|Christmas morning breakfast|
We had a lovely Christmas in every way this year, loads of homemade food, no credit card debt, quality presents instead of loads of stupid plastic rubbish.....what a change from our previous life - gosh!
|Home made glazed shortbread|
in a re-purposed tin
So, many of us are probably having some vague thoughts about revisiting the budget and money matters next year. January goes like a flash of lightening and it will probably be February before those vague thoughts about revamping the budget become a reality....and then we have missed a whole month - so let's start NOW.
|Home made monogrammed|
Christmas bags for each of us.
I have some previous posts of budgeting and finances in general Here, Here, Here, Here and Here ...oh! and not to forget this one Here that you may want to revisit to rekindle the fires of thrift.
|Some of the hens seeking shade....and perhaps a tid-bit.|
Here is a great way to start or restart - using the principle of Scrounge - Stretch - Slow
Scrounging is simply shopping around to buy what we need at the best price. That's everything from coffee to cars, or honey to houses.
Stretching is making things last longer. That can entail fixing and repairing, diluting and re-purposing.
Slow means slowing our use of consumables. We can do this by driving less or being a producer (rather than a consumer). It can be as simple as making our coffee instead of buying it or learning to repair things instead of replacing them.
|Home baked bourbon and clove glazed|
ham - delicious much.
Some Examples of Scrounge, Stretch and Slow
Food: An excellent example of scrounging would be only buying specials at 1/2 price and stockpiling them. Stretching food would mean perhaps learning the cost of each ingredient and it's relative food value - you might want to replace red meat with eggs for some meals, eggs being a wonderful source of cheap protein compared to say a T-bone steak. Slowing food would be watching consumption and how much gets thrown out at the end of a meal. Can left-overs be kept and re-used? Can the chickens eat the scraps? Do I really need that sized meal? Do I need meat every meal?
|Home made cookies (thanks Ellie) and left over pudding cakes in|
lovely glass jars.
Transport: Scrounging with transport is easier than we often think - cars being the top hitting item. Paying $40K for a brand new car plus interest on a loan is just criminal...instead, search for low mileage cars for $5K. Stretching the life of a car is always around regular servicing and knowing that it is almost always cheaper to fix the old one than buy a brand new one (despite what we feel). When it comes to transport and cars, one of the simplest ways to slow is to amalgamate trips. Instead of going out five times for different things, plan our trips in the car to be as efficient as possible. Whilst we are out at the shops, let also visit grandma, get petrol, drop off that thing at Kate's and pick up that mulch at Bob's. Slowing can also mean taking the bus and train instead of driving.
|Home made chocolate balls.....|
what's left of them anyway!
Accommodation: It goes without saying that most people would be happy to scrounge when buying a house.....driving some type of deal. However, sometimes the most important scrounging needs to happen before we even start looking to buy a home....scrounging with our ideals and asking pertinent questions like; Do we need to live in a house this size? What can we get in a different suburb? What is the best value for money? What could I do without all this debt? Do we need to wait and save for longer? etc. Same goes for renting - could we live in a different suburb or state and get better value for the rent we are paying? Stretching sometimes takes the shape of adding that extra bedroom instead of moving house or even converting the garage to a rumpus instead of moving house. Stretching could be painting the house ourselves instead of paying someone or learning how to do our own home maintenance. It could even be fixing a single roof sheet instead of completely re-roofing. Slowing is rather unique when it comes to housing and might look like this: Staying put and making the very best of what we have instead of 'moving up' to a bigger and better home. It might mean down sizing. It might mean renting out rooms so your home earns a little income instead of being a black hole of expense. Slowing in the housing/accommodation area might mean being happy with that perfectly functional bathroom or kitchen and not remodelling for tens of thousands of dollars - Sometimes a coat of Antique American White paint over the 1970's orange kitchen cupboard doors can utterly transform a kitchen. Sometimes leveraging the existing retro look is truly a wonderful option.
|A wonderful gift from our friend|
Gail - I have had my nose in this
ever since Christmas morning
only to emerge when yelled at!
Anyhow, I am sure you all get the drift of applying Scrounge, Stretch and Slow to any topic to realise a diverse list of savings and economies.
Take care folks and stay nice.
|I think I enjoy Christmas|
breakfast more than Christmas dinner.
Chocolate croissants and freshly
brewed coffee - aaahh.