A stay-at-home mum’s guide to stretching every $$$

It’s no secret how money just doesn’t seem to go as far these days. We are all having to learn how to shop smarter and try and get every bang for buck we possibly can. Being a stay at home mum, we may have a spare second or two to do our research to find any deal we possibly can so as to save that little extra. Below I have listed out ways you too can do this:-

There are so many household products where somebody has formulated a way you can make them yourself, costing you much less. I have just started making my own baby wipes, they don’t have anything in them that can irritate your child’s skin. There is also ways to make laundry detergent, baby wipes, granola, lunchbox fillers, kitchen extras, personal care products, different home & garden products, cleaning products- the list is endless!

Research best deal I research almost every product I’m looking at buying by reading reviews and searching where I can get the best value for money. If It’s cheaper to buy larger quantities I tend to do that.

Shop online – For things you can get at the bigger stores – Woolies/Coles, Bunnings etc I like to shop online as It’s much quicker for me with my limitations. When it comes to things like clothes etc. where sizes can be tricky, I like to buy local, it may cost a few extra dollars, but you can physically assess the items before you buy them – than It’s done! No wasting your time, No sending back and forth taking weeks, no dealing with all the frustration… So at the end of the day is it really saving you money?

Check your pantry before deciding on a meal plan – While I plan the following week’s meal plan and writing the grocery list I go through the pantry so I don’t double up on things, and will possibly save a few $$$ for the week. Sometimes I start in the pantry and choose meals where I only need a few more ingredients, some weeks I spend less than $50.00 on groceries.

Cut down on the extras – I think there has only been a few times in my life where I have only bought the items I need, not want. Click and collect is a great tool to start becoming the master of if you need to stick to a tight budget. Click and collect can save a significant amount of time when a customer is purchasing a lot of items. The model is becoming increasingly available, and popular – in supermarkets. Typically, the shopper selects the items online and specifies a convenient pick-up time slot. A personal shopper selects the items at an appropriate time and the customer picks them up curbside.

Buy in bulk if It’s a smart buy – read tags to work out. add video & pics

Meats, ready-to-eat meals, canned items, and any non-perishable, shelf-stable items are a good bulk buy. Paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, and paper plates are also smart purchases.

If you’re a parent, buying diapers and wipes online are seen to be the cheapest option for the quality nappies. The Nappy Shop, House Of Nappies, Go Toddler, or other bulk stores will also save you big. When we had our son, we did the calculations on diapers and worked out on average, we save a few hundred dollars every year.

Other items to buy in bulk include: candy, laundry, and dish detergent, garbage bags, coffee (if you drink a lot), even dog food or treats. Toothbrushes, cereal, and even jewelry can also be great buys.

Unless you have a massive wog family (like my family) and cook for a dozen people everyday, if you buy things like fresh food or anything you won’t use before the expiration date in bulk you are actually LOOSING money!

Buy generic brands – Most times you will find that brands like Coles, Woolies, homebrand etc. have certain products that are just as good (if not better) than the big brand names. For example, I have found that the Coles Ultra Brand are just as good as the big brands but is only $4 a pack. Also Coles Brand Laundry Soak is better than Vanish and is only $2.

Reuse left overs – With left overs, I like to change it up so it’s not the same boring thing. If we have pasta for dinner and there’s heaps of left overs, the next night I’ll make pasta toasties or pasta bake & salad etc. I use the internet heaps to find new things to make out of what we already have, walah! a whole new meal.

Know how to Use your rewards cards – These days there are rewards cards for every single store in the universe, or so it seems. Visit Point Hacks – they have heaps of different guides on how to use each of your rewards cards effectively. They will tell you how to buy and use your points for cheaper flights, how to use specific rewards programs more effectively and guides on how to earn more rewards points.

Stick to a meal plan – There is one sure-fire way to save money on the groceries week after week and that is meal planning. All the other grocery savings tips fall second to planning meals in advance. In fact, without the foundation of a good meal plan, you won’t get the full benefit of other tips like eating in season or shopping at Woolies/Coles.

These days, I get all excited when I save money, especially if it’s unexpected. If you put any of the tips I have given here, in place, I guarantee you will cut your current spendings. You can’t half ass it though, and if you do there’s not really any point. Be like me – go in full bull and don’t look back!

Aquo Xx

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