The past few months have been a rollercoaster for living expenses. We have seen loan interest rate rises over the past few months coupled with rising costs of living - from petrol prices and electricity, even down to an iceberg lettuce head costing as much as $12!
Our staff members are passionate about helping others. As the saying goes "we are all in this together", and we wanted to share with you some of the different cost saving tips some of our staff are using to help with their every-day costs, or to reduce their living expenses. We know everyone's lifestyle is different, but we are all feeling the cost of living pressures in different areas of our lives. By sharing our tips, we hope that it may help you out during these uncertain times.
Our staff's cost saving tips
- Utilise your solar power as much as possible: "We have started to change how we do our daily chores. Rather than running the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer all at the same time, we have been trying to use one appliance at a time. This allows us to then rely solely on the solar power we are generating rather than using external electricity costs. By running these appliances one after the other during the daylight hours, we have noticed that we can rely on solar for the majority of the day".
- Hang the laundry outside: "When the weather is sunny or not too windy, hanging the laundry outside to dry is a great way to limit the use of dryers and try to save on electricity usage".
- Returning the refundable bottles: "Most of the plastic/glass drink bottles we use have a 10c refund if dropped off at collection points. We are collecting them and getting the 10c refunded to us. It may not seem much, but this money can add up over time, and go towards reducing our grocery bill by a few dollars. It's also nice to know the bottles are going to be recycled so it's a win for the environment as well! Alternatively, the money can be donated to a charity to help others in need".
- Using food already in our pantry: "I have a lot of sauces or canned goods that have been sitting in my pantry. So, I'm checking their use-by-date and making sure I use the items before they go off. It also is helping with weekly meal planning, and in the long-run will hopefully stop me wasting money on items that I would have to then dispose of once it's past its edible date".
- Bringing a packed lunch from home into the office: "I know this one is a common one, but it works for me. Bringing in leftovers from home into the office rather than buying takeaway meals means that I can save some money".
- Adding money to a separate savings account where possible: "When we started working remotely last year, I was able to save money on some of my weekly Opal fare costs. I began transferring that amount into a separate account each week. Over time that money has built up and I can use it toward living costs, any repairs I need to make around the house, or even towards entertainment expenses. I am still transferring some money into that account each week where I can".
- Switching off lights when not in use: "I used to be in the habit of leaving a light on in a room even if I wasn't in it. But I'm being more conscious of this, and only using the lights in the rooms I am using".
- Jumpers, socks, and blankets: "Running a heater or air conditioner can get expensive over time. I still use it every now and again, particularly when it is really cold in the morning or at night. But I have reduced our family's usage quite a bit simply by getting everyone to wear a jumper, socks, and slippers. We have spare blankets that just sit in the cupboard, so we get them out to also warm us up when watching TV rather than us using the heater. An extra blanket on our bed also provides extra warmth so I don't have to use the air conditioner constantly".
- Grow some vegetables: "Seeing iceberg lettuce costs so high, I am considering growing some vegetables around my home, and utilising the spare space on my balcony and planting them in some pots. I'm looking forward to tasting them when they're ready!"
- Plant it: "Thinking long-term, plant trees and shrubs around the outside of your house. The shade they provide will make the house cooler in summer. And if you plant a fast-growing shrub such as a Lilly Pilly outside windows, you'll have a good windbreak, helping to keep cold air out in winter".