5 Ways to Save This Autumn

This week marks the beginning of Autumn. I can’t believe we’re up to March already! Where is this year going? I thought I would share a few tips to help save money as the weather cools down. To read my other posts on ways to save click here.

  1. Pop on a jumper. At some point in the upcoming months my husband is going to suggest getting out the heater, because he is cold. I am going to offer that perhaps the reason he is cold is because he’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt and suggest he should try putting on his jeans and a jumper and then seeing how he feels. Once he is rugged up all thoughts of the heater will disappear for another few weeks until it gets cold enough that we may actually need it. I know this is going to happen because it happens every year. Before you turn on the heater, try popping on another layer.
  2. Check your house is airtight. Now is a good time to examine window and door seals to make sure they’re ready for the colder months. When you do finally turn the heater on you don’t want the warm air escaping through any pesky gaps. Also if you don’t have any, think about investing in a few door snakes to help keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
  3. Skip the car and go for a walk. Going outside during Summer in Australia feels like some sort of hellish torture. However as the weather cools down walking when you only need to travel a short distance will help both your budget and your health.
  4. Put down a rug or two. As the weather cools down and the days get shorter I find getting out of bed in the morning gets harder and harder. It’s even worse when you have to face freezing cold floors. Be kind to your tootsies and get yourself a rug now.
  5. Hold a clothing swap. As lovely as it is to buy new clothes each season, sometimes the budget just won’t stretch that far. Why not organise a clothing swap with friends instead? You get new (to you) clothes and can clear out somethings you no longer wear. Win win!

So there you have 5 ways to save this autumn. What are your best tips for saving money as the weather cools down? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Are you following Budget Mums on Facebook? Click here to head over to our Facebook page and have a look.

5 Ways to Save on Groceries

Over the recent holiday period I overspent and over ate, as I think a lot of people tend to do at this time of year. I find one of the simplest ways to get back on track is to look at our spending at the supermarket. So today I am sharing 5 ways to save on groceries that I am working on this month to try and get our budget back on track after the craziness that was Christmas. To see my other posts on ways to save click here.

  1. Stop buying soft drink. Over Christmas I like to keep beverages on hand for guests. I’m not a huge fan of fizzy drink, but I do find if it’s there I will have some. The easiest way to solve this is to not buy it in the first place. Now that the holidays are over I’m back to drinking water which is much healthier for me and saves us money.
  2. Switch to no brand products where you can. My husband can be incredibly fussy about some of the things he will and won’t eat so I know this one can be tricky. I find essentials such as oats, flour and sugar are a great place to start.
  3. Check the unit price. Sometimes I look at the price of something compared to other products around it and think, ‘Wow! That’s a bargain!’. But when I stop and compare the unit prices (which most supermarkets now kindly put on the price tag, you just need to look closely) I realise I’m paying more in the end. Be careful not to fall into this trap.
  4. Only buy what your family will eat. It’s easy to convince myself buying something that’s half price is a great idea because I’m saving money, but if no-one will actually eat it I’m just wasting money.
  5. Go meatless. This is another work in progress in my house. My husband is not a fan of anything vegetarian (that he knows of) but a can of lentils added to bolognese or a curry, is an easy, cheap way to bulk out a meal and make it stretch a little further. If like me you have a picky eater trying adding in small amounts to begin with and increasing it over time.  What my husband doesn’t know won’t kill him. Unless he’s reading this, in which case, I’m sorry baby.

So there are my 5 ways to save on groceries. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

Are you following Budget Mums on Facebook? Click here to head over to our Facebook page and have a look.

5 Ways to Save This Summer

This week has been a scorching start to summer so I thought I would share some ways to save money this season. To read my other posts on how to save money click here.

