Budget Friendly Spring School Holiday Ideas

Today is the last day of term 3 in NSW. Term 3!! What?! I know Queensland have already been on holidays for a week now, but I feel like it’s just much too soon! Didn’t the term just start?
We are heading away for a few nights at the end of next week, but other than that we don’t have a lot planned. I have exams coming up so I will be spending as much time as I can studying. We will take advantage of the beautiful weather though and get outside as much as we can, even if I have to take my books with us!

To view my other posts with school holiday ideas click here.

Go on a nature walk – Spring is the perfect time to get outside in the sunshine and explore! Check out your local area’s website for bush walking tracks near you and see what you can find.

Spring school holidays 3Plant some seeds  – In my 5 Ways to Save This Spring post, I mentioned now is a great time to plant a veggie garden. Why not get the kids involved and put them in charge of their own little project these holidays? Let them pick what they would like to grow and who knows, it might even encourage them to try a new veggie or two come harvest time (I can always dream right?).

Rock painting – I use the term “painting” loosely here. You can  use a few different mediums to create beautiful rocks; paint, chalk, decoupage, even textas. Collect a few rocks from your backyard or pick up one or two when you’re out on your nature walk (be very careful you don’t disturb any critters though), get the craft box out and see what the kids come up with. You can then use them to decorate your new garden, if you’re planting one!

Spring school holiday ideas 2Chalk Drawing – Another great idea for getting creative outside is chalk drawing. You can pick up chalk for only a few dollars, set the kids up outside, preferably in a shady spot, and let them go nuts! The best part is clean up is simple, it will wash away next time it rains. Just make sure you snap a picture before the masterpieces disappear!

Learn a new talent – My son got a thumb chuck for his birthday and is slowly learning how to do tricks with it. Maybe your kids would love to be able to juggle? Solve a Rubik’s cube? Or do magic tricks? Check out YouTube for how-to videos or Google tutorials for their chosen skill, and let them go for it!

What do you have planned for the school holidays? I’d love to hear some more ideas in the comments.

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

5 Ways a Spring Clean Can Help You Save Money

A few weeks ago I posted 5 Ways to Save This Spring, but did you know a good Spring Clean can be good for your budget too? Today I am sharing 5 ways a Spring Clean can help you save money. To see my other posts with ways to save click here.

  1. Clean your appliances – I mentioned in my spring ways to save post, now is the time to clean and service your air conditioner to prepare for the coming months and help keep you electricity bill down. The same goes for other large appliances. Giving your fridge (especially the vents), dishwasher and washing machine a thorough clean (check your instruction manuals for instructions), will help lower your energy costs and save you money.
  2. Dusting – This one is especially important if you or your family members suffer from health issues such as asthma or allergies. Dirt, dust and mould build up during winter triggering such ailments. Giving your house a good old dust can help relieve these types of health conditions, which in turn, means less money spent on medicines and medical treatments. I’m not saying it will solve all your health problems (and I am definitely not a doctor so do make sure to follow your health care professionals advice!), but every little bit helps.
  3. De-clutter – This isn’t as much a way to save as a way to make a little extra money. We all have things in our home we no longer want or use for whatever reason. Why not sell them and make yourself some cash? You can list items on your local buy, swap and sell pages, Gumtree or eBay. Added bonus, having less stuff in your home means less stuff to clean!
  4. Organise – Having a place for everything, and everything in its place, makes life so much easier to find things. When we first moved in together, I can’t tell you how many times my Husband swore we were out of something I was sure we had, gone out and purchased more, only for me to find an excess of it tucked in a drawer or cupboard somewhere later. These days he knows where most things in our home live and we no longer end up with 62 million rolls of sticky tape lying around.
  5. Clean out your car –  Did you know that carrying extra weight in your vehicle actually increases fuel consumption? Driving around with things you don’t need in your car, like 62 million toys in the back seat, unnecessarily raises your vehicles weight and uses more fuel per kilometre. Clean your car out of anything you don’t need and save yourself some dollars. Side note: does anyone else’s child just HAVE to take a toy with them, you know. in case they get bored or something, where ever they go and then just leave them in the car? No? Just mine then.

So there you have 5 ways a Spring Clean can help you save money. Do you Spring Clean your home and if so, do you find it helps save you money? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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 Spring

Today is the first day of Spring! This year is just zipping by so unbelievably fast. As scary as that is though, I  must admit I am looking forward to some warmer weather. I don’t hate Winter but by the end I am definitely glad to see the back of it. Today I am sharing a few tips to help you save as the weather warms up again. To see my other posts with ways to save click here.

