Have you ever wanted to live the good life like Tom and Barbara? No? Me neither! All that mucking around in the garden and turning it into a farm is not for me. Farmers really do have a hard graft and I don’t believe becoming a farmer and working harder than I ever have in my life is the right way for me to attain a simpler more sustainable lifestyle.
No, I believe that in order to live the frugal lifestyle, certain austerity measures need to be taken. I could have all Tom and Barbara have but it would cost me an astronomical amount of money buying all that organic produce. Below I will show you how I have saved myself an absolute fortune by choosing wisely when making my purchases. I’m not just talking money. I mean improving my health, increasing my wealth, and increasing my happiness.
I’m going to completely lie here and pretend I only order takeaway twice a week (its really closer to 4 times but shh.) My particular issue here is that I don’t have the time to go home and cook after a long day at work. Which is an absolute crock! Of course I have the time, I’m just making excuses, I get home from work at 7pm and am up at 6am the next morning. I have plenty of time; I’m just lazy. There are a million excuses as to why it’s easier to order takeaways. There are also a million and one excuses on why it’s not. For example, I am a sucker for Pizza I order an XXL pizza at least once a week from… lets just say Mama Johns at £17.49 a time I must be insane! I could get one a little bit (I really mean a little bit) smaller from a supermarket for around £3.50 it takes less time to cook than the time you wait for a pizza to be delivered. You aren’t really cooking either are you, let’s be honest you push it in the oven and wait. My other vice is ordering Indian. Seriously it’s like £8 for a curry and rice. Ready meals are around £1.50 in a lot of supermarkets.
Name Brand vs. Store Brand
This one is a little harder for me; I am a bit of a brand buff. I really struggled with this one, until Kellogg’s Cornflakes had a big marketing campaign focused around making them stand out from store brand corn flakes affectionately termed ‘fake flakes’. I realised that there was absolutely no difference whatsoever in taste but £1.54 difference in price. (Kellogg’s Cornflakes 750g £2.00 vs. Asda Smart Price 750g 46p.) Similarly; Heinz Ketchup, 460g £1.85 vs. Asda Tomato Ketchup, 470g 82p. Obviously there are some things that I can’t justify going cheap on such has Ribena and washing powder. Savings can be made but just taking these two products on a weekly shopping list can save a fair bit. Imagine what you can save.
BOGOF or Not
Buy one get one free is one of ‘those’ isn’t it? We can’t help saving money and this is one of them ways supermarkets claw our money out of our hands. This is easily tackled though. Simply don’t. We end up throwing most perishables away!
Three simple rules;
Do I need it?
Is it perishable?
Was it on my list?
Do not enter a shop without making a shopping list or you will get manipulated into buying so much unnecessary junk. Write your shopping list at home in your kitchen. That way you know exactly what you need. Alternatively you can write what you use on a scratch pad as you use it so the shopping list is all done for you. Take that list to the shops and only get what’s on your list. If you are tempted by a BOGOF refer back to the three simple rules.
If the advertising is too tempting for you and you end up with a million toilet rolls and 15 litres of milk then I’d suggest shopping online. It’s easier to say no to things and you can see your running total as you shop.
Frugality – Is It Really Necessary?
My list of three tips, are by no means exhaustive, there are so many ways of saving money it’s untrue. For example my boyfriend and I are going to a theme park at the end of the month. We could save a bit of money pre purchasing our tickets online rather than paying ‘on the gate’ prices when we arrive. Instead we chose to wait as sure as the sun shines, there will be a BOGOF voucher in the newspapers. I bought 4 newspapers for £2 in total. Allowing 8 people half price entry. Or we could go 4 times. Keeping a scrapbook of coupons and vouchers is a brilliant idea. I file mine under expiration date so I know that I haven’t missed out. It is essential to save money in everything you do, as money is precious and fleeting. I may really want a pizza from ‘mama johns’ but can’t justify spending that sort of money. Unless… there are always offers on the Internet for example 2 for Tuesday. This could become a bi-monthly thing rather than weekly (sometimes twice a week). I could pay one week for a friend and myself. My friend can pay the next time using the offer. We get the pizza half price and we get to spend time together. Tell me who hasn’t got time for that?
Ok I’m off to order my pizza. I simply don’t have the time to cook (it’s 2 for Tuesday after all!)
For more information on how to manage your money visit www.erconline.co.uk experts in accountancy and business advice.