thread: Share your budget tips and advice...

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jan 2009

    Share your budget tips and advice...

    So I was thinking after reading some of the posts about financial stressing that maybe we should start a thread giving each other some of our budget tips and advice....

    So here are a few of mine:

    Pay it in advance if you can:

    * Get a pre paid rego card from the post office - you will need one for each car - I have found this is the most fabulous thing - I used to hate receiving that big bill - it was also such a large chunk of money to find in one hit.
    With the prepaid card, I paid $50 a month towards my rego, it is not such a large amount to miss and before you know it, the rego is paid for. (You must pay a minimum of $40 at a time, so that's why I pay it monthly rather than fortnightly)
    * If you have rates - check with your council if you can set up direct debit to pay off in advance. This was such a great thing for me - the rates were another huge bill to have to deal with twice a year. I have now set up to pay $45 each fortnight and by the end of the 6 months I have it paid off - again you don't miss that money so much as you do if you have to pay such a large amount at once.
    * Pay your electricity in advance. I have direct debit set up for my electricity account so now I never get a bill, sometimes a credit even! Which is a bonus and I can suspend the next payment!
    * Set up a christmas club account - I have done this this year as more of a savings account than specifically just for Christmas. The reason I am using a christmas club type is that you aren't allowed to withdraw from it until december - if you do it closes the account. This really discourages me from touching it and I have a regular amount set up to go into it each pay. When I get to Christmas time, not only will I have a nice amount to buy gifts with, but I will have a healthy savings amount too!

    * Meat - buy bulk when possible. I actually buy a whole rump - which is usually about $6.99/kg from a bulk butcher. They will slice it how you want - then I tend to mince up the ratty bits (in the food processor) and slice up packs for stir fries as well. Sometimes I mince more than the ratty bits because even though it is rump steak, mince rarely is less than about $8/kg (unless you get the really fatty stuff) and it only makes sense to mince my own for less money and it is much healthier - harldy any fat.
    I also buy whole Tbone and bulk chicken fillets - a whole rump costs around $40-50 - this gets me around 6-8 packs of mince, 3-4 stirfry and 8-10 steaks so works out around$2/meal.
    * Toilet paper, washing powder, tissues - always buy when on special and buy lots - never goes off!

    So what are some of yours?
    Last edited by Floweryfields; April 13th, 2009 at 12:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jan 2008

    we buy fruit veg from growers rather than supermarket
    a lso we buy in large bulk anything on sale
    pasta sauce 1.50 a jar we would stock up on 10 jars.. we make our own lunches and make our own recess food for kids too. We don't buy drinks at shops we take bottled home filtered water.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Aug 2008

    I shop at Lifeline! That's just snugglybean style though!
    We ride bikes everywhere. Even when we had a car, it saves SO much!
    We very rarely buy food when we're out, always take lunch to work - usually leftovers from a previous night's dinner.
    We brew our own beer, and make our own snack foods (dips, chips, toasted nuts etc)
    We're vegetarian, which can be a LOT cheaper than eating meat (my food blog is coming soon, I promise!) even if you only do it once a week, you may notice. When we did eat meat, we ate the el cheapo cuts and cooked them with heaps of vegies and beans and stuff.
    Most of our food comes from markets.
    Always buy your toiletries from the chemist, when theey're on special. Their specials are heaps better than the supermarkets.
    Use re-usable items where you can, e.g. hankies instead of tissues (we own a tissue box but it's just because I made a stunning tissue box cover and I like to show it off!)
    Furnish your house with kerbside collection - this also saves on potential renovation costs, as you have to keep your decor old to match the furniture!)
    Get down to the library, newspapers, magazines, DVDs, CDs. Also some awesome books on DIY, and just fun to read.

    We're actually not on a tight budget at all. I just like to live this way. Snuggly Style!

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Down Under

    we buy meat in bulk,
    i plan out our meals each week and take a shopping list to the supermarket so i dont buy things i dont need!
    i buy homebrand nappies coz i find they are just as good as the expensive ones!

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Sep 2008

    We dont have many options where we live, but I do get amazing savings from online chemists - just got 2 for 1 for pregnancy vitamins last night. Also when I was saving for a deposit I started with a direct debit to a savings account of $50 a month then slowly increased it. I set up for the statements to come only every 3 months so that I forgot about the money accruing and wasn't tempted.

    I definately buy in bulk when things are on sale - its a large outlay on the day but means you don't have to buy for ages.

    If you buy magazines regularly most times it is cheaper to sign up for a subscription and have it delivered to your door - however this isn't good for the newsagencies...

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Add Kazbah on Facebook Follow Kazbah On Twitter

    Sep 2006
    Dandy Ranges ;)

    I plan my meals, and use leftovers as much as possible (eg broccoli & cauliflower on Sat night, cauliflower & broccoli cheese last night) in other meals.

    I grow my own veg as much as possible - it's also a good way to learn to cook what's in season. In season veg/fruit are so much cheaper than "out-of-season" stuff. Learn to use a range of veggies - we have silverbeet risotto a bit now ...

    For meat, we only serve around 90g/person when we eat it. We have our own chooks and sell the excess eggs @ work, we make enough from this to pay for their grain, they also eat a lot of leftover veg. We use their poop in the veggie patch and make up a fertiliser "tea" from it for everything else as well.

    Wash in cold water, line dry where possible (I have an airing rack out on my flat roof that I hang the washing on, it's the only place with sun!)