  1. Make home-made ice blocks. These are much cheaper than store-bought ones and can be healthier because you know exactly what is in them. You can buy moulds from Kmart or Big W quite cheaply. Try blending different fruits or even just freezing fruit juice for a simple cool treat.
  2. Some days turning the air conditioner on is inevitable (if you are lucky enough to have one). To stop your power bill from skyrocketing set it to 24 degrees and make sure to turn it off before you leave the house. Paying to cool an empty house won’t do your budget any favours. This also alludes to tip number 3…
  3. Turn off any fans you aren’t using.  The number of times I’ve gone into an empty room to find someone has left a fan on is enough to drive me insane! Again, paying to cool areas you aren’t using quickly adds up. Try to get your family into the habit of only having the fan on in the room they are currently in, and if you have any ideas on ways to do this, please let me know!
  4. Consider buying a pool pass now. Trips to the pool are a wonderful day out in summer but the cost of them can quickly add up. Check out your local pool to see what kind of deals they offer on seasonal or monthly passes and purchase now to get the most use out of them before the weather cools down again.
  5. Check the seal on your fridge. Your fridge is the most used appliance in the house, running all day every day. When the door seal is damaged cold air escapes making the appliance work harder which in turn costs you more in electricity.

So there you have my 5 ways to save money this Summer. What are your best tips for saving money when the weather gets hot? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below 🙂

5 More Ways to Save

Today I’m sharing another 5 things my family does to save money. If you missed my first 5 Ways to Save post click here to have a look.

  1. Menu Plan – I mentioned in my previous post 5 Ways to Make Cooking Dinner Each Night Easier, that having a menu plan helps make dinner time easier in my house, but it also helps us save money. Knowing in advance what we’re going to have for dinner that night means we don’t resort to take-away, unless it’s part of the plan. A treat every now and then is much more enjoyable than grabbing something quick on the way home because it’s 6pm and you haven’t had time to think about dinner yet.
  2. Spend an afternoon playing board games. It can be tempting to make sure you’re always doing interesting  things to entertain your kids but the reality usually is they are happy just spending time with you playing games. Kmart has a great range of board games for about $10 and you can enjoy them again and again (although it helps to have a few on hand so you can mix it up a bit). Skip the trip to the movies and pull out Checkers or Trouble. Enjoy just spending time doing things with your family (before it becomes “uncool” to hangout with Mum and Dad).
  3. If you do decide to go on an outing (let’s be honest we can’t stay home all the time), pack your own snacks to take with you. If your kids (or husband) are anything like mine, they always seem to get unbearably hungry the second we leave the house. Save yourself from having to stop for expensive (and often unhealthy) snacks by taking your own.
  4. YouTube workouts – Gym memberships can be an extra expense a lot of families can’t stretch the budget for. Save yourself money without having to skip your workout by taking a look at some of the work out videos available on YouTube. One of my favourites is Lucy Wyndham-Read, but there are plenty of others out there. (Always remember to check with your doctor before embarking on any new sort of fitness routine.)
  5. Switch to energy saving light bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs can use up to 50% less energy, saving you money on your electricity costs! Any reduction in our power bill is a big win in my book.

So there you have 5 more ways to save. Let me know in the comments your best tips for saving money.

5 Ways to Save

I thought I would kick this off by offering up 5 things my family does to keep our costs low and save money.

  1. Skip the dryer and hang your clothes on the line. It’s easy to get into the habit of just transferring everything straight from the washing machine to the dryer but the cost of each load adds up! It’s also easier on your clothes and better for the environment. Win, win, win! Save yourself some money (and the shock that comes when you open your next electricity bill) and pop your next load on the line.
  2. Stop buying takeaway coffee and make your own coffee. I know how tempting it can be to buy a cappuccino or a latte every morning but they all add up! If you need something a little bit fancier to get you going look at investing in a pod machine. With the savings you make by not buying a coffee every day, it will soon pay for itself.
  3. Along those same lines is pack your own lunch. A treat every now and then (maybe one day a week) is fine but the weeks we slack off on this and my partner or I  buy our lunch a couple of times or more makes a big difference in our budget. If you don’t have time in the morning try packing it in the evening while making dinner.
  4. Freeze leftovers. If you know you won’t eat your leftovers in the next few days (or can’t stand eating the same thing the next day for lunch), pop them in a container and freeze them. Saves you having to throw them out when you find them at the back of the fridge next week and saves you money on a future meal. This also provides a quick go to when you haven’t had time to prepare your lunch the night before.
  5. Check out your local library. My family loves going to the library. My partner isn’t a huge reader but he loves to check out the comics and anime they have, our son loves the DVD and puzzle collections and I usually come home with a new book and magazine. It’s a great way to keep us all entertained and it doesn’t cost a thing! Just make sure you renew or return any items you borrow on time, those late fees can add up quickly!

So there we have 5 ways my family saves money. Let me know in the comments things your family does to save.