Thursday, 13 February 2014

Getting Back to Basics: Cutting our budget further

In my last Getting Back to Basics post, I talked about cutting the necessary items out of your budget! Well, more specifically....your groceries. I want to quickly cap up on this before moving on!

In addition to bringing down our groceries, we had to truly look elsewhere too! Firstly, petrol (gas) was an issue. When we received our car, we already knew it was going to be tight on petrol. How were we going to fit this in? We knew quickly that joy riding wasn’t going to work!

We’d love to take the boys for a night time car ride when they just won’t quiet down...and I’d jump for joy if Hubby could always take me where I needed to be! However, I have two legs that work just fine and my kids need to learn to sleep in their beds!

I walked a lot before we had a car and I can still do it! If I have an appointment within walking distance (for me that is the whole town but I’d say ideally you should be able to cover 5km walking anywhere!) then I walk! It saves us a lot of petrol otherwise wasted!

Instead of Hubby making an extra trip to the grocery store for fresh foods, I get dropped off there after work, get what I need and walk home!

We also still carpool when available. Going to braais out of town or me getting to work....we club in! It saves with everyone!

We also took a look at our TV. It was and IS NOT necessary to have a full package on your cable! If your provider offers a smaller package, grab it! For us it was a R500 difference! That almost fills our tank in petrol! Almost a WHOLE tank of petrol people! Yea, sometimes we feel there is nothing on TV but honestly 90% of the time you have 500 channels and watch 3 of them!

There are going to be areas you just cannot slack on! I could put the boys in a different school. The other schools charge for full day what I am now paying for half day! Because LJ is too small to attend the after care classes, that means I have to still employ a full time nanny!

This does make it sound like we have money....but for us this wasn’t something we can slack on! We tried three other schools with Lil Mister in the first two years of his life. He was not happy NOR did he excel in any of them! He is doing amazing in the current school! He is happy to go there each day and excited to tell us what he did when he gets home. The school makes a genuine effort to involve the parents and discusses changes and what is happening with us regularly, seriously considering our opinions on everything!

Additionally, the school supports and encourages our lifestyle choices. They are a Christian school and up hold those values to all costs! Because we have chosen this school, I at the end pay double what I would at another school because of keeping Maggy employed. It is worth the exchange! I can do without a lot of things but my children will have a proper education! Have I mentioned that this school is from 1 years old until they graduate high school! Same school, teachers, expectations, and head master....through their entire education! Again...worth the sacrifice!

Surprisingly, pre-made food items can also sometimes be cheaper here. We’ve swapped making tomato/onion sauces from scratch because it is cheaper for us to do it via a canned item. However, I refuse to give up my children's fruits and yogurts (again notice the children's point)! I am proud that I have a child that will beg for fresh corn on the cob in the grocery store over sweets! Lil Mister wants those strawberries that cost my last R30....fine! He isn’t asking for junk! LJ wants to eat 3 bananas a day (I’m serious people) complaints from this Mama!

I guess my point is that this step is a very personal process. There are no right or wrongs. Some of you would look at my shopping and view my budget and say shave here or shave a little there. But....the bottom line is we can ALL shave somewhere. And you...yes YOU have to decide where those straggling points are and cut them loose!

Have you considered letting some things go? What did you cut loose lately and how has it changed things for you? Is there anything you’re considering cutting back on but are scared to take that plunge? Why?

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Shana Danae..


  1. We got rid of cable last summer and don't miss it. We have Netflix and that works fine for movies and such. We really only watch network tv anyway. I grew up without cable, so it's not really that big of a deal to me. I like the fact that we save $60/month! We work together so we carpool to work most days too.

  2. We don't have any kind of network TV watch any tv you have to get DSTV which is basically cable. So we take a very small package! I'm glad you've also been able to cut down! Less TV= More Family Time!




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