Thursday, 23 February 2012

Penny pinching

Living apart from the Big Fella means that our living expenses are higher than normal, but we're trying to save enough money to afford to move.  So we're tightening our belts (I wonder if that will be literally????) and pinching the pennies everywhere we can.

I think of myself as a fairly thrifty person.  Whenever I see articles on saving money, I find that I'm doing almost all of them normally anyway.  But I've realised how much I fritter away on this and that.  A couple of dollars here, a treat for the Little Big Fella there.

And, really, penny pinching sucks!  I mean, who wants to be disciplined for goodness sake???

But, it also provides a huge opportunity to be creative!

Can I get a week of meals for 2 people, plus any other cleaning products or bits and pieces for half of what I normally spend?  I've discovered that, when there's already a deep freezer with plenty of meat in it, I can!  Until the freezer's empty I guess, then we'll see how far my thrifty skills can really take me!

It's interesting the different meals I'm coming up with when I'm meal planning for money rather than exclusively for taste.  I'm still adding plenty of herbs and spices to our meals, but they are definitely a lot simpler with less exotic ingredients.  I'm also baking from scratch rather than purchasing packet snacks.  This isn't really a long-term option for me because I tend to eat too much while I'm baking and then add a couple of "samples" when they're done, and I really don't want to end up blimp-like.

So then, how can I cut my other fortnightly expenses by several hundred dollars?  Amazingly, we can if we drop some things for the short term, and reduce our general consumption around the place.  It's not a long-term solution, but it will help us meet our goal over the next month or so.

Where else can I scrimp and save?  And how do I keep from going nuts at the same time?  Because I don't want to feel like I'm "missing out", even if it is in the short-term and leads to something I really want!  Because then I start sabotaging my saving efforts, and that's not what we're after.

When it's dry, I'm finding I decide to ride the bike with the Little Big Fella, rather than drive somewhere for entertainment, just because, or to pick up a few bits and pieces that I'll possibly just put in the cupboard for another day.  This also has the added effects of helping the environment and boosting my exercise levels!

There are plenty of websites around that give more ideas on how to save money.  I regularly read from and as well as other sites that people mention on Facebook or in passing.  Oh!  And some of the stuff I've seen on Pinterest (my latest addiction) has been really helpful too!

So, audience participation time: What are your best tips when you're penny pinching?  And what things have you been working towards whilst tightening the belt?  I'm seriously looking forward to hearing from you all!!!!

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