Good Morning pals,
I just got home from spending $300 so I thought… who better to give tips on saving money than yours truly. No seriously, apparently I am the most frugal person to have ever roamed the planet (according to Malcolm). But the great thing is that you wouldn’t believe it! I live a very generous life in terms of activities and food but realistically it’s all on the cheap.
This also ties in with people questioning how the eff I manage to not work/work minimal and still be able to survive. Contrary to sugar daddy jokes, it’s because I live like I mean it. I live with intention and I spend with intention too. You’ll see!
Fruit and Veg
Firstly, I cannot recommend the Farmer’s Market more! The longer you wait in the day towards the end of the market, the cheaper everything gets. I’m not even kidding! Farmer’s will not take produce home with them. Either they cannot be bothered or they get the truck to drop them off at the market with the produce and then the truck leaves. It gets to a point where it’s “fill a big” for x amount of dollars which is usually $2-$5. Not a plastic bag, no, a big shopping bag! Having said this, please drag along a muscley human to help you, take a market trolley or a very sturdy recyclable bag to carry on your shoulder. The other week I went crazy on vegetables to the point that Malcolm said I was going to waste it all by not having enough meals to cook with it all! I was actually getting a big worried that it’d come to $50. It was $25!!!!! And not only that… the produce is so fresh as it’s just been harvested that it lasts forever. It’s been 1.5 weeks and the produce is still going strong. That means that I’ve spent $25 for two vegans for 2 weeks.
On that point, don’t waste food! And add rice to every meal! I get those 5kg bags of brown rice… only when they are on special for half price though.
I shop the cheapest produce which means I never have any recipes in mind as to be flexible when I go shopping. This stresses Malcolm out as he is worried about food waste. To combat this, I find the best way to use excess food is pinterest search things like “eggplant recipe.” Pinterest has an amazing search field which really does pull up every eggplant and every recipe tag individually and gives you the best results.
Another way to use up excess food is to make up a massive stirfry with left over vegetables. I did this yesterday. I had mushrooms, capsicum, asian greens.
Also, white people don’t seem to be inclined to use herbs. To save money, and make food you actually enjoy eating YOU MUST ADD HERBS TO EVERYTHING!!! Herbs make a meal go from 0 to hunnit real quick, real fkn quick. Without herbs, you having a plain ass boring meals you feel forced to eat because you made it, it’s cheap, it’s not wasting food right?? I get it! That was me yesterday stir-frying gross vegetables. I added lemon juice, like 7 different herbs, sesame oil, soy sauce, chilli, salt, pepper and you’ve got yourself a gourmet meal! Let’s not forget the rice of course. You gotta add rice to everything to make it go 4 x as far.
With meals, I find that Malcolm and I get sick of eating the same thing after about two meals. However, to save time I always make bulk food. I’m talking like a 7l pot of food at all times HAHA! We freeze the meals so then we have ready made meals for if we get lazy. This combats the need to go buy take-away which is expensive af!
Takeaway! I believed that everyone knew about Domino’s coupons. Apparently it’s not common knowledge. If you want take-away I always google “dominos coupon voucher” and usually get 40% pizza and $2 garlic bread. For fancier meals, groupon and other such websites always have really great codes. The same goes with massages. Never pay full price! Groupon will always have at least 50 places advertising 50% off. This is another way to do activities on the cheap. I’ve been whale watching for half price thanks to group on.
Grow your own
I can’t recommend investing in a compost bin enough. I’m trying to come up with how this relates to saving money and the more I think about it, the more it doesn’t. Just get one regardless. We throw all our scraps in to the compost bin. It has also made me realise how I can reduce my waste by re-using things. For example, rice! If the rice goes hard after a few days in the fridge we feed it to Bindi with some canned food. This saves money and she absolutely loves it! It also gives you great, nutritious soil. Which then leads me on to my next point. Grow as much as you can. I absolutely live for herbs so I grow my own. You can literally cut off the ends of spring onions you buy in the shops and plant them and you’ll have your own spring onions forever! Spring onions are at least $2 a bunch. Do you know how much growing them saves? The same goes with basic/that gross shit you put in falafels/spinach/kale/tomatoes/EVERYTHING. This saves so much money and it really is a joy going out and cutting herbs thinking about how you’ve also saved money at the same time!
Fuck buying $4.50 soy lattes ever again. Invest in a coffee machine. I personally have gotten rid of my Nespresso machine because I think it’s exceptionally wasteful and bad quality for what you get. But if a pod machine is easiest then go for it. Please recycle the pods though. Malcolm has a $35 aeropress. FYI: this is a massive coffee wank device to make black coffee. If you make black coffee you save money on milk. Black coffee is the worst thing ever unless the beans are a great roast and you use an aeropress. Aeropress has got me drinking black coffee! And now I cannot even enjoy a cafe bought coffee because you realise the quality is lacking everywhere. Then you can give yourself a big pat on the back for turning in to a coffee snob while saving at least $780 a year (1 x $3 coffee every business day of the year which let’s me real, isn’t even realistic because it’s way more expensive and addictive). Another way to save money I believe is to buy beans in bulk. We have a 1kg bag that has lasted us over a month of two people drinking coffee daily.
Ground coffee beans which you usually throw out are super healthy for compost soil but even better!!! They make the best face masks or body scrubs!
