Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Great Budget War

how do you shop?  do you go when you are hungry?  do you have all the kids in tow?  do you end up cringing when they read your price at check out?  <sigh>  it's not a nice feeling is it?  given up on budgets because they always get blown?  even on basics?

when we brought our first child home from the Philippines and made the great conversion to me being a stay at home mum ... i knew things would have to change.  i might not be bringing in an income anymore .... but i was going to have to find ways to save money ... i had my part to play!

ALDI and i have become best friends.  as soon as i realised that, for the most part, i could buy exactly the same thing (just branded slightly differently) and 60-70% of the cost .... i swallowed my pride and became ok with being my own "check out chick".  i hear you saying "but i can't get everything i need at ALDI" .... so?  you can get 80% of it, that's for sure!  and yes, they have organic food items .... from free range eggs (although we have our own chooks .... another HUGE budget saver) to organic chickens.  they have a whole range of "organics" .... not quite as cheap as the others .... but still heaps cheaper than at one of the two "big chains". 

the other thing i do is belong to a local fruit and veggie co-op.  if you don't belong ... you need to.  if you can't find one ... then start one!  they aren't hard and you can get some good deals.  we drop $40 a fortnight and get 1-2 over stuffed boxes of fruit and veggie.  when it was just the three of us we would always have more than we need.  now with there being 5 of us we go through it and i generally have to hit the fruit market as well .... but that's ok .... because we are still getting a great deal.

other things we do include:
  • not being afraid to accept second hand clothes (our kids barely know new!)
  • re-use and recycle -- you'd be amazed at what can have a second use in your home
  • understand the difference between wanting and needing something (need i say more?)
  • buy on ebay or online .... but COST COMPARE!  sometimes the cost of the postage and handling more than kills any deals you might get on the sticker price
  • growing our own, of course that's obvious.  the more i can grow myself the less we have to buy.
  • find a barter network and use it.  what do you have that others want that you could use to barter with?
those are just a few things.  i wish i could say that we are living high on the hog.  but we do just fine.  and the more we can produce ourselves the less reliant we will be on having to purchase items.  there will always be a need to buy things .... we can't get around that.  but in the end answering the question about if something is a want or a need will go a very long way in helping us to realise just how much we can live without.

1 comment:

  1. I so wish we had an ALDI in South Dakota. I always hear people talk about how much they save there, but we're just stuck with Wal-Mart. And fruit and veggie coops are pretty non-existance here too because our growing season is so short (winter lasts 5 months here, we're expecting heavy snow this weekend).
    But on the plus side, SD is one of the largest producers of honey, so we get that in bulk super cheap.