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What are your top 3 money saving tips?

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#26 KathrynGordon

Posted 19 December 2006 - 10:45 AM

I want to add one more..

If you hubby loves a few beers... get him a homebrew kit!  The initial start-up kit will cost around $100, but he can experiment with different brands and types of beer.

The savings = $1.30 per stubby retial take away prices(based on 24 stubbies for approx $32) compared to between .45c and .75c per stubby for homebrew(depending on which mix you buy to make).

The homebrew kits really have improved over the years - they are not the hit & miss experiment they once were.

My hubby has made quite a few different brews over the years, and has found a couple of brands that he absolutely loves.  He actually now prefers his own homebrew than real beer!

Edited by KathrynGordon, 19 December 2006 - 10:47 AM.

#27 bzzzbee

Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:10 PM

Hi there....great suggestions above...

1. I too use modern cloth nappies, yes initially they were $$ but after a year we've worked out we're now saving around $30 per fortnight (we only use cloth part-time) and we'll be saving even more when bub #2 comes along and they're both in cloth full-time (while I'm mat leave) unless we go out....My 15 month old DS has never had nappy rash.

2. I try to use cloth wipes most of the time.

3. Easyo!  My DS and I love it, happy to eat it on its own, with breakfast or fruit...cost $30 for the sytem, and from memory under $3 per sachet which makes a litre...yogurt made fresh has millions more live cultures (good bacteria) and is higher in calcium.

4. Enjo products...again, the initial outlay is expensive  :ohmy: since purchasing most of the products (6 months ago) I haven't had to buy window/floor/bathroom cleaners etc....so will eventually start saving money, won't be using chemicals in the house and helping the environment wink.gif

5. I try to buy Summer clothes on special when Winter approaches and vice versa...particularly pumpkin patch etc.

Edited by bzzzbee, 08 January 2007 - 12:33 PM.

#28 chocks

Posted 22 December 2006 - 03:01 PM

Did you know you can make yoghurt in the Easi-Yo with just milk powder and a couple of tablespoons of plain yoghurt?  Even cheaper than buying the sachets!!

I just use 1 and 1/3 cups of milk powder and two heaped tablespoons of yoghurt (saved from the last batch).  Then it works out to about 50c per kilo.

Love Chocks.

#29 sallan

Posted 22 December 2006 - 09:02 PM

Heres a few that I do

1. Use breadbags instead of buying nappy bags.

2. Buy blocked cheese and grate it. Store in the fridge. You
use less and it lasts longer.

3. Use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner in your wash.

4. Keep the crusts of the bread and make breadcrumbs. Great for meatballs etc. I freeze mine for later use.

5. I have a present box too which is sooo useful. I have alot of overseas birthdays so always look for light things to send. If they are on sale I buy in bulk.
I also use my sons old paintings as wrapping paper for his mates. I usually get him to make a card for them too. I also try to make cards instead of buy them.

6. Always buy 2 of an item if they are on special and they will keep ie: tins and jars and frozen stuff.

7. I buy my sons shorts long for the first year and then he wears them shorter the next. I get 2 years out of them at the mo and then his brother has them. Of course this might not work for everyone.

Thats all i can think of at the mo

Great thread


#30 log-on

Posted 22 December 2006 - 09:12 PM

I buy my sons shorts long for the first year and then he wears them shorter the next. I get 2 years out of them at the mo and then his brother has them.

Great tip. I actually like my boys shorts longer.

#31 lalala

Posted 29 December 2006 - 05:58 PM

1. Buy the cheap birthday etc cards from the $2 store - you know the ones, that are only $1 and $2 each?  I can't justify paying $5 for a piece of cardboard which is only going to get thrown away!!!

2. Present box - I also have a stash of stuff that I have bought on special.  I have relied on it so often when I've been invited to someone's birthday BBQ or something and I haven't had time to buy a special present.

3. Take a water bottle everywhere - there is much less incentive then to buy ridiculously priced juice etc just cause you're thirsty.

4. Buy an Entertainment Book - worth its weight in gold.

#32 Cath'n'Peanut

Posted 30 December 2006 - 06:03 PM

Not so much a money saver as a forced savings plan I guess but we lived off the smaller of our two salaries (when we had two) and put the greater one directly into the mortgage.  It did get redrawn occassionally but only for major home related expenses like rates.

