Subtitled: Saving for a whole year off – income cut, not lifestyle cut
The balances for our Year Off are growing nicely. It's safe to say we don't miss the 20%, though I would love to smash the mortgage. But I don't want the next four years to be one of self-denial and austerity.
Everything has an opportunity cost. You buy something; you can't buy something else. After all, you can only spend each dollar once.
So why are we not missing that 20%? We're making cuts on things that we don't notice. The added bonus is the cuts help the environment too.
Tip 2: buy fewer groceries.
Look I hate to harp, but for most households groceries is the area where not only a lot of money is spent, but where there can be cuts made. You can't do a lot with your mortgages or rent.
Do you know that Australian (and British and American) households toss plenty of good food? Or food that should have been eaten but was left to rot.
So stop buying things just because you always have. Stop buying things because you can't think what you want to cook. Stop buying extra of things because you want to feel like you are providing for your family.
Do the menu plan!!! Even if you plan to cook something that isn't on special or is a little pricey, at least if you shop to the amounts needed and you cook it and you eat it, it's better than buying and tossing food.
We're not perfect. Well, I am. But Mr S always buys too much. We argue over it. We toss too much when Mr S goes shopping. Mr S always buys and cooks for an army. So we end up with far too much. He forgets that often it is only the two of us at home for dinner now.
OK, I'm not perfect in this area either. I often plan to cook pumpkin soup for work. And the pumpkin goes off. I plan to cook red cabbage the way my mother does. And the red cabbage goes off.
I never get around to the red cabbage because it isn't really by recipe and it has to be cooked slowly. I never get around to the soup because the soup is not for the right now but for work the next day and after work who feels like cooking dinner and something else for later?
But I've made sure I'm nearly perfect in this area.
The up-shot? We have cut our grocery bills without it making an impact on the variety and quality of dinners we eat.
What's coming up for dinner in the next fortnight?
- Potato, cauliflower and red lentil curry served with coriander and yoghurt.
- Steak, chips and veggies.
- Chicken pie.
- Lamb Rohan josh with rice, yoghurt and coriander.
- Curried vegetables and prawns. 2X
- Bangers and mash.
- Beef and Guinness stew. 2X
- Fish and chips.
- Beef and chickpea curry. 2X
- A roast.
- Minestrone soup.
Yes, lots of curries. We like them in winter. So warming. The ones with 2X after them are double meals. So we have extra nights without cooking. Leftovers won't be tossed out. They do lunch for me and breakfast and snacks for The Dreamer. (He prefers dinner-type foods for breakfast.)