Life is not about making money or saving money. But I always love to learn new tips that are helpful. Here are six tips that I've tried out lately.
1) Have a date night at home.
My husband loves to go out to restaurants which is nice. We do it every once in a while and get a babysitter. But it is expensive! Last month I planned a date night at home. I fed the children early and my husband got them into bed while I got everything ready. A tablecloth, a candle, our best dishes and wine glasses made the table look attractive. We dressed ourselves up a little and then enjoyed a three course meal by candlelight. Mushroom Soup and warm buns, Bami Goreng (an Indonesian dish) and a Pineapple pudding for desert.
After the dishes were done, we watched a movie together. All up (with using a few ingredients I already had) it only cost about $20 counting the hired movie! Usually $20 would only pay the babysitter! :) And there were enough leftovers for dinner the next night! So it doesn't always have to cost a lot to be nice and fun.
2)Make your own sauces etc.
I have learned to make satay sauce, pasta sauce and carbonera sauce. I used to always buy tins of pasta and carbonera sauce. But it is cheaper to make. The satay sauce only takes a few minutes, only has a few ingredients and is delicious! Hummus is also easy to make if you have a food processor.
Butter chicken and korma chicken sauce is next on my list to try!
3) Sell on Trademe
I have started to sell some things on trademe instead of putting them in the opp shop.This doesn't work well for everyone, but I only live a few minutes from the post shop.
A few years ago, with the best of intentions I brought a second hand exercycle! I have hardly used it, and the children cut one of the wires so the mechanical part of it didn't work anymore. We talked about taking it to the dump, but I decided to try selling it on trademe for $1 reserve. I explained that part of it was broken but there were many people who wanted it, and it sold for more than I had paid for it!
4) Use up what's in the freezer/pantry/fridge.
This week I tried to only buy the basics and then use up what is in the freezer. It's easy to freeze leftovers etc. and then forget about them!
5)Make the most of leftovers.
Leftover chicken sauce, bacon, sausages etc. make nice pizzas. And so on.
6)Conquer impulsive spending.
I am sometimes afraid to go shopping, because I know I will usually come home with things I never planned on getting. I am impulsive, which is not helpful most of the time! So I am learning how to deal with that. But that is a whole new post in itself! So I'll save that for another time.