When I became a SAHM we were far enough ahead to drop our payments down and used the FTB to make them.

It is very difficult to start with but over time you get used to one wage and don't budget on the remaining money.

Unfortunately, with mortgages the way they are at the moment, some people are probably paying more than one wage into them so this won't work. :sad:

I love this thread by the way.

#33 MummyTard

Posted 30 December 2006 - 06:08 PM

I LOVE THIS THREAD original.gif Keep 'em coming gals original.gif

#34 hjv

Posted 31 December 2006 - 12:43 PM

OK just for you flylady (and because I love this thread too)

1.  Plan plan plan.  The more you plan stuff the more you save - eg meals, presents, snack when you go out, putting $$$ aside for bills.

2. a great motivator for me is the thought that I am my childrens role model when it comes to finances and if they see me acting responsibly then they are more likely to do the same - much more useful than sticking cash in the bank for them.  So think about how you talk about $$ in  front of your kids , start saying "we chose not to buy that" rather than " we can't afford that", and teach them that the best things in life are free by doing lots of things together as a family that are free

3. buy one less outfit per child per season

4. make a rule that you will never pay full price for certain items - mine are manchester, underwear, clothes (except for special event clothes)


#35 Cath'n'Peanut

Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:13 PM

1. This one is for Helen
If you can't plan, be prepared to be disorganised.  :wink: Have a freezer full of frozen snacks and meals and a box in the pantry of long life snacks and drinks.  Grab your old Juice pop bottles, etc and fill them up with water (or juice for a treat) and refrigerate/freeze.

Now, when you go out or go for a long drive, grab whatever you think you/DH/Kids might like to have on the way and stuff it into a cooler bag.

DD likes are virtually anything in snap lock bags (I know it is stingy but I tend to recycle these when suitable) and anything in a pop-top bottle.  Also lunchboxes with little compartments (her big Tupperware is her fave as the lid is attached and she can open and close it easily).  A bit more expensive but not too unhealthy are flavoured Rice Wheels in their own packets - a good alternative to chips.

2.  Carry a cane basket in the car.  Use it when shopping for a few items - it gets heavy and you can't buy much.  On big trips, use it for your fruit and veg - especially the delicate stuff as it is less likely to get damaged in a stiff sided container.

3. Shop without the kids and DH. If they're not whining, you can shop better. Go late night or Sunday and you might pick up some mark downs while you are there. (Learn when they mark down but only buy them if you can use them.)Take snacks/drinks/diversions for the kids if you have to take them shoppping.

4.  Never look down on secondhand clothes.   If you act the snob on this one you won't get any more.  Be grateful for the offer and if you can't use them, pass them on.  I always tell my clothes donors I will do this when I'm finished with them too.  My mother's group loves my disposal days as I get heaps of stuff.  They are a lot pickier than me so never get offered as much.  As my brother says - " Share the love". :biggrin:

5.  Make air popped popcorn in the microwave - without buying expensive bagged stuff. Throw a handful of popping corn into a brown paper lunch bag, fold down the top of the bag a few times to seal, zap and eat.  You will need to experiment but in mine a handful takes about a minute.  Sadly some older microwaves don't seem to work - perhaps they are not powerful enough - mine is only 800w but reasonably new.

#36 muz2299

Posted 02 January 2007 - 03:16 PM

1. Buy Powdered Skim milk powder from Coles.

We used to buy Long life Skim milk packs at around $1 to $1.30 per litre.
Coles sells 1kg bags of skim milk powder for $4.87, this makes 10 litres, so around $0.49c per litre.
For skim milk there is no difference in the taste. See how you go with the Full cream milk powder..

#37 SqueakyPeanut

Posted 02 January 2007 - 04:02 PM

I don't think I have any to add - all mine (and many more) have been covered.

#38 catnat

Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

1- Shop monthly then just do quick weekly at F&V place with minimal impulse buy stuff
2-Use cloth nappies
3-Join both a toy and book library
4-Buy homebrand as much as possible
5-Don't buy little baby foods/yoghurts etc. Buy big jars or tubs and just separate and mash/puree

#39 MummyTard

Posted 03 January 2007 - 08:05 AM

Library! Library Library!

