How to Save $5000 on Home Expenses Right Now
With the economy gone to shit and the massive loss of jobs, it is time that all of us really focus on being frugal with our home expenses. With a bit of time, research and a couple of phone calls, you could easily save up to $5000 on your home expenses.
Here’s how, who to call and how to negotiate better deals!
How to Save Money on Food Shopping
We really do eat way too much food. Your grocery bill is a fantastic place to start when it comes to saving loads of money. Before going to the supermarket, think about the meals that you can make with what you already have. If you implement even half of these tips – you can expect to save $3900 per year!!!!!
We recommend the following:
Do a Stocktake of Your Fridge, Freezer and Pantry
You probably have more food than you realise! Go through your fridge, freezer and pantry. Write down all the meat or protein that you have in your freezer and then plan your meals around these to use them up first.
True story – when I cleaned out my chest freezer when I moved house, I found a ham that was five years out of date (no I didn’t eat it!). Check the items for their used-by date. Remember that red meat is good in the freezer for up to one year, chicken and pork has a freezer life of six months, and pretty much everything else is two months.
Plus see what is in your fridge – what is about to go out of date? Make sure you use that up!
The Pink Basket Method
The Pink Basket Method is how we use up food in our home. We have a shallow pink basket (it can be any colour) – and it goes front and centre in the fridge. Any item in the fridge that is nearly spoiled or is approaching its used by date gets popped into the pink basket. Then those items are the ones that need to be used up first! A simple and effective way to reduce food waste!
Watch Your Portion Sizes
Are you inadvertently eating too much because of your serving sizes? Start serving meals on smaller plates and assess how you feel after you eat. Are you satisfied or hungry? Cutting down on your meat and eating more vegetables won’t just save you money, it will also be good for the waistline and your health in general!
Yes, Yes You Can Live on Less
A few years ago we had a great grocery list for living on $50 per week. Sure, that might of gone up a few dollars, but it is still worth checking out. It shows that if you eat very simply, you can save loads of money!
Buy a Whole Cow, Sheep or Pig
Now that Australia is coming into Winter, it is a great time to support local farmers by buying a whole or half beast. Yes it is a large initial investment, but if you can even go halves or quarters with family – you are guaranteed a whole freezer full of meat for as little as $10 per kilogram.
When you buy direct from the farmer you can decide on the cuts of meat you would like. Sure, there will be quite a bit of stewing meat, but that’s why this is the perfect time of year to do it – Winter means lots of slow cooked meals!
Bulk Up Your Stews and Casseroles with Vegetables
You should add grated carrot and zucchini to pretty much everything you eat. Why? Because they are healthy and bulk up your meals so you eat less meat! Another great one is lentils. If you add a can of lentils (drained first) to your spaghetti bolognaise, your kids won’t even notice – it gives the mince a delicious crunch and again makes it go so much further!
Stop Buying Pre-Prepared Foods
Yes families are busy and that is why we buy an enormous amount of pre-prepared foods. We are tired and we need to get the kids fed. But with a bit of pre-preparing every day, you can get a fully home cooked meal on the table that will be healthier and cheaper!
- Every night – think about what you might cook for dinner the next day – take the meat out of the freezer and place it on a plate in the fridge to defrost.
- Peel or prepare vegetables, put them in a saucepan covered with water and place in the fridge ready to go straight on the stove.
- Get your slow cooker out. Place the meal in the slow cooker in the morning before you leave the house and let it cook all day. Some really delicious and frugal slow cooker recipes to try include:
Super Cheap Slow Cooker Meals:
We have over 200 fantastic slow cooker recipes to try – but here are some of the most frugal ones:
- Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- Country Beef Casserole with Herb Scones
- Slow Cooker Creamy Salsa Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup
- How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker Pizza Pull-Apart
Only Drink Water
Stop drinking expensive fancy coffees and teas – stick to water. It is calorie free and good for you!
Spring Clean Your Home and Sell What You Don’t Need!
Go through all your cupboards, book shelves, filing cabinets and wardrobes. Anything you haven’t worn or used in the last year can be sold.
Items that you can sell on free platforms such as Gumtree or your local Facebook Buy Swap and Sell Page include:
- Gym Equipment
- Ball Gowns
- Kitchen Appliances
- Sporting Equipment
- Musical Instruments
Designer Clothing Can Be Rented to Others
If you don’t want to part with some of your more expensive wardrobe items, what about renting them to others for money? Yes there are websites now where you can advertise your clothing and rent it for a short period of time. Try the following websites:
- The Volte
- Outdress App
Save On Electricity Costs
Electricity bills can easily be pulled back with a bit of forethought. Things you can do right now:
- Clean your ceiling fans. When they are dusty they use more electricity as they are not as aerodynamic.
- Don’t use the dryer, hang your washing outside instead
- Unplug all of your appliances, they use electricity even when they are switched off
- Open windows instead of using the air conditioner.
- Use a small heated blanket instead of putting the heater on.
- Turn off all computers at the switch every night.
- Only wash in cold water
Also shopping around electricity providers to get a better deal is something you should do every year, there is no value in being loyal! We recommend you do your research and get quotes from all providers.
Here is a bit of list of who to try:
- Ovo Energy
- AGL Energy
- Origin Energy
- Click Energy
- Simply Energy
- Alinta Energy
- Diamond Energy
Look at Replacing Old Appliances
Newer appliances are much more energy efficient than old ones. An example is that I had an old chest freezer that I inherited from my parents. It was about 20 years old. When I finally replaced it with a much-larger upright freezer – my electricity bill went down $50 per month!!!! Yep that shit-box old box freezer was costing me a fortune! So it does pay to upgrade old appliances for new energy efficient models.
Look for at least a 4 or even better 4.5 star energy rating to ensure you get the cheapest one to run!
How much can you save?
Well even if you get a very small discount on your electricity – you can expect to save at least $500 per year!