hawaii expensive

Can people really can move to Hawaii and live here? Is is cost-effective? Well it can be. As a matter of fact, people do it all the time.  In 2014 there were 976,372 people living on Oahu alone that did it every day.  And the population continues to grow…

It is times like these that make me think of dream killers.  Don’t let anyone kill your dream of living in Hawaii.  Especially, don’t do it to yourself.  There are ways to save money living in Hawaii and money hawaii

10 Tips To Save Money Living in Hawaii 

  1. Look for online deals on clothing, electronics

You may need to give a little more forethought about shopping.  There are retail stores like Walmart and Target in Hawaii, but in my experience, they are more expensive than their mainland stores. A good thing to do is buy when you can find the best online deals and to pay attention to shipping and handling costs.

  1. Go Solar: Initial investment but long run savings

If you’re looking to rent, buy or build a house in Hawaii then solar is the way to go.  There’s plenty of sunshine here and the initial investment in having it installed will save you money in the long run.  ALWAYS look for solar energy houses when you’re looking to rent.  It will bring the cost down on utilities.   Plus, it’s a tax credit to have a solar kit operating on your home.

  1. Grow vegetables

You can grow your own vegetables and herbs to save money over the long haul. I grow papaya, strawberries, basil, cilantro, dill, pineapple, and kale in backyard.  My family likes those things and it does save money.  Trust me.  I just wish I had a mango tree!

  1. Join a Coupon Site and Grab Deals

Hawaii is a state that is built around tourism.  Hundreds of businesses clamor for a piece of that tourism market.  They fight and lower taxes.  Find a coupon site like Groupon and take advantage of any deals that interest you.

  1. Open Windows: Let the Trade Winds Blow

I enter a lot of homes that have the air conditioner running non-stop.  The truth of the matter is that as beautiful and sunny as the weather in Hawaii is, it is in no way unbearable when the trade winds are blowing.  Save money on the electric bill by opening windows and letting the trades keep the house cool and fresh.  And remember, a ceiling fan is always less money to operate than central air or those big, box, AC units.

  1. Visit Flea Markets and Garage Sales

Nice weather all the time make Hawaii a perfect place to hold yard sales/garage sales and have large flea markets.  Save money by buying what you’re household needs at these types of places and go home with great items at low prices.

  1. Farmer’s Markets (support local and get fresher)

One of the biggest things to the Hawaiian economy is a mantra of “supporting local” and I’m all for it.  I love the islands and want to see them flourish. By purchasing produce and some meats at farmer’s markets you save money and support local.

  1. Public Transit: Gas is enormous, maintenance is expensive

There is a rail project coming through and that will be awesome and cut down traffic.  Taking public transportation will save you money on gas and patience.  Use it.

  1. Outdoor Activities

Most beaches, snorkel spots and hikes are free.  Get in shape by getting out and walking, running, biking, hiking, and snorkeling.  You’ll save money on gym fees and you’ll find of peace of mind as you connect with the land and take advantage of the Hawaiian climate.

10.  Find Mom and Pops instead of tourist traps

I can’t stress this enough.  Chain restaurants are expensive in Hawaii because of shipping and franchise fees.  Tourist traps are expensive because, well…they’re traps.  Hawaii has so many good stores and restaurants that are not tourist traps and have some services and food.


The Go Oahu Card

Yes, the Go Oahu Card can save you up to 55% off Oahu attractions.

Go Oahu Card save moneyWhen you visit the island and if you’re going be vacationing in and around Honolulu and Waikiki. The card even has a lot of ways to save money when NOT in the immediate vicinity of the city and Waikiki. That being said, if you’re whole aim in going to Hawaii is to read a book and chill at the beach (and repeat) then the Go Oahu Card may not be for you. Take a look at the image below:


Use The Go Oahu Card can Save You Money in Hawaii:

As an adult (13 years and older) you can buy a 3-day, Go Oahu Card for 165.74 (at the sale price…which is never ending) and a child will cost you $140.24. Those 3 days do not need to be consecutive but MUST be used within a two week period and presented to the participating attraction between 9 am and 5:30 pm. Not a bad deal.  If you’re on Oahu for 7 to 10 days then you can use the card for any three days within that time frame.

That means if you’re going to be hitting the attractions one day and then at the beach the next and then back on the sight-seeing train the next (and so on) then you have yourself a nice little money savings card, right? Maybe. It really matters how active you are.  If you use the card to hit one attraction one day and then you stop, well…that’s your day of the card.  You really have to hustling a little bit to save money. Below is a screen shot from actual use of the Go Oahu Card and the savings incurred from Young and Thrifty: (With a 5 day Go Oahu Card)

As you can see, the Go Oahu Card saved the user $190 over that 5 days! ($375 in savings minus the $185 for the Go Oahu Card equals $190). Awesome, right?!  Sure.  If you’re going to be that active…and that’s a busy 5 days, in my opinion. Now, imagine that for a couple.  $750 in savings minus the 2, 5-day Go Oahu Cards for $370 equaling a TOTAL savings of  $380. Not bad at all for a young, active couple.


When Do I NOT Recommend the Go Oahu Card:

Who want to spend most of the time on the beach and less time sight-seeing. For couples that want to sight-see but do not have an itinerary in mind for the participating Go Oahu Card attractions and deals. (Over 30 Oahu Attractions, Tours, Museums, Activities & Sights for 1 Low Price are included with the Go Oahu Card!) For families with young children.  While the savings are there, you just can’t be sure if you can drag the kids to enough places to get your money’s worth. Ditto the above for people who just aren’t capable of hitting a lot of attractions in a short amount of time. For more information check out Go Select Oahu: Your Personalized Pass to Hawaii!