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.

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5 Ways to Save This Winter

Yesterday marked the start of winter. Does anyone else feel like this year is disappearing at an alarming rate? I swear I only just wrote my 5 Ways to Save This Autumn post! I’m not sure how we made it here but the weather is definitely getting colder, so today I am sharing 5 Ways to Save This Winter. To see my other posts with ways to save click here.

  1. Set your ceiling fans to turn the opposite direction. I am one of those strange (wonderful) people that can only sleep with a fan on, even in the middle of winter. There’s something about the noise I find soothing. So we don’t freeze, when the weather cools down my husband switches our ceiling fan to blow the other way. This means that instead of blowing cold air down on us, it blows the warm air above it out. This helps circulate the warm air around the room, allowing me to sleep to the sound of it’s gentle hum while we stay toasty and snug.
  2. Set your heating to 18 degrees and only heat rooms you are using. Setting your heating to this temperature will help keep your power bill from skyrocketing. Just as paying to cool an empty house in Summer is a waste, so too is paying to warm areas of your home you aren’t using in Winter.  Keep the warm air in by shutting doors.
  3. Turn your heater off 20 minutes before you leave the house. I know some days it’s a win just making sure the heater actually does get turned off before you leave the house (no, just me?). However if you remember, turning the heater off in advance means that you still get to enjoy the toasty warmth before you head out, but you’re not leaving a super warm house empty.
  4. Only fill the kettle with what you need. I mentioned in my 5 Simple Ways to De-Stress post that I love a good cuppa, especially when it’s cold outside. Save energy, and money, by only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need. Heating 4 cups of water is a waste if you are only making one cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. It’s only a small thing but it adds up over time.
  5. Utilise your blinds/curtains. Open your blinds/curtains during the day to let the sun in to warm the house. Just make sure to close them before it cools down in the evening, to keep the chill out. Thick curtains will also help keep warmth in.

So there you have 5 Ways to Save This Winter. What are your best tips for saving money as the weather cools down? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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5 Simple Ways to De-stress

The last few weeks have been a bit stressful around here.  Nothing major has happened (touch wood) but I just feel a tad wiped out. I’ve had assignments due, exams to study for, homework to help with, a husband to deal with, and eventually it all starts to pile up. When this happens, I find it’s important to do a little something for myself to help me relax. As busy Mums we all know how difficult it can be to take time for ourselves, thanks to that charming monster that is “Mum Guilt”. So I thought today I would share 5 things I do when I feel my stress levels rising, that don’t take a lot of time or money, but that help me unwind.

Have a cup of tea. 5 Ways to de-stress on a budget 2I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but when life is just getting way too much and it feels like things are coming at me from all sides, the best thing I can do is turn the kettle on. Just taking a few moments to take a break and do something for myself can give me that little recharge I need to get back on with life. If tea isn’t your drink of choice, find something that takes a moment to prepare that you can just sit quietly and enjoy. Don’t forget to make sure to use your favourite cup, it really helps, trust me!

Take a bath. Sometimes a cup of tea just isn’t enough. Sometimes I need more. Soaking in a warm bath can do wonders for bringing back my sanity. I like to light a candle or two and add some bubbles or Epsom salt to the water. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a little something extra to make myself feel special. I might even pop on some Norah Jones, to really set the mood. It doesn’t have to be a long bath, 15 minutes later and I’m ready to face the world again.

Give yourself a manicure/pedicure. This is  just another little thing I can do to take care of myself that helps me relax. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple coat of nail polish will do the trick. But if I have time, soaking my hands and/or feet (depending on how much time I have) and giving myself a massage and my nails a file help soothes my soul. As an added bonus bright, shiny toenails  can keep me feeling on top of it for days to come!

5 ways to de-stress on a budget 3Write it out.  When I feel my stress level starts building I often find myself getting caught up in my own head. With all those thoughts going round and round sometimes I just need to get them out. For me, writing them down seems to be the best way to do this. Once I’m done, I can rip it up and throw it away if I feel like I really need to be rid of them, or I can simply just turn the page. I also find it helpful afterwards to take a moment and think of 5 good things in my life right now and write them down. This gives me a positive vibe to move forward with.

Go for a walk. If all else fails get outside and get those endorphin’s pumping. You’ll be feeling better in no time!

So there you have my 5 simple ways to de-stress. What do you do to relax and unwind? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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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!

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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.