Make it yourself !
Our strict grocery budget is certainly teaching us value for money. When you have limited funds, the last thing you want to do is blow it all on a big-ticket item that isn’t worth it.
I shouted the girls out for tea to say thanks for being such good sorts about our changed lifestyle. A local restaurant enticed us in with an advertising discount voucher that promised the chance of a free meal.
We missed out on the ultimate reward, but still received a sizeable discount. The meal cost us $62, which we didn’t count in that week’s budget, as it would have only left us with $13 to spend. We are getting good at living on next to nothing, but we are not that good. It was a great night out – we had a laugh (or we may have gone a bit hysterical in the presence of all that food), but my point is, was it worth it?
I’d have to say no. When you have been living reasonably well on $75 a week, it becomes too hard to justify spending $62 on one meal, regardless of how enjoyable. So that may be a rare downside to our budgeting challenge – it is hard not to be analytical about value for money, which leads to an overdose of cynicism when faced with buying decisions. It doesn’t end with food and groceries, either. You start analysing every spending decision and questioning the value – not that that is always a bad thing.
Nowadays when we grocery shop, it is not a matter of what we need to buy, but more like what we can avoid buying. We walk past aisles and aisles of expensive, attractively packaged products basically thumbing our noses at all of them. At the checkout, it is a great feeling to hear $75, please, instead of $475. You see, we are not missing out on anything. At home, all our food and hygiene requirements are met, not only at a much lower cost but, in most cases, at a higher level of quality with the stuff we have learnt to make ourselves.
Our quest to make our own house-cleaning products has opened our eyes to opportunities to make other stuff ourselves. Danni has discovered that quality moisturiser, lip balm, shampoo bars and other cosmetic items can be made cheaply and easily at home. The products are so good that she is sharing them in a pamphlet and is running classes from home (Thursdays at 7pm). Join us – it’s a great way to save money.
Next week: Where are all the recipes?
* If you want to get in touch with Lyn, you can email her on email@example.com or phone 754-8600, or see the website, www.pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz.