Sunday, August 25, 2013

Frugal living

 [source: own photo]

I don’t like talk about it much but as a household, we are finding it tough to cover bills and put away any savings. This living from pay to pay thing is getting old, and though we have made some changes to our lifestyle, there are still some things that we have not been willing to cut back on or give up in order to curb our spending.

Last week when a trip to Coles for the “bare necessities” to get us through to payday cost me $45, I ranted a bit on Twitter and had to wonder – how in the hell are families getting along? We  just have the two of us and I cannot seem to budget so that we are comfortable on our current income.

Reading this blog recently on Rhonda’s Down to Earth  made me have a think about what more we can do to live more simply, more frugally, make our money stretch further.

So, what have we already done?
  • Swapped to shopping at Aldi rather than The Big Two Supermarkets. I save at least $30 a week doing this, though the fruit and veg is not very good quality. Thinking about shopping separately for it at the local grocer but this necessitates an extra trip somewhere which is just beyond me sometimes
  • Cut down to fast food once per week. We get pizza on Friday nights – but it is expensive pizza because we both believe that paying a bit more to get something nicer than the cardboard served by the franchises is worth it.
  • No longer buy magazines in the quantities we used to. Now, we have subscriptions gifted to us or purchase as a special treat only
  • I hardly ever buy new clothes. When I do, it’s usually from the op shop. I try to buy all my accessories there also
  • I’ve stopped buying vintage homewares; it was getting to be a bad habit! I have far too much stuff already, need to sell some 
What more can we do?
  • Make our own passata – we use a lot of it, and although Aldi sauces are only $1.80 a jar or something, I think we could make some cheaper
  • Explore frugal recipes, making meals go further
  • Make our own pizza instead of getting take away
  • Grow some veges. This has been high on my list for a while but I don’t have a place to do it yet. Now we have some bricks left over from the old shed knockdown, I’m hoping that we can make a proper garden
  • Grow our own herbs. Must do!
  • Learn to sew. Repurposing old clothes looks fun and is a great way to reuse old things, something I am passionate about.
  • Start making our own bread. I have a breadmaker that I never use!
  • Make my own birthday/gift cards. I have so much scrapbooking stuff this should be a breeze. Saves at least $5 a pop! 
Things I still don’t think I/we’ll give up:
  • Foxtel. We enjoy it too much and watch it all the time. But perhaps we can cut back on our subscription, get rid of the some channels to save a few bucks a month.
  • Movies. We go at least once a fortnight and use a reward card to redeem a free ticket with points. But it can still be an expensive exercise when you factor in snacks and drinks. Alternative – go on cheap Tuesdays.
  • Soft drink. Both hubby and I are addicted and spend quite a bit. Because the cost of Coke is astronomical at service stations and corner stores, I try to buy in bulk from Aldi each week.
  • The occasional scrapbooking supply purchase. It’s my hobby dammit. But I commit to buying a lot less and to a “scrap your stash” mentality for the foreseeable future.

And of course I'm reading a lot of simple living blogs. What are you doing lately to save money/simplify your life? Any tips?


  1. Meal plan... that way you only buy what you will actually eat.

  2. Been thinking of frugal living myself, to steer myself away from the possibility of debt. But debt can't sometimes be avoided, simply because we interact with other people, and tend to share and part materials with them, and them returning the favor. Sometimes, I think that loans are culture things, if not a part of human instinct and nature. Ah, well. I still would want to raise my own de-facto greenhouse, DIY style.



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