A good place to start is meal times.
1 – SPICE THINGS UP
It is always nice to go out or even order in come dinner time, but this can deplete your budget. Monotonous meals or being tired after a long day at work, often deter us from wanting to stick to the plan and can result in wasting food.
Top tips: Cook up a few big meals on a Sunday, for example, that you can freeze and defrost when dinner time comes. Also look for exciting new, but budget-friendly recipes to keep it interesting. If you don’t live alone, get everyone in your household to think of a nice meal to keep the flavours fresh, or try a new recipe each week. Make it as appealing and easy as possible to stay home for meals that don’t include a pizza being delivered.
2 – EAT FIRST, BUY LATER
Making the most of everything in your fridge and pantry before buying more supplies will go a long way to supporting your budget. Store staples like pasta, tinned tomatoes or oats – items like these make rustling up a quick meal quite easy, and can detract you from the temptation of ordering in or venturing out.
Top tips: Make the most of specials on your favourite non-perishables, stocking up. If you have a few items already at home that perhaps don’t quite make up your dream meal, it will mean you only need to get a few additional items to whip it up, which will save you money – especially if you managed to save already on a few basics that are already in the cupboard.
3 – WRITE IT ALL DOWN
Before going shopping, make sure you have a comprehensive list to avoid unnecessary purchases. Keep this list somewhere practical where you can add to it as you go along.
Top tips: Just before you plan to venture out to the shop, do a walk around your home and note what you must buy, or take inventory of what you already have. This way, unless you see a great special, you won’t buy items you already have or don’t need, avoiding unnecessary expenditure and wasting.
4 – START A SUPPER CLUB
Coinciding with winter, July is also a great time to stay indoors to keep the chill out. Instead of venturing out, invite your friends or family over for dinner and do a pitch-in or potluck menu. Everyone brings something to the table, saving money for you all as not only one person has to cater the entire meal.
Top tips: Create dinner themes, do a rotational system in terms of who hosts the meal and get creative with budget-friendly meals too – saving money and having a good time all rolled into one. While you’re together, perhaps even brainstorm other fun ways to save.
5 – LET THIS WASH OVER YOU
As we continue to be in a drought, saving water at home is not only essential for the country, but can provide some relief to your water bill. Hopefully you are already using a bucket in your shower to catch excess water, particularly while waiting for the water to warm up.
Top tips: Use this water for an extra flush for your toilet, or to water plants. Also make sure you fill your washing machine or dishwasher before running a cycle. You should also defrost food in your fridge or naturally – avoid using hot water or the microwave to do the job.
6 – FORM ENERGY-EFFICIENT HABITS
Be energy-savvy and turn off appliances and wall switches when not in use – this should become a new habit.
Top tips: By doing this, you not only save on your electricity bill, but you also reduce risks of sparks leading to fire, which will mean you won’t need to access your insurance, or face the risk of losing items you love.
7 – BE A MULTI-USE DETECTIVE
In most pantries, baking soda can be found. This wonder product can be used for cleaning your home, among other various purposes. Baking soda is not alone in this either.
Top tips: Research simple products and their many different uses, or more natural ways to clean your home. This will save money on costly cleaning products and is a creative way to keep your home in tip-top shape, and even more ‘green’.
8 – GET RE-PURPOSE READY
Regular household items like floss for example, can also be used to hang picture frames, cut cakes or to sew on a button. Re-looking at some common items you have at home is a fun project, helping you to save and to get creative.
Top tips: Old shirts can become cushion covers, empty honey jars can become flower vases – the list is endless as to what can be re-purposed.
9 – MIX IT UP
When it comes to decorating at home, spending money is all too easy. Consider instead what you can do yourself to refresh a space, without having to buy lots of new decorative items.
Top tips: Moving a few items around can already make you feel like you have redecorated and it won’t cost you a thing. Or, consider buying one new item a month, or every few months – exercising saving towards something and not letting instant gratification trip you up. Taking time to think about what you want to add to your space will mean getting the right items first, instead of wasting money on items you thought you wanted.
10 – DIY
Consider taking on a DIY project that could cost less than buying something ready-made. This will give you that satisfying feeling that you created something yourself, and can also fill in good time where you can be at home, instead of at the mall, for example, spending unnecessarily.