A Community for Brides Planning their Wedding in Australia

 
KateM
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Re: Saving money around the house

Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:52 pm

Make your own laundry powder.

Don't buy any grocery item you can make from base ingredients yourself.

Call around your utility suppliers and ask for better rates, or switch where necessary.

Meal plan, cook ahead and freeze to avoid wastage.
 
bronzestar
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Re: Saving money around the house

Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:53 pm

I wouldn't say that I'm fixated by saving money, but I am very aware of what money comes into the house and where it goes out again- I watch our money like a hawk.

I swear it costs about a quarter as much when I do the laundry as when DH does it. I use just washing powder, he uses washing powder, napisan-type-stuff (cos it says on the pack to add a lid to every wash :roll: ) and then fabric softener. Oh well.

I don't go to the greengrocer or supermarket for fruit and vegies. I am lucky enough to have a farmers market nearby fortnightly and go there instead. That way I am supporting my local farmers, reducing my food miles and eating yummy fresh produce. And cos it's so fresh it lasts forever- I have a month old capsicum in my fridge that looks better than some of the specimens from my local supermarket. It's sometimes more expensive than supermarkets but I think I get that back in not throwing stuff out after a couple of days.

My local butcher always has stuff like mince and chicken boob cheaper if you buy 2 kilos- so I buy the larger amount and split it with my IL's. And it's still heaps than the supermakets, premium minced beef at $6 a kilo or chicken boob at $7 a kilo.

Seriously, these little things do pay off over a longer period of time.

:lol: I save power by not vacuuming the house :lol: Or maybe I just hate doing it :lol:
 
gdemon
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:00 pm

We buy meat and rice in bulk. We divide the meat into individual portions and freeze in ziplock bags (which we wash and reuse). Keeping spare meat in the freezer also cuts down on takeaways as there's always ingredients for cooking on hand.

We cook enough every night to have leftovers for lunch the next day - we don't buy lunch at work unless it's a special treat like lunch with friends. We also don't get coffee at work and keep a stash of cereal, crackers, tinned tuna, nuts, granola bars etc at work. Having the food handy means I don't spend money at the cafe for breakfast or snacks. (But I'm also disciplined about not snacking at work unless I have missed a meal!) Saves us both at least $100+ every week.

I often dilute things like orange juice, handsoap and mouthwash with half water. Stretches it out longer with little discernable change in quality as the original is very concentrated anyway.

I shower and wash my hair every second day instead of daily (unless I'm particularly grubby). I think this saves me $10+ a month in shampoo/conditioner as I have very long hair, aside from the heating bill/water. This started out as a skin condition that was aggravated by water, but after reading up on it and personal experience I find it's better for my hair and skin not to be stripped of natural oils and moisture every day by hot water and harsh soaps. Mind you, this is not for everyone - DH definitely needs his daily shower! There are also people who go completely soap-free but I don't think I bring myself to do that.

Please keep the thread going ladies! I'd like more tips for saving money too. :)
 
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L.I.W
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:12 pm

My biggest tip is to plan my weeks meals in advance and only buy what we need on the list.

I also buy things that I actually use in bulk from websites such as GroceryRun.

If you see something you use often (e.g. toothpaste/deoderant/toilet paper etc) on a really good sale I buy a lot of them and store them in the garage. I very rarely run out of those things now and it saves heaps when you don't have to buy them at the inflated prices.

Buy generic flour/sugar/milk and other staples. There is no difference in quality and taste.

Buy cheese in 1 kg blocks as it last for ages if properly wrapped and you can literally spend half as much buying it in 1 kg lots.

Another website I am on has a budget meal plan area - perhaps we could add one of those?
 
KateM
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:50 pm

rubywoo wrote:
our fridge freezes everything, so hopefully it will prolong the life of fresh foods.


You can't just turn the fridge up?
 
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nickncarolyn1
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:19 pm

I only go grocery shopping once a month... or even less. I try to make things last - I freeze any left overs and have them for lunches at work or nights when FH is working late. I try to cook my own biscuits etc for smoko & after dinner snacks - FH likes to have a coffee and a couple of biccis an hour or so after dinner. We own a feedlot so get our own beef (we get a whole beast done and split it between us & FH's family, bag into portions & freeze) which really cuts down costs, but even if we didn't we would probably still by a beast and split it between us & FH's family - it would still work out a lot cheaper. We have sheep & pigs too so can do the same for lamb & pork - but we don't have that as often. I still buy chicken breats (we grow meat chickens sometimes but use them for roast chicken - too hard to fillet a chicken ourselves!!) & bacon, but when I do I buy it in bulk, separate it into portions and freeze it.We grow a few of our fruits & veg, so I really only buy potatoes, lettuce (when we don't have any growing), tomatoe & onion.

