Rising costs make it harder and harder to pay the bills – did our grandparents have the answer?
Right now, it seems like the cost of absolutely everything keeps rising.
Fuel… Interest rates… Groceries.
Sometimes it feels totally overwhelming.
You aren’t alone though. When you look back through your family history, there’s probably been times when your relatives thought the exact same way. Good news! Some of the solutions they came up with back then, can actually help us today.
Here are some simple tips to manage the rising costs of living.
There’s Food at Home
It was our least favourite phrase to hear as a kid. It’s money in the bank now you’re all grown up and in charge of the finances. Everything is stacked against you on the drive home from work or the school run. The lure of a juicy burger and hot chips when your emotional tank is empty is almost impossible to resist.
The reality is usually a bit different though, isn’t it? The burger, more often than not, you find to be more ‘dried out’ than ‘juicy’. Those chips might’ve been hot and crisp once. The ones you usually get can be a little more ‘lukewarm’ and ‘soggy’ than the ones in the picture. And that time you ‘saved’… once you factor in the trip to the store, the wait at the drive-thru while the person in front picks up the snacks for a football team, then mindlessly sneaking half the chips while stuck at a red light… it makes a home-made toasted sandwich look pretty good.
When you think of the $50 you just saved – suddenly that sandwich is tasing even better.
Healthy Home Cooking
Of course, you don’t have to stick to a sandwich. It’s usually our own lack of planning that brings our home cooking down from ‘More Please’ to ‘Blergh’. Think about your favourite family recipes you loved as a kid. Not only were they delicious, most of the time, they were made on the cheap.
Remember those beautiful, hearty, soups? Often made from simple ingredients, like the bones from last night’s roast chicken as a base. Then leftover veggies and a few splashes of sauces from the pantry to round things out. Smart cooking, where it’s not just your belly that’s full. Your wallet is feeling that way too.
It’s just another way to save. Make it a challenge. What simple, delicious recipe can you dust off for dinner this week? Bonus points if you can think of one that’s meat-free for bigger savings or includes ingredients you can use in another dish too.
We all know that buying in bulk can work out as a great way to save over the long term. You’ve probably tried this in the past, and maybe not seen the success you hoped for. Don’t feel bad. It happens to us all! We buy the 5kg bag of flour for just $1 more. Then sheepishly chuck 4.5 kilos into the bin 12 months later.
Here’s a second challenge for you. Next time you look at buying in bulk, try to not just think about what you’re buying – but about what you can do with it.
That 10kg bag of rice isn’t just rice. It’s:
- Fried rice
- The base for a delicious curry
- Arancini Balls
- A fluffy side for your beef and vegetables in oyster sauce
- A base for soups
- Helping to stretch that casserole further
Not looking so boring now! And definitely not headed for landfill.
Improving Your Waste-Line
While we’re on the topic of food headed for the garbage… no self-respecting Grandparent would allow their crisper to become the place where ‘good veggies go to die’. To be fair, they might not have had as much ‘on their plate’, so to speak, as you do these days.
You might’ve stocked up at the farmer’s market on Sunday with fresh produce and good intentions. Then you’re still at the office at 9pm on Monday night while your lettuce is sitting at home wondering what happened. Being realistic, those unexpected commitments are always going to keep cropping up. You can’t bail on your obligations just because you’ve got some cucumbers in the fridge that really won’t last until tomorrow.
What you can do is help your fresh fruit and veggies stay that way for longer.
Products like our Veggie Saver produce bags bags can really make a difference with freshness too. Three separate layers designed to stop your fruit and veggies from drying out, but still allowing them to breathe. This can sometimes mean the difference between your produce lasting 3 days, or staying fresh for 2 weeks.
That’s the kind of saving we can get behind.