Tuesday, 9 March 2010

War on Debt 2010

I have been a Simple Savings member for many years, and really enjoy reading through everyone's hints. Being on a station a lot of the hints are unusable for us, but I thought I would have a go at the March Challenge and do 31 hints in 31 days.

Now as you can see today is the 9th, so you will have to believe me when I started on the 1st, "with some easy ones". Some of these hints may sound silly to some people,but to us Simple Savers they make heaps of sense or should I say "cents". Just changing a few of your habits over a year can change you a fair bit of money.

So to catch up I will list the last 8 days and todays then try doing it everyday.

1. Put toothpaste on sideways (I know sounds silly, but if I alone do it, that saves $12 a year, imagine if I can talk all in the house to do if!)

2. Clean the pantry out, put all the nearest use by dates at the front and make sure I use them.
This may sound easy to some, but when your grocery order is only done monthly, plus at the moment I have extra for the wet, so at stages everyone just tends to open the door and shove where they can fit. But I am happy to say, clean, clean clean.
(Gotta admit this is just my day to day pantry and I still need to do my tin pantry)
Savings - use up food before the use by date, try a few different meals to use up a few different products.

3. Fill the biscuit and cake barrell, so not buying that sort of stuff when the monthly shop is done. Now this is usually a really easy hint, but John is now eating mainly gluten free stuff, and he loves bikkies and cake, but is really finding the transition from normal to gluten food very hard. I gotta admit, it just does not taste the same. So on the weekend I filled cookie jars with Melting Moments and Monte Carlos, and froze some.

4. Water down dishwashing detergent. I have been using the soft hands Palmolive, as been finding my hands getting itchy after using other brands lately. (maybe it's just the thought of washing up!) This is fairly concentrated so I have decanted it into 2 containers and filled them to
the top with water, and to tell you the truth I really can't find any difference.

5. Start using the breadmaker again. This is a hard one, as Jay and I don't eat a lot of bread, and John is GF so I don't use it that much. But I try to make John at least 1 loaf a week so he gets a couple of days of fibre, but as all you GF's know after the first day it's just not nice. So I have had to cook for visitors off and on it the last couple of weeks, and these men have been thrilled to have a fresh loaf of bread with a curry or stew. Actually I forgot I did make 2 pizza basis in it on the weekend as well. So it's back in use again. My biggest saving for the year with this will be to work out how to make GF loaves from scratch and not use the pkt mixes.

6. The next one is faster showers, now I'm not too bad at this and neither is John, but Jay that is another story. Now being on a generator we don't have a problem with power wasting, but I was just thinking if it was our own personal place and our own generator, does the use of the generator which is running anyway, use a little more fuel for that time? Sounds silly but that was the thought. Then I had another thought, well maybe it was more a "duh" moment, as we are actually on gas hot water. Anyway regardless of what power is used, we need to take shorter showers - the biggest reason don't waste water. We have rain water in the showers at the moment and I just hate the thought of it all just running away when we can have it a bit longer. That includes washing up as well.

7. Start my herb garden (and keep it alive), use fresh herbs a lot more in my cooking instead of buying herbs, cause after initial cost it's free. So this is done and they are actually looking great.

8. This is probably a cheat and maybe should be included with the hint above, but what the heck! Cut the stems of the spring onions and plant with my herb, let them grow and just cut off as I need, they just keep going. Not sure of the cost of this will have to work it out later, but that's a bunch of spring onions every week saved.

9. Todays - Well I think I will add in that I have started using my easiyo yogurt maker again on a daily basis, but as it is just me that eats it, it usually lasts for about 3 - 4 days. I have to admit, that I don't buy yogurt in the store order as it is such a pain to get it out here and to buy it in the community shop is just tooooo expensive. So it probably isn't what you would call a saving as it wasn't being eaten, but it is probably a saving for my health, and I have to say if I was in town and not making it I would be buying it. I have also used the yogurt in the last couple of weeks to cook a cake and make a sauce for lamb.

So there it is, so I will try to get on each day to update my savings challenge for that day. If you are interested go over and check the Simple Savings site, it really is full of great ideas and if you ever need to know something, post it on the forum and I can guarantee you will get an answer within minutes. It does have a joining fee, but I reckon if you start implementing a lot of the things that are hinted at or discussed you easily recoup that savings in the first week alone.

So enough of my chit chat, check back later for a card.

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