
  • Ventilate by opening all windows for a few minutes at once instead of leaving windows tilted.
  • Set the right temperature for your kitchen appliances and don’t keep the refrigerator door open for too long.
  • Regularly defrost your freezer.
  • Use the eco programmes on your (fully loaded) dishwasher and washing machine and wash your clothes at the lowest possible temperature.
  • Let your laundry air-dry instead of using a tumble dryer; if you use a dryer, set a high spin cycle on the washing machine to make the laundry less wet.
  • Cook or fry with the lid on and use the residual heat of your electric cooker.
  • Only fill your kettle with as much water as you actually need.
  • Unplug your electrical appliances and chargers or use switchable power strips.
  • Use LED lamps and switch off the lights you don’t need.
  • Use the lowest possible water temperature for washing hands or taking a shower, and do not leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.