Although I tend to lean on the frugal side when it comes to groceries I have to admit I’m non-discriminatory, if you like your beer and cigarettes of an afternoon that’s your choice. We all have our vices, nasty habits, expensive hobbies and sometimes living without them can be more stress and more expensive than living with them. So if you must eat junk, drink till you see double, smoke till your lungs are black, then at least learn how to do it affordably, in the long run you’ll need the savings – medical bills aren’t cheap.
Cakes, lollies and deep fried goodies
I don’t really have a sweet tooth anymore. It seems finally after all those years of dieting I may have finally quashed that urge. However on the rare occasion I do feel like something full of nasty calories I make it myself. This way if I can’t be bothered to cook, then I don’t get my treat, which is much better for my waistline in the long-run anyway. A packet of home brand cake mix costs around $1.50 and a bag of icing costs around the same. So I have my whole cake for $3 and get to eat it too! I also recently learned the art of shallow frying, which turns out just as good as a deep fryer at half the cost. Fill a frypan with oil (about ¼ full) and then wait till the bubbles start rising, drop your battered fish/pineapple or potato slices in and cover with a splash cover – takes about 3 mins and tastes too good to be healthy.
Depending on your poison of choice, grog doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you drink wine – consider switching to cask, the good old goon has improved vastly over the past 10 years and at around $10-$15 for 4 litres, that’s 24 standard drinks (60 cents a glass.) Lucky for me my friends aren’t wine snobs, but if you are concerned about what people will think (good luck being frugal) then alternatively fill a washed ‘brand-labelled’ bottle with the cask wine using a funnel – I doubt anyone will be the wiser.
Stock up in winter
Aussies are well known for their love of beer. Every summer stores promote cases of most beers ‘on sale.’ Last year I did a comparison between winter ‘sales’ and summer ‘sales’and winter won by a long shot. So given most beers have a 12 month best before date – why not stock up on a case or two during the winter? Store them in a cool, dry place and they will see you through to the warmer months. Alternatively why not go halves with a family member/ friend and brew your own?
To be clear, I am NOT promoting smoking it is a filthy habit, but I am a smoker myself and whilst I am well aware it would be beneficial to my health to quit and save me more money in the long run, it is a personal choice for me and one that I am not willing to give up. So if you are in the same boat here’s a few quick tips on how to save money on this nasty habit. Only buy at supermarkets (petrol stations add at least $1 per pack) and ideally buy in a carton (saves roughly $10). Try switching brands, Coles recently brought in cigarettes from Germany that are around $2.40 cheaper per pack than the cheapest regular brands. Know anyone going overseas? Duty-free cartons can save roughly $15-$20, and lastly you could consider rolling your own (not for me, but can save around $2 for 25 cigarettes.) Best still – quit!
The point of these articles is not to advise you on how to live YOUR life, but to advise on how you can save money in living YOUR life in order to get the most from it.