November 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm #253809
Ok I’m trying to get the vege garden up and running so that will help out. I make cakes, bikkies etc from scratch. We don’t currently have chooks but I’m trying to convince hubby that they are essential – I do however buy free range eggs from someone I know for $2.50/doz (bargain!) I try my best to bargain hunt – but thats usually online so incurrs postal charges (I live in a small town so theres not much out here). I have a hubby, 4 kids, a horse, 2 dogs and 1 cat with 8 kittens. I would love some ideas on how to do the whole living thing a bit cheaper please 🙂November 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm #483708
I think having chickens really does help, we spend about $10 a fortnight on feed for them but they lay between 8 to a dozen eggs a day, so even when times are lean there are always eggs to eat.
I have 3 boys between 9 and 15, gee they can eat a lot. I make as much as possible from scratch, including most of our bread. We have a bit of a veggie garden that we are slowly building up again (bit of a warning, chickens can be ruthless in the garden) We eat a lot of beans and lentils, they love soup with fresh bread rolls even when the weather is warm.
We have goats that I want to put in kid again soon (just trying to source a buck) we seem to spend a tonne of money on milk (nearly $20 a week)
Fuel can be a big budget killer and that is where a stockpile can come in handy, no dashing to the shops.
(I’m not sure where you are or if shops are close?)
Op shops can be your friend when it comes to clothing, even if there aren’t any in your town, I’m sure a bigger town close by would have some. Plan ahead, make a list and shop when needed and worthwhile.
I’m sure someone with better ideas will answer soon 🙂November 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm #483709
We go through a hell of a lot of milk too – the kids love it! And I try to buy low fat for me and hubby which is even more expensive – I buy the cheapest brand possible as it is :S We are about 10klms from town which isn’t an issue but the resources or lack there of out here is an issue. There is one main supermarket but there is supposed to be another one being built over xmas. There is no fruit and veg shop – but there is a roadside stall so I try and buy most of my f & v from there. Hubby is very meat orientated so we MUST have meat at least once a day! I am currently on a lifestyle change and am trying to eat less meat (well less of everything really). We are only on half an acre which is really depressing and hubby is car mad so has the place filled up with old cars *insert eyeroll here!* My horse is on the neighbouring block but only has about a quater of acre so he is constantly being fed. I buy hay from local growers but due to wet weather its been pretty hard to source. I also buy the rest of his feed from Landmark. Obviously with lack of land we can’t grow our own meat … one day! I do op shop when I can but we only have the one small Vinnies out here and they don’t get much in there. The next town is about an hour away. The closest big town is an hour and a half so don’t get there very often and always have 4 small fries in tow. And now it sounds like I am whinging! Ahhhh!! hahahaha just trying to explain what we do and don’t have local. My car is a turbo diesel so we don’t do too bad on fuel but in saying that probably spend way more than people on here. I go through anywhere from $60 – $100 in fuel per week. That includes dropping and picking up kids to and from school on a daily basis. I use cloth nappies on the toddler.
Thanks for your reply barefoot_misty 🙂November 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm #483710
Fuel is really eating into our budget at the moment too. My youngest son goes to a small school where there is no bus service, so he has to be driven. We were carpooling with the neighbours, but due to illness that is no longer possible. It costs us a good $100 a week just for school runs. Next year though my son wishes to attend the school in the closest “big town” That is the bus service my elder two catch, so that will cut a $100 a week off our fuel bill and school ends in 2 weeks, so I can see a small light shining.
We are vegetarian, so I do think that helps a bit. I look in the catalogues and on tv and I can’t believe how expensive meat is even when on “special”.
We hand feed our goats a fair bit at the moment also, but I have found a local farmer that has decent lucerne for $7 a bale. We were paying up to $20 in the feedbarns.
Also, it doesn’t sound like you are whinging, I know how frustrating it is when you can’t seem to make ends meet.November 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm #483711
What do you do to cut costs?
Well… I tend to make a list for shopping (brain isn’t as good as it used to be), read all the junk mail, get to know the price of the stuff you use and if it comes up on special buy 2 or 3 and add to the stockpile, we eat a lot of rice and pasta, I use powdered milk between trips to town if it says use 1 cup milk to 3 water well I make it 4 water, buy in bulk, I cook double and freeze half for those nights when too tired to cook and takeaway looks good, learn to sew/knit/crochet I make quite a few of my clothes and I keep a lookout for cheap fabric I made 2 tops for $5 and I don’t care that they are the same, I make presents for family/friends, in the garden I save my own seeds propagate what I can….
