Money Saving Strategies: Part 2

 

This post is a Continuation of Money Saving Strategies: Part 1. Find it here.

More money saving strategies we use:

Baby Stuff

Babies are expensive creatures!

  • I buy the cheap supermarket brand disposable nappies for use during the day, and only use the more expensive brand overnight. This would save us about $20 a month.
  • We only use wipes for number 2’s, and again I buy the supermarket brand. Number 1’s are cleaned up with tissues and sorbolene cream, not only is this much much cheaper, but much kinder on little bottoms. Those wipes have a lot of nasty chemicals in them!
  • We have one of those fancy nappy disposal bins that seals off each nappy, trapping the smells inside. It’s a brilliant contraption, but each cartridge costs at least $10!! So we only use this bin for stinky number 2’s, and have a separate bin with a bin liner in it for number 1’s. The number 1 bin doesn’t seal the smell in as well, but we just make sure we empty it more frequently.
  • When we were at the puree stage, I made all of Miss E’s purees and froze them, and used jar food only when we were out and about for ease and convenience.
  • I buy formula, nappies, wipes, baby food and anything else I can in bulk, only when they’re on special.

Clothes

  • I make do with what I already have far more often than what I used to and now try to buy pieces that I know will be worn over and over again. I try to buy lots of neutral pieces that will go together with different outfits, and buy end of season clearance stock when I can. A tip I picked up recently was to choose a signature colour (in my case blue) and build your wardrobe with pieces in shades of this colour and neutrals, that way everything will go together nicely, and you can create more outfits with less pieces.
  • For Miss E and the little man joining us soon, I’ve barely paid full price for a single item of clothing they own. Again, I buy end of season stock ahead of time. Miss E is currently wearing size 1, and so when I see a clearance rack, I’m looking ahead to pieces in size 2 and 3. For the little man I’m buying 0000’s, 000’s, 00’s, 0’s and 1’s when I see them cheap at the moment. With summer drawing to a close I bought 8 separate swimsuit items off the clearance rack for Miss E and the little man for a total $22.50, with their original price totalling $82! We’ve got enough bathers to get us through the next two summers now!
  • I repair and alter what I can instead of throwing it out. Fixing a hem or sewing a button back on takes all of 15 minutes, and doesn’t cost me a cent.

Other strategies

  • I never carry more than a couple of dollars in cash. If the money isn’t sitting there in my purse, I’m not likely to spend it on a soft drink or snack here and there. This is as good for my health as it is for my pocket!
  • I don’t browse or window shop anymore. If I don’t know it exists then I won’t want it.
  • I save up the things that I ‘want’ but don’t ‘need’ for gift suggestions when it’s my birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas, i.e. new handbag, sunglasses, books etc.
  • If we can make it ourselves for cheaper than it can be bought, then that’s exactly what we’ll do. This goes for baby items, house renovations, pasta sauces, anything within our capabilities.
  • We’ve made a conscious effort to turn off lights in the rooms we’re not in. If there’s no one in that room, there probably doesn’t need to be a light on. We also don’t have a dryer, and dry all our clothes out in the sunshine, or inside in front of a window if it’s cold and raining.
  • We watch the fuel cycle and buy when it’s cheap, using discount vouchers when we have them. I say we, but really Matt just takes care of this and I don’t have to think about it!

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I think one of the key things to remember when you’re trying to save a few dollars is to treat yourself every now and then. Have a fancy dinner every now and then, buy that killer pair of heels, just don’t do it all the time 🙂 Life gets a little boring if you only meat from the clearance section!

Take and adapt whatever works for you, ignore what doesn’t and please share any great money saving strategies you use to get by!

Abby xx

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A new path!

This week we (well not so much me) have been working on the path between our house and the sandpit.

This has been on the to do list for at least a year, but due to the labour intensive work, has been put off and put off time and time again.

Here’s how it all came together:

The path and sandpit border are made from recycled old red bricks, that Matt painstakingly removed old paint, mortar and concrete from, before laying them.

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IMG_5529I had the very important job of wetting the bricks and handing them to him!

The rock on the inside is also recycled. It was advertised as a giveaway by a landscaper, making over a garden.

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The process of finding the perfect placement for each rock was almost another painful process.

Once placement decisions were made, Matt tried taking some panorama shots of the layout, before removing them.

All the panorama shots were hilarious!

IMG_5561Thankfully he had a chalk reference system as well.

After a weeks work, the path is done, and I was finally able to make a garden bed.

IMG_5570Now there’s only another 23 metres of path to go on the other side of the sandpit…

Slow and steady wins the race!

Abby xx

 

Kitchen and Lounge: Before and After

In a few weeks time, it will be two years since we bought our first home. Two years on and it’s looking a bit different (better I hope!).

So I thought I’d share a few before and afters, starting with the kitchen and living areas.

Kitchen – Before:

IMG_4291Our house is 30 years old, but the kitchen was only two years old when we bought the house. It’s not to my taste, but it’s functional, and so it remains until we’ve run out of more important things to deal with. We have made some minor improvements though.

Kitchen – After:

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We took out the ugly skylight and put pendant lights in, removed the lacy curtains, the walls have had a lick of paint and I painted some Ikea stools to brighten it up a bit. Oh, and there’s the baby gates!

I can’t wait to rip it all out and start again at some point. I don’t like the cupboards, the stove, the bench tops, the tiles or the sink. So that’s pretty much the whole thing.

One day!

and then there’s the lounge..

Before:

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After:IMG_7201

Like most of the rooms in our house, we got in there and ripped everything out, plugged up any holes, and painted it a nice neutral white. I’m a big fan of colour, but that red wall and yellow curtain combination just wasn’t going to work for me. Especially since those curtains were stapled to the walls!?!?!?!

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and another angle of the lounge room…

Before: We’d already ripped those lovely yellow curtains out by this point, and the lounge was tool central while we worked on the bedrooms

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After:

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There was a rather useless dividing wall between the front door and our lounge room that we decided had to go.

Before:

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Here I am, after work one evening, smashing that wall down!

After:

no wall

The wall is gone, but we still haven’t done anything about replacing the flooring, so we have this lovely section of exposed concrete instead. This room’s also in desperate need of curtains, they’ve been on my to do list for so long, but I just can’t decide what I want.

So there’s been progress, it definitely looks better, but we’ve got a long way to go as well!

Abby xx