Save money on:

Save money on:

Groceries

  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season.

  • Plan all your meals in advance. Start making a chart with four columns at the top for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then make a list of all the ingredients you need. STICK TO YOUR LIST WHEN SHOPPING.

  • If you have the room, stock up on sale goods for non-perishable purchases on items you normally buy. Buy items such as nappies, shampoo, soap, detergent, toothpaste, napkins, and toilet rolls when they are on special. These can be stored and will not spoil.

  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat and cook them in a slow cooker to make them tender and flavourful. Slow cookers are great for stews and soups. You pop all the ingredients in before you go to work; when you get back home dinner is ready.

  • Use leftovers to make soup. Make soup broth from leftover meat, bones and vegetable scraps. Freeze any excess.

  • Look for coupons in the paper each week for restaurants and save them in a folder for future use. I keep my coupons and carry out menus in plastic cover sheets in a big binder so I can find them easy for busy nights.

  • Don't spend hard-earned money on take-away coffee. A $4.50 latte once a day (Mon to Fri) adds up to $22.50 a week -that’s $1170.00 a year! When tempted remind yourself: a 100g pack costs just the same –you’re being ripped off & you’re only getting ONE CUP!!!

  • Avoid buying packaged and processed foods. Make foods from scratch. You'll save money and be healthier for it, too.

  • Add some convenience foods to your grocery list, if you know you have some busy days ahead and won't have time for cooking store some tinned tuna or packet risotto in the pantry. A stir fry meal made with ready-made risotto, frozen beef strips, frozen broccoli and canned pineapple chunks is still cheaper and healthier than most fast food meals. Plus you can make a meal like this in the time it takes you to drive to McDonalds and back.

  • Shop when you are not hungry. You tend to make spur of the moment purchases when hungry and end up buying food you do not really have on your list.

  • If you have food in your house that no one is likely to eat up, donate it to a food bank before it is past its expiration date. It won't save you any money, but you will be doing a good deed by helping out a less fortunate family. Salvation Army will appreciate your donations!

When shopping

  • Plan purchases in advance. Shop with a list –this works well for groceries, clothing, school supplies and other purchases as well.

  • Pay with cash instead of using a credit card.

  • AVOID IMPULSE BUYING. If you are not 100% sure you need it, put it on hold overnight while you sleep on it. Chances are you really don’t need it.

  • If you have the storage space, stock up when the items are on sale like school supplies, socks, etc. Chances are the kids will need the items in the coming months.

  • Keep a notebook of prices for items you regularly buy so you'll know when you see a sale whether or not the price is really a good deal.

  • When shopping for gifts, consider inexpensive calendars. They make great low-cost gifts that last the whole year! Or give a planner or organiser.

On vacations and travel

  • If possible, travel off-season when the rates are lower.
  • For vacations, go camping instead of staying at hotels.

  • Buy airline tickets in advance. If you delay, the price will usually increase the closer it gets to your trip time.

  • When going away overnight or just for a weekend trip take the bus. Leave the stress of driving to the bus driver. Enjoy the scenery or have a good nap. You will be in a better mood when you get to your destination. 

  • Shop online for deals before you arrive in your destination city. Many theme parks and museums offer special passes in conjunction with other attractions.

On healthcare

  • One of the best investments in time and money is your health. One way to improve your health is to develop inexpensive hobbies that allow you to get both exercise and fresh air. If you enjoy running invest in good running shoes. If you’re into swimming buy a concession card at the Aquatic Centre for 10 sessions.

  • Invest in some gym equipment. You can buy used sets of weights, exercise bikes, rowing machines and similar equipment online or at garage sales. No room for a piece of gym equipment? Go buy a set of resistance bands -they are cheaper than weights and easier to store.

  • Buy home exercise videos instead of joining an expensive gym. Or, if you want the faculties of a gym, consider joining one in your area. You get the benefit of walking to the gym and save on petrol and parking costs.

  • For exercise as well as stress relief, join a yoga or dance class. You can find yoga or dance classes through inexpensive community adult education classes. Once you become familiar with how to do the postures, you can practice at home with just a book or video. Yoga and dancing are great stress reducers and perfect for times like these when the economy is doing poorly and many people are under stress from job losses and tight finances.

     

On entertainment

  • See movies in the afternoon at matinee prices which are cheaper. Or cheaper still hire a DVD and the whole family can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

  • Visit the library and borrow books for free or rent videos. Some libraries have free special activities for children.

  • Take advantage of “resident specials” -museums, zoos and other attractions offer discounts to residents. Some are even free -keep an eye on the local Review paper and take advantage of the freebies!

  • For family fun have a board game night. Play classics like Monopoly or Scrabble. You get to spend quality time with the kids and, they learn social and mental skills while having fun all at the same time and all in the comfort of your home -FREE!. Try stocking up on board games at after Christmas sales when many toys are marked down.

  • Put together a complicated jigsaw puzzle and have the whole family work on it over several evenings.

  • Have a picnic in a scenic area like a park or the beach for a low-cost day out.

  • Join clubs with free or nominal memberships. The Aquatic Centre offers concession cards for the family and also for individuals.

     

On car running costs

  • The heavier the car is the more gas you will use. So try not to drive around with anything weighty in the car if you do not need it. Leave the double stroller at home if you are going out without the kids. Take the bike racks or ski racks off when running errands around town. Only put them back when you will really go biking or skiing.

  • Do errands once a week. List all the places you need to go to and make it an “errand day”. Plan all errands the night before. This will save you time and petrol.

  • Use the bus, ride your bike or walk when possible. Do this with your kids during the weekends and teach them the importance of exercise as well.

  • Try carpooling with family, friends or neighbours such as dropping off/ picking up kids at school, netball or rugby practice. 

     

and ways to earn extra cash

  • Clean out your closets. Have a garage sale, or take your goods to a consignment store or sell stuff online i.e. Trade Me. You know the old saying, one man's trash is another man's treasure. If you can't find a buyer for your unwanted goods you can donate them to a local charity like the Salvation Army.

  • If you are a university student, you can sell your used textbooks online.

  • Resell items. Go to other people's garage sales, look for bargains and then resell the items online, It helps to specialize in one area so you get to know the market very well.

  • Offer your services to others. If you have a talent you can often do services for others who either don't have the skill or the time to do chores themselves. If you are a stay at home mum offer services such as pet care, child care, sewing and typing for some extra money.

  • Turn Your Hobby Into a Business. Turning any hobby into a business can often "earn" extra money just from tax savings. This is due to the many tax deductions available to small business owners. Possible deductions for your home business may include deductions for a retirement plan, health and dental insurance. phone expenses, Internet connection costs, equipment such as phones and PCs, a home office, travel expenses and much more. The list is really quite extensive.

  • Love baking? Bake pies, cakes or cookies and sell them to family and friends, school fairs, etc

  • Take a hairdressing course. You can work as a part-time hairdresser or work from home. Offer your service to family and friends at first. Then run an ad at the local newspaper and offer services to your local community.

  • Learn how to sew or do crafts. You can do lots of projects –knitting, embroidery, etc and sell the finished product. Go to the library and borrow books for free!

  • Grow your own fruits or veggies. Then make pies, jams, chutneys, hummus, etc and sell them.

  • Clothes can look new by doing a few alterations – change buttons, add a ribbon or lace to the hem or neckline. Use your imagination.

     


BFC Contact: Michelle Nahu
 07 346 2096   michelle.nahu@familyfocus.org.nz