Sunday, 3 January 2016

Fruit and Veg Market V's Large Chain Supermarkets

Its 2016 and were back into the frugal living lifestyle. With a wedding coming up and a large change in our lifestyle we decided it was time to start being smart with our money and smart with our food.

Today I went to the local market to buy some fruit and veg for this weeks salads, stir fry's and smoothies. We recently went to a 'Real Food Leads to Real Change' event which discussed the pros and cons of buying your fruit and veg from the market instead of from the large chain supermarket's. The main reason we decided to make the switch was because of the quality of the produce.

Here is a break down of what I purchased today and the total price, compared to if I had bought it at my local Coles.

Iceberg Lettuce
Lemons x 2
Limes x 2
Cucumber x 2
Red Onion
Red and Green Capsicum
Bean Sprouts
Coconut Oil

Total Price from Market= $49.95

Total Price from Coles = $61.97

Total saving = $12.02 PLUS my money has gone straight into a small business/farmers pocket, instead of some CEO of a large supermarket.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Making Outdoor Seating From Recycled Crates

As Summer begins and the evenings last longer we decided that we needed to improve our home by building some outdoor seating. The cost of a basic outdoor sofa and chairs is anywhere between $1500-$2000, an obvious expense we couldnt afford.

While I have been off work I've become addicted to Pinterest and finding ways to improve your home  on a budget. At Scotts work they have lots of old wooden pallets which weren't being used so I asked him if he was able to create something like this.....

He took on the challenge and came up with this........

He did a fantastic job and in total it cost us a whopping $40 which was the cost of the metal hinges which keep the back rests in place. 

After a woman's touch and a spot of paint the finished product looks like this.....

Im over the moon with how it turned out and its saved us a lot of money compared to if we bought it from a store. 

Looking forward to spending many evenings drinking and eating around this seating area :-) 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

SpudShed - Cheap as Chips!

Two months ago I asked a question on the Poms in Perth Facebook site about how they live on a budget and where they suggest I could buy my groceries for less. 99% of the comments were really helpful and some even sent me some recipes of their own. I felt very overwhelmed with the responses, including invitations for dinner and food drop off points, but the one place that most people suggested was SpudShed.

SpudShed is basically an indoor fresh food market and has stores all across WA. We decided to go check it out, and after looking online the closest one to us was Kelmscott. So armed with $100 and a list of key foods we needed, we headed off to see what all the fuss was about.

It was a Frugal livers dream! We managed to get everything on our list and more for $80.

Some of the bargains we loved were;

  • 10kg Brown Onions for $2.99
  • 10kg White Potatoes for $3.99 
  • 1kg of Carrots for $0.79 
  • 2 huge iceberg lettuce's for $1.00
Most people laughed at us when we said we bought 10kgs of onions as it is a rather large amount. Our logic was that even if we only used 5kgs we still saved money compared to buying them at Coles or Woolworths. Currently 1kg of onions at Coles comes to $2.49 and our 10kg's only cost an extra 50c. Obviously we couldn't use 10kg's before they all went out of date so I did some googling about how to freeze them. It turns out you can dice and slice onions and place them in freezer bags and freeze for when you need them. It took a few hours to peel and chop, plus myself and Scott had to tag team the chopping as my eyes kept streaming.

We did the same with the potatoes too which we will explain on another post.

We would recommend going to your local Spudshed if your looking to top up on fruit, veg and meat products as they are far better priced than the other supermarkets.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Fuelling Your Car on a Budget

Without a doubt we use our cars more here in Australia than we ever did in the UK. The main reason for this is because everything is more remote out and 'corner shops' don't exist. The public transport isn't fantastic, unless you want to travel to the city, and taxis rarely take you on journeys that are less than 20 minute drives.

Luckily for us fuel here in Perth is much cheaper than in the UK, plus discount fuel vouchers are easier to get hold of and offer more discount than those Tesco 1p per litre vouchers we used to get.

When we arrived we never really took any notice of the petrol prices, although we did know it changed everyday. We were luckily that money wasn't tight, so it didn't really matter, and we only had one small car. Circumstances have now changed, we have upgraded our little Hyundai Excel to a Suzuki Grand Vitara and a Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo. As you can imagine, both cars chew a lot of fuel and we are driving further than we used to.

During our 'frugal living' plans we had to look at everything we spent our money on and how to reduce each cost. We had been told that Wednesdays were cheaper fuel days and that we should shop at Coles or Woolworths so we could get the discount fuel vouchers.

