We do bills, food, fuel, savings and spending allowance. I also like to keep a record of everything that we do spend money on. It helps you work out, even to the week, what amount of money should be allocated where, and as with everything that you document, you will see where the money goes and see where it should be spent. I really like to stretch the income we get so I will also do meal plans and that helps you to be able to buy in bulk and save money. I find that around every few months that I will have lots of food stored in the cupboard and so that enables me to have a fortnight off shopping.

It is better to have a budget so do you have any other tips on cost cutting that I can use?

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  • Watch the show “Australia’s Tightest Family ” that was viewed on A Current Affair last year. The lad in the household even makes her own washing powder and has her own chockens for eggs. You will definatley learn some hints and tips from this show. Well worth watching .

  • No credit card ever!!
    look at aldi safeway and coles and see which have the cheapest things you usually buy then make a list of each shop of what you need to get in the long run it will save you some money.

  • We put away a certain amount each pay to cover every single bill. Phone & internet, power, water, car registrations, food, savings & an emergency fund.
    Buying food in bulk is such a time saver & makes life easier if you’re on a tight schedule.

  • You are doing well,l also buy in bulk food and items to save money in the long run!

  • We transfer money to each of our bills each week without adjusting for the extra fortnight in the calendar year – between the interest savings and the extra payment once a year we get a payment holiday – we usually take it at Christmas so we can absorb seasonal expenses

  • these are really wonderful tips! thank you all for putting so much effort towards your answers. i definately will be trying to use these ideas! thanks i really do appreciate it

  • Meal plan
    I find coles better priced, fly buys adds up quickly with bonus points and they deliver free Wednesdays which eliminates impulse purchases

    Buy meat and fruit and veg from your local store not supermarkets

    Buy bread from a decent bakery – lasts longer and better for you

    Save all your coins all year

    If you can use a credit card for points then turn into vouchers at the end of the year for Xmas

    Pay off utilities weekly. We do $25 off each, makes a real difference

  • If you can do a shop later on in the day (early evening), you might find that many supermarkets mark down their day’s unsold bakery items for a quick sale. I’ve bought bread, bread rolls and even pastries/donuts at reduced prices many times and have saved heaps over time doing this. Most of the time, the items are still fresh and I just put what I cannot use straight away into the freezer and use as I need to. I also look for other perishables that are close to their use-by date where these have also been marked down for a quick sale. I you have a pre-planned shopping list with you for your coming week’s menu, and any of the marked down items are on your list, you should be able to safely buy these at reduced prices, knowing that you will be using them in the coming days/during the week.

  • thankyou. these are all great ideas! it does pay to have it all sorted out

  • Check what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer before you go shopping. When on special buy extra of what you use all the time. It wil save having o buy it soon after at normal or increased prices. Depending on fuel prices and the amount of a product you use it isn’t always of any benefit to go to other shops. You may not save anything or worse still be out-of-pocket. Sometimes I actually plan meals according to what I can get on special. You may meal plan then find the ingerdients you want are too expensive.
    Don’t forget you will have utility accounts coming at some point.

  • Plan what you want to buy before going shopping and don’t impulse buy.

  • Make a list for shopping. Stick to it. Create a meal plan for the week ahead. Shop by catalogue specials. It does pay off doing shops at different supermarkets. What supermarkets prey on is convenience. Also, make sure you always save $5 per week, just incase the kids have a present required for a birthday party. What’s not spent in the year, put back into the budget. Good luck. I know what you’re going through.

  • I contact my utility companies at least once a year to check if they can offer better rates and always shop around when insurance renewals arrive.
    Theres a site called Cheapskates that has free basic membership and issues a weekly newsletter with budgeting advice. They also have a premium member site for around $20 a year that gives access to a range of cost cutting info such as menu planners, discount stores across australia, recipes and advice on making your own mixes, cleaning products etc. one of the members runs a $300 a month food challenge which is a bit extreme for most people but is easily modified to suit your own buget. There are member blogs and archives covering a wide range of topics.
    There’s also a good site called freecycle.org where you can advertise locally items you want to give away or put up your own ‘wish list’ of wanted items. There are usually heaps of people giving away garden cuttings, plants, excess fruit and veg from their trees – you name it and it’s likely to be listed there at some point.

  • simplesaving.com.au is a site with an archive of thousands of money-saving tips. There is an annual fee to view these, however you can sign up for a free newsletter, which quite often featurs ! or more tips. ziilch. com.au is a site where people give away unwanted items. ripenearme.com.au is a site where you can get free or cheap locally grown produce. The last 2 sites are free to join and you can search your postcode to find convenient items.

  • Cannot see what more you can do – you are definitely on the right track with your budget and knowing where all your money is spent.

  • I think what you have already said you do is great, not really sure what else you could add to it tho.

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