I was trying to think of the right name for this type of post. It has the makings of a New Year’s Resolution Post but it also has some interesting ideas on how I am trying to save some money this year. A lot of it is common sense, we all know it but sometimes it is hard to implement and remember on a day to day basis. I don’t really want to make the same sort of new years resolutions that I have made every year because often they aren’t really achievable or you can’t measure them as goals.
It is January 2012.. another year has just begun… whilst I am so good at making promises at the beginning of each year .. New Years Resolutions — loose weight anyone? I am not so good at sticking to them past oh February ish!
This year I have decided to do a few things a little differently. Which means some small changes going on here.
Ask yourself… do you really need it?
Finances – be more accountable. So no spending up… means the Gold Card is having a rest for as long as physically possible. Which is a slight weak point in my life. When you know your card number off by heart — it might mean it is time to stop using it! Stop all that unnecessary spending. Whilst a lot of people don’t actually know what they spend their money on… we do. This year is about curbing unnecessary expenditure so we can spend the $$$ saved on things we really want to spend money on. You know… the credit card in the glass of frozen water trick!
That one is going to be tough for me!
I think I am going to do a separate blog post on this… as I can think of lots of different ways you can spend less !
Getting better at using what we have – okay a confession. I am well stocked up if there is a major disaster here in Auckland – but do we really need that much tinned spaghetti! We are guilty of having cupboards full to the brim of goodies, canned items, freezer items, dried goods, and cereal! Whilst this is great and most of it won’t perish.. it is time to start using up some of the items in our pantry before going out and buying more goodies from the supermarket! This flows through to goal number 1 above. This year we are going to get better at using up stuff we have brought at the supermarket. Don’t worry we will still have a few cans of spaghetti hiding in pantry just in case of an emergency! This might mean getting more resourceful when it comes to dinner making and making do with the things we have rather than going out and buying more! It may also mean that 3 nights in a row we may have chicken… but that isn’t necessary a bad thing!
One of the easiest ways of using up the pantry ingredients and shopping wisely is to menu plan! Often, things fall apart at the last minute is when you end up with Takeaways which once you have eaten.. you didn’t really enjoy anyway. Have a plan, buy what you need for the plan, stick to the plan… hopefully that will mean you don’t buy food unnecessary… I find this particularly good when you are buying fresh ingredients. Often, fresh ingredients only last a few days in the fridge so to avoid limp lettuce then it is a good idea to plan your salads around the first few days after shopping day and make sure you use it all up ! I know we are so guilty of throwing away left over bits of fresh ingredients that just didn’t get used in time.
One thing I have found amazing for keeping your veges fresher for longer is the Tupperware Fridge smarts. Honestly, mushrooms keep for over a week without going slimy and it prolongs the life of your fruit and vegetables using their vent system and having little ridges on the bottom so that the vegetables don’t sit in any liquid causing them to rot. I know they seem costly to buy but honestly if you use them they will save you money in the long run.
Making sure you have those meals that can be made from pantry staples on hand and at the ready for those nights when you go um… forgot to take out that Roast Chicken! (runs off to get the chicken out for tomorrow!!) Even if you just end up having spaghetti on toast! Or toasted sandwiches … that’s okay too. It doesn’t always have to be a three course meal.
Go to the supermarket less often. How many times do you go to the supermarket to get two items and come out with $100 of groceries! Oops! Tonight we went to the supermarket to get Wraps and Icecream. But did we… no we got Bread, Formula, Cereal, Microwave Popcorn, Potato Sticks, and two types of ice-cream. It is so easy to get carried away once you are there… so don’t go there unless you have too! I did really need ice-cream! and wraps… and I don’t plan on going back for the rest of the week at least.
Think about where you shop… can you go to your local butcher, the green grocer and avoid the big supermarket chains? Is online shopping a cheaper and better option for your grocery staples so that you aren’t encouraged to shop the aisles?
OR better still grow your own… start your own vege plot or container plot of even just lettuce and tomatoes, perhaps strawberries in the summer. Even if it is just that… they taste so much better when they are fresh from the garden and it means you should have less wastage because you only pick what you need right then.
Right got a bit carried away but time to post the blog post! Hmmm, I’m sure there is way more that can be added in here.. feel free to add your own ideas for saving money on food/eating better for less etc etc. in the comments section.
Off to unload the shopping from the car (yes I know.. I need to put the credit card back in the freezer!) Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Til next time