I’ve started actually giving up tinned beans etc and buying them dry in bulk. I thought cooking the beans was actually so fucking tiresome but I realised that most recipes actually call for dried beans and you actually cook the beans in whatever sauce you are using as part of the recipe. Although 80c tins of beans is still really cheap, buying in bulk is even cheaper! I also make my own coconut yoghurt. There’s a recipe online but basically you just add tapioca and maple syrup to 80c aldi cans of coconut milk and throw a probiotic table in the mix and it legit makes perfect coconut yoghurt! Coconut yoghurt is $5-8 for 500g. Do you know how much that saves??? That’s enough to splash out on some fake cheese or fake meat!
Also, if you’ve got the time hit up the asian grocery story – everything is so cheap aka beans and tofu is pennies worth compared to coles or woolworths!
I am a massive kombucha addict. People give away scobies every day. Grab a free scoby and make your own. It seems daunting but the ingredients are tea, scoby and vinegar. You’ll save so much money if you’re like me and spend $12 on a litre of kombucha every week!
Honestly, even when I did have a lot of money I always op-shopped. It’s such a fun activity to do with pals and it saves so much money. I have bought all my business clothes from op-shops. I found a witchery brand new pencil skirt for $7. I have never ever been complimented on an item of clothing as much as that skirt! Lately I’ve been finding amazing boutique dresses everywhere I shop for $2-7! Let’s be real, clothing doesn’t last long because we get over it. Nothing feels more depressing than spending excessive money on an amazing dress, wearing it once and then donating it to charity. I’ve been that person. Now I’m the smarty head who goes and collects all those sad people’s once-worn dresses for $5 and rocks the shit out of them! Another positive to wearing thrifted clothes is that you look unique and it’s a great conversation starter if someone compliments you on something you’re wearing.
I actually just came home from op-shopping which inspired me to write this post. I’ve wanted a sewing machine all year. Today I found a brand new sewing machine for $80. It’s still in the box and is worth over $300. I’ve also really needed drawers for my wardrobe and a desk. The op-shop had a 50% off sale on furniture. I got the drawers for $40 and the desk for $20. Another place I’d recommend for furniture and clothing are facebook buy/swap/sell pages and marketplace. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain so offer them a lower price they are selling for and they’ll usually agree straight up. Never buy new!
Ditch the mobile plan (if you can). Let’s be real… you don’t need that $80 plan with 10gb of data. We don’t text anymore and we hardly call one another. So you’re paying $80 for 10gb of data. That’s more than a monthly unlimited internet plan at home with NBN! I like to download all my spotify playlists as home so I don’t waste data playing them when I’m out. I have a $30 monthly pre-paid plan now. It has unlimited calls, texts and 5gb of data. I rarely use the data but obviously you need data when out for things such a gps, netbanking and avoiding eye contact in public by pretending you are doing really relevant and cool things on your phone aka looking at famous dog’s instagrams. Additionally, I bought my phone for $200. It’s a hella smart phone with a 20 megapixel camera. Fuck being caught up in the iphone craze. That’s unnecessary money when phone technology is already so brilliant on cheap phones whose screens don’t crack at the drop of a button!
How facebook can be handy
Search fb groups for local “unconsumers” in your area. I’m in an unconsumer group and boy! It’s pure gold. It’s basically people giving away goods or swapping items. The other day I had two boxes of hair dye I was going to throw away but I posted them on the page and asked for some basil in exchange. People always swap things like lemons, eggs, honey etc – you really don’t know what you have to swap until you join a page like that!
Another amazing facebook group I’ve found is dumpster diving groups. I joined one and could not believe how helpful and friendly everyone was. They always shared bins that were full and offered to take newbies on runs with them to help them learn the ropes. And if you weren’t sold on dumpster diving before just wait until you see the hauls these people post! There’s also a rule within the groups that you only take as much as you need so frequently people will post up all the excess items they found and want to give away to people!
Don’t pay for yoga or gym, seriously! There is an abundance of free youtube video’s with amazing quality exercises and yoga. Off the top of my head I can think of Yoga with Adrienne (total babe with amazing yoga that changed my life), FitnessBlender, Blogilates etc
Get a menstrual cup. I know they are daunting but I promise that you won’t look back. It took me a few tries of trying to get it in perfectly and praying to the Gods that it wouldn’t leak. It never did leak and you can’t feel it. It’s such a money saver! Mine cost $50 although I know you can get way cheaper ones on Amazon. They last two years I believe. Imagine how much money you’ll save on pads/tampons? They also don’t make your vagina as dry as the sahara desert so that’s a plus 😉
- Get in to the habit of returning goods if you decide you don’t want them. I know it’s easier to let them sit around and collect dust but honestly… it’s a waste. I bought $15 shoes I was going to wear for a one-time thing on the weekend. I didn’t end up wearing them so I am definitely taking them back! I used to think it was embarrassing to return things until I worked in retail. Trust me, the check out person does not care.
- Find a doctor that bulk bills. The home doctor service comes to your home and 100% bulk bills. Obviously this isn’t handy if you need a long-term doctor like I do but if it’s a one off then give them a call!
- If you think your food choices aren’t giving you all the vitamins you need, invest in a supplement. A multi-vitamin is super cheap and will actually be a bigger investment if you can’t afford nutritious food.
- If you need to see a psych – go to the doctor and ask for a mental health plan. This entitles you to 10 free psych visits a year.
- If you can’t complete uni/education courses that you’ve already enrolled in because you are too sick then look into medical/disability discharge. This will ensure that you don’t have to pay for the course that you have had to pull out of.
- If you need to fix something – youtube or google how to do it first. It might be an easy fix. I unblocked my toilet with a coat hanger once!
- Looking for boredom busters? Youtube crafts or D-I-Y on pinterest.