Five ways to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget

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Who wants to be a millionaire? We all do, but most of us have to watch our pennies and save up for the finer things.

Lacroix, Gucci, Dior, Armani. Tetsuya's, Quay, Vue de Monde. Bentley, Ferrari, Rolls Royce.

Luxury brands like these don't feature on the daily to do list of most people. However, while Australia is one of the most expensive countries to live in the world i, we've got some tips on how to live the life of Reilly without going bankrupt.

1 Food

Meal planning and shopping in season are among the tips for tight Aussie grocery budgets at Frugal and Thriving. It's smart to shop with the seasons, so find the freshest produce at the Australian Farmers' Markets Association site. Add the 'wow!' factor to your cheaper meat cuts by learning impressive cooking techniques to bring out the best flavours: sous vide, brining, and grinding your own gourmet sausage meat are all on the table. Magical cranberry-walnut bread and pork meatballs with kale and cashews are among the inspiring recipes at the Brokeass Gourmet site.

Smart cooking techniques can add the wow factor.

2 Travel

Sample the high life of a Hollywood star by renting their home by the night or month. Money-savvy A-listers, and dedicated sustainability supporters who want to make the most of their resources, include Leonardo Dicaprio, Daniel Radcliffe, Brooke Shields, Lenny Kravitz and Salma Hayek. Indulge in more luxury than you can usually afford by booking digs through airbnb, Stayz, or Bookabach in New Zealand. Get there by following the earlybird airfare sales at Traveller and, when you're in the US, with JetBlue. Do some digging and discover the smart timing tricks for the best deal. Be seen around town driving a better class of car via Hotwire (in the US).

3 Fashion

From Bendon underwear to Napoleon Perdis make-up to complete your look, head to Missy Confidential for Australia's hottest retail, online and warehouse sales. Drape yourself in designer duds from famous discount sites such as ASOS, Net-A-Porter, SaksFifthAvenue and The Outnet. Make sure you're bang on trend by viewing the world's top fashion shows at Fashion Week portal.

Find incredible designer gowns online.

4 Freebies

Some capitals have a shuttle bus to help visitors take in the main sites, such as the 555 in Sydney (free) and a free bus loop service in Brisbane. Pack a picnic and be transported to the delights of Australia's Botanical Gardens. Sunny beach walks, national art galleries and museums and relaxing in glorious parks and peruse colourful markets. Sign up for museum emails so you know when Open Days are held, where you can gain free access one day of the year to special collections.

5 Experiences

'We are NOT amused' will never pass your lips when you sign up to LastTix for great entertainment deals for dazzling theatre and musicals. Check Groupon and LivingSocial for great escapes and rejuvenating pampering treatments.

When you can't make it to Buckingham Palace for high tea, scoff some scones at the Tea Room at QVB, or, when in Brisbane, try the crème Chantilly and macaroons at Bacchus.

Sporty types should grab a friend who's a gearhead in your intended area of sport and ask them for tips on where to buy online. Skiers and boarders - book early for great deals on season passes.

Experience fine wine at cellar doors all over the country. Lesser known vineyards and regions may be the ticket to great tastings and by-the-bottle bargains.

i Deutsche Bank. 2015, The Random Walk: Mapping the world’s prices 2015, 14 April, viewed 14 December 2015,