I thought my first shop would cost an absolute fortune, but you know, I spent $180.00. The month without shopping has really made me quite restrained when it comes to the little things.
I must admit – I saved a shit load of money!
But in typical Murphy’s Law style, my washing machine and dryer shit themselves in the same week. Seriously, sometimes, life sucks like that. But I’ll admit that if I hadn’t saved that money, I wouldn’t have been able to afford the new machine… and after doing my laundry in my bathtub for a week made me appreciate just how much a mum needs a washing machine STAT, especially when children go through their six sets of clothing in a day.
Winter being worse because they wear so much more. No more ‘Only Undie Days’ for quite awhile.
So my biggest changes from before the challenge to now include:
1. I now buy all my meat from the local butcher (who is also a good friend of mine) who has large budget packs of meat and also delivers for free (thanks, McIntosh Meats!).
No only do their sausages taste so much better than the supermarket, they work out cheaper and don’t’ give my hubby the ‘Green Apple Scour’s for hours afterwards. I don’t know what they put in supermarket sausages (my husband says lips and arseholes) – but it has a laxative effect.
2. I make my own bread every day.
I use the Laucke brand of the Multigrain – I’ll never go back to white bread – and my kids are really happy about that too. And the smell of freshly baked bread every night is just beyond wonderful, especially now that it is cold.
3. My pantry is immaculately organised.
That is because it is literally empty, but I’ve arranged it so I can actually see what I have – and use up items that are nearly out of date rather than going through my pantry once a year and filling an entire wheelie bin.
4. I must write out my lines every week ‘I will not buy 27 packets of frozen vegetables every time I go shopping’.
Although I still prefer the frozen stuff because I tend to forget about the fresh veggies in the bottom of the fridge, I’m not ‘over buying’ just because that is what I’m used to buying.
My Fails and Disappointments:
1. I really missed coffee (which made me only get to week 3, day 4 instead of the full month – I’m sorry, I’m only human and I don’t want a divorce.)
2. My Pal-like fail (see Part Two).
3. Not having any biscuits.
Yes, I made some myself, but I’ve found out that some things are just not worth making from scratch – it’s true. Biscuits are cheaper to buy, especially on sale…
4. Having the family whinge that there was no food to eat, only ingredients.
1. I really think about something before I buy it.
Can I make it at home? Can I substitute ingredients to make a meal cheaper? Can I do without it for another week? Do I really need it?
2. Having enough money to buy my washing machine, plus I’ve had loads of medical bills lately with my autistic son.
Thank goodness I had that on hand. It took the worry about finding money I didn’t have.
3. Spending time in the vegetable patch is not only ‘exercise’ (digging is exercise), but having fresh vegetables lessens my food bill and tastes so much better.
During this time, learning about the dairy industry and the farmers, I’ve also given a big thought about where my food comes from, and I really try and buy locally.
So, if you need to save some money, and have a good clean out (and probably lose a few kilograms too), I highly suggest giving this a go! It didn’t kill us – and I think I’m actually better off mentally for doing it!