Back to school

you might be wondering why im talking about back to school when my son is 2? Because even littles like colored pencils, glue and textas and these items can be costly later in the year. For example. My haul today would have regularly cost me $43. The price on the shelf was even wrong i realised when i got to the register. In the end i spent just $17! Which is a $26 saving. 

  
I am actually considering going back for more because i am getting into family daycare next year and all of these things will be in high demand im sure. Those rulers were priced at $2 and at the register they came in at 50c. The glue was half price at $1.26 a stick. Scissors were my biggest bargain. Rrp $3.50, price on shelf was $1.50 and at the register they came in at 60c! The textas arw normally $9 and i got them for $4. 

Even if you dont have kids at these prices go and get some for your local charity who can always give them to a kid in need. 

Markdowns

after reading the large family finance facebook page i decided to check at my local woolies to see what time they mark down their meat and produce. The lady i spoke too said there was no particular time for the meat but they generally did the page of produce for $3 deal around 3-4pm depending on how much produce they had to clear. Considering you can get meat for around half price in markdowns it is defonatley worth stalking around to work out their schedule. 

I know from working at woolies many years ago that roast chickens go for just $2 right before closing time. I did the overnight packing shift so always grabbed 2-3 if there were enough to go around. 

The trick with the discount meat i have heard is to ensure you freeze it straight away and use it the same day you defrost. This is because the use by is generally only a day away to be marked down but freezing stops the agong process. Just make sure you label it to say it is imediate use in the freezer so you dont get it mixed up. 

Minimalism

i just read a story about a woman who didnt spend any money for a year and saved $37,000. Im not saying i could do that because i have a family but the idea has intregued me enough to start a mini challenge. Can i go a year without spending money on things i dont NEED? I made a quick list of things i buy that i dont need and how much they are costing me a month:

  1. Coke zero. One bottle a day 4 days a week = $44 a month
  2. Breakfast 4 days a week = $76 a month
  3. Lotto ticket once a week = $24
  4. Extra groceries about = $400 
  5. Movie channel = $20
  6. Excess data on my phone = $50

If i saved just this i would have $614 a month or $7368 a year extra! Then there are the things i buy rueben that he doesnt need, new gadgets and magazines. I think i could save atleast $20,000 this year by not buying things that arent absolutley essential. 

Anyone up for a challenge?? 

Cheese

this is a short story about cheese. Did you know that a bag of grated cheese is $100 per kg. no joke. Its $9.87 for 100g if you look at the label. A block of cheese on the other hand is $9 for 1kg…so this week i will be splurging and buying a handheld electric cheese grator. For less money than 1kg of grated cheese. Its an investment for someone who struggles to grate cheese. Just $40inc postage. 

  

Homemaking

tonight im getting back to basics and doing a little homemaking. Whats up? Laundry liquid. Works out to about $2 for 6months worth! And it smells like my grandmothers laundry mmmm. 

1 cup grated pure soap or soap flakes

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

All available from the supermarket. Melt the soap in 1.5L of water on the stove and add borax and soda. Stir until combined then add to a bucket of 8L of water. Stir and decant into smaller jars. Done! Use 1Tbls per load.  

    
 
Note: i learnt the hard way, dont add the soda to boiling water. Add them all at the start then monitor it closley or it will bubble over and make a huge mess. I may have broken the stove top…

No groceries

im considering doing another no grocery fortnight next week. Why? Well consider what is in your home already. I bet you can find ingredients for at least 14 dinners, breakfasts and lunches. Its not as hard as it sounds. If you make one leftover from each dinner thats lunch the next day sorted. Weetbix or toast for breakfast. 

So really its only dinner you need to think about. Have rice, garlic, egg and soysauce? Why not make fried rice? Have vegies and pasta, make a stirfry. I know i have several tins if spaghetti, baked beans and stew in the cupboard, thats another 5 meals. Left over frozen things, we all have them. Chicken nuggets, sausage rolls, what ever that triangle thing is. I have polenta, potatoes, cream, mayonaise, cheese, ham, puff pastry. There are so many meals i can make. Potato salad, eggy noodles, pasta bake, quensaladas (a wrap smeared with tuna and cream cheese toasted both sides), leftover bolognaise toasted sandwich, pancakes, homemade pizza, dahl….get the idea? 

Sit down for 20mins in your pantry and organise ingredients into meals. Use baskets if that helps. Write them all down. You would be shocked at how many you come up with. My sister and i used to play “what can i make” by pulling out edible things from the pantry and just inventing dinner from them. I heard one woman and her husband were saving for a house and had rice with garlic and beans for lunch every day! Worked out at about 4c a meal lol

Ever got home from the shop and had no where to put the groceries because the ’empty’ cupboard was actually still full of food. 

And you know what, i can save $200 – $300 by not buying groceries. Thats a huge boost to savings  even if you still buy milk (and make your own bread its about 40c a loaf).