#40 Sambambino

Posted 03 January 2007 - 10:48 PM

Make your own baby food. Buy a BIG batch of 3 to 4 different types of whatever vegies are in season and peel and boil them, add some chopped up meat (I normally use steak or chicken fillets - whatever is on a good special) and then blend or mash (depending on bubs age) and freeze in small containers. Do the same with fruits for desserts. I found this saves $$$ as well as time.

Clothes Plan - at the beginning of the season do a stocktake of the family's wardrobes and decide what can be kept, what can be sold and what needs to be donated. Make a list of what needs to be bought and look for these items only, like a grocery shopping list. I like to have 'outfits' especially for the kids so may buy for example a pink patterned T shirt if DD has a pair of pink shorts with no suitable top. I do the same with their socks and shoes so they always have nice outfits to wear with everything matching but I don't tend to impulse buy. You can clothes plan for the next season (or year) if you are super organised and save even more $$ by shopping at end of season sales.

Have a 'needs/wants' list before birthdays and christmas - for example if there are particular toys for a developmental age/stage or you are wanting to get more outdoor toys make a list with brands, apprximate prices etc and use this when relatives and friends ask what the kids would like for ytheir birthday or Christmas. It will help save you money on things you want to buy anyway and an added bonus is you will get more presents you actually want/need rather than loads of junk or unsuitable toys. I don't like 'asking' outright for gifts but see no problem in offering suggestions if I am asked and having an idea or list really helps.

#41 scrappytaffy

Posted 05 January 2007 - 01:39 PM

There are some really good ideas in here but I have a question.

Selling on ebay is great but the thing that bugs me is that you get charged a listing fee even if the thing doesn't sell. It might be easy to sell brand named kids clothes but there are lots of other things that don't sell as well. If the item is cheap and doesn't sell you could have cost yourself money rather than saved it. So how do you get round this? What sells well? Most of the time I end up giving my stuff to the salvo's just because I don't want to pay ebay fees for an unsuccessful sale.


#42 sallan

Posted 05 January 2007 - 01:46 PM

Hey Lynn,
You know you can sell here on EB dont you?

#43 Butterscotch

Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:19 PM

Use Freecycle:

Get rid of any unwanted goods, but pick up plenty of things you could use for FREE!

#44 Trilogy

Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:04 PM

1. Use cloth nappies
2. Clothes and toys for DS handed down from family members
3. Buy from op-shops and ebay
4. DH uses an electric razor instead of the $20+ cartridge ones
5. DH has a pair of clippers and does his own haircuts
6. Buy icecreams in the supermarket in a 4 or 6 pack instead of singly

#45 KatyG

Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the tips ladies!!

Here are a few from me -

1- With the kids, they get half each, or nothing. Not much I can implement with at the moment, except banana's for the kids afternoon tea, but at $1 per banana, it's still a saving. Or if we are out and decide to get a treat, I share with Lachlan and myself, rather than something each.

2- Keep your past meal plans in a folder, that way one week if you're short on time, you can just grab one of your past weeks.

3- Give up soft drink. We're saving about $5 a week at least, and are so much healthier for it! We've also stopped drinking cordial and stopped adding "extras" to our meals (like sauce, cheese etc).

4- Don't buy anything until it is on special - supermarkets almost always run in "cycles" so I buy enough when it is on special to last until the next time (namely shampoo, deoderant and other more expensive products).

5- Wash your hair every 3rd day instead of every 2nd.

6 - Drag your haircut out another few days or a week. Same with the kids and hubby.

#46 MummyTard

Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:45 AM

www.motormouth.com.au this shows you where the cheap fuel is round Aus.

#47 joswer

Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:02 AM

I too am a member of http://www.freecycle.org/display.php?region=Australia Just great.

I also use the library for DVD's we go there every couple of days and swap them. Along with books and music cd's. Just great.