I get paid monthly, so I work out a budget - take into account anything I have coming up for that month, then give myself 'spending' money (money that isn't used for bills, groceries, fuel or savings). I keep my 'spendings' in a separate account then each week I put a percentage of that into my keycard account and that is what I'm allowed to spend for the week. Sometimes it doesn't work and I splurge (then hack into my savings), but I try to make it work. I also have accounts for all my annual bills and every month I put money into them so when the bill comes I have the money ready & waiting.

I avoid going to town - I live and work out of town so I try not to go to town unless I absolutely have to because I know when I do I will buy lots of bits and pieces that I think I need - but if I don't go to town and don't get them I can do without. It also saves on fuel. Online shopping is a bugger though! Although alot of the time I look at stuff online and put things in my 'cart' then before I process the payment I think - do I really need this - can I go without it? And usually I just close out of it and don't buy it.

I shower daily...but only because FH makes me! I'm sure he'd shower 6 times a day if he could!!! :lol:

I only wash my hair a couple of times a week....but thats just cause I'm lazy! And my hair doesn't need washing that often! It doesn't get too oily/dirty until about day 5.... but I usually wash it around day 3. FH washes his most days.... but he's outside working with cattle most of the time - so he has to, but I swear he uses a litre of shampoo & conditioner each time!! He's got really thick, curly, afro like hair and is convinced he needs to use that much & I can't tell him otherwise!! Each bottle is about $12, so we'd save heaps if he cut down on that, but I've been pestering for 4 years now and no difference, so I think I've lost that battle!!
 
gdemon
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:47 pm

Oh, erh couple more tips:

Eat less meat. We used to eat about 500g of meat in one meal for both of us, over time I've halved that to 250g for one meal most days. It's healthier for DH (he tends to forget he can't eat like he's 18 ) and at an average of $10 per kg of meat, that saves around $30 per week (though part of the savings go toward buying more veg). Instead of steak or a chop, we do curries, stirfries or stews - with the meat diced up in small pieces and mixed in with veg you really don't notice that you aren't eating as much.

Pay for car rego and insurance (also home/health insurance) by the year instead of monthly or quarterly. That's saved us a few hundred this year and psychologically you don't feel like you're constantly beset by bills.

Also as nickncarolyn said - it's really really important to budget how much you need for basic living expenses each fortnight/month. And once you get your pay STRAIGHTAWAY put the 'essential expenses' money, 'pocket money', and 'savings' into different accounts with different keycards! Really - if the money isn't there in in the 'pocket money' account you just won't be able to spend it (but be careful not to over-draw your account). It makes such a huge difference psychologically, and also you can't accidentally spend the money and forget to leave enough for the bills. DH on occasion doesn't transfer his paycheck till a week later, and by that time he'll have found he's spent what should be saved!

Thanks for the thread, Rubywoo. It's really renewed my determination to budget and be more careful of money. We are pretty careful and good savers as it is, but now that our wedding is over we don't seem to feel such an urgent need to save and have ended up splurging a few times.
 
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L.I.W
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:53 pm

I am also a firm beleiver in buying less clothes and wearing them more often (ala Gok Wang). Seriously, its an initial investment that costs more but the real cost of an item is its price divided by wears.

I own three lovely country road cardigans that were $80.00 each (they were 20% off) but I wear them at least once a week each and the quality is fabulous. Compared to two Zara cardigans that I got for $30.00 each but hardley wear because they just don't look as good in the long run the CR merino knits were far cheaper.

I have done a similar thing with a number of wrap dresses from Review (between $80.00 if on sale to $180.00 if full priced) but I get heaps of wear out of them, this is compared to a target dress that was only $20.00, but I only wore it once!