    Oh, and use cloth nappies. It costs a bit to get set up, but once you're set up, you have no need to buy any other nappies! So nice to not have to budget that extra $20/week! Also use cloth wipes with water, kinder on bub's butt and can recycle - I've cut up old flanno sheets & PJs to make some, or bought a pack of 10 washers from spotlight for $5 - bought them when Pip was a newborn and still using them.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Down Under

    YES i wash in cod water too!
    for my electricity/gas i have a card that i pay $20 a fortnight into so by time the bill comes im usually on top of it already and sometimes i have even been in front!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006

    we've also set our bills up so that we paid extra, were now plenty of credit on all of them, we pay more on the gas in autumn to get ready for winter(heating) and more for electricty getting ready for summer (A/C)
    we buy meat in bulk
    shopping at aldi has saved us heaps!!
    cloth nappies and wipes

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2005

    We also pay extra on things such as electricity, rates and mobile phone (but we stopped the extra on the phone as they lost $180 worth of payments and i fought and fought to get it back).

    I like to shop weekly as i find for us this works better, i take a list and i buy what is on that list nothing more nothing less.

    * Buy things in bulk (flour,sugar,rice)...might be more expensive to start with but in the long run it is cheaper!
    * Buy things such as toilet paper,tissues, washing powders/detergents from places like BIGW they are cheaper.
    *Shop at the end of the week as most supermarkets have all of their sales rolled out by the end of the week.
    * Never shop when you are hungry.
    * Don't forget to look at the bottom shelves...they usually have some good bargains down there :-)
    * Buy things that are on special when ever possible
    * Shampoo/Conditioner are also cheaper if purchased in the bigger sizes.
    * Go to the markets for fresh fruit and vegie
    * Buy meat in bulk ...although you need a chest freezer to do this
    * Buy bread when they have the 2 for 1 price and freeze them.
    * Dont always buy brand names, they arent always the best.
    * Know your budget and stick to it.
    * Use layby system when ever you can for things you might want but dont need now (when they are on special of course)
    * Take lunches to work...use left overs for this
    * Shop at Aldi if you have one close by will be surprised with how much more you get for your money

    These are all little tips on money saving ideas...hopefully some of these will be helpful.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006

    oh and no landline phone!! we use voip

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    buy a slow cooker - seriously, it's the best thing we've ever done!

    - we can now buy meat in bulk when it's on special and cook up a variety of meals for the freezer - then we just pop them out and reheat for both DH and I
    - make sure you have essentials on hand all the time - if you run out of something basic (that you need to use) you'll almost guarantee spending extra at the shops
    - do basic maths as you're shopping - round everything up and add it together - you notice what money you're spending that way
    - buy stuff in bulk where you can. we used to buy rice in bulk (10kg at a time) but haven't been able to find somewhere local that sells Basmati rice in bulk so we just buy the biggest amount available.
    with veg, we buy in bulk and then use in the slow cooker if we're buying (grow what we can though!) - we always make a soup with what we dont use for the initial meals (for eg, this weekend, we've cooked chooken stirfry in sauce to freeze - 6 meals - curry mince with veg - 8 meals - roast dinner - left overs to be made into shepherds pie today to freeze for DH - tonight is fried rice. with the left over veg, it will all get thrown in the slow cooker over night tonight and we'll blend it up tomorrow YUMMY soup)
    - paying in advance can help - but keep in mind that the companies then have your money and are making interest off it. in some cases (if you have self control) it's better to have an account that you pay in the same amount (including money for car services, gifts etc that you've budgeted for) and bank it all and pay on due date - that way YOU make the extra interest dollars on your own money - this will only work if you have good self control!
    - grow what you can! fruit trees if you can (dwarf options available), basic veg, herbs etc - you'll be amazed at the money you save
    - cook from scratch - there is an awesome thread in the recipes section with alternatives to typical "convenience" foods
    - plump out meat dishes with heaps of veg! i can turn a kilo of mince and bag of pasta into 16 "man sized" meals for freezing for DH by adding lots of extra stuff - if i'm in a hurry, i'll use jar sauces (get them on spesh) but we also have been getting an average of a bucket of toms a week lately, so between the toms and onion and zucchini, we make a basic sauce, then add extra to that for texture and extra flavour (chilli and garlic for zing, then add every vegie i can put my hands on!) - makes for a simple and very healthy dinner for DH to take away

    hmmm, maybe i should mention DH is a truckie so we have to make meals for him to take away - if he doesn't it costs on average $30 a day for truckstop meals (unless he buys crappy fried food) - or if he takes stuff from home, he might spend that in a week on a treat when he's had no chance to stop for a meal.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Jan 2008

    i think my post went wrong i said turn the hot water system of when no needed we turn it on every 3 days for 3 hours an that works fine or even turn it down by 5 degree's.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Feb 2008

    I was just wondering if in NSW we can gget that card to pay towards our rego? DOes anyone know?

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    hiding under my desk!

    if you have a set budget for shopping say $200 per week if you dont spend it all say $170 buy a gift card to the remainder value = $30
    keep these cards for rainy days if you have a really tight week for money or you need to give a gift at short notice... over the yr you will accrue a fair bit of "cash" then you have christmas money.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    SE suburbs of Melbourne

    - paying in advance can help - but keep in mind that the companies then have your money and are making interest off it. in some cases (if you have self control) it's better to have an account that you pay in the same amount (including money for car services, gifts etc that you've budgeted for) and bank it all and pay on due date - that way YOU make the extra interest dollars on your own money.

    For a few more money saving tips have a listen/look at Suze Orman's site/show (if you have cable)/youtube episodes. She's coming from an American perspective so not everything she says is do-able here, but the advice that can "translate" is very useful!