I can’t think of anymore right now.November 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm #483712
HG, you are certainly not whinging, as your story is repeated by millions of Australians all over the joint.
My biggest bit of advice is get the kids involved as much as you can. Show them that there food doesn’t just come from the kitchen or shop and how much there Dad has to work to earn the food money and how much effort you put in. Get them digging & planting & harvesting & preparing & cooking there food so they really appreciate the value of food supply & cost. A great competition(?) / strategy(?) / idea is to see how much the kids can grow and how much money they save. You could possibly work out what you are spending now on food and if they save a certain amount by growing there own then they get extra pocket money or whatever reward you see fit. The other benefits of this are learning to work, self sufficiency, sibling bonding, appreciation of nature, contributing etc etc etc. Restricting TV/DVDs/Internet/computer games etc that chew up a mind boggling amount of (wasted) time and other distractions is tricky but reward for effort is a great thing. This can also be repeated with lots of things.
Lots of space for lots of F&V is ideal but if you can purloin 100 square meters for your veggie growing and plan it properly its amazing how much food you can grow.November 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm #483713
porgey post=296812 wrote: HG, you are certainly not whinging, as your story is repeated by millions of Australians all over the joint.
… Restricting TV/DVDs/Internet/computer games etc that chew up a mind boggling amount of (wasted) time and other distractions is tricky but reward for effort is a great thing. ….
You’d be surprised at the amount of electricity these things chew up!!!!
If you are having trouble starting a garden..try using pots for stuff such as lettuces/tomatoes/herbs, they don’t take a lot of effort, are relatively cheap to set up, and mean you have a source of fresh salad greens…
I also agree with porgey, get the family involved as much as possible…
Lizzy :cheer:November 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm #483714
The things we do to cut costs. Not in any particular order.
1. Keep away from the shops.
2. Limit our excursions off the property to as few as possible.
3. Grow as much as we can and preserve, preserve, preserve.
4. Cook from scratch. This means meals from scratch, not using jars/cans/packets as much as possible.
5. TV/DVD/STB etc. all plugged in to one master/slave power board. We turn the TV off on the actual set, NOT just on the remote and the whole lot powers down. Takes a minute or so for it all to boot up again when you turn the TV on, but at least it’s not all sitting there on standby.
6. Exterior blinds on all windows that get any sun. Keeps the house a lot cooler in summer.
7. Repair clothes, particularly stuff we wear round the farm. Who cares if you’ve got a patch in your jeans or your T-shirt has a hole in it or looking a bit faded. DH was rather sad recently, he had to actually throw out a pair of jeans they were too far gone, but I notice they’ve made it out to his shed for clean up rags.
8. Recycle. Before we throw anything out we try to think what we could use it for.
9. Worm farm and compost.
10. Stockpile. Particularly if we see something on special we’ll stock up.November 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm #483715
We are trying to cut down as well because as of July next year we are hoping to be mortgage free and only working a couple of days each (we will still have 2 teenagers at home)
We have Damara sheep that we eat. Hubby shears alpacas and we barter where we can, he is about to shear 3 alpacas for a Damara wether to eat and has shorn for olive oil and home grown and milled flour.
We have a big vegie garden and try to grow most of our vegies and tend to buy only onions, mushrooms and potato at the moment. We grow most of our own fruit. Eating in season really helps the budget too. We also have chooks so for the past 5 years I havent bought eggs and I sell the excess or swap for other bits and pieces.