Same for bras, knickers, jeans, tops etc. Construct yourself a capsule wardrobe made up of quality pieces that you can wear season after season and you will save in the long run. Stick with classic pieces and avoid the latest fashions and you will be chic and will save money in the long term :)
 
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nickncarolyn1
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:08 pm

L.I.W wrote:
I am also a firm beleiver in buying less clothes and wearing them more often (ala Gok Wang). Seriously, its an initial investment that costs more but the real cost of an item is its price divided by wears.

I own three lovely country road cardigans that were $80.00 each (they were 20% off) but I wear them at least once a week each and the quality is fabulous. Compared to two Zara cardigans that I got for $30.00 each but hardley wear because they just don't look as good in the long run the CR merino knits were far cheaper.

I have done a similar thing with a number of wrap dresses from Review (between $80.00 if on sale to $180.00 if full priced) but I get heaps of wear out of them, this is compared to a target dress that was only $20.00, but I only wore it once!

Same for bras, knickers, jeans, tops etc. Construct yourself a capsule wardrobe made up of quality pieces that you can wear season after season and you will save in the long run. Stick with classic pieces and avoid the latest fashions and you will be chic and will save money in the long term :)


My head understands this....but wont do it!! I am shocking with clothes! I will only pay a small amount for everyday clothes like a shirt or cardi or shorts etc (because I don't think they should cost so much!) that I am most likely to wear all the time, but I will spend $200 on a dress for the races or a wedding that I will only wear a couple times! I really need to sort this out!!
 
gdemon
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:56 pm

rubywoo wrote:
This is seriously the best thing I think anyone can ever do. On payday my money is split into separate accounts for annual expenses, fortnightly expenses (inc electricity, tv, internet, groceries, fuel, pet food), savings accounts, and debt repayments (a huge chunk atm). What I’m left with (usually only $100 or $200) is mine to spend… but I’ve been throwing all of that straight onto my debt too. FH always gets a shock when he sees my bank balance because it’s always so low, but I always have money sitting aside for bills and other expenses, whereas he doesn’t.

gdemon wrote:
Pay for car rego and insurance (also home/health insurance) by the year instead of monthly or quarterly. That's saved us a few hundred this year and psychologically you don't feel like you're constantly beset by bills.


You can pay car rego monthly?!! I don't think that's an option in Victoria. It sucks because I have two car regos and two car insurances to pay for (I have my daily driver and my classic car), but the appreciation of the classic car covers the rego and insurance costs.


No, car rego's only quarterly, 6 months or 12 months. DH used to pay rego quarterly and insurance monthly, I calculated that all together that's nearly $400 more per year for our two cars!!!! I have finally forced him to pay it all annually instead!

I find that keeping a low balance in my everyday account helps me to spend less!
 
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Re: Saving money around the house

Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:13 pm

We share one car (as no need to run and pay for 2 cars that sit at a train station 5 days a week while we're at work all day) and schedule use of it around each other for when we have activities on. We also buy only what we are going to eat - I used to throw out loads, but now we buy a lot less and occasionally we go a week without shopping (other than bread and milk) to use up pantry contents. I buy my shampoo, conditioners and shower gels as to what's on special as I don't find much difference between all the basic supermarket beauty stuff and I colour my own hair (tho this is something I'm used to as my Mum was a hairdresser) so when I go to hairdresser it's just cut only. I also regularly swap clothes with my friends when we grow out of or get tired of our stuff, so we all get free clothes a lot that bulks up my wardrobe and I don't have to buy many clothes.
 
millie
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Re: Saving money around the house

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Hubby and I are terrible at this! I try to to only put the heater on to 20 when I'm feeling cold and turn off lights, rtc. But hubby thinks life's too short to think too much about little things like that and I think life's too short to fight about it!!
 
bronzestar
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Re: Saving money around the house

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:06 pm

L.I.W wrote:
I am also a firm beleiver in buying less clothes and wearing them more often (ala Gok Wang). Seriously, its an initial investment that costs more but the real cost of an item is its price divided by wears.

Construct yourself a capsule wardrobe made up of quality pieces that you can wear season after season and you will save in the long run. Stick with classic pieces and avoid the latest fashions and you will be chic and will save money in the long term :)


I'm really bad at this. I bought a couple of cheaper cardi's and after a few washes they look horrid- I'd get a lint/pilling brush but I'm worried there won't be anything left 8O I will try to remember quality over quantity next time, but that's going to be an adjustment and a half.

I thought of another thing- I'd love chickens in the backyard. Fresh eggs anyone? We live in suburbia and don't think the neighbours would appreciate chicken noise and smell, but if we had a bigger yard I'd love it.

