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's....you 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. 

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