In January we are having solar panels installed which should help the electricity bill and we already have solar hot water. We downsized cars for better fuel economy but I still use a lot of fuel as I travel a lot for work but do get a travel allowance to cover that. We dont buy a lot of new clothes and when we do they tend to be good quality and then they are worn until they fall apart. I also love op shopping which helps. I managed to buy my daughters winter school skirt at Vinnies for 50 cents having looked at a new one for $107.00 -bit of a difference there. I also think being very conscious of what you are spending helps to cut down on outgoings because you think twice before handing over the money.November 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm #483716
I don’t think you’re whinging either. Like others have said above many are in the same situation. We buy in bulk esp. at the local wholesaler for bakers flour, big vegemite tubs, meat, sauces, olive oil, cheese etc and save a small fortune that way. Most of the time I make our own bread, use powdered milk for cooking, have the veg garden up and going. We are fortunate in that hubby has a company car so we use that on weekends but I do use mine for going to and from school every day but given that is only 5min away it doesn’t chew up heaps. I only go to the other side of town once or twice a week and make sure that I go to the shops on either of those days to top up the milk etc minimising my trips to town. I do buy a lot of clothing online which saves heaps esp. Rivers with their online outlet clothing store. Recently they had black pants on sale for $8 so I bought up and shouldn’t have to buy more for many more years 🙂 . I wait until I see one of their sales advertised on tv and then if it’s something we use I buy a few, other than that the local vinnies is great and having 2 boys the youngest gets all the handmedowns which at 4 he doesn’t really care right now then I ask the grandparents to buy them a shirt as part of their birthday or christmas present so they get something special on top of what I pick up as they wear stuff out 😉 . The veg garden does save us a small fortune though and we eat most of our veges from there as I try to stick to organics. I find bulk buying of the groceries one of our biggest savings and only shopping every 4-6 weeks and using the stockpile means I shop less and spend less.November 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm #483717
I find that staying out of the supermarket is my biggest cost saver. I swear that they charge $250 to walk in the door! I grow what veges I can and buy almost all the rest at roadside stall or markets. I make most of my own household cleaning products. I stockpile things like toilet paper but only minimal food as we rarely eat processed food.
If your hubby likes to eat meat daily have you priced buying in bulk. We have a large freezer and buy meat by the bullock and share it with the in laws. It works out at about $7 a kilo. The meat is great.November 29, 2010 at 12:37 am #483718
Wow what an awesome response! Thankyou all so much! Lots of info there for me to consider 🙂 I have to find somewhere that sells in bulk so I can start saving!November 29, 2010 at 9:12 am #483719
If you want your meat in bulk try asking your local butchers they may sell you a side of beef, lamb etc if you ask. If I can’t get meat from my parents that’s what I do. Has the advantage I can ask for it cut however I like it.November 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm #483720
with the car, have a look/ask around to see if you can get gas added. we did this with our turbo desel, so now it runs on both, it makes the deasel last atleast twice as long. is a little pricie to set up though but it is a savings.
buying in bulk is a good one. I dont have somewhere to get bulk stuff from, but do the same type of thing from the supermarket with the speacals. the other week my IGA had rice for 89c / kg , this is good for me so I got 5 or 6 and that will be 6 to 12 months worth for us. this week is pasta for 79c so will be getting 10 or so. the smaller packets are also easyer to hide away too;)
Im with you with the meat thing also, Im trying to cut down until I can produce my own but DH would kick me out to the streets if I tryed to cut his down:lol: so I bulk buy when on specal and just serve his as normal but cut my own.
( Warning… you may get a few strange looks when you ask for 10kg of something, but just keep going knowing you wont have to buy that for the next so many monthsB) )
Also go through the frugil section on here, heeps of stuff that has helped me, and lots of recipes and mael ideas too. ps. make sure you sit down with pencil and paper, you will wont to take notes;)
forgot to add, making your own pet foodNovember 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm #483721
We are currently spending $100 for three adults per week on food. Buy in bulk, wholesale meat from abittoir, drive to Aldi and buy up big once a month, harvest from the garden everyday, no takeaways at all (have convinced family they are yuck), eat eggs twice as a main per week and red meat only twice (bulked out with veg or lentils), fish (Aldi or canned) twice, chicken bulked out (one breast makes loads of nuggets if cut small and rolled in weetbix and seasoning, or on home made pizza), fried rice as a main with loads of HG egg,veg and a little ham/bacon.
For energy savings we turn off all power as often as possible (currently experimenting with HWS – three days and it is still hot), boil kettle in morning and store hot water in hot pot to use for cuppas during the day. Use a thermal cooker (hot box) for soups/stews. Use cold wash and only full loads.
Buying a smaller car has saved about $50 per week on fuel in the past year.
No junk mail and minimal shop browsing has kept temptation away, even with christmas approaching.
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