Monday 15 February 2016

Cutting The Budget When There's Nothing Left To Cut - Part 1

Towards the end of last year,  we saw our family income drop significantly.  I started losing some of my cleaning jobs due to clients selling their homes or not needing me any more.  I always think our budget is tight and well planned but somehow we always find ways to trim the budget.  For the last year we've been saving to get a new kitchen and flooring for our home.  To maintain these savings on our lower income we've juggled a few things around in our budget and cut our spending.  Not everyone has the luxury of monthly savings to play with so I thought I'd give you some ideas to cut your costs.

Please keep in mind that not all these budget cuts will suit your family.  You might already be doing these things.  By reading my tips it might remind you of something similar you can change or do.

*  Revise your mobile,  home phone and internet packages.  Do you really need unlimited everything ?  Are you paying for services you don't need or use ?  Phone providers are always changing their packages but don't necessarily advertise better deals.  Make the call to get the best deal you can.

*  Cut pay tv.  Yes I'm sure it's great to have and some cost as low as $10 a month.  Could you use that extra money to feed your family or pay a few bills?  Save pay tv for when you are debt free and still really, really need it.

*  Start making your own presents.  By doing this you are keeping more of your money within the budget.  See this post about creating your own mini economy..

*  Pay your bills on time to get the discounts and avoid late fees.

*  Ring your utility providers to make sure you are getting the best discount available.

*  Cook a couple of meatless meals a week.  Fried rice,  chunky veggie soup,  pasta and sauce,  toasted sandwiches,  eggs on toast  and  baked / stuffed potatoes are all very tasty and super budget friendly.

*  When the weather gets warm,  use an electric fan to cool down the room you are using instead of turning on the cooling / air conditioning.  If it gets too hot,  turn your cooling on low and keep your electric fan on.  Electric fans cost about 2 cents an hour to run.

*  Grow your own lettuce.  You can grow it in a pot or in the ground all through the year.  By purchasing a packet of seeds for about $3 you'll have enough seeds for the next couple of years. This can save you up to $100 a year based on buying one lettuce per week at $1.99 each. I like to grow the salad mix variety and pick as many leaves as we need per meal.

Stayed tuned for more budget busting posts throughout the year.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I like the idea of rechecking the best deal with my current utility supplier :)

  2. I'm sorry that your jobs gave dried up. Did you know that you can watch most TV shows online for free? We cut back our TV subscription to the lowest one possible and will be cutting it totally as soon as our contract is up with them. I'm looking forward to our Spring here so I can grow lettuce for salads also. I thought about trying to grow it inside during our winter months but I am afraid our cat would eat it. ;)

    1. A cat that eats lettuce !!! That's funny.

    2. It is great that we can watch so many tv shows, movies etc online or via subscription services like Google Play, but be very careful that it is not a false economy, as you may chew through your data allowance. I thought I was going the right way with cutting off the pay tv, only to find that as I was using all my data allowance online watching tv etc, that my provider was charging me for excess data that cost more than the original pay tv subscription did. Ooops :(
      Great advice though, as long as you watch your provider.


  3. Ha! I had never calculated lettuce out like that before - excellent.

  4. Hi Wendy,

    Great post!!! I love how you make what seems like a negative into a positive. Love positive people. Can't wait for your part Two

    Thanks for sharing, xxx

  5. Thanks for sharing your list, Wendy. I keep reading sites like yours because I know there's always something new I can learn that might help my family. Best wishes as you save for your kitchen from one who is in the middle of kitchen updates right now!

    And I hope the friend you mentioned on Saturday is doing better.

    Blessings, Leigh

  6. Thank you for all the great tips.
    I switched over to Boost .....which uses Telstra 4G network, $40 a month and I get unlimited calls and texts, and small amount of data, its a great price if you just want fb and some net surfing. No home phone or home internet, just use mobile as portable wifi heaps 😊

  7. Wendy, as always, brilliant and sound advice. I'm sorry to hear that your work has diminished. If anything though, it spurs us on to evaluate each and every dollar to make the most of it. Thanks goodness for chickens and gardens! I hope things pick up for you. You deserve it. Love, Mimi xxx

  8. Great tips! We do a few meat free meals a week and my boyfriend has gone from a massive 'meat with every meal' eater to a meat occasionally eater. Huge difference on the grocery budget.

  9. Awesome tips there Wendy! Especially, how to save on lettuce. I do the same with rocket seeds. I also second the meatless meals. I can buy potatoes for $1.50 a kilo, compared to cheap mince for $8 a kilo! These days we only eat 2-3 meat meals a week. I have recently trimmed our budget as well to pay more off our debt and was amazed to find I can save an extra $100 a fortnight. x

  10. Continuing on with the lettuce, if you purchase open pollinated seeds, and you allow one lettuce plant go to seed, you will have at least three seasons of free lettuce popping up. Making your own cakes and biscuits for lunch boxes saves an enormous amount of money. I recently made a chocolate caramel slice for a staff meeting. I worked it out that the entire slice cost me around $5. I'm not counting the electrical costs for the oven as I had the slice in the oven with the quiche I was making for dinner. Delicious and special for so little cost. Here's hoping your work picks up once more and your kitchen and floor coverings happen soon.

  11. Great tips as usual. Thankyou. I am looking forward to the next instalment. You give such practical advice that anyone can draw from.

  12. Excellent tips Wendy, thank you for sharing your knowledge in this area :)



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