Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Saving Dollars by Reducing Household Costs

HouseHold Costs

We all overlook some aspects of our household, it's inevitable.

It is never too late to make a start, my best tips to this are to follow these few things, and to do them regularly say each year, and you will be amazed at how much you can reduce your monthly expenditure, for every $5.00 you save each month , here and there adds up to $60.00 a year for each time, so its all worth it.

Power Companies

Compare what you are paying for electricity on is the site in New Zealand, you may have something similar overseas.

Things you will need to have with you:
You need to have a copy of an account so you can put in what you are presently paying, site comes up with what other companies in your area charge for the same usage. 
I made two changes, changed companies and started turning off all appliances that we kept on standby - computer, dishwasher, microwave, tv etc.
A sizeable drop from prior bills, up to $60 cheaper a month - a huge difference for people scrambling to find money for their bills.

Another good tip is to
Get your hot water cylinder turned down and it could save you 20-30 dollars per month,

Car Insurance

So many of us insure our cars at a set amount say $20,000 but we forget to allow for depreciation, so what may have cost you $20000 5 years previous isn't worth still paying for $20,000 insurance so change your car insurance policy to allow for depreciation and you will save heaps of dollars, if you question your insurance company they will give you lots of advice  but without the questioning the information does not come to you freely.

Bank Accounts

Bank account fees need to be reviewed annually as so many account have huge fees and by simply changing the last 2 numbers on your account number can sometimes be a $30 savings, also if you have a bit of money in a savings account negotiate with your bank to give your the best deals around


We had just come off fixed interest on our mortgage, and had a look at what other banks were offering, we approached our own bank and said can you do something similar for us, as we have been looking elsewhere what is on offer, and quick as a flash they were offering us a further 0.35% discount off their floating rate for the life of the loan, every time that interest rates move (down hopefully) ours will be 0.35% lower, than they were before.
It is that old age question, if you do not ask, you don't receive.
Direct Debit

Set your power, phone etc as a monthly direct debit with the companies involved, as most of them offer a incentive to do this, as an early payment plan.
If you need to set up a separate account to do this just ask your bank for a cheap interest account as this has no monthly fees on it, and work out each week exactly how much needs to go in there, and do just that, that way when the companies take their money out each month you will know everything is covered.
And by pre arranging the best plans possible for each company there will be over costs to amend each month.

Phone Companies

There are many different companies we can choose to do our business with, so shop around and get the best plan set up for you and your family.
Cell phones are a killer on the monthly bill so negotiate a cheaper calling plan for each family member as this way you will not hesitate before you pick up the phone to call, and also take advantage of direct debit early payment schemes  as mentioned above.

Our Health

The biggest money investment we have is our health and we don't need heavy gym memberships to maintain it either, just a good brisk walk and you can use 2 cans of asparagus as weights, they do just the same as half hour on treadmill with hand weights, use the couch seat and stand with your back to it and hands on seat do backward crunches, lie on floor and do sit ups, its the same as the big machine you can use weights on your stomach if required, get the kids to hold your feet, and just think the gym meet would've cost $6- $8 dollars plus a drink cause tap water is not the same would be $10 3 times a week and i just saved yourself $30.00 well done you.


Movie Night

With a little imagination you can do anything, ok when things are tight, the first thing we do is cut back on things like entertainment, so if we can't go to the movies, our lives will not end, its easy pull the curtains borrow a dvd of a friend if you cannot afford to rent one, make some popcorn (even a 50c scoop out of a bulk bin) and snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy.
You can have just as much fun at home as you can out and its cheaper.


So you cannot afford the petrol to drive somewhere for a picnic, do not fert, spread a blanket on the lawn and have a themed home style picnic, you could have Hawai 50, Cowboys & Indians use your imagination, everyone has to dress up it is compulsory, play along with the theme, we used to have a very wet lawn and it sloped downwards so we had a fun park picnic, the kids would go under the sprinkler, grab a grocery bag slide down the hill sitting on their bag, then run back up and do it all over again, we would throw balls at them and if they got hit they had to sit out a round, the see saw was the teeter totter and each pair had 2 minutes to go as many times as they could without getting hit with balls the winner got to choose their favourite ice block first, who ever swings the highest swing got the biggest cookie ( something that made them the champion) , great fun and a batch of scones and a homemade jar of jam was the picnic with a sachet of cordial, imagination is the key you can even print off certificates or invitations and invite the childrens friends to your themed picnic, believe me they were great fun, and once the friends started coming, you never went back to un themed picnics again.


The library is not only a place for books, but it also stocks audio books, magazine, games, jigsaws, free internet, e books, DVD, Cd's and a whole range of information to take advantage of, so when you're saving pennies, check out the library there is a wide range of goods on offer


We have all had that thought, that it always falls on an off pay week when someone wants a haircut  well problem solved.

Invest in a good set of clippers or look into whether you have enough points through a site like Flybuys, I got mine with my flybuys points and they have lasted me more than 10 years it came with a video showing me how to do basic haircuts which was very handy to watch.
The clippers cost nothing to run and once you get the hang of it, its a breeze.
I cut both my sons,my nephews and the kids friends hair with them and have done for many a year.
Every haircut done at home is $15.00 in our back pocket that we can use to do something else.

Pet Food

Make you own tasty dog treats! 2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 cups milk powder (non- fat if you like)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tsp butter/maybe try lard seeing butter so expensive now.
1 egg
1/2 cup water
mix together and knead for 3 mins until dough forms a ball.
Roll out to 1cm thick and cut into small shapes, try bone shapes for fun.
Place on a greased tray and bake at 180c for 30 mins.
When I make mine I sometimes add some stock to the mix.

When the freezer needs a bit of a clean out, I do this for the animals.

I use anything that looks abit freezer burnt and any leftovers (stews, soups etc) that may have seen their freezer life through, add this to a pot add a packet of pasta (any kind) if you have a liver or a few kidneys these can be chopped up into it as well, cover with water and bring to the boil then simmer for one hour then cool, when cool add to ice cream containers and refrigerate it goes quite thick and the dogs love it and the good thing about it is that it changes every time, nd is very cheap to make.

Tenderising Cheaper Cuts of meat

We would all like to buy the Scotch Fillet steaks on a Rump steak budget and now you can, I have two tried and true ways to tenderise meats that I still do today and no one knows I do it.

Kiwifruit slices

Peel and finely slice a couple of kiwifruit, then make a steak sandwich with the kiwifruit and then glad wrap and put in the fridge.
The kiwifruit tenderises the steak to the point that it becomes like a fillet steak
But if you have detectives in the house who look out for things, make sure you fry the steak with the kiwifruit indents down as you can see where it has been sitting JUST a warning the first time I tried this, my lot told me my steak had the big measles 

Kiwifruit tenderiser 

I mash up a kiwifruit with a little minced garlic and a dash of soy sauce & a couple teaspoons honey & marinate steak that I suspect may not be so tender - it works really well.
Trick is not to leave it in the kiwifruit marinade too long, overnight can reduce the meat to a mushy texture. I find a couple of hours is enough. 

No comments:

Post a Comment