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?