If you’re looking to supercharge your budget and save thousands of dollars in every part of your life, this is your ultimate savings guide for a super budget strategy. We’ve compiled the Top 5 Savings Tips into one ultimate cash-saver guide so you can kickstart your savings.
- Avoid Food Waste at Home
- Super-Saver Work Lunches
- Amazing Cheap Date Ideas
- How to Save Money when Shopping
- Tips to Save on Petrol
Saving Money at Home
There are many things you do to save money in your home. We’ve compiled exhaustive individual guides on how to reduce your power bill, and how you can sell unwanted items for quick cash, but this savings tip covers one of the most important parts of your home life: food.
While the food wastage statistics may change slightly with each year that passes, on average the below facts and figures on throwing away food remain the same. Accepting these stats will help reduce your household food wastage, save money, and become a more ‘aware’ consumer that doesn’t take the privilege of easy-to-access food for granted.
Food Wastage Stats, Facts & Figures In Australia
- $8 billion dollars worth of food is thrown out each year by Australians
- That is 4 tonnes of food
- That is around 500KG per Australian household wasted
- $1036 is the cost to your pocket per year for wasting food
For some, it’s the idea of wasting money that gets them upset, while for others it’s about the fact that food is such a valuable resource worldwide and yet we take it for granted in so many western countries.
How much money would you save by becoming food-waste conscious?
In terms of budgeting, adopting a food-waste conscious mindset is crucial for a few reasons:
- You aren’t unnecessarily wasting money
- You’re developing a mindset where you only buy what you need and will use
- You’re learning to live within your means
Top reasons for food wastage
According to ‘The Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study’ performed by the NSW Government and Savings Guide research data, the top reasons for food wastage in Australia are:
- We buy too much food
- We overcook quantities and need to relearn portion requirements
- We are terrible at storing food correctly
- We don’t understand how to use leftovers
What kind of food do we often waste in Australia?
- Fresh produce (33%)
- Leftovers (27%)
- Products that are packaged (15%)
- Drinks (9%)
- Frozen food items (9%)
- Takeaway food (7%)
As you can see, there is a large amount of fresh produce that is wasted simply because people either overspend or under-prepare for the meals they are going to eat. If we were more aware of the food we had in the fridge, its use-by date and how we can diversify our food to create better meals - we wouldn’t waste as much.
What you need to do to start saving money
- Stop food wastage. Save money.
- Start meal planning better.
- Look to reduce your grocery bill and opt instead to become more accountable for the fresh food you buy.
- Always store leftovers and use them the next day for lunch or similar.
- Learn what vegetables go off quickly – use them first.
- Study the use-by dates of items you put into your fridge
Saving Money at Work
Not everyone spends all day at home, and considering ways to reduce our spending while at work will have a long-standing impact throughout our lives. Consider that you may work for 40 - 50 years, and that in our increasingly time-poor society many of us are forced into taking short lunch breaks and overspending out of convenience.
Taking your lunch to work is healthier, simpler, and the easiest way to save money. In fact, you can save over $4,800 a year in many cases. How would you benefit from making lunch at home and bringing it to work? Let’s look at four simple motivations:
- You save money
- You eat a healthier lunch that is home-made, not heavily fried or processed with extra calories
- You spend your lunch time relaxing and taking personal time instead of deciding on where to buy food
- You have a solid 30 - 60 minutes each day to accomplish personal tasks (like paying bills or catching up on the news)
How to save $4,800 a year on lunch
The math is quite simple. In a 52-week year, the average worker is in the office for 48 weeks, accounting for four weeks of annual leave.
If you spend $20 a day on lunch, that equates to $100 each week, or $4,800 each year. Think about that for a moment: stop buying lunch, save $4,800 a year. It’s like getting a massive pay rise overnight.
Don’t spend $20 a day on lunch? The chart below covers how much it costs you per year based upon your daily food budget. Even as little as $5 a day can add up to over $1,000 across a year.
Yearly Cost of Your Lunch
|DAILY LUNCH SPEND||YEARLY COST|
Top 5 Tips on Saving Money By Making Your Own Lunch
- Utilise leftovers. Stop food wastage, save more money. Anything you don’t eat at home, whether it be dinner from the night before or fruit and veggies that run the risk of going off, bring them to work and eat them. See yourself as a human vacuum to eat up all the leftover food that would otherwise go to waste (but be careful not to hoover up too much). Reducing waste is as good as saving money, as you don’t need to outlay even more money.
- Have lunch at the same time every day. Routine helps you save money. If you eat lunch at different times of the day over the week, your body does not get into a routine and can leave you starving at different times. This in turn makes you more vulnerable to simply get up and join the masses exiting the building for a takeaway lunch at the food court.
- Use your savings for good. Work out your daily lunch and food expenses. Once you know the figure, ensure you save the money and use it to build wealth, pay off debt and generally get ahead. No point not eating lunch to save $3,000 a year only to pick up a lottery ticket hobbit of equal value. Consider making a separate high-interest savings account that is dedicated to your lunch savings, or alternatively, make micro transfers to your bad debts (like credit cards and personal loans) to pay less in daily interest.
- Stock up on long life and healthy ‘desk draw’ foods. Go to ALDI, buy a heap of tuna and 4 bean mixes. They are super healthy, high in protein and nourishment and will survive almost forever. Stock up on items like this and other long-life canned goods (be careful to not buy soups that are high in salt content). Having items in your desk drawer means that if you ever forget your lunch or feel tempted to eat elsewhere, you have food close by to dull your cravings.
Meal plan motivation. Many of us feel too rushed in the mornings to find the time to make lunch before work. The five minutes spent preparing lunch the night before will prevent spending $20 a day on eating food that isn’t as healthy as the lunch you can bring from home. Take the time to prepare, save and get ahead.