Well, I have been MIA from my blog lately. Had a little break. I didn’t go anywhere, but just wanted a little break from spending so much time online, you know what I mean?
I spent a fair bit of time lately getting my house, therefore my life, under control. The difference in just great. I did the usual clean out of the linen press, donated some things and threw out other things, just generally purged the linen closet. I was just amazed at how much room was actually in there, and let me tell you it is quite small. It is very easy to clean out and purge things out of your life, you just always have to remember NOT to fill it back up again. You are not making room for more shit in your life. While I was cleaning out the linen press I was thinking, thinking, thinking…all about how much money we waste in our lives. I have said for years that every time I leave the house it costs me $100, which is almost true. Go up to the shop for one thing, come back with a whole lotta stuff you really only wanted because the store set it up that way. The first port of call for saving money in our house was electricity, unfortunately you do have to spend money to save money, so we bought an energy reader thingy. It tells you to the cent how much your electricity is costing you. I had suspected, for a while now, that our old fridge and freezer were the main culprits in our house, so that’s where we started…sad face…I was right…sooo much waste…such old technology, we actually calculated that they were costing around $1200 a year to run !!
So…need…to…buy…a…new…fridge/freezer…wa wa waa. We shopped around (which we would never do before) got the best deal online, so we went to the local retail store and negotiated, yes I negotiated and scored $50 less than the online price (which also happened to be more than $1500 off the recommended retail price). So it can be done, I used to be the one that saw the price on the price card and go “here’s my money, I’m buying it!”. Well not anymore dude. That’s my money and we work damn hard for it too. So we picked up the fridge/freezer and laughed a little watching my husband and my son and my sons mate trying to get it up 13 steps and into the house…a big fridge it certainly is!
Well I thought I was on a roll, in the saving money dept. And I had a giant fridge/freezer to fill, because most of the food in the old fridge was only mildly coolish, I am actually surprised we are all still alive, because the difference in temp between the old one and the new one is astonishing. Anyway, back to filling the fridge. Went to the shops, kids were at school and Uni, so I could take my time, and did the shopping. I created 2 rules for that shopping trip:
- Don’t buy unless I really need it
- Don’t buy unless it is reduced and I need it, or it is essential
Finished shopping and looked at the docket, due to my expert shopping, I saved $101. I also got a years worth of laundry detergent (on special at $9 off) a months worth of cat food ($30 cents off) and a few other things I can’t remember.
Ok now that sounds great doesn’t it…yep, until you have to put all the shit away in your teeny tiny pantry 😦 Okay so next thing to do was to clean out the pantry and organise everything so I can see everything so I know what I have and don’t have. I had a hell of a lot of miss matched containers and half empty packets. So, going from shelf to shelf, I took everything out and placed it on the bench, and wondered what to do with it all. I couldn’t just reorganise it and shove it back in, because clearly that isn’t working for me. So, off to spend more money to save money. (This takes place over 3 days, I am not a miracle worker you know). I did the rest of the groceries sticking to the two rules mostly (had to be realistic) and also bought 2 trays of mason jars (24). I just gotta say I love mason jars, and it is not really a thing in Australia, but let me tell you it should be, pretty and functional too. So anyway, groceries are done, so many bargains, oh so many. And now for the crappy part…organising it all. Crap. What have I started. So I took my time, thought about placement of items and got stuck into it.
I have 50% more items in the pantry and have 25% more free space than before and have eaten 50% more healthy food, just because I am organised.
Okay, realistically, I know that everyone can’t just go out and buy a new fridge just cause the old one is crap, I really know that. The fridge was at least 25 years old and the freezer was 16 years old, so let me tell you I have put up with crap. The real point of this article (can I call it an article?) is this: know where your money is going, you earned your money, keep a hold of as much as you can. Think about how much it cost you to run the dryer, when you could just hang it out, think about how much it costs to run the washing machine again, because you forgot about the clothes for the third time, it all adds up.
I have started buying 3lt of milk on a Friday from Woolies, 3lt of milk is $3, because when we ran out over the weekend (which happened 4 weeks in a row, yeah we are real quick to act in our family) we would buy the milk from the convenience store which is conveniently (as the name would suggest) place 200 metres from our house. When buying the milk from the corner store, it would cost $6 and then there is a $10 minimum at that store as well, so already we spend $7 more than we should and of course the extra items wouldn’t always come out at $10 so we spent up to $20 to get milk and all the other stuff we don’t need. Over 4 weeks that was between $60 and $80, and that is crap. Let’s look at that again my 3 lt milk just cost $60 when I should have spent $12…what an idiot.
So sit back and have a bit of a think about your money…YOUR MONEY…IT’S YOUR MONEY.
Some quick tips:
- Turn off the lights when no one is in the room (yeah obvious and easy)
- Make lunches
- Take water with you when you leave to go shopping
- Get a banking app on your phone and check it every day, from home, not while you are out
- Get the local supermarkets app on your phone, check for super specials every Wednesday
- Go over your junk mail and know your prices
- Treat your pantry like an organised mini supermarket, including checking used by dates
- Any coins go in a jar, or in our case, a vase. It can add up over the year
- If you see a significant super special try to get a years worth
- Keep an eye on the local paper for free activities for adults and children alike
- Try and do all your shopping in one day and try to keep away from the shops
- Buy magazines from second-hand book shops. Can start at 10 cents for a recent magazine
- When cooking try to turn off the cooker just before the items are cook, it will continue to cook and you won’t waste your gas or electricity
- Know your finances, do not leave it to one partner to do
- Shop around and negotiate
- If you have bought something from a supermarket and it is not satisfactory take it back. I bought a kilo of bacon from Woolies and it had no taste, so instead of throwing it away I took it back, I got a refund and a replacement pack. How’s that? 🙂
- Try and understand that not everyone you know needs a Birthday present every year
- Have a special dinner at home
- Make extra for dinner and have for lunch, saves money and time
- Know when the sales are on and wait for them
- Write lists, grocery lists, things to do lists, people to call lists, bills to pay lists ect
- Always try to eat at home or eat home made…kinda like some other points but it is important
- Remember cheaper is not always better
- Do maintenance checks on cars, appliances etc
- Before you need to buy things post a request for the item on your Facebook page, maybe a friend would like to get rid of it, you never know until you ask
- Buy yourself a pressure cooker, I prefer these over a slow cooker any day, fast means less electricity (well in my mind it does)
- Follow rules, sound weird doesn’t it…don’t speed, don’t park in the wrong place, don’t pay bill late, these all cost money, and sometimes they cost a lot of money…follow the damn rules!
So if you want to add to the list or have anything else to say, feel free to comment or like or share 🙂
Thanks for staying until the end,
Ruby C xx