  1. Make your own cleaning products  – The start of Spring means it’s time to give the house a good old Spring Clean. Store bought cleaners are generally full of nasty chemicals I don’t want in my house, and can cost a small fortune. Home-made cleaners are much  less toxic and far cheaper. Save yourself some money by making your own cleaning products. If you’d like a post with some of my favourite homemade cleaners let me know.
  2. Plant a veggie garden – This isn’t something I have ever done very well with. I am by no means a green thumb, but if you are, plant yourself a lovely little garden now and reap the rewards in the coming months. Things always taste better when they are homegrown!
  3. Clean your air conditioner – While we might not be up to turning the air con just yet, those hot days are coming! Do yourself a favour and prepare now by giving it a thorough clean (check your manual for instructions). This will help save your power bills when the temperature soars.
  4. Dry your laundry outside – I mentioned in my very first ways to save post that skipping the dryer and hanging your clothes out to dry will help you save but sometimes in winter the sun just isn’t up to the job. As it gets warmer and the days get longer, take advantage and save your power bill by drying your washing outside.
  5. Get Outside – In Winter, when it’s cold and dark outside, it’s lovely to snuggle up on the couch for an evening of Netflix. Take advantage of the extended evenings as the days get longer, turn the TV off and get outside. Have a BBQ, go for an evening walk, watch the kids play. It’s only a little thing, but it will save you a bit in power, which will add up over time.

So there you have 5 Ways to Save This Spring. What are your best tips for saving money as the weather warms up? 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.

Father’s Day on a Budget

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia so this week I thought I would put together a list of budget friendly gift ideas. These are just little things that I think my husband or Dad would love to receive that don’t cost an absolute fortune.

Father's Day Gift Ideas 1An Awesome Mug – Coffee mugs are always a welcome gift in our house. We seem to go through quite a few of them. It may have something to do with the fact that I am incredibly clumsy and have a gift for breaking crockery. Maybe.

BBQ Tools – Father’s Day means Spring is here and as the weather warms up we will start to use the BBQ more again. A nice set of BBQ Tools (Kmart have some great ones) will set your Dad or partner up for the coming months (and maybe give you the night off from cooking dinner!).

A Gift Card – The trick with gift cards is to pick the right store for the recipient. Opa loves home improvement projects, so a Bunnings Gift Card always makes him happy. Similarly, if your Dad/partner is into games or cars, I’m sure he’d love one from EB Games or Autobarn.

Homemade Fudge – Fudge is a great treat that you can also personalise to cater to the preferences of whoever Father's Day Gift Ideas 2you are giving it to. My Dad loves Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, so I’ve been tweaking my recipe for Cherry Ripe fudge. I think I’ve just about perfected it (if you’d like the recipe let me know).

Breakfast in Bed – This is usually at the top of my Husband’s wish list for any special occasion. Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of bacon being cooked just for them?

What are you gifting the Dad’s in your life this Father’s Day?

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

 

Another 5 Ways to Save on Groceries

A month or so ago, I noticed our grocery bills had been slowly rising. To be fair, we had been celebrating a few birthdays and special occasions, (including the week of beef), so I  had been expecting to exceed our budget a little bit some weeks, but we seemed to be going over most weeks. I decided I needed to rein our spending back in, before it got out of hand. I’ve written before about ways to save on your groceries and today I thought I would share a few more of the ways I save money at the supermarket, including some I’ve only just started using. To check out some of my other posts that include ideas for ways to save click here.

  1. Meal Plan – Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know I’m a huge fan of meal planning. If you’ve only recently found my blog you can check out my weekly meal plan posts by clicking here. Making sure I know what we’re going to eat each night for the coming week saves me making random purchases and hoping for the best. To find out more about how I meal plan each week check out this post.
  2. Write a shopping list (and remember to take it) –  It’s all well and good to have a meal plan but you also need to know what you need to pull that plan together. Check your pantry and fridge for what you need for the coming week before you head to the supermarket and try to stick to it. I like to use a list app on my phone to make sure there’s no chance of me leaving it at home when I go to the shops.
  3. Buy in Season –  I know this idea won’t work for everyone (especially if your family are as picky as mine about eating anything that resembles a plant) but it is much cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season than it is those that aren’t. They are usually fresher too as they haven’t been sitting in storage during transport from wherever they have come from. As a rule of thumb, fruit and vegetables that are in season should cost no more than $4 per kilo. Side note: If you have any hints or tricks for getting your family to eat more vegetables I’d love to hear them.
  4. Shop online – This one has been a fairly new way to save for me. When I realised that our grocery bills were slowly sneaking  up despite my best efforts, and stopped to consider why, I realised a big part of it was thanks to those sneaky impulse buys. You know those things that somehow find their way into your trolley when your husband thinks you’re not looking. Or that item that your kid just HAD to have. Or that chocolate that just looks too tempting to resist. Shopping online has almost completely eliminated them for me. I can take my time and check over everything in my cart before I commit to ordering and decide whether or not it’s something we really need. Even once I factor in delivery fees, we are definitely coming out ahead.
  5. Cash Rewards – This has been another new way to save around here and again, it’s been working really well for us. At the start of each week I purchase a Woolworths gift card through Cash Rewards. I spend both our grocery and petrol money, as the gift cards can also be used at participating Caltex petrol stations. Using my Cash Rewards account I receive a 5% off the total spend and a small cashback reward. At the end of the week, if there’s anything left over on the card, I can use it the next week, or save it for a week when we need something extra or to just spend a little less.  Sign up for Cash Rewards by clicking here.

What’s your best tip for saving money on groceries?

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