How foreigners can save money in Japan

I think that there are many foreigners who feel that living in Japan is expensive. I think that most people who come to Japan to work want to save money by keeping expenses as low as possible. The main living expenses in Japan include food and utilities. Utilities are water, electricity, and gas.

On this page, we'll show you how to save on food and utilities. In addition, we also introduced the types of living expenses other than food expenses and utilities. We have also summarized the ways to save for each living expense, so please refer to it by all means.

Introducing how foreigners living in Japan can save on food expenses!

In order to save on food expenses in Japan, it is recommended to cook for yourself and reduce the cost of eating out. Here are four ways for foreigners living in Japan to save on food expenses.

Cook for yourself and refrain from eating out

The most effective way to save on food expenses is to cook for yourself and refrain from eating out. Eating out is convenient because it saves you the trouble of cooking, but it costs a lot of money. Even if you are not good at cooking, let's start with simple dishes and cook for yourself. If you freeze and store the dishes you make, you can eat them for several days, so you can save time and effort to cook every day, which also leads to saving on food expenses. In addition, even in busy mornings, you can save money on lunch expenses just by packing it in a bento box.

Buy cheap ingredients and side dishes at the supermarket

Buying cheap ingredients at the supermarket is another way to save money on food. The type and price of cheap ingredients differ depending on the supermarket. That's why it's important to check which supermarkets have what ingredients are cheap. However, if you buy a large amount of cheap ingredients, you may end up wasting money. If you are not familiar with cooking, it is a good idea to decide on a menu for several days in advance and purchase only the necessary ingredients.

It is also recommended to buy cheap side dishes at the supermarket. The price of side dishes may decrease depending on the time of day. When the closing time approaches, many supermarkets seem to have discount stickers. If you know the time of day when the discount is available and purchase side dishes cheaply, you can save on food expenses.

Growing vegetables in a home garden

To save on food costs, it is also a good idea to grow vegetables in a home garden. There are many vegetables such as mini tomatoes and basil that can be easily grown in the garden or on the veranda. If you grow it in a home garden instead of buying it at the supermarket, you can save on vegetable bills. Once you get used to home gardening, try growing different types of vegetables and fruits, considering the nutritional balance and color of your crops. Even small savings at first can lead to significant savings in food costs as the variety of vegetables and fruits grown increases.

Carry a bottle with you

Carrying your own bottle around reduces the opportunity to buy drinks at convenience stores and vending machines, saving you money on beverage bills. Some people may end up buying drinks during breaks, either on their way to work or school. If you carry water or juice in your own bottle, you don't have to buy drinks and you can reduce unnecessary expenses.

How can foreigners living in Japan save on utility bills?

With a little ingenuity when using the air conditioner or bath, you can reduce the utility bill. Utilities are water, electricity, and gas. Here are five ways to save on your utility bills.

Use air conditioning and heating efficiently

To save on utility bills, it is important to use the air conditioner efficiently. Both cooling and heating use more power as the difference between the set temperature and the outside temperature is larger. It takes some time for the inside of the house to reach the set temperature. Therefore, if you are going out for a short time, it is better to leave the air conditioner on and save on the electricity bill.

When using air conditioning, set the temperature to a slightly higher temperature and use a circulator or fan. Using a circulator or fan circulates the air, so you can save on your electricity bill while feeling the cold air. On the other hand, when using heating, set the temperature low and close thick curtains. Thick curtains can help prevent cold air from entering through the gaps in the windows and allowing the warm air in the room to escape. Stay comfortable in summer and winter while saving on your air conditioning bills.

Contracting for city gas

If you contract for city gas, you will save on gas bills. This is because city gas and propane gas used in Japanese households are cheaper in price. Propane gas is priced by retailers, so gas costs are higher. Foreigners living in Japan should choose a property where city gas is introduced and save on gas bills.

Devise a way to boil water in the bath

With a little ingenuity when boiling bath water, you can save on water and gas bills. For example, closing a bathtub with a lid increases heat retention and saves on gas bills. However, if you leave it for a while after boiling water, it will cool down, so you will need to burn it down. If you do so, you will incur extra gas bills, so let's get in as soon as the bath water boils. It is also important to boil water that will not overflow even if you enter. To save on water and gas bills, adjust the amount of hot water and store it.

Reuse leftover water from the bath

Reusing leftover water from the bath is another way to save on water bills. The leftover water from the bath can be used for washing, cleaning, watering plants, etc. In particular, since a large amount of water is used when washing, it is possible to save water bills by reusing bath water. In addition, let's use while the hot water is warm as much as possible. This is because warm water is easier to remove dirt from clothes than cold water. After soaking in the hot water of the bath, use it for washing without leaving a long time.

When going out, unplug home appliances

In order to save on electricity bills, unplug your home appliances when you go out. Home appliances that are connected to an electrical outlet consume power while waiting for operation. For example, if you don't unplug your TV, it consumes a small amount of power waiting for instructions from the remote control. If you want to save even a little on your electricity bill, not only switch off your home appliances, but also unplug the electrical outlet to prevent power consumption.

Expenses and savings other than food and utilities

In order to make a living, in addition to food and utilities, rent and daily necessities expenses are required. However, with a little ingenuity, it is possible to save on living expenses in Japan. Here, we will introduce the types of living expenses in Japan and how to save money.


In order to live, transportation expenses are incurred everywhere you go. To save on transportation costs, it's best to walk or bike if it's a short distance. Also, in the case of trains, the fare varies depending on the route used, so it is a good idea to look up the route that can be done with the cheapest price. Plus, when using the bus, you can save on bus fare by simply getting off at the bus stop in front of your destination and walking the rest of the distance.


It depends on the property, but rent accounts for a large proportion of living expenses. Some foreigners living in Japan may be worried about the high rent. To save on rent, there is a way to share a room. If you share a room, you can save money because you can split the rent 50% by the number of people. In addition, looking for a property near the station or avoiding the city center will also lead to saving rent. Properties near stations and in the center of the city are highly convenient, so rents tend to be high. Don't stick too much to a convenient location and try to find a property with a cheap rent.

Communication Costs

Communication charges will be incurred when using a mobile phone. You can save on mobile phone communication costs by using a cheap SIM. Companies that offer cheap SIMs rent and operate from the equipment of major mobile phone companies. Because the cost of equipment is low, the monthly fee of mobile phones is lower than that of major mobile phone companies. So, if you switch to a cheap SIM, you can save on the mobile phone bill you pay every month.

Daily necessities

Daily necessities such as shampoo and detergent are also indispensable expenses for living. To save on daily necessities, buy only the daily necessities that you are likely to run out. If you buy unnecessary daily necessities because they are cheap, you will end up spending money. Compile a list of everyday necessities and buy them when you need them. It is also recommended to keep daily necessities to a minimum and use them again. For example, if you buy baking soda and citric acid, you can clean the bath and washroom, and you can also wash the dishes. Let's save daily necessities expenses by purchasing daily necessities that can be used in multiple situations without thinking about each use by use.


Living expenses in Japan include food and utilities. You can save on food expenses by cooking for yourself and refraining from eating out, or by purchasing cheap side dishes at the supermarket. In addition, you can save on utility bills with a little ingenuity when boiling bath water. In addition to food and utilities, some people may be worried about high rent and transportation costs. It's a good idea to know how to keep each cost down and look for savings that you might be able to put into practice.