Unless you have a rich uncle who has one foot in the grave and no other kin, part of having a young family involves watching the budget. While in the past a certain man in my life would call me tight-fisted, now my frugality will serve a purpose to get us back on track after life has hit us a few curve balls.
So, I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with ways in which to reduce the amount of money going out the door. I have come up with a few and every once in a while, I intend to post them here. Let me say that I have no background in finance. I just have a genuine interest in saving money so that I can continue to live in the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed--I enjoy having food on the table, a roof over my head and clothes on my back--funny that!
Less Convenient is healthier for your wallet.
With one child in school and the other attending daycare twice a week, I have to make a fair amount of packed lunches. It is so convenient to buy the individually wrapped cheeses, crackers, and fruit snacks and just chuck them in the kids' lunch boxes.
After going through my grocery bill last week, I realised that the individually wrapped "fun" cheese sticks I was buying for the kids costs $7.49 for 240g. That is a per kilogram cost of $30.83 as opposed to the $7.49 I would have paid if I bought a 1kg block of the supermarket brand cheese and cut it up myself.
I already do the same with my lunch meat. I buy it off the deli counter at my supermarket for $13.99 - 16.99 a kilo and then split it up into individual packets of 50g each and freeze them. Then I just pop one in the fridge to thaw the night before I make lunches, or sit the packet in cold water for a half an hour whilst the kids are eating breakfast and voila--thawed and ready to use. If I were to buy the meat in the individually vacuum-packed packages it would cost roughly $3.50 for a 100g packet That is $35 per kilo!
Fruit bars and snacks? Cut up some real fruit instead. At $2.99 a kilo for apples or oranges it is much cheaper than the $33.22 per kilo it costs to buy a package of six all natural fruit bars.
You pay for convenience. Buy it in bulk and split it up into your own portion sizes. It is healthier for your wallet, and can be healthier for you too, as convenience food can have a lot of additives in it to help it keep longer.
More tips coming soon!