We have to tighten our belts. Like many of you, Hanno and I live on a limited and usually fixed amount and with prices rising and new babies on the way, we're looking for ways to save. We've already skimmed back to the bone on many things: we gave up cable TV, our second car, magazines and newspapers, eating out and buying clothes every year; we stockpile, cook from scratch and make do with what we have; now we're looking to fine tune our savings and make sure that what we have to spend still covers everything we need.
Generally, between the vegetable garden and the eggs our chooks lay, we save quite a bit on the grocery bill. But we didn't plant any crops over summer and with the floods in this area wiping out many of our vegetable crops, fruit and vegie prices are skyrocketing. Hanno said he saw tomatoes at $8.90 a kilo the other day! We'll start planting our main vegetables soon a bit earlier than usual. We'll grow a lot of tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables to store in the cupboard and preserve just in case the prices don't go down again soon. We'll buy frozen vegetables instead of fresh if the frozen are Australian and cheaper, and when we do buy fresh it will be at a little road side market stall that sells local avocados, pineapples and strawberries, along with other vegetables, not the supermarket.
Luckily we have a fair bit of fruit swelling to luscious ripeness out in the backyard. At the moment we have lemons, oranges and madarines, a few pink grapefruit, paw paw|papaya, an over abundance of passionfruit, a few blueberries and if we're lucky, some grapes and bananas. We might even get the first fruit from our avocado tree this year.
We're already baking bread, making soap and laundry liquid, we don't buy shampoo and we make our own dog food. We get by on very little but for the next few months, until our vegetable garden is in full swing again, we'll look for every other small saving we can make. Don't feel sorry for us, this kind of auditing of our spending and making do is good for us and it helps us stay on track. We still have a lot of pleasure in our lives and we wake up each day happy for the opportunity to work for what we need rather than buy it. We have productive work to keep us engaged and to give a purpose to our days and we have ample time to rest and relax. Life's good and it's getting better this year with two little people to meet and hold for the first time. You cant get better than that.
But I'm interested to know how you cut back when you need to. Do you have any good ideas because I think many of us are in this boat with us and it would good to sail into a safe harbour together.