When Buying birthday cakes don't go to the fancy bakery, when Woolworths make alot of cakes in the shop bakery. They have a heap of different designs for the top. They show you a folder and you choose. Depends on the store you go to, we have one woolie better than the other. But they only charge $10 for a  square or rounde cake,and they decorate it great, with sprinkles and names.

When ever I buy Shallots, we only use a few and the rest can go off. Pop them into the ground and they continue to grow, and you have shallots whenever you need them.

I have a herb garden also which saves me alot, I bought the seeds for $1 a pack and they just grow in the vacant spots in my back garden.

I make dissposable nappy wipes.

1 roll of VIVA paper towels ( have to be this brand they are strong)
2 cups warm water
squirt of baby oil
2 tbs baby lotion or sorbelene cream
2 tbs baby bath

I pull apart the paper towel and fold into a large lunch box, then mix up the other lotions and pour over the top. The paper towel absorbs all the mixture and you are set with nappy wipes.

The initial cost for the products if you dont already have them cost a few dollars but they last for a while. Just keep some paper towel handy in the house for more wipes. Lunch boxes are on sale now to being back to school also. They are very strong and last for ages and don't go smelly.

If you child gets nappy rashes, instead of using the creams in the above mix, soak a few chamomile tea bags in a little bit of hot water, then add that to the rest of the water and pour over paper towel.

You can use lavender oil in them also.

I wash at night when the electricty is on off peak, I noticed a difference in my power bill too.

Instead of going to the flower shops for plants, get cuttings from friends or neighbours, most plants grow by just cutting and sticking into the ground. They start off small and then grow and fill the gap in your garden.

That's all I can think of right now

#48 The Princess

Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:16 PM

If you hubby loves a few beers... get him a homebrew kit! The initial start-up kit will cost around $100, but he can experiment with different brands and types of beer.

The savings = $1.30 per stubby retial take away prices(based on 24 stubbies for approx $32) compared to between .45c and .75c per stubby for homebrew(depending on which mix you buy to make).

The homebrew kits really have improved over the years - they are not the hit & miss experiment they once were.

My hubby has made quite a few different brews over the years, and has found a couple of brands that he absolutely loves. He actually now prefers his own homebrew than real beer!

My DH started brewing me Apple Cider or Ginger Beer - both alcoholic.

5-Don't buy little baby foods/yoghurts etc. Buy big jars or tubs and just separate and mash/puree

Why not make you own baby food (not yoghurt) - I make all Jack's fruit and vegies.

Jack eats almost everything we do but chucked in the processor.

Another tip -

If you don't mind secondhand clothes - shop on EBAY, EB or OZTION - I have found heaps of bargains on there - even some with tags really cheap.



Edited by superwifemum, 11 January 2007 - 12:27 PM.

#49 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 12 January 2007 - 04:55 PM

This is a great idea!  Loads to learn!

1. Use an offset account for your mortgage (Basically all the money in a offset account helps to reduce the total amount owing when the banks calculate the interest each month for your home loan.  Very good option for a long-term debt)

2. Buy in bulk, particularly meats.  Only works if you have a large enough freezer.  Means you can buy good quality meats at economical prices.  Simply take your bulk meat purchases home, divide up into freezer bags/plastic-wrapped portions and write the date and amount of meat (eg. 01-Jan-2007, 300g mince)  and then freeze!  Too easy!  Initial outlay seems terrble, but you find you don't shop for meat as often, so it's not so bad.  Works even better if you freeze portions according to your recipes (that way you cook up only what you need).

3. Dried fruit can be very expensive and we tend to eat a fair bit of it (good when you are doing sports, all day activities, etc).  We got a food dehydrator and now dry quite a few fruits, either in fruit slices (eg. banana, mango, apple, pear, pineapple) or in a fruit leather.  Great when you just want something to nibble on.  Buy the fruit in bulk (eg. tray of mangos, 5kg of apples) and then dehydrate.  Enjoy fruit over the next 6-12 months at a fraction of the cost.

4. work out price to weight/size ratios and see what is more cost effective.  Example, soap/shower gels are really nice, but way more expensive in the long run compared to a traditional soap bar (go through the gels way more quickly - well, we seem to!).  So, we only buy the occassional shower gel and stick with regular soap.  Similar with pump-spray things versus aerosol cans (not to mention that pump-sprays are more environmentally sensitive).

#50 ~MakkaPakka~

Posted 12 January 2007 - 05:55 PM

When buying drinks out at the shops (for the kids) instead of buying the cold Bratz - spiderman ect juices from the food mall - buy them off the shelf at bilo or woolies - they are only around .95c.   While out If we are having lunch I will go and buy some youghurt's for the kids (they love youghurt) and breadrolls too.)

I buy sultana's, marshmellows,  bikkies ect in bulk then sort them into little zip tie bags and have them on hand (especially for when out or in the car)

I just bought a carton box full of individual sized rice chips for $4 (at the warehouse)  great for the kids snacks and better than chips.

I also buy powdered milk - if anyone in the family doesn't like it - I mix it with some "normal" milk which helps.

I shop at aldi's for quite a few things.  I find their products pretty good and great value.

I have found some great bargins shopping on certin days at certin times for meats and dairy ect.  AT Bilo I will often get 2L milk for 40c to $1  and 1L for 10c - They are near their used by date but we have a second hand big chest freezer and place them in their - and have found no problems yet with them.  This also goes for youghurts and flavoured milk as well.  (I found custards don't freeze well) They do have baby custards from time to time as well as the baby pouches of vegies.

They will often mark down their meats too - I have found at bilo you have to look out as the other day I found some topside steak marked down with a $3 off sticker (at full price it was $15/kg and was around a kg packs.  But I had a look underneath and exactly the same product - no mark down sticker - dates are fine - marked at $5.00/KG!!!!!

Shop at OP Shops - Ok this one I do lots - I have found the most amazing op shop who sells baby/toddler clothes such as bonds, osh kosh, fred bare ect for $2 a piece and they are like new!!!!  (some with tags still on  wacko.gif )  There are also opshops that sell larger things like furnature - some great bargins like $10 prams - like childcare or peg perego which have nothing wrong - just need a good clean.  Also floor mats (big ones) for kids floors for $10 - designer foot rest (I always grew up calling them poof's  wacko.gif ) for $5.  Let's not start on the kids toys!!!!  most in perfect condition!!!  It is very surprising!

I also have found that our local K-mart have a little hidden trolley/basket with oddments and one off's of kids clothes ect which are marked down greatly - Like for DD I found a dora the explorer shorts for $2 (I think it was part of a pyjama set) and little nickers for my DD also for 50c (whinnie the pooh and friends) which was from a singlet/undies set.

Continuing with K-mart - near the Lay-by at our store they have a markdowns trolley - which has things that have been missing something from a set, broken, brought back for some reason ect that are greatly reduced.  This is great if you have someone in the family who can fix things (my dad is great at electronics)  The things I have found hear have been amazing.  (leapfrog table for $20 - Fairy bike for $10)  A good time to check it out is after christmas and around toy sales times!!! tongue.gif

I have found our Big-W has one too but they only bring theirs out every so often.  So it is the luck of the draw if they have it out!!

Also another one who makes own baby foods.  Also things like making jelly up in washed out youghurt containers (can also add fruits too)  

Making bulk dinners up and freezing them (say make them up on a sunday)  Ohhhhhhhhh and the slow cooker - I loooooooooove my slow cooker!!!  laugh.gif

I invested in a sodastream (they were on a huge sale and also had a 15% off the whole store so I got it for about $60 - my mum got hers in the mark down trolly for $45 becuase it was missing 1 bottle to make it up in and one syrup bottle it came with)  It costs $10.50 for a refill which lasts a fortnight at our place (we usually get some cordial - which is berri brand) from Aldi for $1.99 for the kids to add to the sodawater)

Almost forgot - It is an idea to shop around.  For example I used to shop at Forest Lake woolies, and one time I poped into Inala woolies (I pay rent at the shopping centre) and found their woolies cheaper for exactly the same products  blink.gif They also have bigger bargins!!!  It is crazy as the shops are only really a 5 min drive away from each other - only thing that is different is one shop is in a "lower econimical" suberb compared to the other!!!!


Edited by ~AmandaJane~, 12 January 2007 - 06:04 PM.

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