When we bought our place it didn't take us long to realise that we would be spending a fortune on heaters/air conditioning because of where the sun hits the house. Invested in roller shutters and although I don't have anything to compare it to- I'm sure we are saving money in the long run by insulating the house this way. I only thought of this one because the shutters in the lounge room didn't get put down last night and I couldn't work out why the room was so cold (the heater was on), so they must make a difference.
 
gdemon
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Re: Saving money around the house

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:36 pm

bronzestar wrote:
When we bought our place it didn't take us long to realise that we would be spending a fortune on heaters/air conditioning because of where the sun hits the house. Invested in roller shutters and although I don't have anything to compare it to- I'm sure we are saving money in the long run by insulating the house this way. I only thought of this one because the shutters in the lounge room didn't get put down last night and I couldn't work out why the room was so cold (the heater was on), so they must make a difference.


Yes, window coverings make a difference to heating costs. I looked up a couple of Vic government reports on recommendations too, windows lose most of your heat unless you insulate it properly. Even something as small as a second layer of thermal-insulated curtains will help a lot - we got a pair for $50 from Aldi and find we haven't needed the flanneletted sheets or electric blanket this winter and mostly use only the low/med setting on our room heater/
 
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Re: Saving money around the house

Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:07 am

How much food do you throw out? Check your fruit and veg drawer in the fridge to see what needs to be used up when you are planning meals. I do lots of stir fries and throw in just about any vegetables we have that need eating. I have discovered that pumpkin and cabbage are especially good for stir fries. KateM's tips about making sauces and things yourself is a good one. You can even make your own chicken stock if you have a chicken carcass that you are going to throw out. When you make it yourself you get the gelatin in your stock as well which I looove :)

In winter especially, why not cook big pots of soup or stew and freeze in small containers for easy work meals? or buy large quantities of meat or fish and keep dinner sized portions in freezer bags so you don't have to keep going to the shop to buy small packs of meat. I think bought lunches, bought coffees and takeaway dinners really add up too. Keep a little coffee plunger at work maybe? some people really like coffee bags as well.

Utilise off peak electricity. Wear thermals around the house (I do!) and get some nice woolly slippers too. Shop around for the best deals on your phone, internet and mobile - this is a highly competitive area and lots of people pay way too much.

I have heard of lots of other tips that I don't do myself but might be good - like collecting soap slivers in a jam jar, filling it with water and using the soapy water as detergent.

Have a little sewing kit and some spare buttons so you can quickly repair clothes instead of being tempted to throw them out.

Phew, I could probably think of a million more but that should be a good start!
 
gdemon
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Re: Saving money around the house

Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:57 pm

rubywoo wrote:

gdemon, do you mean just adding a second layer of rubber backing onto your already-rubber-backed curtains? I've never thought of doing this. Our bedroom is south facing and never gets any sun so it's always horribly cold.


The rubber-backing helps, but the key thing in preventing heat loss through windows is making sure the curtains extend past each side, covering up the window recess entirely - including top (pelmet), sides and bottom. If there is any gap at all between the curtain hem and the edge of the wall, that will allow air between the window and the curtain to cool down and circulate past the curtains into the room, and warm air inside the room gets pulled out to between the window and curtain and cooled down in turn.

This factsheet explains it better than me! http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/resources/documents/Window_protection.pdf

I am really bummed because we had to take down our thermal curtains last weekend before our rental house inspection - we had it sneakily hung up with an array of hooks in front of the thin vertical blinds that came with the house. It has made a RIDICULOUS difference, even with max heat setting for the entire evening our room doesn't warm up past 16 degrees, compared to before, when we would overheat if we left the heating on more than 2 hours.
 
bronzestar
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Re: Saving money around the house

Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:19 pm

DH and I are attempting a paypal free August. That's a big challenge for us, but it will definately help with the budget!
 
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Re: Saving money around the house

Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:07 pm

Definitey buy makeup/haircare from online retailers!

My biggest thing is not buying any fancy fabric softener (so expensive) but all you need to use is add white vinegar into the fabric softener spot. I add it into every wash and it makes the clothes/towels so super soft, but also stops the washing machine from getting stinky.

Probably been said, but buy the homebrand staples where you can. Aldi also have fantastic foods, for such cheap prices!
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