We did some calculations......

These calculations are based on filling up the Suzuki at our local Shell petrol Station. We usually fill this car up 40litres a week as it is used mainly for travelling to the city and back each day.

Cost per Litre on Wednesday 5th November WITH a 4c per litre Coles fuel voucher - $1.30 p/l
Cost per Litre on Thursday 6th November WITHOUT a Coles fuel voucher - $1.48 p/l

So that is a difference of 18c per litre! 

Big deal? If you look at the money you save over a year it is!

Based on the above calculations:
Filling up on a Wednesday                   Filling up on a Thursday
= $2704 per year                               = $3078.40 per year

Difference of $374.40 per year, per car! 

Obviously this is an estimate based on past fuel prices, we are aware that the prices change throughout the year and differ on where you live. 

For us, with two cars, we can save approximately $740 a year by being smart when we fill up!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Living Frugally - Top 10 Tips

It is no secret that living in Perth can be expensive, however if your wise with your spending you can easily live frugally in this beautiful city!

We have recently adopted the frugal lifestyle after realising how much money we were wasting on food, drink and take aways etc. At first it was difficult to know where to start, but after a few weeks everything became pretty easy and the money we were saving was astonishing.

Why live frugally? Firstly, because it allows you to spend less than you earn, and use that difference to pay off debt, save or invest. Or all three. Secondly, because the less you spend, the less you need to work! You have way more options with a frugal lifestyle.

Our Top 10 Tips for Living Frugally in Perth

1. Plan Your Weekly Meals and Write A Shopping List
By planning your meals and writing out your shopping list your are less likely to impulse buy. Look through your fridge, freezer and pantry to make sure you are only buying what you need. 

2. Look Through Weekly Store Specials
Every week (usually on a Monday or Tuesday) we get a bundle of store newsletters through the post with the weekly specials. The ones we keep are Coles, Woolworths, Priceline and Big W then we circle everything we need from each of them for that week. We also use these to plan our meals for the week, for example, last week 1kg mince meat in Coles was $5. That week we planned to eat a cottage pie, chilli con carne and spaghetti bolognese as our main meals for that week. 

3. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is usually always cheaper than buying individual items. Toilet roll, laundry powder and shampoo are things which we buy in bulk from the local cash and carry as they don't have an expiry date. Food items which can be bought in bulk such as veg and meat can always be broken down into smaller portions and frozen. 

4. Freeze Everything
Seriously we freeze everything which we cannot eat in time. Most fruit, veg, milk, bread and meat can be frozen as well as ready meals and leftovers. This works well when there are special offers on such as buy one get one free but you don't have enough time to use it up. 

5. Stick To Using Only One Meat Per Week
Refer back to point 2 where we explain how we bought the mince meat because it was on special. We managed to make 3 different main meals from the one purchase and made a whole weeks worth of meals. By sticking to one or two different meats you can save money on your shopping list. We all know meat is expensive, so save by buying one type of meat in a larger size.  

6. Use Loyalty Cards
In the UK we had a loyalty card for everything - Tescos, Sainsburys, Boots, Costa' name it we had a card. These are really useful for collecting points and using the points against your next shopping. The cards we have here are Flybys, Foodworks, Boost Juice, Mad Mex and PriceLine. So far we have over $10 on our Foodworks card and have enjoyed two free Boost Juices and two free Mad Mex Burrito meals. You also get great offers around your birthday which are great to use. 

7. Check the Back of Recipts, Flyers etc for Coupons
On the back of nearly every supermarket receipt there are special offer for places such as Restaurants and Liquor Stores. Also inside the weekly specials magazines from supermarkets they often have coupons in the back which you can use in store. 

8. Visit Fruit and Veg Markets or Stall Holders
We use a small Asian fruit and veg stall in Forrestfield for all of our fruit and salad items. It is always cheaper than Coles or Woolworths (unless they have specials) and usually they already have them pre sliced! Look out for local markets and fruit and veg stalls and check out the prices, we guarantee they will be cheaper than your local supermarket. 

9. Take Your Lunch to Work
We used to spend between $15-$20 each for lunch when we were at work. We now take leftover meals or homemade sandwiches and a packet of crisps. Our average lunch spend has drastically reduced to roughly $20 a week. 

10. Never Shop Hungry
Number one rule! Going food shopping hungry will make you more likely to impulse buy, especially around the cake section. Always eat before you go food shopping or at least have a snack on hand encase you get the munchies.