These days, I've learnt to live and spend differently; I'm not spending money on lunches, coffee, banana bread, after work drinks at work anymore. Nor do I need to constantly update my wardrobe because let's face it, there's hardly a need to get dressed up at the playground. I've also figured out a few ways to cut down on household expenses which I'll share with you today...
|something new growing in the vegetable patch|
2. Menu planning/ bulk buy groceries. It's usually cheaper to buy groceries in bulk but it requires careful menu planning to ensure there is no wastage. I plan my menu two weeks in advance, make a list and stick to it. I also try to bulk buy meat and items that I use lots of (such as pasta and rice). With the meat, I divide into portions to freeze for later use. Or sometimes, I buy and cook in bulk, then freeze individual portions for reheating later.
3. Clever cooking. There are many clever ways to do this, such as cooking with broccoli florets and stems, or using bones and vegetable scraps to make stock, or using lemon zest for flavoring in cakes and seafood pasta. I also have a few "leftover meal" recipes which allows me to make an entire meals our of whatever is left in the fridge and cupboard (a stray tomato, some mushrooms, a couple of eggs and the odd potato makes an excellent frittata, for example).
4. Cold laundry wash/ line dry. Not only does using cold water saves me money, it is also gentler on clothes, which means they'll last longer (hot water causes fading, wrinkling and shrinkage). I used to rely heavily on a clothes dryer, but now, I line dry all my clothes - it is environmentally friendly and gentler on clothes, there is no static cling and the sun does a great job of disinfecting and whitening clothes and best of all, it's FREE.
5. Solar electricity. Sure, the set up costs are high but with a quarterly electricity bill of $400-$600, installing solar panels was the right way to go for us. That said, it is important to consider your average energy consumption as well as usage pattern. Make sure to do your research to find out which local installers have the best price for you; a company like Australian Solar Quotes can help you with this and their website also contains great resources about solar power.
6. DIY spa. I used to treat myself to monthly facials, manicures and pedicures at a spa near work. Then bub came along and it was just impossible to find the opportunity to do that anymore, so I decided to create the spa experience at home. It was fun, calming and relaxing and saved me a ton of money. I even went one step further and made my own bath salts and foot scrub, which you should absolutely check out!
Do you have any tips to share too?