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!

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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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#28 Meal Plan Monday 2017

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

Monday – Spaghetti Bolognese
Tuesday – Teriyaki Chicken
Wednesday – Meat pie for Origin
Thursday – Chicken Carbonara
Friday – Pizza Party Friday Night
Saturday – Going out for a 21st birthday party
Sunday – Honey Soy Chicken

What’s on your menu this week?

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#27 Meal Plan Monday 2017

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

Monday – Pork curry
Tuesday – Enchiladas
Wednesday – Ravioli
Thursday – Butter Chicken
Friday – Pizza Party Friday Night
Saturday – Sushi
Sunday – Chicken Schnitzel

What’s on your menu this week?

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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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