This is personal to me and how I save money. I’m not telling you that you should do all of these things too. But if you are looking to save some money, here are a few things I find helpful for my family.
Reduce the meat in each serve
It took me a long time to realise that any meal that requires mince probably doesn’t need as much as the recipe says. And I have HelloFresh to thank for that. We had a recipe for nachos that only used 250g of beef mince, which turned out to be plenty. So now when I divvy up my 2kg of beed mince, I get five to seven portions, instead of four. It means it lasts us a few more meals and because of that, it saves us money.
Eat more meatless meals
Eating less meat doesn’t have to mean eating things like tofu or mock meat. The easiest way to eat meatless meals is just to omit the meat altogether or replace it with something else.
My favourite meatless meals are:
- lasagne (replace the mince with a can of mixed beans)
- spaghetti bolognese (replace the mince with chopped mushroom or a can of lentils)
- fettuccini carbonara (leave out the bacon)
- vegetable curry
- haloumi burgers
I’ve also noticed that most of my lunchtime meals don’t include meat, unless they are leftovers.
I love leftovers. And I think there is not much better that eating a delicious hot meal at lunch time. By eating leftovers I know that I’m eating a good home cooked meal. I know that I don’t have to think about making lunch each morning. And if I take a few to work at a time I don’t even need to think about it each morning.
I also eat leftovers when we have takeaway. When we have Chinese, Indian or Thai food there is often enough left over for two lunches. We also regularly have souvlaki/kebabs or HSP. And I often set aside half to have for lunch the next day.
Pizza is also great to eat the next day. There is a lot of debate about the best way to eat left over pizza. Some say have it cold and others heat it up. I like to heat mine in the microwave then use a knife and fork to eat it.
Choose takeaway wisely
Growing up, I was lucky to eat a takeaway meal once a month. But now it’s a regular occurrence in my house. And Saturday is usually takeaway night.
We probably order too much food when we have takeaway, but it also means that we often get two or more meals out of it.
I also like to save half for the next day when we order souvlaki or HSP. It reduces the amount that I eat and leave me with a meal for the next day.
Save Money In the Laundry
Quite a while ago now I learned that you don’t need to use as much detergent in each load. So I tested it out. And I honestly didn’t notice any difference to the cleanliness of my clothes. It’s been about three years now and I still only use about a quarter of a scoop.
I’ve also seen rumours that fabric softener isn’t good for your washing machine, and that you should use vinegar instead. Now I love the smell of clean laundry. So I wasn’t about to give up on fabric softener. Instead, I just water it down.
If you are still not convinced, I did the maths on it. Read about how I cut my laundry costs by more than half.
Premium pet food can be a luxury for some families. But there are things that you can do to reduce the costs. The easiest one is to shop at at store (or two) that has a loyalty program. I also look out for the sales like buy one get one half price. Because when you’re paying $100 for a bag of dog food, getting one half price does pay off.
The main benefit I’ve noticed from using premium pet food is the lack of gas my dog produces. I’ve got family members that feed their dog with pet food from the supermarket and the amount of gas they have is horrendous!
Use solar power
I love the idea of solar power. It’s basically free power. Sure there are some upfront costs and it may take you a few years to recoup your set up costs, but I still think it’s worth it.
We had solar panels and a battery installed in April of 2018. And I’ve been tracking our usage ever since. Last year alone we saved $1,500 because of our solar set up.
Sure, we don’t actually make much money from feeding our electricity back into the grid. And that’s mostly because it goes into our battery before going to the grid.
Shop at discount stores
Recently I shopped at a supermarket that is closer to me rather than going to Aldi. I got two bags of groceries for $85. Now that is ridiculous. When I shop at Aldi, I usually spent $60-$80 a week, including meat. So this was a big shock for me when I got to the checkout.
Shop the catalogues or sales
I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi. But there are a few things that they just don’t sell or I prefer another brand. One of those things is fabric softener. So I check the catalogues each week and wait for it to be on special, usually half price. Then when it is on special I buy two. And because of how I do laundry, those two bottles last as long as six bottles should!
The same goes for things like Ben & Jerrys, deodorant, vitamins, flavoured coffee sachets and Lush products.
Use cash back apps
This might not exactly save me money, but I guess you could say it makes me money. Every time I shop with Shopback, I earn a percentage of my purchase back as cash.
Most of the time, I’m only earning cents. But I keep an eye out for upsized cash back from companies I know I want to buy from. I’m averaging about $100 cash back per year since I started using Shopback. And my biggest single cash back from one purchase is $50.
I like to make extra mortgage payments with the money I’ve saved using Shopback.
Use rewards programs
I belong to a few rewards programs. The three that come to mind are frequent flyer credit card, pet store and supermarket. These are all things and products I am going to be using or buying anyway, so why not earn something in return?
Some ways reward programs work
- reward points for discount on products
- frequent flyer points
- bonus with purchases
- reward points to purchase other products
- check in to a location to receive a free item or discount
- refer a friend
Sign up to email newsletters for discounts
So many companies will now offer you a discount off your first order in exchange for your email address. Sometimes it’s a fixed dollar amount, sometimes it’s a percentage. But it’s often worth signing up as you get updates about sales and many places offer a birthday discount too.
Did you know that I have a newsletter too? Sign up here.