5 Ways to Save on your Wedding

Weddings can be expensive. Ridiculously expensive.  This weekend my husband and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary, so I thought it would be a great time to share some suggestions for how to save money on your big day.

  1. Wedding Dress 5 Ways to Save on your Wedding (2)We all know the biggest choice to make when it comes to a wedding is the dress (well maybe your partner, but the dress is a close second!). My advice is don’t feel you have to wear a proper wedding dress. Instead of a dress, I actually wore a beautiful tutu and lace top on my wedding day. I felt like a Princess, no-one knew I wasn’t wearing a “wedding dress” and it actually cost less than my husbands suit!
  2. Groom’s suit  –  Shop around and buy on sale if you can. My husband wanted to wear a simple black suit so we looked online at all his options (I say we but I really mean me, he only saw my top choices), until he found one he liked. Then we (again mostly me) weighed up renting versus buying. Renting seemed like the more affordable option, until the suit came on sale for 40% off. In the end, we purchased it for about the same price hiring it would have cost, and  my husband now has a black suit for any future formal occasionsHow to save money on your weddinging.
  3. Flowers  – Buy fake and DIY. We actually saved on our wedding flowers in two ways. The first was I bought beautiful fake roses online for mine and my bridesmaids bouquets which saved as quite a bit.  Secondly, we grew and decorated our centre pieces ourselves, well with some help from my Pop. The few days I was left in charge of them I actually almost killed them. But thankfully on the day, we had beautiful pots of white and purple flowers everywhere. Thanks Pop.
  4. Transport  Is it something you need? We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue so transport was something we decided to skip. I had my Dad drive me to the Church in his car which was lovely, as it gave us some time alone before he walked me down the aisle. Then at the end of the day, my husband and I drove away in our car. It seemed fitting really.
  5. ReceptionSaving on your wedding Think outside the box. I knew pretty early on in our wedding planning I didn’t want a traditional sit down dinner for our reception, although my husband did take some convincing. In the end, we decided to have afternoon tea in the Church Hall, which worked out a lot cheaper and was much more our style. Instead of just going with what you think a wedding reception should be, think about what you and your partner would enjoy. Maybe a buffet, or a pig on a spit. Perhaps just simple canapes, or a picnic. The ideas are endless, so choose something that will make you happy.

I know weddings are an exciting time but I think it’s important to keep in mind that it’s just one day. So long as by the end of it you and your partner are married, the day is a success, no matter what else happens.

Are you engaged at the moment and have any more suggestions? Or if you are already married, how did you save money on your big day? I’d love to hear about your plans and weddings in the comments below.

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5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas

With just over 10 weeks left until Christmas, I’m sure we’re all looking for a way to stretch the budget that little bit further. I have quite a few posts with a number of different ways to save money, but sometimes cutting back just isn’t enough. What do you do when you have reduced your spending all you can and you’re still not quite sure how you’re going to pay for Christmas? You add a little bit more money to your budget!

Today I am sharing 5 ways to make extra money, that take little, to no effort. Be warned, none of these will earn you big bucks, but they can help you pay for Christmas this year.

  1. Swagbucks – Swagbucks is an awesome site that offers aswagbucks-share-1480-v2 variety of rewards for doing simple activities online, some of which you probably already do, such as searching the web or online shopping. In exchange for doing these activities, you receive “points” that are referred to as Swagbucks. You can then exchange these Swagbucks for a range of different gift cards. To sign up for Swagbucks click here, and we will both receive a bonus 500 Swagbucks.
  2. Cashrewards – I mentioned Cashrewards in my Another 5 Ways to Save on Groceries post. It’s a great site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases you make. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, search for the store you’re looking for and then shop online as normal and wait for your cashback to arrive. There are over 1,000 stores including ASOS, eBay, and my favourite, Woolworths. Cashrewards also gives you access to exclusive savings, coupons, offers and discounted eGift cards. To sign up for Cashrewards click here, you’ll get a $5 bonus in your Cashrewards account, and because I referred you, so will I.d2121a19aad84e729ca1c67de5c1c150-fe4e1edfbda84da984bd4464da944379_facebook_share_jpg
  3. PricePal Pricepal is another site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases. Again, it’s super simple to use, just sign up, search the store you are looking for, click the link and make your purchase. Pricepal offers both cashback and discounts from shops such as Big W, Chemist Warehouse and Groupon. To sign up for PricePal click here, we’ll both receive a bonus $5 when you earn $5 cashback.
  4. Woolworths RewardsWoolworths Rewards is something I think most people know about, but not everyone cashes in on. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, scan your card every time you shop and then you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend in store and online at Woolworths supermarkets, BWS and Caltex Woolworths fuel outlets. You will also receive exclusive offers, bonus points offers and instant savings. Each time your balance hits 2000 points you will automatically save $10 on your next shop, or you can bank your savings for Christmas. To sign up for Woolworths Rewards click here5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas (1)
  5. Flybuys Flybuys is another loyalty program I think most people are familiar with, but again not everyone utilises. It’s similar to Woolworths Rewards, in that all you do is sign up and scan your time when you shop, but instead offers points, exclusive deals, bonuses and savings from a wider range of partners that includes Coles, Kmart and Target. Flybuys also offer a variety of rewards, from flybuy dollars (which can be used for in store purchases),  appliances and movie vouchers. To sign up for Flybuys click here.

So there you have 5 ways to make a little extra money in time for Christmas. Have you already started buying Christmas presents? Or is leave it to the last minute more your style? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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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?

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Budget Friendly Winter School Holidays Ideas

Yesterday was the last day of term 2 in NSW. This post was supposed to go up then but apparently I was already in holiday mode and it just didn’t happen. Better late than never though right?

Be sure to have a look at some of the school holidays activities I have posted previously.

  1. Whale Watching – If you are fortunate enough to live on the East Coast of NSW (or you somehow find yourself there these holidays), make sure you spend some time whale watching. Rug up warm, check out this website for the top spots in your area and enjoy a great day out.
  2. Play ‘The Floor is Lava’ – Some days it is just too cold to venture outside but the kids still need a way to get their sillies out. Tell them that the floor is now lava so everyone has to stay off it for the day. This seems to be everywhere on the Internet right now, but it’s also a great way to amuse the kids. Spread some pillows around so that there are safe areas to jump between and spend the day hopping around the house. Make sure to have a good giggle when someone inevitable forgets and “melts” in the lava.
  3. Make hot chocolate – Hot chocolate is a great way to warm up when it’s chilly outside, and is a great treat to enjoy for morning or afternoon tea. Whip up some cream, get out the sprinkles, and let the kids go to town.
  4. Have a pyjama day – These are my son’s favourite days. The days when he gets to wear his jammies ALL day, no matter what we do. I don’t always participate but some days it is just too tempting to stay snuggly and warm in my pyjamas and slippers.
  5. Make soup – Soup is another great way to warm up when it’s cold. Add it to your meal plan one night and then get the kids to help measure ingredients and chop vegetables. They’re more likely to eat it if they helped make it!

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

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#19 Meal Plan Monday 2017

To view all my previous Meal Plan Monday posts click here.

Monday – Spaghetti Bolognese
Tuesday – Satay Chicken
Wednesday – Lamb Korma
Thursday – Creamy Chicken and Bacon
Friday – Pizza Party Friday Night!
Saturday – Red wine garlic beef
Sunday – Dinner out for Mother’s Day

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